Acoustic Consultants

Residential Noise Assessments

A BS8233 noise assessment is required to demonstrate that new residential developments will achieve acceptable noise limits and noise levels will not be disturbing to future occupants

Most Local Authorities request an environmental noise impact assessment report to support planning applications for new residential developments.  This type of report is often referred to as a BS8233 noise assessment.

A BS8233 noise assessment report considers noise limits from BS8233:2014, along with other relevant British Standards, guidance documents, and local and national planning policies.  The assessment will determine if the site is suitable for residential development.  If required, recommendations for a noise mitigation scheme will be provided.

The assessment can also be referred to as a ProPG noise report.  In the past the assessment was usually called a PPG24 noise report, however PPG24 has long since been withdrawn.

Once planning consent is granted for a new development specialist acoustic design will be required.  The development must comply with the requirements of The Building Regulations Approved Document E and Approved Document O.  It is even more important to consider the acoustic design at an early stage if the development incorporates non-residential elements such as retail units or a fitness gym.  Similarly, compliance with BREEAM or specific planning conditions can increase the complexity of the acoustic design.

ACA Acoustics will carry out sound insulation tests on the completed houses and flats to demonstrate compliance with Approved Document E.

Call us on 01793 766324 or use the contact form to speak with ACA Acoustics’ experienced acoustic consultants about your next residential development.


Noise assessments for residential planning applications

Why is a BS8233 noise assessment required?

Noise intrusion can be disturbing to people relaxing or sleeping in their homes.  Most people accept noise from cars on nearby roads as being a part of modern life.  But for properties near major road networks the extent of this noise and volume of traffic overnight can cause sleep disturbance or other adverse impacts.  Similarly, noise from trains or aeroplanes can cause a nuisance, especially at night.  Residents are even more likely to be disturbed by identifiable sources such as bars/clubs or other licensed premises, and factories or industrial noise sources.

Prior to granting planning consent for new residential developments, Local Authorities often wish to ensure that future occupants will not be unduly disturbed by noise.

The primary aim is to ensure that noise intrusion to a new residential dwelling will achieve the guideline noise limits in BS8233:2014.  Achieving these guideline limits means that external noise is not disturbing to future occupants; and contributes to achieving sustainable developments that are fit for purpose.


What other Standards and guidance documents are used in the assessment?

Although it is often called a BS8233 noise report, a robust and detailed assessment will actually consider a range of different Standards and guidance documents.

A suitable assessment may consider:British Standards


What is the process for a BS8233 noise impact assessment?

Sound level survey

The first stage of a BS8233 noise assessment is to carry out a background noise survey at the development site.  The results are used to quantify the daytime and night-time noise levels.  These allow the site to be classified as a ‘negligible’, ‘low’, ‘medium’ or ‘high risk’ using the ProPG Stage 1 assessment.

Any other relevant assessments are then carried out, for example if the site is close to a railway line then groundborne vibration will be assessed using BS6472-1.  For large developments 3D noise modelling may be necessary to understand how the development itself might affect the existing noise climate.

Once the computer calculations are completed a noise and vibration mitigation strategy will be developed following a good acoustic design process.  Typically this includes acoustic specification for glazing, façade elements, and ventilation schemes.  Mitigation schemes could also include changing the orientation of buildings or rooms within the building or external features such as acoustic barriers.  Often this is developed as part of the design team with input from architects, developers, and planning consultants.


What is included in a BS8233 noise assessment report?

The final BS8233 noise report should incorporate all the relevant information that has been considered as part of the assessment.  This will allow the Local Authority Environmental Health Officer (EHO) to fully evaluate the acoustic design.

As a minimum, the BS8233 report should include:

  • Site address, description of dominant noise sources and development proposals.
  • British Standards, guidance documents, and planning policy used to inform the acoustic assessment.
  • Results of the sound level survey.
  • Analysis of the noise survey results.
  • A noise mitigation scheme to comply with the noise limits in BS8233.
  • A recommendation to the Local Authority EHO whether the site is suitable for the proposed development.

Other elements will be included as required, for example if a vibration assessment has been carried out.


Acoustic design for residential developments

It is important to consider the acoustic design at an early stage of a residential development.  What is the proposed ventilation strategy and will that meet the noise limits of Approved Document O?  Are your proposed separating wall and floor constructions compatible with the flanking façade walls to pass Part E sound tests?  Do you need planning permission for air conditioning condensers?  Bringing an acoustic consultant onboard your design team early saves potential delays and extra costs by ensuring these are considered at the appropriate stage.

