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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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