BREEAM Acoustic performance
Well-designed buildings minimise disturbances to building occupants from various sources including building systems, other occupants, equipment and external noise and provide appropriate acoustic environments for different functions and spaces.
 When to consider
BREEAM awards credits where a building meets the appropriate acoustic performance standards and testing requirements, specific to the building type (see below) or where a suitably qualified acoustician is appointed to define a bespoke set of performance requirements for all function areas in the building.
- Law courts.
- Industrial, retail, prisons and other buildings.
- Residential institutions (short term and long term stay).
 Step-by-step guidance
To demonstrate compliance at the design stage, a suitably qualified acoustician should be appointed to provide a design report including noise survey results, appropriate noise limits, building construction and ventilation together with comments as to whether the design can meet these limits.
Where testing identifies that spaces do not meet the standards, remedial works must be carried out prior to handover and occupation. Any failed areas will require re-testing if the credits are to be achieved.
 Questions to ask while seeking compliance
Noise control predictions are based on the specified construction, with no allowance made for weak points. Small weaknesses in the fabric design and/or installation are likely to significantly reduce the predicted noise control performance. Comprehensive site construction checks (documented by the principal contractor or 3rd party) are required to prove that the installation matches the design intent.
Confirmation that all elements are constructed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations are also required. All purchase contracts should include the particular elements to comply with the acoustic requirements.
 Tips and best practice
Façade noise levels – to determine the noise climate, the SQA should undertake a baseline noise survey at a location representative of the development exposed to the main noise sources affecting the site.
Ventilation – Where spaces are to be mechanically ventilated, the ventilation system will need to be suitable attenuated to ensure external noise is controlled. The SQA should check the details supplied by the M&E consultant to ensure that the cumulative noise limits are not exceeded. If this information is not available then the suitable internal noise limits should be provided for the mechanical plant based on the cumulative noise limits and the predicted internal noise level from external sources.
 Typical evidence
- SQA’s (bespoke) report and evidence that requirements have been written into the specification.
- Final post-construction testing results. Where remediation is required, results of re-testing.
 Applicable schemes
The guidelines collated in this ISD aim to support sustainable best practice in the topic described. This issue may apply in multiple BREEAM schemes covering different stages in the life of a building, different building types and different year versions. Some content may be generic but scheme nuances should also be taken into account. Refer to the comments below and related articles to this one to understand these nuances. See this document for further guidelines.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Acoustic consultant.
- Airborne sound.
- Approved Document E.
- Audio frequency.
- Building Bulletin 93: acoustic design of schools.
- Flanking sound.
- Impact sound.
- Noise nuisance.
- Pre-completion sound testing.
- Robust details certification scheme.
- Room acoustics.
- Sound absorption.
- Sound insulation.
- Sound insulation in dwellings: Part 1: An introduction (GG 83-1).
- Sound reduction index (SRI).
- Sound v noise.
- Structure-borne sound.
- Suitably Qualified Acoustician.
Issue support documents
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Issue support documents are written for named BREEAM Issues or sub-issues. More info. (ac) = awaiting content.
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- BREEAM Sustainability champion
- BREEAM Environmental management
- BREEAM Considerate construction
- BREEAM Monitoring of construction site impacts
- BREEAM Aftercare support
- BREEAM Seasonal commissioning
- BREEAM Testing and inspecting building fabric
- BREEAM Life cycle cost and service life planning
- BREEAM Stakeholder consultation (ac)
- BREEAM Commissioning (ac)
- BREEAM Handover (ac)
- BREEAM Inclusive and accessible design (ac)
- BREEAM Post occupancy evaluation
 Health and Wellbeing
- BREEAM Visual comfort Daylighting (partly ac)
- BREEAM Visual comfort View out
- BREEAM Visual comfort Glare control
- BREEAM Indoor air quality plan
- BREEAM Indoor air quality Ventilation
- BREEAM Thermal comfort
- BREEAM Internal and external lighting (ac)
- BREEAM Indoor pollutants VOCs (ac)
- BREEAM Potential for natural ventilation (ac)
- BREEAM Safe containment in laboratories (ac)
- BREEAM Acoustic performance
- BREEAM Safety and security (ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of energy use and carbon emissions
- BREEAM Energy monitoring
- BREEAM External lighting
- BREEAM Low carbon design
- BREEAM Passive design
- BREEAM Free cooling
- BREEAM LZC technologies
- BREEAM Energy efficient cold storage (partly ac)
- BREEAM Energy efficient transportation systems
- BREEAM Energy efficient laboratory systems
- BREEAM Energy efficient equipment (partly ac)
- BREEAM Drying space
- BREEAM Transport assessment and travel plan
- BREEAM Public transport accessibility
- BREEAM Sustainable transport measures
- BREEAM Proximity to amenities
- BREEAM Cyclist facilities
- BREEAM Alternative modes of transport (ac)
- BREEAM Maximum car parking capacity
- BREEAM Travel plan
- BREEAM Home office (ac)
- BREEAM Water consumption
- BREEAM Water efficient equipment
- BREEAM Water monitoring
- BREEAM Water leak detection (ac)
- BREEAM Hard landscaping and boundary protection
- BREEAM Responsible sourcing of materials
- BREEAM Insulation
- BREEAM Designing for durability and resilience
- BREEAM Life cycle impacts
- BREEAM Material efficiency (ac)
- BREEAM Construction waste management
- BREEAM Recycled aggregates
- BREEAM Speculative floor & ceiling finishes
- BREEAM Adaptation to climate change
- BREEAM Operational waste
- BREEAM Functional adaptability (ac)
 Land Use and Ecology
- BREEAM Site Selection
- BREEAM Ecological value of site
- BREEAM Protection of ecological features
- BREEAM Minimising impact on existing site ecology
- BREEAM Enhancing site ecology
- BREEAM Long term impact on biodiversity (ac)
- BREEAM Impact of refrigerants
- BREEAM NOx emissions
- BREEAM Flood risk management (ac)
- BREEAM Surface water run-off (ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of night time light pollution (partly ac)
- BREEAM Reduction of noise pollution
Once an ISD has been initially created the '(ac)' marker can be removed
This particular index is based around the structure of the New Construction and RFO schemes.