Noise is often an important issue for the developers of public houses, nightclubs, restaurants, cafes etc. Noise assessments are often required for planning and licensing purposes. Our consultants have carried out hundreds of assessments for major national operators and smaller local venues.
Noise assessments often include matters such as music noise breakout, noise from mechanical services plant and noise from the dispersion of customers at the end of the evening or night time trading period.
At sites where a bar or restaurant is in the same building as noise sensitive uses such as residential apartments or hotel accommodation we are often asked to assess the potential for noise transmission from the noise generating to the noise sensitive areas.
Our consultants are experienced at offering cost effective noise control solutions to limit noise breakout to the nearest noise sensitive properties and to limit noise transmission where the venue shares a building with residential apartments. We have also been asked to assess the noise exposure of staff working in pubs and clubs as the entertainment industry must now comply with the Noise at Work Regulations.
We have worked on both new-build developments and conversion projects including venues being developed in listed buildings or buildings of historic importance.
We have worked on casino developments and multi-use buildings were restaurants, bars, nightclub areas, cinemas, performance spaces, bowling or family entertainment areas are developed in the same building. These types of development present special acoustic issues where particular experience in noise control design is important.
As well as planning noise assessments for new venues we have worked on venues where the operator is seeking to discharge planning conditions or to renew the license. We have also worked on venues which have been on the receiving end of complaints and in some cases where a notice has already been served by the local authority’s environmental health officer prior to our involvement. Of course, it is preferable if we can be brought in at an early stage in the design process for a new development as it is much easier to incorporate noise control measures at that point. However, we are happy to assist at any time. Where noise has become an issue at an existing venue we work with the operator to find a solution which is appropriate to the existing operation.
Solutions to music noise problems usually involve a combination of sound insulation measures and volume control devices (e.g. compressor limiter and graphic equaliser). Often the control of particular frequencies is important, particularly low frequencies because the bass beat from music often travels more readily through the construction than the higher frequencies.
Many local authorities have their own standards for music noise transmission and breakout and there is currently little standardisation of assessment criteria between different parts of the country. Our consultants have worked on entertainment developments in many different local authority areas and we are used to the complexities of the different assessment criteria presented.
We have also carried out a great many assessments of mechanical services plant. These assessments are normally carried out to BS4142 but once more there is a variation between local authority areas as to how that standard is applied.