Residential acoustics ensures dwellings (including multiple occupancy)  meet the acoustic performance levels required under various regulations and standards, depending on the use. Poor residential acoustics can lead to:
– Sleep deprivation
– Detrimental effect on health and well being
– Loss of privacy
– Poor ventilation
– Overheating

Multi-occupancy residential developemnts

Performance Levels and Standards

BS8233:2014 provides key guidance on on sound insulation and noise reduction for buildings and is often used in conjunction with an Environmental Noise Assessment undertaken for new developments to better understand the existing noise levels, and aid in designing acoustically sound dwellings
Approved Document E relates to the Acoustic: Resistance of Sound requirements to comply with Building Regulations.  It is enforced by Building Control and Planning Officers before the building can be signed-off.
From June 2022 there is also a requirement, for new submissions, to make allowances for Overheating through the revised Approved Document O: Overheating
Further information can be found on the government website under The National Planning Policy Framework.

Typical acoustic issues

Residential acoustics involves specific acoustic problems and the effect of these on the occupiers of a dwelling.
Airborne Sound – Noise that is transmitted through the air once created, such as from a TV or music system. Stopping airborne noise is relatively easy and requires mass to be placed between the noise source and receiver and applies to both walls and floors.
Impact Sound – Noise created when an object impacts on the floor (does not apply to walls) and as a result is transmitted to the space below. Whilst mass can help, the best solution is to introduce mechanical separation between the floor and ceiling layers.  
Flanking Transmission – Is caused once gaps or weaknesses are left in the partition construction either through poor design or workmanship. These gaps allow for sound to pass around the partitions.

How we can assist

Sound Insulation – To ensure that all partitions (walls and floors) meet the required performance levels, 1 in 10 properties on each development will require  Sound Insulation Testing (unless built to Robust Detail) to meet planning requirements.
Overheating and Ventilation – Based on the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) publication of the AVO Guide (Acoustics, Ventilation and Overheating) we can offer additional advice on this subject.
Site Evaluation –  Undertaking environmental noise impact assessments to ensure the site and dwelling designs will meet acoustic requirements. These assessments are not part of the planning consent for sign-off and would be conducted prior to Planning Permission being granted.

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