The Bureau Veritas Acoustics and Vibration team has been recognised by the Association of Noise Consultants with a prestigious award win for work undertaken on the Sidac Sports & Social Club in St Helens, Merseyside. The team were awarded the Smaller Projects Award for the project, which focused on providing a holistic approach to controlling noise breakout from the venue.

Bureau Veritas were called in by existing client Countryside, who were seeking planning permission for a new residential development on former playing fields adjacent to the social club. As part of an agreement with the Local Authority, and in order to achieve planning permission, the home builder needed to resolve noise problems associated with the club’s function room. After an initial noise assessment and clarification from the Planning Authority that noise compliance had to be achieved with windows open for ventilation, rather than relying on mechanical ventilation, it resulted in more extensive works being required than originally anticipated.

As the original building was lightweight in construction, it provided poor insulation against noise breakout and the club had been reliant on bands and DJs to effectively police their own noise levels. The resulting works included benchmark acoustic testing; enhancing the building envelope with heavy, sound insulating materials; providing acoustic lobbies; enveloping the poorest performing sections of the building in masonry; and installing a bespoke ‘tamper-proof’ sound system to control sound levels generated within the club. Post-works testing demonstrated that the target noise levels were readily achieved, including at low frequencies – which had caused the most complaints from nearby residents – resulting in the planning permission for the new development being secured and a significant improvement in noise from the club affecting existing neighbours.

Simon Faircloth, Senior Acoustic Consultant at Bureau Veritas, comments: “Initially, the project appeared to be fairly straightforward, however when it was understood that noise compliance had to be achieved with windows open for ventilation, it meant that noise had to be prevented from breaking out of the venue in the first place. This subsequently changed the scope of our work and meant that we had to liaise between the developer, the management of the club, the planning authorities and the contractors in order to guide the necessary remedial works required to successfully complete this project.

“The Smaller Projects Award category at the Association of Noise Consultants Awards was introduced this year as a way of giving more companies the opportunity to submit projects that may not be grand in terms of prestige or construction cost but that nevertheless have significant merit from an acoustic design viewpoint. This was a fantastic project to be a part of and perfectly fitted this brief. The client was delighted with the consultancy we provided and there is no better acknowledgement of our hard work than a prestigious industry award.”

The Bureau Veritas Acoustics and Vibration team of specialists provide expert consultancy across a wide range of sectors, carrying out a diverse scope of work including; noise consultancy and assessments, occupational noise and vibration risk assessments.


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