It’s likely you’re familiar with the term “British Standards” if you’re ever read a Noise Assessment or are involved in planning applications. But you may not know exactly what they are or how they work. The British Standards are a set of regulations that govern practices in the UK. These codes are developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI). The BSI is a non-profit organization that works to ensure safety and quality in various industries. The British Standards are a crucial component of a Noise and Vibration Assessment and control how a Environmental Consultant undertakes such works. In this blog, we will explore some of the most widely used standards that govern how noise and vibration is measured and assessed.
If you are looking to find out more about a BS8233 noise assessment which is the British Standard that provides guidance on sound insulation and noise reduction in buildings. The standard ensures new and renovated buildings have good noise insulation for residents’ protection. It covers the control of noise from a plant and services within a building and provides criteria and limits for different situations. BS8233 specifies the lowest ambient noise levels for private spaces and the highest for commercial areas. It also gives you guidance on noise levels for outdoor areas like gardens and balconies. The standard is intended for use by non-specialist designers, building control professionals and constructors. It covers the sound insulation values of basic materials and noise levels from external sources.
BS8233 provides guidelines for different situations. It offers basic and detailed information for both non-acoustic and acoustic experts. The standard uses research and experience to help design buildings with suitable internal acoustics. It has helpful details about blocking sound in homes, sound rating charts, and how well common building materials stop sound.
A BS4142 noise survey is used to assess the impact of industrial and commercial noise sources on noise sensitive premises. BS 4142 provides you with methods for the rating and assessing of sounds of a industrial and commercial nature. It measures noise levels from production processes, machines, loading/unloading activities, and vehicles.
You need a BS4142 noise survey if you’re introducing a new commercial/industrial sound source or building new premises near noisy industrial or commercial areas. The survey is required before applying for planning permission or as a condition of planning permission approval. Noise survey reports help the authorities assess how noise from a project will affect the environment and take action to reduce it. A BS4142 noise survey measures background noise, industrial noise emissions, and noise impact. It also recommends mitigation measures to protect nearby sensitive premises from noise.
BS6472 is a British Standard guide for assessing building vibrations with a frequency of 1Hz up to 80 Hz. This standard gives guidance on how to measure and evaluate types of vibration and how to assess vibration conditions. The standard offers advice on measurement methods and on how people inside buildings respond to building vibration. It covers both external sources, such as construction, demolition, and rail. It also covers internal sources such as lifts, air-conditioning or ventilation plant and heavy office machinery.
BS 6472-2 offers guidance on the problems associated with periodic blasting within the range of an occupied building. The standard gives advice on how to limit human exposure to vibration caused by blasting in buildings. For instance, mining, construction, and demolition can cause blast-induced vibration.
Overall, BS 6472 is an essential guide for anyone who is exposed to building vibrations. The standard helps to measure and assess vibration accurately and take steps to reduce its impact on the environment and individuals.
BS5228 provides a code of practice for noise and vibration control during construction and open site operations. It aims to protect those living and working near construction sites from noise and vibration. The standard provides ways to control noise and vibration, and it can be used by architects, planners, contractors, and others. BS5228 has undergone some significant changes, including being restructured into two parts. One focusing on noise and the other on vibration. The updated standard has more information about the law and ways to control noise and vibration.
BS5228 is a guide that recommends ways to control noise levels during construction and open site operations. It provides details on laws for controlling noise and vibration, ways to measure and predict them, and how they affect people. BS 5228-1:2009+A1:2014 mainly focuses on noise, while BS 5228-2:2009+A1:2014 concentrates on vibration. Collaboration between developers, site operators, and local authorities can reduce construction noise and vibrations.
Standards are powerful tools that drive innovation, increase productivity, and make life easier and safer. There are currently over 30,000 standards used in the UK. By embracing these standards, we can achieve excellence, innovation, and a high-quality built environment.
BREEAM assessment are undertaken by a suitably qualified acoustic consultant and consider both building and environmental acoustics but are typically related to Hea05 ‘Acoustic Performance’ and Pol05 ‘Reduction fo Noise Pollution. BREEAM operates through awarding credits for the environmental performance of a building, whether it be a new build or refurbishment, with more sustainable or environmentally sound performance earning more credits.
