Building & Room

Building & Room Acoustics

There’s no doubt that everyone wants good building acoustics, great sounding spaces and comfortable conversation levels for employees and clients, but figuring out what they are and how to go about getting them can be a daunting prospect. 

NOVA Acoustics Ltd is one of the industry’s leading specialists in acoustic room design, noise control and soundproofing design. We offer a wide range of services and bespoke designs to achieve the acoustic requirements for your space. Our interior acoustic specialists strive to provide creative and functional designs to suit your purpose; they use their years of knowledge and experience to create the most acoustically comfortable environments. 

While it’s true that there are some technical and mathematical concepts that go into producing good room acoustics, the general idea for achieving superb building acoustics can be straightforward.  At NOVA Acoustics Ltd, we aim to make the science of building acoustics simple, so you can get on with being productive in your space, whatever its purpose.

Benefits of Good Room Acoustics

  • Boosting concentration – everyone has experienced the difficulties of trying to complete a task with unwanted noise intruding on your working environment. Quality building acoustics can help in properly controlling this nuisance and ensuring that minds are free to stay on task.
  • Improving communication – room acoustics are the foundation of effective communication. It’s not just unwanted, loud noise that makes conversations inaudible or difficult to follow, other factors such as an excessive number of hard surfaces can seriously impede speech intelligibility, meaning communication can suffer.
  • Increasing comfort – the idea of holding a conversation at a comfortable level is familiar to everyone, but few people realise that the chances of achieving this can be significantly improved with the proper building acoustics. Increased comfort is also conducive to enhanced communication and increased levels of concentration.
  • Improving productivity – although a bustling, noisy environment is what many people associate with productivity, too much noise can seriously hamper output. This is as true of office spaces and factories alike. Achieving optimal room acoustics goes hand in hand with keep productiveness at high levels.
  • Ensuring privacy – in some instances, it is important that conversations and information are kept confidential. Quality building acoustics that help to maintain privacy are crucial for management and those working within healthcare or other information-sensitive environments.
  • Ensuring audio-visual equipment works – companies will spend lots of money on the latest and greatest video and tele-conferencing equipment. All the while, many are oblivious to the fact that this equipment is the first to suffer from poor room acoustics. Ensuring that building acoustics are up to scratch is an extremely simple and cost-effective way of getting the most out of all those costly gadgets.

How can we help? 

Acoustic surveys

Using the latest and most accurate acoustic equipment we undertake detailed preliminary analysis of the acoustic characteristics of the space under assessment, measuring a myriad of acoustic parameters such as Reverberation time, operational room response, and impulse response and speech intelligibility index.

Planning & Advice

NOVA Acoustics provides all clients with detail scope and any initial advice needed on the best way to approach the planning phase of the project.

As part of our service, we also supply the client with a list of all materials and material data that is relevant to the specification of the acoustic treatment or design plan.  

Design Advice?

Design & Material Specification

We will provide a technical report and detail design drawings/plans with the results of the acoustic survey. Contained in the report and drawings will be detailed and precise specifications to control noise and sound issues within the space. All presented in an easy and accessible format so the client can understand the theory behind the design.

Site Visits

We provide site visits at any stage of your project. Whether at the very start of the project to ascertain the scope of the project and the space you are working with or throughout the project to assess the work thus far and to guide and overcome any issues that may occur on the way.

To find out exactly what room or building acoustics would work best for your sector and service, get in touch via the contact form or call us to discuss your project with our friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Common Reasons for Poor Room Acoustics

Although every client has unique requirements, there are a few common problems that can be found in many room acoustic set-ups; these issues can seriously hamper performance. Examples include:

  • Excessive hard surfaces
  • Multiple noise sources
  • High ceilings

We have years of experience in finding convenient, cost-effective solutions for these common room acoustics issues.

Where do room acoustics matter?

Many people consider building acoustics to be an issue that is associated with a few specific industries and environments. In fact, we work with companies from all sectors to ensure that their room acoustics are suitable to help keep their working environment and employees as productive as possible.

