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HEA 05 - Acoustic performance

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

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. 

Applying the requirements to shell only + shell and core assessments - KBCN00075

A Suitably Qualified Acoustician (SQA) must carry out a quantifiable assessment of the specification of the built form, construction and any external factors that are likely to affect the indoor ambient noise levels. From this assessment, the SQA must confirm that the developer’s scope of works will enable a future tenant utilising a typical fit-out and specification to meet the levels required to demonstrate compliance with the BREEAM criteria. Where the specific room functions and areas within the building are yet to be defined, the acoustician’s assessment should demonstrate that the criteria for the most sensitive room type likely to be present in the building is capable of being achieved. Where the typical fit out would include a range of requirements (e.g. offices with a mix of open plan, cellular offices, meeting rooms and breakout areas; or retail with sales floor, stock/storage, office and staff rest areas), the acoustician should make an assessment based on a speculative layout and outline specification to determine whether the requirements of the relevant best practice standard are achievable and include examples of the most sensitive room types. Where the majority of a building’s floor plan will require high performance acoustic environments (e.g. classroom/seminar buildings), then the BREEAM requirements must be achieved for the entire shell where specific layouts are not determined by the built form. Post-construction testing is not required subject to confirmation from the project team that the built form, construction and any external factors have not changed from those used in the SQA's assessment.
14-Feb-2024 - Scheme applicability updated. Clarified applicability to shell only assessments. Title updated.
   

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

Definition: cafe, canteen, catering kitchen, restaurants, bars - KBCN0691

For the purposes of the Acoustic Performance credit: Informal cafés or canteen areas, catering kitchens are generally services provided by an organisation such as a college, factory, or company for it's students or staff. Restaurants are places where food are served to the public on the premises. Compared to the above one, restaurants can be independent and not ancillary, as per the BREEAM definition and scope. Bars are establishment where soft drink/alcohol and sometimes other refreshments are served. They might be on their own or auxiliary to other functions, eg hotels.

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.

Remedial works – timing of acoustic re-testing - KBCN1164

The intent of CN "Remedial works" is that, where these are required, re-testing is carried out prior to handover and occupation. However, it is permissible to carry out the re-testing post-occupation. This is provided any specific guidance for particular building types related test conditions have been met (for instance, it may be that some building specific guidance requires furniture or carpets to not be present during the testing). Compliance cannot be achieved based on a letter from the SQA confirming that the contractor has followed their advice to achieve the required performance.
07.11.18 KBCN amended to allow for re-testing to be carried-out post-handover.

Residential buildings and long term stay residential institutions - KBCN0661

CN2 ‘Applicable assessment criteria - Single and multiple dwellings’ currently reads: ‘Both options: Criteria 18 and 10 only apply. Refer to Appendix E – Applicability of BREEAM New Construction to single and multiple dwellings, partially and fully fitted for a more detailed description of residential assessment options.’ However, criterion 9 is also applicable to these building types. We apologise, as this is a misprint, which will be amended in the technical guidance re-issue.
Technical manual to be updated accordingly in next reissue.

Sound insulation measurement standard - KBCN1377

The reference to (EN) ISO 140-4:1998 in assessment criterion 5 of technical manual SD233 2.0 is incorrect. This standard has been withdrawn and standard EN ISO 16283-1:2014 should be used, as confirmed under the methodology section.
Technical manual to be updated accordingly in next reissue.

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.