Brought into the project at the tender stage by Mace, we were asked to do an acoustic audit of the RIBA Stage 3 design to identify any risks or opportunities for the contractor. Once Mace had been appointed, we were employed as acoustic consultants to keep watch over Stage 4 Technical Design, Stage 5 Construction, and Stage 6 Completion.
As part of our initial assessment, we reviewed the technical drawings to identify that acoustic requirements had been adequately addressed by the design, as well as reviewing and identifying risks in the tender documents.
At Stage 5 Construction, we carried out site inspection visits as well as performing advanced sound insulation and air-tightness testing. The aim of this was to check compliance at an early stage and give confidence that the construction process could move forwards.
At Stage 6 Completion, we carried out sound insulation testing to demonstrate that the acoustic requirements were met, both for approved document E and the higher standard of requirements from the client, due to the high-end nature of this prestigious apartment building. We also carried out air-tightness testing and measured ventilation noise in all the apartments.
The build was required to comply with the client’s high-end aspirations for the project, one of which was ensuring sound insulation values were 5 decibels better than the buildings regulations requirements.
As the building is located on one of the busiest streets in central London, next to an existing Victorian theatre and the Duke of York public house, the entire project was challenged to provide sensitive construction and design in a historic area.
At an early stage of the construction of the commercial buildings, it became evident the construction noise of concrete slip forming was heavily affecting the Victorian theatre next door. Due to the combination of an archaic building with many ventilation openings and a midweek matinee, slip forming could not be carried out on Wednesdays. To ensure a whole day was not lost each week, we performed a noise monitoring exercise to identify which construction activities could be carried out - such as setting up, cleaning and moving. Each week we would be advised of the proposed construction programme and would generate a noise map to confirm which activities could or could not take place during the matinee performance.
During the build process, we had to consider various noise sources from both construction of the building to pre-existing noise sources. These included; slip forming, general traffic noise from Buckingham Palace Road,mechanical services equipment located on the roof of the building, and car park extract fans that could run and generate noise at any point during a 24 hour period.
We resolved these challenges in a few different ways. The specially designed façade and windows, which we observed being tested in a laboratory, protected against external noise sources such as Buckingham Palace Road. Furthermore, the apartments were sound and air-tightness tested. Potential disturbance from rooftop equipment or car park extract fans were assessed.
Our willingness to take the time to understand the requirements of our client as well as that of the end client helps us find the right answer. We identified where there might be risks or opportunities and helped to manage a successful resolution with bespoke solutions. As always, we provided a responsive and professional service that thoroughly explored all angles of the project.