The diverse industrial sectors and environments we’ve helped to develop first-class room acoustics for include:


The office can often be a demanding environment with multiple functions and layouts such as open plan offices, call centres, meeting and conference rooms. Given that acoustic comfort in the working environment is a large factor in productivity and moral of the staff, it is essential to get the acoustic design right. Good acoustic design provides acoustic comfort which supports and encourages clear interactions, acoustic privacy while also allowing staff and employees to concentrate on their various tasks.


Good acoustics in schools and other similar environments such as universities are essential to enable effective teaching and learning. Allowing for the teachers voice to be projected but not allowing the space to feel harsh or tedious for the students using it. Due to the vast increase in the subjects schools and university’s teach there can be various acoustic issues when that can be avoided during the design phase of the project.

Due to the importance of good learning environments there has been lots of research on the subject.  Subsequently school buildings have been added in to the building regulations Approved Document E and all new and extended school buildings have to comply with Building Bulletin 93 – Acoustic design of schools: performance standards.

Here at NOVA Acoustics Ltd we can provide sustainable and imaginative acoustic building designs that will not only achieve the specified criteria but also inspire students for years to come.


Many restaurant owners would describe a busy restaurant as a happy restaurant, having the happy buzz of patrons in conversation while eating some of the finest food is often the sign of a good restaurant. However if the acoustics of the hospitality suite or restaurant do not provide the right amount of absorption and acoustic comfort, diners will often feel that they did not enjoy the time they spent in the establishment. People feel overwhelmed by loud and invasive background noise, but when the sound environment is too quiet it becomes uncomfortable and seclusive. There are thousands of restaurants reviews stating that the acoustics and loudness of the establishment had an adverse effect on the dining experience so getting the right balance between happy buzz and excessive noise is key for a successful restaurant.

Village & Sports Halls

Sports halls and similar spaces such as village halls are often known for harsh acoustic conditions and large reverberation times (over 5 seconds) due to the large areas of hard and reflective surfaces. Adding in intense sporting activities and large ordinances or groups of spectators, the local village/sports hall can quickly become an overwhelming acoustic environment.

However this should not be the case, NOVA Acoustics Ltd can provide clear and decisive acoustic strategies for upgrading existing sports/village hall or help design innovative recreational spaces from the ground up.

Auditoria and cinemas

Auditoria and Cinemas have four main design goals in terms of acoustics:

  • High levels of sound insulation

  • Low background noise from ventilation and machinery

  • Evenly balanced spatial acoustics to provide a consistent and immersive environment from any position in the room.

  • High intelligibility of speech

NOVA Acoustics Ltd can provide acoustic designs and soundproofing to ensure your auditorium or cinema is the best it can be creating a totally immersive watching experience weather in a private home cinema or large cinema complex.

Churches & Places of Worship

Churches and other places of worship can often be challenges places to design or upgrade as there is always the trade-off between a space designed for public speaking and sermons verses a space designed for singing and choirs. A collaboration of physical acoustic treatment and directive loudspeakers can achieve the best solution for most spaces. NOVA acoustics Ltd believes that the right balance can be found and contemporary places of worship should be designed around clear and concise communication weather this is singing, verbal or emotional. That’s is why our acoustic room design consultants aim to design acoustic schemes and treatments to suit the preference of the people using the church or place of worship.

  • Audio production studios
  • Healthcare buildings
  • Libraries
  • Recording Studios and Production Spaces

Studios can often be complicated spaces with a varied range of acoustic characteristic dependent on the specific use of the studio whether it’s audio, visual or rehearsal. With the progression of music and visual software along with a fast moving culture almost any space can be considered suitable for a studio. It is often the case that studios require large amounts of absorption with specific dimensions and placement. The room also needs to act acoustically diffuse to achieve good sound quality throughout the space. Therefore a bespoke acoustic design is required and may be dependent of room size, room use, the type of equipment used as well as the surrounding spaces adjacent to the studio space.

NOVA Acoustics Ltd offers specific acoustic testing of various room characteristics such as impulse response, room mode analysis and reverb time. We also offer tailored studio design for your space and all you creative needs.

