What are Building Acoustics?

Building acoustics (also known as architectural acoustics) focuses on internal and external noise levels and how we control these to comply with the requirements of standard and guidance documents such as BS8233 and Approved Document E.

From the physical building envelope including the façade, roof, glazing and doors to the internal partition construction, building acoustics needs to be compliant to ensure that the health and well-being of the occupants is unaffected by internal and external noise.
Noise is generated by a wide range of sources, from transport using our road, rail and air traffic systems to the television playing in another room. Implementing a successful design ensures all relevant sources are taken into account at planning stage to ensure the acoustics in residential buildings, schools, healthcare and other sectors meets the expected demands.

For existing buildings the same methodology is used to design acceptable solutions of acoustical control in buildings, that can be incorporated into the existing framework of the building.
The internal aspects for acoustics is covered further in Room Acoustics.

Building Acoustics | Architectural Acoustics

Benefits of Building Acoustics

Benefits of building acoustics

Implementing the correct acoustical control in a building helps alleviate a variety of issues including sleep deprivation, poor speech intelligibility, cognitive problems, stress, anxiety and loss of revenue.
New developments may require a noise impact assessment that is crucial in identifying existing noise levels, allowing us to design a building envelope or site layout to meet the internal noise level required.
Elements considered in achieving a successful design include:
Façade construction
Glazing and Doors
Rain Noise (Roof Construction)
Structure-borne sound
Impact Sound (internal floors)
Airborne Sound (walls and floors)
Ventilation and Overheating
Reverberation
Noise Pollution (affects elements above as well as conditions in external areas such as gardens)
Indoor ambient noise levels (affected by air conditioning units etc.)

Associated Standards and Guidance Documents

BS 4142:2014+A1:2019 Methods for rating and assessing industrial and commercial sound
BS 8233:2014 – Guidance on Sound Insulation and Noise Reduction for Buildings
Approved Documents Part E: Resistance to the passage of sound; Part F: Ventilation and Part O: Overheating
Acoustics, Ventilation and Overheating: Residential Design Guide January 2020
ProPG: Planning & Noise – New Residential Development, May 2017
WHO Guidelines for Community Noise
Calculation of Road Traffic Noise (CRTN)
Calculation of Railways Noise (CRN)
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
Noise Policy Statement for England (NPSE)

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