Acoustic Consultancy

Broadly speaking, an acoustic consultant is a qualified specialist dealing with sound and vibration. An acoustic consultant may work on the control of acoustic conditions in buildings and in the environment for a range of clients.

In very simple terms, when an acoustic consultant isn’t measuring noise or vibration, they will work to predict how noise will behave and, using our knowledge and expertise, write reports for clients, explaining how they can get the results they want and what they will need to do to achieve this.

As in all fields of any industry, some consultants are specialists in a particular area (concert halls, environmental noise, building acoustics etc), however many are generalists, able to turn our expertise to almost any project.

In general, at AF Acoustics much of our work can be divided into either building acoustics or environmental noise.

Building Acoustics

Building acoustics is all about how sound interacts within a building. We can:

  • Calculate reverberation time in rooms and advise on how to control it.
  • Recommend materials for partitions to get a good level of privacy and separation between spaces.
  • Advise on what the external walls and roof should be composed of to keep out noise (or to keep IN noise, in the case of a bar or night club)

The basic principles behind this are the same whether you want to design a hospital, a school or an apartment block. The expertise in consultancy comes in understanding appropriate design targets to set for the specific use of a space or building, and in knowing what constructions and materials can be used to achieve them.

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You can calculate the amount of acoustic treatment needed to control reverberation within a room. However, knowing where to place it within that room for best effect takes experience. We also have to think about the routes by which sound may bypass our carefully constructed designs. For example, sound can flank at junctions between surfaces, or where pipes pass through a wall or floor. We work with architects to make sure that these possible flanking routes are appropriately controlled.

Environmental Noise

All major building projects have to work with the Local Planning Authority. A good Local Planning Authority will look for a noise impact assessment. This work lets us quantify the existing noise climate. We look at:

  • How the proposed building will affect the acoustic environment for neighbours
  • How to design the building to best control noise

Other environmental issues we might be consulted on are construction noise assessments, productions of section 61s, noise impact for proposed new roads, railways, industrial estates, or machinery.

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What is a typical day for an acoustic consultant?

A consultant will typically be working on a number of different projects at the same time, so needs to be good at balancing the demands of clients with prioritising deadlines. Even with clear project timelines, it’s not always possible to predict when an urgent request for information will arrive. So, we need to be adaptable to get things done. If we aren’t out on site carrying out a survey, doing testing, or in a design meeting with a client, you’ll find us at our desks.

The software we use

We still do a lot of calculations and data processing using spreadsheets. However, we also use software such as Odeon and CATT to look at room acoustics, and Cadna or Soundplan for environmental noise predictions. We tend to resort to the computer modelling packages when a simple calculation won’t be sufficient to answer our questions. Sometimes using a simple spreadsheet can give a more robust result in a shorter space of time.

Call us today for a quote on 020 3372 4430
Or you can email us at

Some of Our Clients

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