Last edited 24 Dec 2021

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

Ideally prior to any works starting on site, as background noise level must be measured and it is not always feasible to stop construction works on site so as to take "clean" measurements. 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 plant and nearby noise sensitive receptors, ask whether a noise impact assessment has already been done (or will be done), eg. to satisfy planning.

[edit] Design Stage

  1. Obtain the noise impact assessment, which must 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?

What times will the plant run? Have background noise levels been measured during the quietest times when the plant will run (eg. at 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 at 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 report (or other relevant acoustician's report), which may well have been completed for the planning application. This shall demonstrate that the criteria will be met by stating the:

[edit] Post Construction Stage

[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.

--Multiple Author Article 22:16, 21 Apr 2018 (BST)

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings


Excellent blog, really well written and very informative! I have had issues with noise pollution in my area, and recently had soundproof windows installed to help out.

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