Q: Do you only work in England?
A: No, we work throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Q: We are submitting a planning application tomorrow and have just found out that it cannot be registered without a noise assessment. We haven't got one – can you do one for us by tomorrow morning?
A: No, because it needs daytime and night time noise surveys and calculations, and the production of a detailed report. However, we will help by rushing it through for you.
Q: Can you tell me the results of your noise survey immediately on site?
A: No, we have to process the observations and calculations and draw up a detailed report. But you can be assured we will get everything to you as soon as possible.
Q: Why can't you come and do the noise survey today as we had arranged?
A: Because we can only conduct a survey in favourable weather conditions – we will conduct your noise survey as soon as the conditions are suitable, and will keep you fully informed as to when we will be carrying out the survey.
Q: What is noise?
A: Noise is usually defined as being 'unwanted sound' – the kind of stuff which annoys you rather than making you want to settle back and listen. Some noise we can tell is annoying simply because the loudness of the noise is painful to the human ear. Loudness is measured in decibels, and 120 decibels is the threshold of pain.
Q: How do you measure noise?
A: We measure noise with a Sound Level Meter or Sound Analyser. These are devices that have a good quality microphone linked to a box of tricks that ends up with a display of the sound pressure level. There are all sorts of Sound Level Meters available, but the ones used by acoustic consultants are the all-singing, all-dancing variety which meet all the relevant British Standards and calibration requirements – and cost thousands of pounds.
Q: What experience do you have in noise mapping?
A: Hepworth Acoustics has carried out noise maps of all major types of noise source including roads, railways, industry, quarries and aircraft (and various combinations of the above). The company is virtually unique in the UK in having experience of all of the main noise mapping software that implement UK standards. The company is currently producing the world's largest noise map for Defra. This is a noise map of roads and railways in England.
Q: Are there previous noise mapping projects you have conducted which we could see?
A: Yes. Contact our head office in Manchester for more details.