Why does Acoustics matter in Construction?

23rd August 2022
Kent Acoustic Consultant

Acoustics play an important role in our everyday lives, often unbeknown to the end-user. From the sounds that wake us up in the morning to the background noise throughout the day, Acoustic Assessments influence the built environment, to reduce the noise affecting you.

Acoustics can be a critical element during early stages of a development.

There is a lot to lose if you have not assessed acoustics including:

As part of the planning process, reference is often made to BS8233 and BS4142. These British Standards provide guidance for internal noise conditions and plant noise limits. For longer-duration projects within populated areas, a BS5228 construction noise and vibration assessment (and compliance monitoring) may also be required.

Specific Employer Requirements may also apply. Most hotel developers, for example, have bespoke acoustic criteria for their projects. Similarly, many private and public sector clients require BREEAM certification, particularly with ESG being a prominent topic. Most of the acoustics-related credits, Pol05 and Hea05, are generally relatively easy to achieve and therefore worth targeting. Pol05 covers noise pollution whereas Hea05 requires anything from sound insulation to reverberation depending on the type of development.

For residential developments in England, ensuring compliance with the Building Regulations is also important. This is primarily in form of adequate sound insulation. Part E of the Building Regulations requires party walls and floors to achieve a minimum level of sound insulation. Part E also covers educational developments.

Besides Part E, the recently introduced Part O, which looks at overheating, also has an important acoustic component for residential developments. Essentially, noise affecting your site has an intrinsic role in shaping the overheating mitigation strategy.

Getting an Acoustic Consultant involved at an early stage can be the difference between costly delays or getting your site approved and built.

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