Warm reception for new acoustics, ventilation and overheating guide

Warm reception for new acoustics, ventilation and overheating guide

3rd March 2020

A new guide, addressing issues of noise, ventilation and overheating holistically for residential developments has been launched.


The Acoustics Ventilation and Overheating (AVO) Residential Design Guide has been produced by working group members from the Association of Noise Consultants (ANC) member companies – chaired by Anthony Chilton from Max Fordham – with input from other specialists in the field.


It provides a resource for practitioners and designers to balance the interdependence of noise, ventilation, and overheating in the acoustic assessment of new residential developments.


The official launch of the AVO guide, which took place in London, attracted a capacity audience, including acousticians and building services specialists, as well as environmental health and planning professionals.


The event included a series of talks and workshops, with delegates collaborating and learning how to implement the new assessment method.


Dan Saunders, chair of the ANC, said: “A great deal of detail and research has gone into producing this guide and it was very well received at the launch.


“It is going to be a really useful assessment tool, which can help us to understand and begin to address the overheating issues project teams are encountering in the design of new dwellings. This is particularly relevant in the face of the changing climate.


“Moving forward I think this guide will be vital for practitioners in the design of sustainable resilient dwellings that can adapt to future scenarios.”
Jack Harvie-Clark is one of the authors of the guide. He said: “This information was needed because there isn’t any guidance at the minute about how to consider acoustics along with ventilation for internal air quality and for mitigating overheating.


“Currently these areas are all dealt with entirely separately, with different designers making incompatible assumptions such as windows being open for overheating assessments and closed for noise assessments. This guide brings them together because indoor environmental quality relies on enjoying good air quality, good thermal comfort and good acoustic conditions all at the same time.


“It is a major step forward and we haven’t actually found any other guidance internationally that is ambitious in bringing these three areas together.”


Susie Diamond, a partner at building physics consultancy Inkling, was a guest speaker at the launch event.


She said: “The issue of overheating is a significant problem that we have to address, more and more so in modern flats and particularly in urban locations.


“Urban locations tend to come with acoustic constraints of some sort, so evaluating how severe those are, and whether they impact on our ability to ventilate using open windows, is a big piece of the jigsaw that we’ve needed to know for a while now.


“It’s good to see that being addressed with this guide, and we can make sure that the new homes that are being built will be comfortable from both an acoustic and a thermal perspective.”


The Acoustics Ventilation and Overheating (AVO) Residential Design Guide can be viewed at https://www.association-of-noise-consultants.co.uk/avo-guide/


A video from the launch event can be seen at https://youtu.be/0l-EkLIl9-0