Building services are a fundamental part of most new and refurbished buildings. Ventilation and heating/cooling systems have the potential to cause noise issues within the building being served or to adjacent noise sensitive premises. The principles of noise control for building services are well understood, and noise emision data is available for most types of building services equipment. However, we are commissioned to work on a large number of noise issues caused because noise and vibration issues have not been adequately considered at the design and installation stages.
For some rooms such as auditoria, television studios and audiology test rooms backround noise from building services has to be controlled to very low levels. For these types of rooms, acoustics is likely to influence the building services design as inherently quiet systems will need to be used to achieve the design criteria. For other types of rooms within buildings, acceptable levels of building services noise can usually be met by the use of appropriate attenuators. However, external plant can often be more problematic. It is possible to achieve low noise levels for externally mounted plant by the design and use of acoustic enclosures and attenuators. However, these enclosures can be expensive and will take significant space. They need to be considered at the design stage as it is very difficult to retrofit them. However, external noise problems can often be avoided by the use of quieter equipment, the provision of attenuators and acoustic screens.
Noise from building services equipment is usually one of the issues that local authorities focus on when granting planning permission for new developments. Often there are conditions imposed on planning consents relating to noise impact of proposed new plant. We can assist by carrying out the following work:
- Surveys of existing background noise levels;
- Calculation of noise levels for the proposed installation;
- Design of noise mitigation measures;
- Inspection of works and commissioning surveys;
- Trouble shooting of existing problems.
Our building services experience covers most market sectors.