“I was very pleased with their technical knowledge and professional approach when dealing with a very awkward purchaser as well as the local authority.”

-

JH, Telford Homes

“Cass Allen went above and beyond to help with the Acoustic planning performance and conditions regarding the Greenwich Creekside project…”

-

LM, Capita plc

“Good comprehensive reports and advice at all design stages. Very flexible and professional, provided attendance at acoustic cladding tests at short notice.”

-

DF, Berkeley Homes

“Cass Allen have assisted us on a number of our projects. I’ve been impressed with their thorough and professional approach.”

-

MT, Lark Energy

“I was very pleased with their technical knowledge and professional approach when dealing with a very awkward purchaser as well as the local authority.”

-

JH, Telford Homes

“Cass Allen went above and beyond to help with the Acoustic planning performance and conditions regarding the Greenwich Creekside project…”

-

LM, Capita plc

“Good comprehensive reports and advice at all design stages. Very flexible and professional, provided attendance at acoustic cladding tests at short notice.”

-

DF, Berkeley Homes

“Cass Allen have assisted us on a number of our projects. I’ve been impressed with their thorough and professional approach.”

-

MT, Lark Energy

“I was very pleased with their technical knowledge and professional approach when dealing with a very awkward purchaser as well as the local authority.”

-

JH, Telford Homes

“Cass Allen went above and beyond to help with the Acoustic planning performance and conditions regarding the Greenwich Creekside project…”

-

LM, Capita plc

“Good comprehensive reports and advice at all design stages. Very flexible and professional, provided attendance at acoustic cladding tests at short notice.”

-

DF, Berkeley Homes

“Cass Allen have assisted us on a number of our projects. I’ve been impressed with their thorough and professional approach.”

-

MT, Lark Energy

“I was very pleased with their technical knowledge and professional approach when dealing with a very awkward purchaser as well as the local authority.”

-

JH, Telford Homes

“Cass Allen went above and beyond to help with the Acoustic planning performance and conditions regarding the Greenwich Creekside project…”

-

LM, Capita plc

“Good comprehensive reports and advice at all design stages. Very flexible and professional, provided attendance at acoustic cladding tests at short notice.”

-

DF, Berkeley Homes

“Cass Allen have assisted us on a number of our projects. I’ve been impressed with their thorough and professional approach.”

-

MT, Lark Energy

“I was very pleased with their technical knowledge and professional approach when dealing with a very awkward purchaser as well as the local authority.”

-

JH, Telford Homes

“Cass Allen went above and beyond to help with the Acoustic planning performance and conditions regarding the Greenwich Creekside project…”

-

LM, Capita plc

“Good comprehensive reports and advice at all design stages. Very flexible and professional, provided attendance at acoustic cladding tests at short notice.”

-

DF, Berkeley Homes

“Cass Allen have assisted us on a number of our projects. I’ve been impressed with their thorough and professional approach.”

-

MT, Lark Energy

“I was very pleased with their technical knowledge and professional approach when dealing with a very awkward purchaser as well as the local authority.”

-

JH, Telford Homes

“Cass Allen went above and beyond to help with the Acoustic planning performance and conditions regarding the Greenwich Creekside project…”

-

LM, Capita plc

“Good comprehensive reports and advice at all design stages. Very flexible and professional, provided attendance at acoustic cladding tests at short notice.”

-

DF, Berkeley Homes

“Cass Allen have assisted us on a number of our projects. I’ve been impressed with their thorough and professional approach.”

-

MT, Lark Energy

“I was very pleased with their technical knowledge and professional approach when dealing with a very awkward purchaser as well as the local authority.”

-

JH, Telford Homes

“Cass Allen went above and beyond to help with the Acoustic planning performance and conditions regarding the Greenwich Creekside project…”

-

LM, Capita plc

“Good comprehensive reports and advice at all design stages. Very flexible and professional, provided attendance at acoustic cladding tests at short notice.”

-

DF, Berkeley Homes

“Cass Allen have assisted us on a number of our projects. I’ve been impressed with their thorough and professional approach.”

-

MT, Lark Energy

“I was very pleased with their technical knowledge and professional approach when dealing with a very awkward purchaser as well as the local authority.”

-

JH, Telford Homes

“Cass Allen went above and beyond to help with the Acoustic planning performance and conditions regarding the Greenwich Creekside project…”

-

LM, Capita plc

“Good comprehensive reports and advice at all design stages. Very flexible and professional, provided attendance at acoustic cladding tests at short notice.”

-

DF, Berkeley Homes

“Cass Allen have assisted us on a number of our projects. I’ve been impressed with their thorough and professional approach.”

-

MT, Lark Energy

“I was very pleased with their technical knowledge and professional approach when dealing with a very awkward purchaser as well as the local authority.”

