Cutting-edge guidance detailing the unique requirements of acoustics in gyms has been launched under a cross-organisational approach.
The Association of Noise Consultants (ANC) has led the production of the Gym Acoustics Guidance in partnership with the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).
The three organisations formed a working group to draw up a blueprint to standardise the approach to acoustics for gym operators, developers and local authorities for the first time globally.
Under the Agent of Change principle, existing gyms are often sited near to residential properties, as a result of Permitted Development rights, which allows commercial units to be developed with minimal consideration for noise impact.
The guidance provides a proactive approach to preserving quality of life and minimising the risk of complaints.
The trend for gym developments also increasingly needs to balance the drive for net zero buildings with more traditional buildings that are in close proximity to residential areas.
The Gym Acoustics Guidance working group chair is IOA Council Member Peter Rogers.
Peter, of Sustainable Acoustics Ltd, said: “This document represents two years of work by experts who have pooled their knowledge to help those trying to navigate the tricky technical waters to operate new or existing gyms, develop residential developments near to gyms, or residents who have complaints about gym noise that they want to be considered.
“In all these cases, this guidance provides a way through, using the science of acoustics to achieve the balance necessary for gym uses to co-exist alongside residential environments, and to assist Local Authorities with a consistent way to deal with such matters.
“This is an essential part of achieving sustainable development and addressing an obstacle to a low carbon future.”
The Gym Acoustics Guidance is the second in the ANC, IOA and CIEH’s Professional Practice Guidance (ProPG) series. The first ProPG, covering Planning and Noise, was published in 2017.
Chair of the ANC, Russell Richardson, of RBA Acoustics, said: “By reaching agreement and making this document a ProPG, we have a clear way forward in this technical area.
“We will continue to work together with our colleagues in the IOA and CIEH to keep this document under review, to reflect best practice and to give both operators and Local Authorities the tools they need.”
Ross Matthewman, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said “We are delighted to collaborate with the ANC and the IOA on this project. We hope that the guidance will be a useful resource for many years to come.”