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Hea 05a - Acoustic Performance (non-residential)

Information correct as of 2ndDecember 2021. 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 standards - KBCN0922

For the Acoustic performance standards credits it is possible to use either: or If assessors want to use standards that have not been approved yet, they should submit these to BRE along with all relevant documents detailed in the standards approval process. The extent and scope of these local standards and the SQAs justification statement will be checked by BRE acoustic experts to ensure that the overall effect is similar to the stated BREEAM requirements.

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

International suitably qualified professionals - KBCN1266

In some issues the International NC and RFO schemes prescribe specific requirements for suitably qualified professionals. We appreciate that some countries might have different recognition schemes in place, and these might differ from the BREEAM requirements. Where this is the case, assessors should submit a technical query with appropriate information, and we will review and approve each situation on a country basis.

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 2ndDecember 2021. Please see kb.breeam.com for the latest compliance information.