What is Noise Reduction Consulting?

Noise reduction can take many forms, from noise reduction between residential properties, reducing noise within offices and industrial buildings, to reduction of noise levels experienced from construction sites.

AF Acoustics has extensive experience in reducing all types of noise. We can help with residential buildings by recommending the correct type of insulation for separating walls and floors. For offices we would look at the cause of noise and identify solutions, which may include improved acoustic separation or increased acoustic absorption in rooms. For construction sites we could devise a noise and vibration management plan that would incorporate quite work practices and may include acoustic barriers around noisy equipment, for example.


New residential developments often have to consider noise. Planning noise assessments are required for many residential developments to ensure that residential amenity is protected for future residents. Adequate sound insulation between dwellings is an important design requirement, particularly in new build developments.

To determine that mechanical services plant will not cause significant impact on existing nearby noise sensitive premises, noise and vibration levels will need to be assessed.

Noise is transmitted in residential buildings by airborne and impact sound sources. Airborne sound sources include speech, TV noise and music. Impact sounds include footsteps. UK Building Regulations require that these noises are controlled to ensure comfortable living conditions.

What can be done to reduce noise levels?

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Approved Document E sets out criteria for sound insulation performance for all types of residential accommodation, including multi-occupancy and single dwellings.

Approved Document E has various requirements relating to sound, and can be categorised into site testing and design requirements.

Approved Document E stipulates that residential buildings should have protection against sound from other parts of the building and adjoining buildings, protection against sound within a single dwelling.

Finally it stipulates that occupants should have protection from reverberation in common internal parts of buildings containing flats or single occupancy rooms.

The requirements set out are enforced by two methods – pre-completion testing, also known and sound insulation testing and Robust Details. New build, refurbishment and change of use residential developments that aren’t built by means of Robust Details, require sound insulation tests to determine their compliancy with building regulations. These have to be carried out by an accredited acoustic engineer. Robust Details are high quality separating wall and floor constructions that are built to specific requirements set out by Robust Details Ltd, and do not need sound insulation testing. Builders intending to use any of the Robust Details design details must register the project with Robust Details Ltd and follow procedures issued by Robust Details Ltd.

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Or you can email us at info@af-acoustics.com

Planning Effective Soundproofing

Early acoustic advice is critical. Architects, Contractors and Developers can benefit from having an acoustic consultant on board early and providing soundproofing advice in the early stages of a project. This will ensure compliance with UK Building Regulations and Standards and reduces the need for costly remedial measures later on.

The planning and design process requires designers and developers to consider the noise exposure of the residential site, relating to both internal and external factors. Internal factors include building layout, separating wall and floor performance, reverberation control and room acoustics, acoustic screening, and protection from communal areas. External factors include outside noises such as neighbours, road traffic, railways and other local influences.

How Can AF Acoustics Help With Your Residential Projects?

AF Acoustics provides comprehensive technical advice that will ensure your residential project complies with UK Building Control. Our noise and vibration services are for all stages of residential development include:

  • Noise and vibration surveys for planning applications
  • Assessing sound insulation between dwellings
  • Predicting the potential noise impact of a proposed development
  • Specifying mitigation measures to reduce environmental noise
  • Noise reports to support planning applications
  • Sound insulation testing
  • Assessment of noise complaints and recommendations for remedial measures

AF Acoustics can provide acoustic solutions for separating floors, ceilings and walls in new build, change of use and refurbishment projects, whether it be multi-occupancy or single dwelling premises.

AF Acoustics can develop a detailed strategy for your project. Working through your specification and requirements, we can help design a solution that reduces noise levels within your residential build.


Open-plan offices are one of the most common modern work settings. Whereas in the past, people were more typically sectioned into private spaces, the modern office provides a more communal, integrated atmosphere to suit the way we now work.

Along with the improvements, there are negative effects on the acoustic environment. As with any large space with many people, reverberation can be high leading to increased noise levels and reduced speech intelligibility, and low speech privacy.

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AF Acoustics can undertake a noise assessment to identify acoustic issues within an office and offer advice on choosing sound-absorbing surfaces, such as acoustic ceilings, screens and floor finishes together with appropriate acoustic barriers and partitions and if necessary, noise masking systems. When carefully designed together, these can contribute towards providing an environment that provides maximum acoustic comfort to staff and other users of the building.


Industrial noise pollution can be a serious problem, which can lead to a costly reduction in performance by employees, increased absenteeism and stress levels as well as other health issues.

By improving the soundproofing in industrial workspaces, employers can create a safer and healthier environment for employees. Industrial soundproofing significantly reduces noise levels, creating a safer working environment for employees, and reducing noise pollution for nearby residents and businesses.

The experienced technical experts at AF Acoustics can provide advice on a range of solutions including acoustic barriers, acoustic curtains, vibration damping materials and tailor a system around any situation, liaising with on site managers to provide a solution that will cause the least disruption to day to day work.

Acoustics In Schools

Acoustics in schools has been a growing area of focus in recent years. It is generally accepted that noise has a detrimental effect upon the learning and attainments of primary school children. Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) was originally published in 2004 to provide a design guide for dealing with acoustics in new school buildings. The revised document was published in February 2015. BB93 provides performance standards, acoustic principles, good design practice.

The acoustic criteria set out in BB93 relates to noise intrusion from external sources, sound insulation requirements between rooms, and control of reverberation times within rooms. Guidance is also provided on additional requirements for pupils with hearing requirements

AF Acoustics can undertake a BB93 assessment which will include undertaking a noise survey to ascertain current noise levels on site. Internal noise level design criteria will be agreed and specified for all areas within the school. Based upon the noise survey data and the agreed internal noise criteria, detailed sound reduction performance specifications will be produced for each of the external building fabric elements. We will specify all internal walls and floors between the rooms within the school. Reverberation times will be set for each of the rooms within the school, and recommendations will be given on the amount of absorptive material required in each room.


Good acoustic conditions in healthcare buildings improve patient privacy and help essential sleep patterns. Such conditions are vital for healing.

Health Technical Memorandum 08-01: Acoustics (HTM-08-01) outlines minimum recommended criteria for acoustics in the design and management of new healthcare developments, and addresses issues on the provision of temporary healthcare facilities, refurbishments and the control of noise and vibration during construction.

AF Acoustics can provide a noise assessment and give detailed design advice to ensure the health facility meets the acoustic criteria set out HTM-08-01.

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