Industrial Noise and Vibration Centre

Environmental Noise Control Services

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Redefining Best practice in Environmental Noise Control - Think “Best Practicable Means” or “Best Available Technology” in environmental noise control and you will almost certainly end up with our award winning noise reduction technology instead of conventional high cost palliatives such as acoustic enclosures, barriers and silencers.

We have developed a range of unique environmental noise control technologies that are widely recognised as defining current best practice. Consequently, we are often retained by public bodies and by industry to provide definitive rulings on what constitutes Best Practical Means (BPM) or Best Available Technology (BAT) for projects where environmental noise is an issue. This not only guarantees compliance with regulatory requirements, but our approach also dramatically reduces capital and running costs and the costs associated with potential project delays or over-runs.

Award winning best practice in fan noise control: improved fan efficiency, lower costs and no maintenance
winner of the rushlight award for innovation in environmental noise control for our fan noise reduction technologyThis unique INVC developed fan noise control technology is BAT for centrifugal fans – the most common environmental noise control problem. It cuts noise and costs by an order of magnitude – permanently and without reducing fan system efficiency (unlike conventional techniques such as silencers). The key benefits are:-

  • low cost: typically 10% – 30% of the cost of attenuators etc
  • efficiency: unlike silencers, no reduction in fan efficiency
  • maintenance: no maintenance required for the life of the fan
  • down-time: can be installed in hours
  • hygiene: there are no hygiene implications

The BPM / BAT Audit provides you with a definitive assessment of the environmental noise control options for any noise problem using the best of current technology. Extensive experience has shown that, in most cases, the noise reduction technology suggested by consultants is not best practice. The fact that our BPM definitions typically reduce noise control costs by 50% – 80% compared with alternative evaluations has changed the rules of the game. The audit process involves the following steps:-

  • Contact us early for an initial opinion – email us information
  • Report review – we can review data and reports and give an expert opinion on content and conclusions
  • Diagnosis and BPM evaluation - acquire more detailed information as required; provide you with an assessment of the noise control options using current Best Available Technology with costs and noise reductions. This is definitive evidence of what constitutes best practice to solve the problem
  • Court cases – in virtually every case, the above process avoids the court as the noise control costs are so much lower than expected

Low frequency (LF) noise is often rightly considered to be one of the more challenging environmental noise problems. It can also be the cause of much angst and can become a truly remarkable time-waster…. We have developed a simple three stage procedure and set of diagnostic tools that have proven to be very effective to identify: first – whether there is an objective noise problem: second – if there is, what is the source: third: – what is the best solution?

This procedure typically reduces the time required to identify and resolve low frequency noise problems from weeks, months or years down to a few days. We have also developed some novel solutions, including “Psychological Psylencing” (or acoustic camouflage).

This is an innovative, low cost solution to a range of difficult environmental noise problems where sound with “character” could cause or has caused complaints. It can either be used in conjunction with noise control measures or where noise control would be too expensive or impractical.

Based on research into the subjective response of people to noise characteristics, the Psychological Silencing system generates bespoke sound with a sculpted signature that “camouflages” the nuisance features in the noise from the perception of potential complainants. Once initial set-up and calibration testing has been carried out, the sound signature is designed and an array of loud-speakers used to generate a diffuse sound field with the right characteristics and amplitude for the particular environment.

It is a strange experience, encountering sound that you don’t consciously hear making those that you found annoying simply disappear…

Edgware Road Station – nighttime track maintenance
From regular complaints – to less than zero complaints…

As the station is overlooked by apartments, nighttime noise from underground track maintenance activities had given rise to regular complaints. Balfour Beatty, decided to take a proactive step using new technology.

Our solution involved relocating welfare facilities to take advantage of existing site screening features coupled with temporary acoustic barriers – not just for the facilities, but also for the vehicles and workforce at the station entrance. A pair of Psychological Silencing systems were installed at the station entrance and the welfare area. Despite being inaudible the other side of the street, these systems were very successful at camouflaging the site noise. The combined effect: not just zero complaints, but emails from a previous complainant complimenting the company on the effectiveness of their noise management.

A complete range of noise and vibration services for the construction, demolition and infrastructure industries

environmental noise and vibration control from demolition of pile cap at the Shard siteWe not only provide a complete range of conventional services covering all aspects of environmental and occupational noise and vibration for the construction, demolition and infrastructure maintenance industries, but also a range of additional innovative management and control techniques based on our unique engineering expertise. These are not only re-defining what constitutes best practice under the regulations and standards, but are also dramatically reducing project costs and delays. Our reputation is based on the results we have achieved from introducing new procedures and techniques into a largely traditional industry.

Noise and Vibration Management and Control Innovations – more options, reduced costs….
The following are some of the innovations we have brought to the industry ….

  • Vibration testing – party walls, slab short-circuits - rapid evaluation of vibration transfer paths, reduces costs and guesswork
  • Continuous noise and vibration monitoring – real-time feedback (SMS) cuts costs and complaints - eliminate exceedence notification time lag – real-time site activity control and reduced costs
  • Psychological silencing – acoustic camouflage - sculpted sound signatures that can hide environmental noise from sites cheaply and simply
  • Demolition noise and vibration scheduling / prediction tools - activity scheduling for prediction and management of demolition noise and vibration levels v targets
  • Fence / Scaffold based noise screening - novel temporary acoustic screening – higher performance and lower cost

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