Healthcare Acoustics

Health sector buildings can be extremely susceptible to bad acoustics due to their busy nature and number of hard surfaces. It is in everyone’s interest to make all patients and staff to feel as comfortable as possible, with the acoustics of the building and its rooms being a key factor. It is important that all announcements are intelligible to ensure that staff can respond in the most efficient manner. There are many psychological and physiological effects that can affect the wellbeing of patients, with studies indicating that noisy environments can have an effect on blood pressure, stress levels and quality of sleep. It is also important to consider patients privacy, confidentiality and dignity when designing the acoustics of a room.

Acoustics in healthcare environments are complex and require a careful, strategic design balancing competing interests such as visibility versus enclosure, surface maintenance versus sound absorption, and initial construction budget versus long-term value. Nevertheless, effective acoustical performance is a critical need for all types of healthcare facilities.

Thus a specialist acoustic adviser is required in order to take a holistic approach to the acoustic design.

Library Acoustics

Here at NOVA Acoustics Ltd we do possess the expertise to assess the subjective sound quality of the environments and provide the right planning solutions to accommodate the calm and the tranquillity that such a delicate environment desires.

Libraries are quiet spaces used for study and reading therefore it is assumed that no acoustic treatment or design work needs to be undertaken to create a comfortable space. However this is not the case poor acoustics in libraries and other such spaces means that any noise is usually amplified and can often have the effect of disrupting quite atmosphere which is detrimental to concentration and comfort of the library users.

There are some key aspects in the acoustics design of libraries these should include:

  • Concentration – Library’s need to be quitter than normal spaces to provide the immersive and distraction free environment.

  • Privacy – acoustics privacy is paramount as libraries often have spaces for group study and other activities such as book readings. These events should not interrupt or disturb other library users.

  • Aesthetics – just because this specific space is used for studying and reading it doesn’t mean that it should be dull and boring. Library’s need to be stimulating and interactive environments for all users whether old or young.

NOVA Acoustics provides a full range of acoustic testing as well as functional and aesthetically pleasing acoustic designs for libraries and study spaces.

Ready to get started?

Get in touch, we're here to help

Service Areas

We provide our services nationwide through our in-house network of local engineers... call to book now!

Service Map - NOVA Acoustics

Case Studies/Projects

Residential Noise Surveys

Traffic Noise Survey: Taylor Wimpey

Taylor Wimpey requested a Noise Impact Assessment to analyse the impact from a busy road on a parcel of land to be developed into 100+ dwelling houses. We conducted a in-depth environmental noise survey to address the noise incident across the site, from this basis we created a noise model to accurately specify appropriate acoustic fencing for the site. From the noise model we provided a scheme of sound insulation for the dwellings, including the provision of glazing and ventilation specifications, to ensure the amenity of the future occupants was adequately protected from noise ingress.  

BS4142 Noise Survey

BS4142:2014 Noise Impact Assessment: HMRC

NOVA Acoustics Ltd provided a noise impact assessment in accordance with BS4142:2014 for the installation of 11 No. Air Conditioning units at the HMRC Headquarters at Lower Thames Street, London. The process involved a 72 hour environmental noise assessment to ascertain the prevailing background sound level without the units in operation. We then assessed the likely level of impact from the units by creating a noise model of the proposals to accurately calculate the specific noise level at the closest sensitive receptor. To ensure the impact was minimised we provided acoustic design advice and mitigation measures to minimise the noise generated. 

Acoustic Testing

Acoustic Testing & Diagnostics: Leeds University

Following a recent refurbishment we provided acoustic design and consultancy to improve the privacy between offices at Leeds University. We conducted a schedule of onsite sound insulation testing to ascertain the existing sound reduction provided by the separating walls between offices. Whilst testing we conducted an appraisal of how the sound was transferring between the two spaces to allow an efficient approach to providing acoustic design guidance to improve the level of Sound Insulation. We provided acoustic solutions to ensure that the offices could be utilised for private discussion, So that if the neighbouring office was occupied the conversation was not intelligible. 

