Last edited 10 Dec 2020

BREEAM Acoustic performance


[edit] Aim and benefits

The aim of this issue is to ensure the building is capable of creating an appropriate acoustic environment to provide comfort, occupant efficiency and privacy for building users.

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.

Buildings are measured on whether they meet the appropriate acoustic performance standards and testing requirements defined for:

[edit] 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.

Early appointment of a suitably qualified acoustician (SQA) will allow performance and testing requirements to be designed into architectural construction and building services specifications.

[edit] 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.

A programme of pre-completion testing to be carried out by a compliant test body is required. This programme should contain details of the required performance standards for relevant spaces.

The results of the post-completion testing are required for final certification.

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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] Tools and resources

The primary professional body for acoustics in the UK is the Institute of Acoustics.

[edit] 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.

[edit] Typical evidence

[edit] 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.

BRE Global does not endorse any of the content posted and use of the content will not guarantee the meeting of certification criteria.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again