Mechanical ventilation and heating/cooling systems are a common feature in many buildings. From Air Handling Units, Fan Coil Units (FCU), or chillers serving commercial offices, kitchen extract fans to a restaurant, or heat recovery units (MVHR) serving modern residential apartments, all these building services systems have the potential to result in complaints due to noise if the acoustic impact is not considered at an early stage of the design.
Planning applications for new building services equipment will often require an assessment of noise to nearby noise-sensitive properties. This assessment is usually based on the methodology of British Standard BS 4142:2014, although some Local Authorities have their own unique assessment methods set out in their Local Plan or Development Framework policies. We would normally undertake a background sound level survey, carry out calculations to predict noise from the proposed equipment and, where necessary, provide a specification for an appropriate noise mitigation strategy.
Mechanical equipment also has the potential to cause nuisance to within the property being served. We utilise detailed computer models to calculate levels to inside proposed developments, for example FCU’s serving an office or MVHR units to within residential dwellings. Calculated levels are then compared against appropriate limits set out in BS 8233:2014, CIBSE guidance, or project specifications and where necessary noise control treatments are designed accordingly.
Unfortunately, we are also regularly asked to investigate complaints, where the noise or vibration impact of new equipment was not considered prior to installation. Whilst our innovative approach and experience means we can usually design successful remedial treatment, it is invariably more cost-effective if this had been implemented at design stage. We therefore recommend you speak with our experienced team at an early stage of your development.