Monthly Archives: March 2023

New guidance provides sound advice on acoustics in gym environments

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.”



You can view and download it by clicking here. 

Trailblazer Group response to LSBU Announcement Regarding Apprenticeships

Following a communication sent by London South Bank University on 16th March 2023 announcing their intention to pause the taught element of the Level 4 Acoustics Engineering Technician Apprenticeship, the Trailblazer Group have been working tirelessly to identify a new provider.


KP Acoustics Research Labs, led by Chris Barlow (formerly Professor of Acoustics at Southampton Solent University), now intend to provide the taught elements of the apprenticeship course both in person, from their base in Southampton, and online via their existing proprietary platform, making the course available to apprentices across the entirety of England.  KP Acoustics Research Labs, who already offer the IOA Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control along with a range of short courses, are working hard to ensure everything is in place for the 2023 intake and will provide updates in due course.  They already have the necessary infrastructure to facilitate both face-to-face and online teaching, as well as the necessary laboratory facilities in Southampton.


The Trailblazer Group urge all employers who have an apprenticeship advertisement out, or intend to publish one, to continue to do so safely in the knowledge that there will be a place for their apprentices to learn and grow.


We welcome all providers who can demonstrate capability in delivering the taught elements of the Apprenticeship.

Acoustics expert appointed to leadership role at trade association

Russell Richardson has been elected as Chairman of ANC the Association of Noise Consultants.


Bringing decades of consultancy and academic experience to the leadership role, Russell has been appointed to serve for the next two years.


A graduate in electroacoustics at the University of Salford, Russell’s career began in acoustics consultancy followed by further work in academia researching the subjective response of audiences in concert halls at London South Bank University.


He then went on to co-found RBA Acoustics, now one of the largest independent consultancies in the UK.


As a Director, Russell leads a team working from offices in London and Manchester, from where RBA Acoustics operates nationally and across the globe.


Throughout his career, Russell has played an extensive role in the wider acoustics sector. This has included several years as Hon. Secretary of the Institute of Acoustics, as well as a visiting lecturer on the Environmental and Architectural Acoustics MSc course at London South Bank University.


He is also a member of industrial advisory boards at both LSBU and Birmingham City University and a student mentor at the University of Salford.


Russell first joined the ANC Board in 2006, with previous roles including Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer.


He is a member of ANC’s Certification Committee and is the Senior Examiner for the Association’s ADvANCE Registration Scheme for sound insulation testing, where he’s played a pivotal role in driving high standards of governance and professionalism.


Launched in 2004, to provide independent verification of pre-completion sound compliance testing in the housebuilding sector, to date 528,000 tests have been recorded under the ADvANCE Registration Scheme, with more than 300 ANC-registered testers, all qualified in acoustics, able to deliver the programme across the UK.


Russell was elected at the ANC’s recent annual general meeting and takes over from previous Chair, Paul Shields.


Graham Parry, President of the ANC, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Russell to the role of Chair of the ANC.


“He brings a wealth of experience to the role and we look forward to working together closely throughout his term of office.


“The Board would also like to thank Paul Shields for his hard work in the role of Chair and commitment to the ANC.”