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Noise Mapping Focus

WBM utilises SoundPLAN noise mapping software for the modelling of Bloxham Road Noise Mappingindustrial and residential developments.

Using site plans and height data a three dimensional model of such developments can be created and the propagation of noise from numerous sources in the model can be calculated with reflections as well as ground and barrier attenuation taken into account.

SoundPLAN allows the use of a variety of calculation methods including ISO-9613, BS 5228, Calculation of Road Traffic Noise (CRTN) and the IOA Good Practice Guide for ETSU-97 for wind turbines among others.

Nackington Noise MappingThe results of the calculations can be displayed as a noise contour map or can be presented as tables of data for individual receiver locations with a breakdown of the contribution of the various sources and the calculated attenuation between source and receiver.

WBM has used SoundPLAN for the modelling of mining/quarrying operations, testing of road traffic noise barriers, rail noise, input into the design/layout of residential developments, the impact of road alterations, wind turbines, solar farms, industrial plant sites and M&E plant on commercial buildings.

Examples of our work in this area include:

West Kettering Residential Development
Input into the design/layout and phasing of the residential development to minimise the noise impact of the nearby dual carriageway (read more…)

Bloxham Road, Banbury
Assessment of the noise impact of changes to the road layout and alteration of the speed limit due to a new residential development.

Alpha Lake Ecological and Landscape Enhancements
Assessment of the noise impact on nearby residences and wildlife in the adjacent nature reserve of proposed shallowing of the lake by means of imported material.

Manor Farm Tetsworth Road Traffic Noise Bunding
Examining the effectiveness of proposed bunding between the property and the M40.

Aggregate Industries Bardon Hill Quarry Extension
Model of the ongoing activities on site and in a substantial extension area to accompany a planning application.

Nackington Solar Park
Examination of the noise impact on nearby residences of a proposed solar farm.

Foxhills Residential Development, Brackley
Assessment of the road traffic noise impact on a proposed residential development.

Napleton Lodge Wind Turbine
Noise assessment to support a planning application for the construction of a wind turbine near Raunds.

Odeon Farnham
Modelling of the noise levels due to the operation of M&E plant on the roof of a cinema.

HS2 Tunnel relocation
Modelled the noise implications of the relocation of a proposed tunnel for HS2 for a group of local residents.

London Borough of Hounslow School Expansion & Kingston Library in Milton Keynes

WBM is pleased to provide the following updates on two of our recent projects.

London Borough of Hounslow School Expansion
Hounslow Schools 1The London Borough of Hounslow and Pick Everard used WBM’s acoustic expertise to help them deliver the first phase of a multi-million pound expansion programme on ten primary and SEN schools between 2013 and 2015. The schools are in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport and exposed to elevated levels of aircraft noise. WBM provided the design team with professional architectural acoustic consultancy services from inception to completion of the projects (read more…)

Kingston Library 1Kingston Library in Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes Council commissioned WBM to carry out an acoustic assessment and testing of a new library in Milton Keynes. There are no mandatory acoustic standards for this type of building so WBM used appropriate performance requirements from guidance documents as design aims (read more…)

Vibration Focus

WBM provides professional advice and monitoring services for ground borne and structure borne vibration as well as the full range of noise consultancy services.

WBM has worked on a variety of projects requiring input regarding vibration, such as advising on minimising plant vibration, monitoring of vibration due to piling and construction activity and assessing the impact on sensitive premises/equipment of vibration from nearby industrial activity.

Vibration survey work conducted by WBM has included both short term attended sample measurements and longer term monitoring of ongoing site activity by means of installed vibration monitoring equipment.

Examples of our work in this area include:

British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), London
WBM has acted for the BBFC since 2008 with regard to potential noise and vibration from the Crossrail project construction and operational activities in Soho Square, London including vibration disturbance affecting projector operation. WBM reviewed documents supplied to the BBFC by Crossrail and provided comments and recommendations. Appropriate noise and vibration management systems are now in place to minimise the impact at the BBFC of Crossrail construction activity.

Trocadero ResizedTrocadero Hotel & Cinema London
Consideration of noise and vibration limits for activity arising from construction of a hotel within the Trocadero Complex, measurement and review of mock-up demolition activity on site and advice on an existing cinema in the same Complex.

Siemens Data Centre Nottingham
Vibration tests for breaking out and removal of an external area of concrete slab located close to sensitive electronic data storage devices operating within the facility.

Electron Microscope Facility
Initial assessment for feasibility study for proposed electron microscope facility, review of acoustic criteria and advice on constructions and sound insulation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASkanska Canvey Island
Long term unattended vibration monitoring, with remote reporting and warning facility, near to dwellings arising from activity associated with demolition, piling activity and construction for a school on Canvey Island.