Noise Impact Assessment

Noise Impact Assessment of CHP Plant: Calvert Trust

We were asked to provide a noise impact assessment of the proposed installation of a Combined Heat & Power Plant at a site with very low background sound levels. We conducted a 96 hour background sound survey to ascertain the background sound levels over a weekend and weekday period. This provided the basis for the noise impact assessment  which was conducted in accordance with BS4142:2014. To ensure the plant was below the background sound level, we provided acoustic design advice which included acoustic enclosures and exhaust silencers, as well as relocating and shielding the sound levels. 

Industrial Noise Assessment

Industrial Noise Assessment BS4142:2014: Peaking Power Plant

NOVA Acoustics Ltd have provided a noise impact assessment for the installation of 10 No 2MWe Gas Generators that supply the national grid at times of peak demand. If unmitigated the gas generators have high noise emissions from both the engine and exhaust adn typically require bespoke enclosures and acoustic silencers for the exhaust system. We conducted a background sound survey to ascertain the background sound level at different periods throughout the daytime and night time.  Following this we produced a noise model that assessed the noise emissions of the generators at the closest sensitive receptors. To ensure 'Low Impact' good acoustic design was implemented to mitigate the noise emissions. 

Sound Insulation Testing

Sound Insulation Testing: SIG Roofspace Plc

SIG Roofspace asked NOVA Acoustics Ltd to undertake a series of sound insulation testing on a construction detail to allow use within the Robust Details scheme. We visited a number of sites to undertake sound insulation testing to ascertain the acoustic performance of the detail. All technical reporting and guidance was provided to ensure the construction detail could be put forward for approval within the Robust Details Certification Scheme. 

Accreditations & Memberships

  • ISO-9001
  •  Institute Of Acoustics
  • Construction Line
  • LABC
  • IEMA
  • HAS


- Paul Hastings

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

30th May, 2017

I engaged Nova at the outset of my project (which I recommend you do) to assist with providing a detailed material specification and installation guidance. There was always someone available to help with practical enquiries and advice...

- C.G. Henry

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

29th Nov, 2017

I had Adam come round to a property which i thought was beyond repair. He gave sound advice with exact details of what needed to be carried out in the most cost effective manner. Once the works were carried out he returned, tested it...

- Andrew Youngson

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

6th Dec, 2017

I have worked with the team at nova on a number of projects and have always been very helpful and competitively priced. Highly recommend this company for any sound test and report.

- Carol Chaplin

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

14th Jun, 2017

Excellent service, engineer was very informative and helpful.  Good customer service being able to speak to knowledgeable people on the telephone when making inquires about the procedure involved for the sound testing of our property...

- Bun Bar

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

2nd Dec, 2015

Good efficient service. Recommend it to all.

Bright Construction UK Ltd

- Gavin Boby

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

9th Nov, 2015

Very attentive and friendly service, keen to serve the client, and absolutely not about dragging the case out for fees - will work to save the client fees, and understand the practicalities of the case and the opposition that applications...

- Ejaz Shah

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

9th Nov, 2016

Adam was very attentive and very professional answered all my questions and returned all calls the engineer arrived at the time agreed and again explained everything before carrying out the test , and we received our report within couple...

- Charles OKell

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

23rd Feb, 2017

Its a tricky area and you need the right support, Paul Robinson  brought Adam's team to the table and we'll be working together again in future for sure.

- Ainsley Black

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

14th Dec, 2016

Although we had followed the building reg, in terms of sound insulation the property conversion still failed the sound Test. Adam was very helpful and professional and guided us to the point that when it was retested again we passed. Would...

- Robert Buchanan

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

19th Jun, 2017

Friendly efficient and cost effective service, without complication

- Hepple Property Care Ltd

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

26th Oct, 2017

Very quick service, would recommend to others

- Ian Fairbairn

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

20th Dec, 2016

Excellent service and communication with all the members of staff we had dealings with.  A very professional approach and attitude by all.  An experience that is refreshing within the building sector and a company I could recommend...

- Daniel Cogdon

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

2nd Oct, 2017

Fast turn around and great service, recommended

- Allan Proctor

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

21st Sep, 2016

Excellent service by Adam and the team at Nova. The service they delivered was efficient, competitive and I would highly recommend them!

