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NOVA Acoustics

Plant Noise Surveys & Assessments

What is a plant noise survey?

Managing noise pollution has become an important consideration for businesses with industrial, commercial or construction sites. The escalating use of noise-emitting equipment in every-day settings – from cooling and heating systems to power generators and fork-lift trucks – means that sound levels can rapidly escalate. Which is why there’s a growing demand for reliable plant noise surveys.

In industrial and manufacturing settings, noise is often regarded as a necessary evil. Where levels are excessive, workers have to be supplied with protective clothing and equipment. But when it comes to external plant equipment, concerns shift from the effect of noise impact on workers to its implications for any near neighbours.

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Only by understanding the profile of your noise emissions will you be able to tackle any potential breach of environmental regulations. The noise from external plant equipment – which could include sound from industrial and manufacturing processes, from fixed mechanical and electrical plant and equipment such as air conditioning units and extractions systems, and from the loading and unloading of goods and materials as well as from mobile plant and vehicles – can be hard to assess without professional help. The only way to be sure about the noise levels emitted from your site is to commission a professional plant noise survey which will evaluate your noise emissions against British Standard BS 4142: 2014, the official standard for rating and assessing industrial and commercial sound.

The assessment will focus on the difference between the ‘background sound level’ and the ‘rating level’ of the plant noise when operating. The greater the difference between these two reference points, the bigger the impact on the immediate environment. The guidance for BS4142:2014 advises that a difference of circa 5dB+ could indicate adverse impact, while 10dB+ could indicate significant adverse impact.

How are plant noise surveys used?

Local authorities usually require industrial and commercial developments that generate noise to assess and predict the noise impact on the surrounding area so that appropriate mitigation measures can be implemented to reduce the effect on the surroundings. BS4142 will also apply if you are developing new sensitive premises, including residential houses or flats, schools, healthcare or hotels, in close proximity to existing industrial or commercial noise sources.

Our detailed plant noise survey includes:

  • Background sound level assessment
  • Assessment of noise emissions from the site (or acoustic modelling if the site is not yet operational)
  • Analysis of noise impact to BS4142:2014
  • Recommendations for any noise mitigation measures
  • Technical report for submission in support of a planning application

We have a thorough understanding of the many factors that may be impacted by the outcome of a plant noise survey. Should the proposed installation seem likely to cause adverse impact, we will provide you with tailored advice regarding cost-effective and realistic solutions that will enable you to meet BS 4142:2014 standards, including changing or modifying equipment, re-siting plant, or the implementation of acoustic noise-reducing barriers or enclosures.

Why choose NOVA Acoustics?

NOVA Acoustics is one of the UK’s leading independent consultancies. We offer a dedicated, professional service to a wide range of private and commercial clients through a network of accredited engineers. We have extensive experience of conducting BS 4142:2014 plant noise surveys and can usually offer a fast turnaround on urgent projects. Our expert advice is highly valued.

  • Leading independent consultancy
  • Professional consulting team
  • Practical and cost-effective advice
  • Local accredited engineers
  • CSCS safety approved

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