The specific content of a BREEAM Noise Assessment depends on the proposed usage, and location of the new development. The HEA 05 section of a BREEAM noise survey concerns the acoustic performance of the proposed building or acoustic aspects of a proposed refurb. This section of guidance aims to ‘ensure the building’s acoustic performance, including sound insulation meets the appropriate standards for its purpose’. Examples of areas of acoustic performance that are considered within HEA05 include the ambient indoor noise levels, reverberation times, sound insulation and impact of rain noise on the development.
The POL 05 section of a BREEAM noise survey specifically concerns noise resultantr from the proposed building/s and/or fixed installation. Specifically, the aim is to ‘reduce the likelihood of noise arising from fixed installations on the new development affecting nearby noise-sensitive buildings’. The POL 05 section of a BREEAM noise survey typically follows the methodology with BS 4142.
This will depend on the BREEAM rating you are aiming for and the availabel credits in relaiton to the proposed usage and type of development. All acoustic related credits will add to the overall rating and coudl be the difference between very good and excellent.
BREEAM assesses nine major criteria within a development: Management, Energy, Health & wellbeing, Transport, Water, Materials, Waste, Land use and ecology, and Pollution. Points are scored within each criteria, with the accumulated total determining the final BREEAM rating. HEA05 falls within Health & Wellbeing and POL05 falls within Pollution.
At E3P we care about the environment, and it’s vital that everything we do we follow the correct processes. Most people recognise badgers for their distinct look, but did you know that badgers are protected species in the UK? Protected species have certain restrictions, planners and developers are required to undertake a badger survey before work is carried out.
In this blog, you’ll find out a lot more about badgers and we’ll cover exactly what a badger survey is and the evidence to look out for and ensure you’re fully aware of the rules and regulations when it comes to developing near badger setts and their habitats.
A badger survey is an assessment that is conducted to help identify if badgers and their setts are present where construction or development work is planned. An assessment is usually undertaken alongside a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, although can be undertaken independently.
The aim of the survey is to explore the possibilities of badger activity and any potential badger setts. This would inform the disruption and impact that the development may have on their habitats or setts. Once the survey has been conducted, it will enable developers to plan and make necessary arrangements to ensure badgers are protected throughout the construction process.
Surveyors will look for the following indicators when working through the badger survey:
Latrines- Areas where badgers are present will have distinctive feces that contain undigested food such as fruit or seeds.
Setts – Badgers are very clever. Surveyors are looking for a network of tunnels that badgers will use for breeding their young, or for shelter. Presence of these tunnels can look like holes in the ground with soil heaps outside.
Hair – Surveyors will be looking out for hair that badgers have left as they weave through their habitat. This often is only visible upon close examination.
Prints: Badgers have huge front paws that are made up of 5 toes. Surveyors will scour the area for these distinctive footprints.
Under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, it is illegal to harm, kill or disturb badgers or their habitats. The law also states that you are unable to interfere with their setts, where they breed or shelter.The transportation, possession or sale of badgers or their parts is illegal.Failure to comply with the law can carry a hefty fine or even resulting in a six month prison sentence.
If you’re a developer or planning to do any construction work it’s important to understand the rules so you don’t fall foul of the law.
The rules can be pretty grey, and do depend on the individual circumstances. Generally the buffer zone would normally be around 30 meters away from the sett to ensure disruption and disturbance is kept to a minimum. Although this depends on the type of badger sett and it can be up to 50 meters.
It’s important to note that depending on the nature of the development, the size and location of the sett and the additional factors that could affect the badgers. Dispution should be avoided, but sometimes it’s not possible to construct development work without disrupting a badger sett, so a correct license sets out the conditions that must be met to protect badgers. This licence must be obtained from Natural England. Natural England is a statutory body that is accountable for the protection and overseeing of all badgers in England.
If you’re looking for a badger survey, or just need some advice get in touch with the E3P team today.