Acoustic studies inform retirement living development, Exeter

Our acoustic modelling of a proposed retirement living development demonstrated to the planning authority that residents would enjoy a peaceful setting within an urban environment.


Retirement living developer, McCarthy & Stone, appointed us to provide acoustic consultancy services to understand day and night time noise issues that have ultimately influenced design decisions for a proposed residential development on Pinhoe Road, Exeter.

Despite an initial acoustic assessment earlier in the development process, McCarthy & Stone required a second survey. This followed the development of a new pub and car park on the adjacent site, as well as a pre-commencement planning condition relating to road and rail noise at the proposed development site.

Responding rapidly, Hydrock’s acoustics team visited the site to undertake noise surveys in two locations.

Using a long term noise monitor, an Environmental Noise Survey (ENS) was undertaken on the site boundary between the proposed retirement home and the pub’s car park. Over a period of approximately three days, acoustic data was recorded and logged.

The data collected includes the LA90 – which excludes noisier events, giving a representative “background” noise level; the LAmax – the highest noise event in the sample period (5 mins); and the LAeq – the data most often used as it represents the average noise level over the survey period.

The second survey point was on the northern boundary of the site adjacent to the main road. This Calculation of Road Traffic Noise (CRTN) involves short-term measurements which accurately records noise levels from the traffic, using calculation data to estimate road traffic noise throughout the day and night.

The data collected from the CRTN was used to calibrate a model demonstrating the impact of noise on the proposed development. By inputting building and infrastructure data, and the type of land and site topography, among other details, the model illustrates which areas of the development will be most and least affected by noise and by what degree.

The results enabled Hydrock to make recommendations on the type of double glazing, window vents, mechanical ventilation, acoustic screening and façade constructions required amongst other things.

The resulting data showed that daytime and night time noise levels were consistent with little variation across the survey period. We recommended that robust glazing was required, as well as mechanically assisted ventilation systems implemented in apartments to the northern parts of the site where road noise is increased. Naturally ventilated apartments were permitted to the rear.

The combined measures enable the residents of the proposed retirement home to ultimately live peacefully during the day, and sleep without interruption at night.

For over 20 years Hydrock has delivered award-winning engineering projects across a wide variety of sectors. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business.