Acoustics and Overheating risk

Acoustics and Overheating risk

We had a Best Practice* session last week with Anthony Clifton from Max Fordham who presented the work being done by the ANC (Acoustics and Noise Consultants). This aims to join up the assumptions designers make for ventilation rates when undertaking an overheating risk assessment with the amount of acceptable nuisance noise.

The issue

Currently, consultants assessing overheating risk in new homes will either assume a large amount of natural ventilation through opening windows, or prescribe them shut and sealed due to external noise. The new CIBSE TM59 guidance asks for external noise to be considered, but there is little information available elsewhere or subtlety to the current approach. This can mean that design teams take a route they think is safer, introduce active cooling where it potentially is not needed, and can result in poor user experience, higher cost, and unnecessarily high energy consumption.

Towards better collaboration

The ANC have produced a document to define practical guidelines on acceptable indoor noise levels, with considerations for other comfort factors. It gives three bands of internal noise level to help the design team determine whether the internal acoustic conditions would become excessive or not with opening windows. It is a fantastic initiative by the ANC and will encourage a better collaboration at design stage in order to find the right solutions to mitigate overheating. Its currently going through consultation and we’ll update this page as soon as its launched.
Thank you for sharing this with us Anthony!
A more detailed report on the knowledge share can be found on Inkling’s website.
* Best Practice is a knowledge sharing initiative between Inkling, Enhabit, Boom, Julie Godefroy Sustainability, Cocreate and Etude.