New Construction / UK / 2011 / 02-Health and Wellbeing /

Hea 05 - Acoustic Performance

Information correct as of 22ndJune 2024. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.

Acoustic performance in shell & core assessments - KBCN0235

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
 

Acoustic performance: Schools with no music accommodation or a multi purpose hall - KBCN0340

Acoustic performance standards: Where the building does not contain any music accommodation or a multi purpose hall etc, the 3rd credit for this building type can be awarded by default.  

Acoustic requirements for care homes - KBCN1241

In order to meet compliance against issue Hea 05, assessment against Part E is necessary, even if compliance with Approved Document E is not required by Building Control. The multi-residential criteria are intended to reflect that the building occupants are comfortable and have an appropriate level of privacy. Although these are exempt from building regulations for care homes, for a development assessed as multi-residential, the criteria relevant to multi-residential buildings must be applied.

Acoustic standards for education buildings - KBCN0179

Building Bulletin 93: Acoustic design of schools, performance standards, February 2015 (BB93) contains revised acoustic standards for all school buildings so it can be used in lieu of earlier revisions/standards.    

Alternative acoustic standards - KBCN0130

If alternative standards are deemed more appropriate to the function than those specified in the criteria, these can be used if confirmed and justified by the 'suitably qualified acoustician' and such written confirmation is submitted as supporting evidence for QA purposes.

ANC membership/registration scheme compliance route - KBCN0246

The Association of Noise Consultants (ANC) registration scheme is only applicable to buildings covered in Approved Document E. It therefore covers Dwellings-Houses, flats and rooms for residential purposes and schools, and so would only apply to assessments that contain these room types. For these assessments, if the suitably qualified accoustician is a member of the ANC, they must also provide evidence to demonstrate that they are a full member of the ANC registration scheme. For all other building/room types, assessors can still demonstrate compliance by the other routes listed in the manual.

Applying internal partition sound insulation criteria to internal doors - KBCN0665

Where sound insulation criteria apply to internal partitions the calculations do need to include any doors which are part of the wall in question. While sound insulation performance of a typical door will be lower than for a typical wall, with careful design, specification and detailing, this can be overcome. 

Appropriate project stage to appoint a suitably qualified acoustician - KBCN0256

BREEAM requires that a suitably qualified acoustician is appointed at an appropriate stage of the project, so as to ensure that early design advice on criteria of pre-requisition is met. The aim is to ensure that costly amendments to building designs are not made as a result of late appointment of the acoustician. Ultimately, it is for the assessor to determine at what stage of the project is deemed to be appropriate for this appointment to have taken place given the project specific circumstances and procurement type.  

Compliant test body – alternative compliance route using a Suitably Qualified Acoustician - KBCN1412

Where acoustic testing and measurement has not been performed by an organisation or individual that meets the definition of a compliant test body, compliance with this requirement can still be demonstrated where a Suitably Qualified Acoustician has reviewed the relevant test report(s). The test report must: a) Be countersigned or authorised by a Suitably Qualified Acoustician b) Include a clear statement that the acoustic testing and measurements have been carried out in accordance with the BREEAM or HQM testing requirements AND c) Include evidence that the verifier meets the definition for a Suitably Qualified Acoustician within the relevant BREEAM or HQM technical manual

Flexibility of acoustic requirements for naturally ventilated buildings - KBCN0219

When the Design Capability Supply Rate of 8 l/s per person is provided by natural ventilation, the design can achieve the BB93 performance standards for the indoor ambient noise levels in Table 1.1 of BB93 then the requirements can be increased by 5 dB LAeq,30min. This approach can be followed where BB93 is applicable.

Hotels – acoustic performance standards - KBCN0644

As hotels fall under the BREEAM Other/Residential Institutions building type, they need to be assessed against the ‘Office, Industrial, Prisons, Courts and other building types’ criteria, for which two credits are available.

No acoustically sensitive areas or rooms used for speech - KBCN0660

If written confirmation is provided by the Suitably Qualified Acoustician that there are no acoustically sensitive rooms or rooms used for speech (as defined in the technical guidance), the credits can only be awarded based on achieving all the remaining, applicable credit(s). Where compliance with criteria for this Issue cannot be demonstrated due to the nature of the development, the credits are not awarded by default, but by demonstrating that the acoustic performance has been addressed by meeting the available criteria.
16/12/16 - Clarification added for situations where there are no acoustically sensitive rooms and/or rooms used for speech.

Pre-requisite compliance at post construction - KBCN0667

Criterion 1 is a pre-requisite, requiring early design advice to be given by a suitably qualified acoustician.  For the post construction review/assessment, evidence must confirm that this advice was given at the correct time, with the credits awarded based on the test results and performance of the building.  Where the pre-requisite requirements have not been met no credits can be awarded.

Suitably Qualified Acoustician – Associate membership of the Institute of Acoustics - KBCN00064

Associate membership of the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) can be considered to demonstrate that the individual is a member of an appropriate professional body. This supersedes previous guidance on this matter, which has been updated following confirmation from the IOA that ‘Associate members’ are bound by the same Members’ Code of Conduct as ‘Full members’.    
06/06/2022 - BRE stance on this has been revised - Title also updated for clarity
13/01/2020 Wording clarified and confirmed applicability to Issue Pol 05
06/01/2020 Clarification that this applies to BREEAM UK NC2018
 

Users with special hearing and communication needs - KBCN0969

Criterion 1c aims to ensure that the acoustician has considered designing the building to better meet the acoustic requirements for users with special hearing and communication needs. The extent and scope this should cover will depend on the building type. The following information, taken from The UK Department for Education ‘Acoustic design of schools: performance standards building bulletin 93' (February 2015) provides clarity as to the type of users typically to be considered: Users with special hearing or communication needs includes, but are not limited to, people with permanent hearing impairment or with severe or complex needs, including: Such users should be considered by the suitably qualified acoustician, along with the other points a-d when giving early design advice regarding room layout, sound insulation and reverberation times etc.
01/03/2019: Amended to clarify that this is a 'typical' list of users, but does not impose a new requirement.

Information correct as of 22ndJune 2024. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.