Each sector has its own requirements when it comes to building acoustics, based on various British and International standards, policy documents and BREEAM. However, the services required can generally be broken down in to 3 areas:
External Noise Intrusion
The internal noise level within a given environment must be appropriate for its intended use (eg sleeping, working, retail etc), and so the building facade must be designed to give the appropriate level of protection against external noise. This would generally involve using the results of an environmental noise survey or the output from a noise mapping exercise to undertake calculations to determine the required specification for the facade, glazing and ventilators.
Internal Sound Insulation
The way in which sound travels around the structure of a building is complicated, and controlled by more than just how thick the walls and floors are. We can advise on the necessary floor and wall constructions plus any necessary detailing in order that flanking noise transmission (noise traveling around a separating structure, rather than through it) is kept to a minimum and adequate sound insulation for the rooms’ intended use is achieved.
There is generally some requirement to control how reverberant or “echoey” rooms are. We use CATT acoustic modelling software to create a 3D digital representation of the room in question, which enables us to determine the optimum combination of acoustic absorption and diffusion necessary to meet the relevant reverberation time criteria.