As the design progresses we review the sound insulation performance of separating walls and floors between dwellings.  Careful design is required to ensure compliance with The Building Regulations Approved Document E.  During the construction phase we can also undertake site inspections and provide ongoing advice to the contractor and design team.

Building Regulations Approved Document O presents a new challenge for developers to control overheating in dwellings.  Noise limits set in ADO mean you may have to assume bedroom windows will be closed overnight.  ACA can work with your energy consultant, mechanical engineer and architect to develop the most appropriate scheme to comply with ADO.


Acoustic design of mechanical ventilation and cooling for residential developments

If a development incorporates mechanical ventilation such as MVHR there is potential that noise and vibration could disturb future occupants.  Similarly, new external mechanical plant such as air conditioning could disturb occupants of existing properties nearby.  ACA Acoustics will assess the impact of the new plant and provide cost-effective and practical solutions to control noise and vibration to acceptable levels.  Noise impact assessments can be provided to support planning applications for new air conditioning condensers.

We are also able to assess noise to ensure compliance with Passivhaus Standards, including from MVHR and air source heat pumps.

We have provided the acoustic design for all manor of projects.  Ranging from large-scale residential developments, high-rise apartment blocks, through to single infill houses.  Please get in touch to discuss how we can help with your next development.


Sound insulation tests and commissioning surveys

Once construction works are complete your Building Control Officer will require a pass certificate for sound tests on separating walls and floors.

ACA Acoustics are accredited by SITMA to carry out Building Regulations sound insulation tests.



Why choose ACA Acoustics to carry out a noise assessment on your next residential development?

Our highly experienced acoustic consultants provide noise assessments and acoustic designs for all types of residential developments.  Our expert knowledge means we know how the BS8233 noise assessment should be conducted.  If required, we can use that experience to design the most appropriate noise and vibration control strategy.

Please get in touch with us using the contact form and one of our experienced consultants will contact you shortly.  Alternatively, please feel free to call us on your local office telephone number or email our head office at

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It’s getting rarer these days that clients’ interests are put ahead of pressure to generate fees.

I would definitely recommend you to others."

Philip Catterall

"I have had the pleasure of using ACA Acoustics’ services on a high-end residential project in Vauxhall, London.

The commitment and proactiveness received from Rob Cant and his team was greatly appreciated on an extremely challenging and short time-framed project. This resulted in ACA Acoustics providing acoustic consultancy services on the current 51-storey commercial fit out project in Central London.

I would not hesitate with recommending their services as they are my preferred company for acoustic consultancy."

Joe Wu – T Clarke PLC

"I have been using ACA Acoustics during my employment at different companies since Rob set the business up in 2012. Rob and his team offer an excellent service and very competitive costs for carrying out acoustic sound surveys and reports. In the fast pace nature of the hospitality client field their fast turnaround is greatly valued and helps me to build a robust offering to my clients."

Craig Ballantyne – Spiritus Technical Services Limited

"We used Rob from ACA Acoustics and would highly recommend their services. The work was carried out to an extremely high standard, these guys obviously know their business.

There was some opposition to our project and those opposing employed an independent acoustic agent to try and discredit the report Rob had produced. However, the other report was thrown out and deemed totally inadequate and the Local Authority praised the report submitted by ACA Acoustics.

As I say, these guys know their stuff and are extremely competent and most professional."

Sanchia Ascroft – The Thatch Barn, Yelling

"ACA Acoustics’ practical understanding of the HVAC industry and professional yet common sense approach to finding the right solution for each project is the reason why I’d always choose to use them on my projects and recommend them to my clients."

Ed Fellerman – Chapman Ventilation Limited

"I’ve worked with Rob and ACA for a number of years on numerous projects, and their proactive approach and negotiation skills have helped my clients and I overcome various difficult challenging noise issues to secure tricky planning consents.

As a planning consultancy we have worked with various noise consultants and I have found ACA to be the most pragmatic and adept, going beyond simply undertaking noise calculations to help find solutions and fight our corner when needed."

Mark Shearman – Firstplan

"I use ACA Acoustics to assist with all our projects which require an acoustic assessment. They also provide the acoustic design for separating walls and floors to comply with The Building Regulations Approved Document E.

Their straightforward and practical advice complements the service I can offer to my clients and I highly recommend their service."

Ian Hubbarde – Link Architecture