British Standard 8233 (BS 8233) contains a wealth of information related to acceptable noise levels within and around buildings and how to achieve those levels. It contains a table of noise levels showing good and reasonable ambient noise levels in a variety of room types. The Standard was first published in 1987 and is based on results from research and experience.
BS 8233 specifies internal noise levels in terms of LAeq, with the exception of bedrooms, where reference is also made to LAmax. General advice is provided in the Standard on typical noise levels from transportation noise sources and design principles for controlling noise. Calculation methods are provided to assess the overall sound insulation of all elements of a building façade. The information provided can give a useful estimate of the required sound insulation at the initial design stage, but it is likely that site specific circumstances will require a noise survey and detailed assessment at the detailed design stage.
The standard is currently under review, and a draft for comment is expected in 2013.