Last edited 17 Jan 2018

BREEAM Reduction of Noise Pollution


[edit] Aim and benefits

To avoid any significant noise impact on other noise sensitive receptors near the building or development under consideration

[edit] When to consider

This issue issue should be considered prior to any works starting on site, as background noise level measurements must be taken. While it may be feasible to stop all works on site so as to take the measurements, it's not especially practical. Equally, it's high risk as plant will have been specified during RIBA Stages 3/4 which may not meet requirements, as the required noise ratings are unknown.

You may find that this is considered much earlier in the project (Typically RIBA Stage 2) as frequently a noise impact assessment is required as part of the planning application.

[edit] Step by step guidance

[edit] Pre-Assessment

  1. Establish whether there are any noise sensitive receptors within 800m of the development.
  2. Establish whether there's actually any plant that makes any noise going in. It may be possible for an acoustician to confirm there's no external plant and no significant noise sources and award the credit by default.
  3. If there are noise sensitive receptors, and plant, establish whether there are plans to do a noise impact assessment, for planning puporses or otherwise.
  4. If there are no plans to do this credit, an acoustician would need to be appointed specifically for this BREEAM credit.

[edit] Design Stage

  1. Collect a copy of the noise impact assessment, which clearly states background noise levels. Make sure this clearly states acoustician's details.
  2. Collect either a copy of calculations showing compliance, or details of recommended noise levels.
  3. Collect confirmation or a copy of ERs stating that contractor must provide additional attenuation if required background noise levels are not met.

[edit] Post Construction Stage

  1. If detailed calculations were done during design stage, make sure the specified plant has been installed (site inspection, schedule)
  2. If not, get a copy of the testing report.

[edit] Questions to ask while seeking compliance

Are any noise sensitive properties within 800m of your building? If not, then the credit can be awarded.

Is there a planning condition relating to noise pollution. If there is, does complying with it automatically meet the BREEAM requirement?

Will there be plant running at night? Frost protection? If so, have background noise levels been measured both during the day and night?

[edit] Tools and resources

UK New Construction 2014 Knowledge Base Articles

BREEAM UK New Construction 2014 SD5076 – Issue: 5.0 - POL 05

[edit] Tips and best practice

[edit] BS7445 / BS4142

Many acoustic reports will state that the noise impact assessment has been done in accordance to BS4142 rather than BS7445. Please note, this is also acceptable, with confirmation of best practice testing from 7445, as per the knowledge base article:

[edit] Accurate Modelling at Design Stage

Please note there's a compliance note that states if accurate modelling is completed and design stage (and there are no changes to the specification), no post construction testing is required.

[edit] Typical evidence

[edit] Design Stage

Typically you will receive a Noise Impact Assessment, which may well have been completed for the planning application. In addition, you may receive a report from the Acoustician which outlines either:

  • The background noise levels required post development to achieve the BREEAM credits/planning condition, OR;
  • Calculations of the background noise levels predicted following the installation of the specified equipment.

[edit] Post Construction Stage

  • If accurate calculations were provided at design stage, you will only require robust evidence (site inspection/delivery note/schedule) showing what plant was installed.
  • If accurate calculations were not provided at design stage, you will need a copy of the Acoustician's test report, which details the background noise levels post development.

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