Noise impact assessment
Noise impact assessment

Industrial Noise Investigation

During 2021, an industrial facility at Trafford Park, Manchester contacted dBx Acoustics to assist them with the investigation and resolution of noise complaints received from residents a new build development who had also involved the Environment Agency.

dBx carried out a night-time noise survey at the affected properties, which were 500 metres away from the client’s premises, to identify and quantify the noise reported by the residents. As our client’s premises was in the middle of a large industrial site with other noise generating operations in the area, our remit was to identify whether (a) the noise was emanating from our client’s site and (b) whether the problematic noise existed prior to the residential development and therefore arguably should have been mitigated for in the residential design.

Our extensive measurements established the source of the noise was a specific item of equipment on the client’s site.

We then carried out a detailed review of the planning documentation associated with the residential development. The documentation included multiple noise assessments by different consultants, with disagreement between them as to the impact of industrial noise on the proposed residential properties and the mitigation measures required. Our review found the planning noise impact assessments had only focused on the impact of noise during the day from a scrapyard adjacent to the residential development and had not included overnight noise measurements to assess more distant industrial noise.

We then analysed historic noise data and together with our own measurements we were able to demonstrate there had been no change in the industrial noise levels affecting the residential development since planning permission was granted. An assessment of the mitigation measures included within the planning noise impact assessments identified that these should be appropriate to control noise affecting residents to within acceptable limits.

The Environment Agency’s permit relating to the industrial site requires activities at the site ‘shall be free from noise and vibration levels likely to cause pollution outside the site’. A BS4142 assessment was carried out based on the noise levels measured by dBx Acoustics which identified the industrial noise would not be expected to adversely affect residential amenity.

The noise levels measured at the residential properties were found to be compliant with the Local Authority’s requirements for noise levels affecting residential amenity.

It was concluded our client was compliant with all relevant permits and legislation, and no further action by the Environment Agency was required.

dBx Case Studies - Office & Workspace

As we emerge dazed from our home offices and start getting back into the workplace, we are sure to become more aware of the noises around us, which can distract us or prevent us from performing effectively.

In open-plan offices, for example, it can be important to be able to communicate with your immediate team, but you don’t want to be able to hear everything that Loud Howard across the room is describing. Confidentiality in meeting rooms, quiet rooms, and cellular offices, can all be critical too.

In a busy call centre, it’s important that the hubbub of other voices doesn’t distract an individual call handler, or affect a caller’s experience, ability to hear, or perception of privacy.

The acoustic design of workspaces considers all of these factors holistically, balancing specification and detailing with appropriate levels of background noise and room acoustic treatments to enhance productivity and comfort.

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