In the UK, building acoustics play a significant role in the design and construction of new buildings, as well as the refurbishment of existing ones. The main aim is to ensure that the occupants of the building are comfortable and able to live, work, or study in a peaceful and distraction-free environment.
To achieve this, building acoustics in the UK follows the ISO 16283 standard series, which outlines the measurement procedures for sound insulation in buildings. This standard covers three main areas: airborne sound insulation between adjacent residential units, airborne sound insulation through façades compared to external noise, and impact sound insulation of floors.
The BS EN ISO 16283 standard outlines a comprehensive and standardized measurement procedure for assessing the sound insulation performance of buildings. This procedure consists of several steps, including:
The output of these measurements is the Weighted Apparent Sound Reduction Index (R’w), which is a single number rating of the airborne sound insulation between rooms, over a range of frequencies. This index is used to evaluate the overall sound insulation performance of the building, and helps to ensure that the occupants are able to live, work, or study in a comfortable and peaceful environment.
Sound Level Meter
Building acoustics measurement instruments in the UK must meet Class 1 standards according to BS EN 61672-1.
Airborne sound insulation is measured using an omnidirectional sound source for accurate results in both building and architectural acoustics.
Assessing impact sound insulation using a tapping machine with five hammers in accordance with BS EN ISO 10140.
Easing measurement processes with the BA Assistant mobile app: A guide to BS EN ISO 16283 procedures and reporting.
The accuracy and reliability of building acoustic measurements are critical for ensuring that the acoustic performance of a building meets the required standards and provides an acceptable level of comfort for the occupants. To ensure that the measurement results are accurate and consistent, it is important to use instruments that meet the requirements for Class 1 instrumentation as specified in the BS EN 61672-1 standard.
Class 1 instrumentation is the highest level of accuracy and precision available for measuring sound and vibration. These instruments are suitable for use in a wide range of applications, including building acoustics, and are designed to meet the most stringent requirements for accuracy, stability, and repeatability.
By using Class 1 instrumentation for measuring building acoustics, it is possible to obtain accurate and reliable results that can be used to evaluate the acoustic performance of a building and ensure that it meets the required standards. This helps to ensure that the occupants of the building are able to live, work, or study in a comfortable and peaceful environment.
In order to ensure accurate and reliable results when measuring the acoustic performance of a building, it is essential to calibrate the sound level meter before and after a series of measurements. This helps to ensure that the instrument is functioning correctly and providing accurate results.
According to the BS EN IEC 60942 standard, the sound level meter should be calibrated using a Class 1 calibrator. This is the highest level of accuracy and precision available for calibrating sound level meters, and helps to ensure that the measurement results are accurate and consistent.
In addition to calibrating the instrument before and after each series of measurements, it is also important to verify the unit at an accredited laboratory at intervals not exceeding 1 year. This helps to ensure that the instrument is functioning correctly and providing accurate results over time.
Building acoustics in the UK