May 04, 2020
May 04, 2020
How to establish the baseline noise level for Planning, when the ‘normal’ baseline noise is missing
The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our community in ways we could never have imagined. For example, we can’t gather in bars and restaurants, go to cinemas or concerts. We are currently unconcerned by the significant noise pollution that these activities convey. Nor are we going anywhere – no planes, fewer trains and a significant drop in car travel means no ‘peak hour’ traffic to worry about. Their noise also disappears when the associated activity does.
In fact, the noise levels we’re more concerned about right now are those in our home. If you share your living space with other workers then perhaps it’s their conversation on a Skype call, or the increased background noise coming from other members of your household chasing entertainment to while away the boredom of being ‘stuck’ at home.
In our temporarily hushed external world, how do we achieve the acoustic design of our developments – residential, commercial or otherwise? How do we physically assess our existing environments?
In short, how do we establish the baseline noise level for Planning, when our ‘normal’ noises are missing?
During this ‘quiet time’, we must change our approach to collecting data to achieve reliable long-term results. Luckily, we have resources. We’ve collected hundreds of acoustic samples in hundreds of locations across Australia; samples that could easily be used as comparative cases to establish baselines.
Let’s say we need to assess the baseline noise level for a new restaurant in Sydney (Surry Hills) and consider the impact it will have on neighbouring businesses and residences. Using timetables and flight schedules, we can recreate the baseline transport noise levels that usually occur across specific time periods in that location. We can also include the passenger traffic noise samples that we’ve collected from a similar neighbourhood. By joining them together, we can simulate the noise we expect our new venue to generate against that backdrop and assess its impact on the local community. We can even use noise data collected prior to COVID-19 in a nearby area of the same suburb.
Acoustic modelling is a sophisticated art and we can easily harness the technology to provide reasonable and reliable comparative data on which your construction design and planning applications can depend.
So even though the sound might be silent, we can ensure you continue to build and develop your project for when it returns.