Grundon Materials Recycling Facility Banbury
Vibration measurements were taken adjacent to a new access road to a Materials Recycling Facility to determine the potential impact on vibration-sensitive equipment within an adjoining building.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABolingbroke Academy London
Measurement of low frequency noise breakout from plant room to adjacent dwelling. Detailed advice on remedial measures, including isolation of plant items and relocation of plant room.

Cranfield University Plant Vibration
Inspection, vibration measurements and recommendations to assist Cranfield University in minimising perceptible levels of vibration on work surfaces in offices below roof top plant.

Odeon Cinemas Limited, Fort Kinnaird

Odeon Fort Kinnaird Project UpdateCongratulations to Odeon Cinemas Limited on completion of their new 7 screen multiplex cinema at Fort Kinnaird Shopping Centre, Edinburgh’s largest retail park located in a highly prominent position adjacent the Newcraighall junction of the A1.

WBM are delighted to have been involved with this project, providing Odeon’s Architects (McFarlane Latter) and design team with professional architectural acoustic consultancy services from inception to completion of the project in March 2015. (read more…)

 

ADE 2015 & BB93

Building Regulations Approved Document E amended 06 April 2015.

There is now an Amended Approved Document to support the following requirement of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2010:

PART E (RESISTANCE TO THE PASSAGE OF SOUND)

See: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_AD_E_2015.pdf

The main change made by the 2015 amendment, which is in force from 6 April 2015, is an update to the reference to standards for schools. This is stated in Section 8.0 of the document, where it no longer refers to Section 1.0 of the 2003 version of BB93, but now refers to “Building Bulletin 93. Acoustic Design of Schools: performance standards”.

There is no document date stated and therefore the most recent version applies, which is currently version 17 (February 2015) as noted in WBM Technical Update 12 February 2015.

See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bb93-acoustic-design-of-schools-performance-standards

The application and consequences of these documents are at an early stage and we would be happy to discuss the potential implications for any of your projects.

Noise at Work Focus

As well as the broad range of environmental and architectural services that WBM provides, we can also undertake noise at work assessments in accordance with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. Three of our staff hold the Institute of Acoustics Certificate of Competence in Workplace Noise Assessment and we have undertaken assessments at entertainment venues, factories, and at educational establishments for Local Authorities.

What are the Control of Noise at Work Regulations?

The aim of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 is to ensure that workers’ hearing is protected from excessive noise at their place of work. The regulations define limit values and action values for the noise exposure of employees, including:

Lower exposure action values – daily or weekly personal noise exposure of 80 dB(A) and a peak sound pressure of 135 dB(C). At these values, employers must provide hearing protection to those employees who request it.

Hearing Protection IconUpper exposure action values – daily or weekly personal noise exposure of 85 dB(A) and a peak sound pressure of 137 dB(C). Where levels exceed these values, employers should ensure that ear protection zones are clearly marked and that employees wear hearing protection whilst in these zones.

Exposure limit values – daily or weekly personal noise exposure of 87 dB(A) and a peak sound pressure of 140 dB(C). If employees are exposed to levels above these limit values, the noise levels must be reduced to below the exposure limit value, taking into account the reduction offered by hearing protection.

What does an assessment include?

cel_350Noise at work assessments usually include surveys of relevant work activities, using sound level meters and/or dosemeters. The noise measurements are undertaken at (or at a location representative of) an employee’s ear. The survey results are compared with the action and limit values set out in the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 and recommendations provided on the use of hearing protection. Advice regarding noise mitigation can also be given.

Technical Update

We thought that the following quick review of three recently published technical documents relating to acoustics would be useful.

A revision of British Standard BS 4142 “Methods for rating and assessing industrial and commercial sound” was published at the end of October 2014 and replaced the 1997 edition. The 2014 edition clarifies the use of the standard and includes good practice for reducing uncertainty. The execution of its provisions will be entrusted to appropriately qualified and experienced people to inform decisions made by other professionals.

The Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment produced “Guidelines for Environmental Noise Impact Assessment” in October 2014. The guidelines define core methods and techniques, used within the noise impact assessment process, relevant to all types and size of development. The guidelines present current good practice methods and procedures to assist in determining the degree of significance of the potential noise impact from a proposal.

With regard to schools, the much awaited replacement to Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) 2003 “Acoustic Design of Schools” has emerged, with version 17 (February 2015) the latest. The acoustic performance requirements in the latest BB93 are broadly similar to the 2003 edition although there are differences, some of which are outlined below:

  • More stringent performance requirements for children with special hearing and/or communication needs
  • Rain noise now requires assessment
  • Performance values are provided for refurbishment as well as new build

The application and consequences of these documents are at an early stage and we would be happy to discuss the potential implications for any of your projects.

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