Building and Architectural Acoustics | Arcus Consultancy Services


Building and Architectural Acoustics

The acoustic environment plays an important role in the successful use of a space.

Poor acoustic design can have far reaching consequences, with issues like high noise levels from ventilation, environmental noise break-in, mismatched reverberation times and poor speech intelligibility impacting productivity and acoustic comfort.

Arcus has extensive experience working as part of design teams to design spaces that are comfortable and fit for purpose through modelling and measurement.

Whilst the acoustics of concert halls, opera houses and other performance spaces are clear examples where good acoustic design is required, the acoustic environment of other spaces such as offices, airports, hotels, museums and hospitals are arguably just as important.

Risks associated with poor acoustic design range from low productivity in offices, where noise levels and speech intelligibility are vital considerations, to diminished user experience in concert halls, where mismatched reverberation times can prove costly to rectify.

Our Experience

We have provided acoustic design advice on a wide range of projects, including;

  • Schools;
  • Performance Spaces;
  • Places of Worship;
  • Offices;
  • Hospitals; and
  • Hotels.

Our acoustic consultants have worked within a number of design teams as part of the RIBA Stage Framework to ensure good acoustic design is considered at the earliest stage of the project. In addition, we have extensive experience assessing advanced building designs and providing cost effective solutions where acoustic issues are found in existing buildings.

We can review designs and provide advice on;

  • Acoustic ventilation strategy;
  • Acoustic detailing review, including wall / floor junctions, partition wall build-ups and head details;
  • Noise from plantrooms and air handling units, including specification of silencers;
  • Impact Noise;
  • Reverberation times, including specification of absorptive materials; and
  • Speech intelligibility.

We have extensive experience using appropriate guidance to ensure design of good acoustic environments, including;

  • BB93:2015 and the associated design guide for schools;
  • HTM 08-01 for the acoustic design of hospitals;
  • BREEAM 2018 (Hea 05 and Pol 05 credits);
  • British Council for Offices and Finishes and Interiors Sector guidance for Offices; and
  • Specific brand standards which outline particular internal noise levels and sound insulation requirements for Hotels.

Interpretation and use of these standards and guidance documents can be ambiguous and typically requires experience and knowledge of acoustics, particularly when it comes to performance spaces and concert halls where design criteria are often determined through experience.

Our acoustic consultants have a wide range of experience in building and architectural acoustic design, working with clients and design teams to produce high quality spaces.  We take a holistic approach; working with other disciplines to find the best possible design.

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Good acoustic design is more than simply a box-ticking exercise.