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How is a BS8233 noise survey conducted?

The BS8233:2014 specification sets out the an appropriate level of external and internal sound levels to Bedrooms, Living Rooms, Dining Rooms and Gardens for the daytime (07:00 between 23:00 and 07:00)) in the evening (23:00 until 7:07). It also offers guidance regarding the design of noise insulation for buildings as well as ways to achieve the adequate noise reduction for new built dwellings as well as renovated ones that are undergoing a change in usage.

What is the reason you require the BS8233 the noise test?

If you’re building a house or flat, school, healthcare establishments or hotels, if the location is close to any noise source for transport like a highway or railway line, it is probable that during the planning approval process that the Local Authority will request a BS8233 noise survey be conducted to ensure that adequate noise levels are met to ensure the comfort of the future residents.

An BS8233 noise report may be requested during the pre-application phase of planning permission when it is determined that the Local Authority considers noise to be of sufficient risk to influence the chances of the application being granted. The report may also be conditional on the approval of the planning permit. The information contained in the report of a noise survey allows planners and environmental health departments to evaluate the impact of noise anticipated on the project and to ensure that proper safeguards are put in to be in place.

In the end, the goal for the noise study BS8233 is to verify that the proposed development is in line to the National Planning and Policy Framework and Noise Policy Statement for England.

What are the typical planning conditions?

Here are some typical planning conditions that are related to the BS8233:2014 standard:

Example 1: A development will be permitted until the details of a noise analysis have been provided to and accepted in written form from the Council. The report must include details of noise attenuation measures that are required to comply with the requirements for internal noise levels as defined in the table 4 of BS8233:2014 (including the details of ventilation and glazing). The permitted dwelling cannot be occupied until the noise reduction measures have been implemented in accordance with the approved guidelines and thereafter remain in place for the duration of time.

Example 2. Prior to the beginning of construction the environmental noise assessment as well as an insulation plan should be submitted and accepted in written form in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The assessment of the environmental noise will include the effect of traffic noise, or noises from street traffic and should be completed while any establishments or activities within the area that are likely to cause an adverse impact on noise levels are in operation. Additionally, it must include noise levels that are predicted for any equipment or plant that will be part of the project, the analysis of octave bands and any assumptions that are made (e.g.glazing and façade areas).

The sound insulation plan must contain the specification of acoustic data sheets applicable to areas that are glazed in the development and any acoustic ventilation scheme and be constructed to meet the following levels of internal noise:

Not over 30dB LAeq(1 hour) and not over the NR25 limit in bedrooms during any period between 23.00 to 07.00,
In excess of 35 dB LAeq(1 an hour) and not over NR 30 in bedrooms or living rooms at any time between 07.00 until 23.00,
Not over 45dB LAmax(5 minutes) for bedrooms (measured by the F-time weighting) between 23.00 until 07.00,
No more than 50% LAeq(1 1 hour) for gardens (including gardens associated with residential properties and similar structures).

Example 3. The residential conversion process cannot occur until a thorough Acoustic report of the current noise conditions on the site of development is submitted to and has received approval in writing from an authority in charge of local development. If necessary the report must contain a plan of noise reduction measures for all residential buildings. The noise-insulation measures must be developed to provide the highest level of noise insulation so that no nuisance will be created to those who live in the residential property by loudness. The noise assessment must be conducted by a experienced acoustic engineer/consultant and will consider the requirements of BS4142:2014 as well as BS8233:2014. The approved scheme will be put into effect prior to the commencement of the occupation of any residential unit , and remain in effect for the remainder of the time.

What is the procedure for conducting a BS8233 noise survey carried out?

The purpose of a noise study is to establish a baseline measure of the noise conditions in the vicinity of the development you are planning to construct. After the noise environment has been identified and the possible impact of noise on homes in the vicinity is assessed. The impact of noise is determined based on BS8233:2014 in order to ensure that future residents aren’t negatively affected by the noise.

We will conduct environmental noise survey and acoustic calculation to determine the noise levels on this development area.
We will recommend and analyze the most appropriate mitigation measures to protect the areas outside.
We will determine the levels of noise inside the building in order to provide the appropriate specifications for ventilation and glazing for the construction.
We will send you an expert report for submission at the local authorities in order to help with your planning application

What is this technical document?

The aim of the report’s technical content is to succinctly explain an explanation to authorities at the Local Authority how ‘Good Acoustic Design’ was implemented during the planning of the project to ensure that the appropriate measures for control are in place. The report on noise will include the following details:

A brief description of the aim and goals of the report.
A comprehensive analysis of the development plan
The description will describe the area around and the sources of noise at the site
The technique has been used to determine the level of noise that was generated on the site, which includes monitoring locations as well as the equipment that was used as well as the details of calibration as well as a summary of the weather the date of the survey.
A summary of the findings relevant to the study. These usually include LAeq,t, LaMax, T, LA90 and the LA10, 1/1 octave of LZeq.
The review of the noise level is conducted according to the relevant British Standards
Recommendations and mitigations measures that are needed to safeguard the enjoyment of future occupants, including estimations of the expected noise reduction due to the insulation scheme.

What recommendations and mitigation measures can you expect out of your Noise Report?

The aim of the report is to employ any reasonable noise-control measures to ensure that the both the external and internal noise standards of BS8233:2014 will be fulfilled. It is always better for noise to be managed at the source, but it isn’t always possible. These mitigation options are available:

Distance Separation
Building The orientation
Acoustic Barriers and Screening
Design and Layout of Buildings
Sound Insulation Schemes
Acoustic Doors and Glazing
Alternative Strategies for Ventilation

What are you required to do?

After you’ve completed your BS8233 assessment and you have received your technical report, it must examine the recommendations and make sure that any changes to the layout of your development are clearly defined in the layouts of your site, in detail plans, and any other documents. The report must be submitted by the local council to be considered for its approval and must be submitted in written form.

The responsibility rests with the designer to make sure that all the recommended and mitigation measures are in place. The quality of workmanship and control will have a major impact on the effectiveness of noise control measures, therefore it is essential to maintain an excellent standard of work to ensure that the proper implementation of the acoustic detailing that is recommended.