Acoustic performance in shell & core assessments

The guidance below applies to all standard building types. For non-standard building types, a technical query should be submitted.

BREEAM does not consider it appropriate to impose requirements on tenants in a shell and core development to carry out acoustic testing in accordance with the criteria, therefore this issue is to be assessed as follows:

First credit: Indoor ambient noise level

The focus of this criteria is to assess the acoustic performance of the external building fabric which is outside the control of the tenant. The criteria for indoor ambient noise level applies as normal.

A Suitably Qualified Acoustician (SQA) must carry out an assessment of the built form specification, typical arrangement, and fit out specification for the building type and and any external factors that are likely to affect the indoor ambient noise levels. Where the layout is unknown, the acoustician must base their assessment on the most sensitive room type likely to be present in the building as a worst case. For example in a retail assessment where there are offices, the acoustician should make an assessment based the requirement for office buildings.

Should the SQA determine that an augmented fit-out specification would be required to meet the BREEAM requirements, such details must be covered by one of the three Shell & Core options.

First credit: Sound insulation

This requirement does not apply to Shell and Core projects and the first credit can be assessed based on indoor ambient noise criteria only.

Second credit: Reverberation time

If it can be demonstrated that the building will not have any “areas used for speech” the second credit can be awarded by default. However, if this cannot be clearly evidenced due to the speculative nature of the development then this credit must be withheld.

09/06/2020: Reference to meeting rooms has been removed, in accordance with the content of the technical manual