-

JH, Telford Homes

“Cass Allen went above and beyond to help with the Acoustic planning performance and conditions regarding the Greenwich Creekside project…”

-

LM, Capita plc

“Good comprehensive reports and advice at all design stages. Very flexible and professional, provided attendance at acoustic cladding tests at short notice.”

-

DF, Berkeley Homes

“Cass Allen have assisted us on a number of our projects. I’ve been impressed with their thorough and professional approach.”

-

MT, Lark Energy

“I was very pleased with their technical knowledge and professional approach when dealing with a very awkward purchaser as well as the local authority.”

-

JH, Telford Homes

“Cass Allen went above and beyond to help with the Acoustic planning performance and conditions regarding the Greenwich Creekside project…”

-

LM, Capita plc

“Good comprehensive reports and advice at all design stages. Very flexible and professional, provided attendance at acoustic cladding tests at short notice.”

-

DF, Berkeley Homes

“Cass Allen have assisted us on a number of our projects. I’ve been impressed with their thorough and professional approach.”

-

MT, Lark Energy

Acoustics-Related Credits Under BRE’s New Home Quality Mark Scheme (replacement to Code for Sustainable Homes)

home-mark

BRE’s new scheme for assessing the quality of new residential developments was released last month. The ‘Home Quality Mark’ (HQM) scheme works similarly to the Code for Sustainable Homes (which was withdrawn last year, but still applies to many active sites) however the HQM scheme is intended to assess the overall quality of new residential development rather than just factors affecting sustainability. For example, the new scheme considers things like the provision of high speed internet and mobile phone network coverage. The full document can be found here.

Importantly, HQM is not compulsory and therefore it is not clear how popular the new scheme will be. However, BRE are confident that developers will adopt the scheme in order to attract potential buyers.

Set out below is a comparison of the available acoustics-related credits under the new scheme versus those in the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Item Code for Sustainable Homes (now withdrawn) Home Quality Mark
Sound insulation between separate dwellings (i.e. across party walls and floors) 4 credits available:

  • 1 credits for sound insulation levels 3 dB better than Building Regulations Part E requirements.
  • 3 credits for 5 dB better than Part E.
  • 4 credits for 8 dB better than Part E (awarded by default for detached dwellings).
4 credits available:

  • 1 credits for sound insulation levels 3 dB better than Building Regulations Part E requirements.
  • 3 credits for 5 dB better than Part E.
  • 4 credits for 8 dB better than Part E (awarded by default for detached dwellings).
Sound insulation between rooms within dwellings (i.e. across internal walls and floors) No credits available. 4 credits available:

  • 2 credits if internal wall and floor constructions are specified to achieve at least 43 dB Rw (3 dB better than Part E requirements).
  • 3 credits for 45 dB Rw (5 dB better than Part E).
  • 4 credits for 48 dB Rw (8 dB better than Part
Internal and external noise levels (e.g. in bedrooms, living rooms and gardens etc) No credits available. 4 credits available:

  • 2 credits if internal noise levels do not exceed 30 – 35 dB LAeq,T inside rooms (including noise from building services and noise ingress from external sources (e.g. nearby roads etc).
  • 1 or 2 credits if noise levels in external amenity areas (e.g. balconies, gardens) do not exceed 55 dB LAeq,T or 50 dB LAeq,T respectively.

It can be seen from the above that acoustic performance is given more weight in the new scheme with the introduction of credits for low internal noise levels and increased sound insulation to internal walls and floors. The credits for increased sound insulation between dwellings remains the same as in the Code for Sustainable Homes.

In terms of demonstrating compliance, onsite testing is still required to claim credits for sound insulation between dwellings, unless suitable Robust Details have been used and registered.

The internal sound insulation credits can be claimed by simply adopting acoustically upgraded constructions at the design stage (there is no requirement for testing).

Post-completion testing will be required to claim the available credits for internal and external noise levels. It would be logical to carry out this testing at the same time as pre-completion sound insulation testing to minimise cost. There will be a few technical challenges associated with claiming these credits:

  • The measurement process is ambiguous and arguably will not be very accurate.
  • Measurements need to be carried out during the daytime. It is difficult to accurately measure noise levels on active sites during the daytime due to noise from onsite construction work.
  • Given the inherent tolerances in acoustic design it will be difficult to ensure that the credits are achieved at noisier sites without including large design margins.
  • The available credits for external amenity areas are unlikely to be achievable in urban developments that have balconies.

Given the above points, it will be difficult for developers to rely on achieving the credits for internal and external noise levels in most urban developments that are near to busy roads or railways etc (this is perhaps the intention!).

We hope the above is useful – please let us know if you would like to talk through the acoustic requirements of the Home Quality Mark scheme further.

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Get in touch

We hope you’ve enjoyed browsing our website but if you have any questions feel free to call us to talk through any acoustic issues you may be facing on your projects. The best person who can help with specific queries can be found here.