- Carol Richards

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

20th Jul, 2016

Having selected Nova Accoustics to perform a sound test on my latest project, I found the whole process completely professional, prompt & efficient .

The phone contact to set up the appointment was extremely  helpful...

- Michael Dickinson

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

1st Mar, 2017

Having used Nova Acoustics on several projects, I would not hesitate in recommending this company.

- Steph Openshaw

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

7th Sep, 2017

Fantastic service very quick and punctual highly recommended.

- Chris Bullerwell

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

22nd Nov, 2016

Used Nova Acoustics to sound test a property we'd converted in the Newcastle area.

Excellent service from start to finish. Professional, helpful & reliable throughout...highly recommended.

- Andrew Holmes

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

23rd Mar, 2017

Really helpful team of people and very quick service, which was greatly appreciated.

- Siying Lid

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

17th Aug, 2016

We are a small design firm and NOVA Acoustics provided very sufficient services to our clients with reasonable price. And they are quick to respond too.  Highly recommended.

- Floors By Design Leicester

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

24th Apr, 2017

Very good company, communicated all the way through.  Competitive pricing, I will be using them again in the near future.

- Stewart Greenhalgh

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

6th Jul, 2017

First Class, prompt professional service. I will recommend to other clients.

- Frank Kenny

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

5th Oct, 2017

Excellent  service so far and will be contacting them again for their services.

- Kelly Freakley

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

26th Jul, 2017

Fantastic service from this company at a very reasonable price, would definitely recomend....

- Robert Myers

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

27th Apr, 2017

I used Nova acoustics to sound test my basement flat conversion for the building control certificate

And found them to be professional and friendly. The test was done mid afternoon and I had received by six o'clock the same...

- Stephen Shaw

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

13th Jul, 2017

Excellent service. Would recommend to anyone needing assistance with matters arising from acoustics and noise.

- Rick Parsons

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

29th Jun, 2017

iKoustic have worked with Nova Acoustics for some time now and they are constantly thorough, professional and super helpful in everything they do ... They are certainly our partner of choice ... Rick

- Carl Smoult

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

10th Aug, 2017

Prompt, friendly, efficient, professional... would recommend and use again.

- Gary Oliver

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

20th Mar, 2017

As most of you reading this message are now probably aware  the difficulty of finding guidance and compliance of the part E building regulations is an arduous task. Well search no more! Adam at Nova Acoustics not only talked me through...

- Kate Whitehead

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

27th Jul, 2017

Speedy quote, arranging the testing & report! Seb was really friendly & efficient onsite. Highly recommend!

- David Hope

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

26th Sep, 2017

Came promptly at the requested time. Did the work professionally and in good time and provided the required reports so no issues or problems to report.

- Mark Girdham

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

27th Jul, 2017

NOVA provided a fast and efficient service. They came to carry out the sound tests on my 8 Bed HMO, which was a change of use from 4 flats. Very friendly and professional service. Mark (Hull)

- Simon Phillips

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

4th Oct, 2017

Excellent company, providing a professional service at a competitive price and a quick, hassle free  experience. I would recommend them to anyone.

Simon Phillips  Salisbury Poultry Ltd

- Peter Phillips

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

31st Aug, 2017

Excellent service from start to finish.

Highly professional team who where very accommodating to the team on site and worked exceptional well with everyone.

Having worked with other companies within the same...

- Claire Gannon

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

31st Oct, 2017

Excellent speedy service, Luigi was very proficient and professional at carrying out his job, a real asset to the company. Thank you Luigi. Kind Regards, Ant Mason

Clients we’ve worked with

  • ITV
  • Unilever
  • Sig
  • Leeds University
  • Morrisons
  • Taylor Wimpey
  • City of Stoke On Trent
  • Hambleton District
  • Calvert Trust
  • Aldi
  • Arnold Laver
  • Broadley
  • Engie
  • Gardiner Theo
  • Iggesund
  • Oxford University
  • PepsiCo
  • Richmonshire
  • Savills