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Acoustic Consultancy

Our acoustics consultants and engineers bring together in-depth knowledge of building regulations, design standards, industry guidelines and relevant codes of practice with vast multi-sector experience to help clients make informed decisions about the acoustic design performance and noise or vibration control of their building, urban space, industrial site or transport network.

With expertise and design capability that spans buildings, urban areas, transport networks and industrial sites, Sweco’s acoustic consultancy teams can assess, monitor, analyse, model and optimise sound to help you create people-focused spaces which meet the demands of both end users and compliance or planning bodies.

  • Architectural Acoustics
  • Building Services Noise Control Solutions
  • Environmental Impact Assessments
  • Expert Witness
  • Planning Noise Assessments
  • Transport Infrastructure Noise Assessments
  • Vibration Control Solutions
  • Wind Farm Noise Assessments

Building acoustics consultancy

The acoustic environment within a building can fundamentally impact on our perception of a space, and on how we interact within it. Expert consideration of building acoustics design is therefore crucial in ensuring that the spaces within it are fit for its purpose.

We advise our clients on how to deliver the optimal environment for each space by controlling the level of sound transmission from other parts of the building and from the outdoors, controlling noise from mechanical services, and by providing an appropriate room acoustic environment by controlling the amount of reverberation and echoes.

Our acousticians will engage with the multi-disciplinary design team, to influence the mechanical, structural, and architectural design of the building. Our team can offer advice on the latest advancements in acoustic design, such as 3D room acoustic modelling (including electro-acoustics), residential overheating & acoustics ventilation assessment, and soundscape.

Core building acoustics expertise:

  • Acoustic assessment of masterplans and design options
  • Concept design acoustics support
  • Planning application support
  • Architectural and building acoustics
  • Sound propagation modelling
  • Room acoustic modelling

Wider solutions:

  • Specification of design criteria
  • BREEAM/WELL/LEED acoustics support
  • Façade sound insulation
  • Sound insulation within the building
  • Sound absorption and room acoustics
  • Control of noise from building services
  • Lift noise and vibration control
  • Control of plant room noise transfer
  • Control of building services noise
  • Vibration isolation
  • Robust Details and Approved Document E
  • Remedial advice for acoustics
  • Commissioning testing

Our acoustic consultants are highly regarded by colleagues and clients alike, and works regularly with our MEP, Structures, Mission Critical data centre and other teams to deliver considered, high quality building design solutions.

Transport noise & vibration consultancy

Sweco’s acoustics team work on key, future-shaping Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs), undertaking detailed environmental acoustic modelling to assess noise emissions from roads, railways and aircraft. We provide input into Environmental Statements, Environmental Assessment Reports (EAR), and Development Consent Orders (DCO) for Highways England and others.

Expertise in the latest transport noise & vibration assessment methodologies and modelling techniques enables identification of significant noise and vibration effects, and the mitigation measures that are required to address these. As part of these schemes, we provide construction noise and vibration assessments to inform the Environmental Impact Assessments, as well as supporting the contractors in Section 61 prior consent applications.

Our team of acousticians has experience in major rail projects, including the London Underground Crossrail project, Doha Metro and GCC High Speed Rail. HGV mitigation stacks, and logistics facilities are also a key sector for Sweco acoustics who utilise 3D environmental modelling to predict the noise emissions from moving and static noise sources.

Our transport noise & vibration experts work in conjunction with our specialists in transport planning, placemaking, Environmental Impact Assessment and Geospatial/GIS to meet the expectations of any project.

Industrial Noise Solutions

The impact from noise and vibration is often one of the biggest risks to industrial developments in the UK, particularly when they are near sensitive areas such as dwellings, schools, or hospitals. The increasing awareness of the public to these environmental impacts along with government and Local Authority policies to protect our environment, makes noise and vibration a key consideration during the design, construction, and operation of industrial facilities.

Services at a glance
Our dedicated and approachable team of acoustic experts understand the challenges that industrial projects present and have successfully delivered numerous projects across the UK and across Europe.

Our wide range of industrial noise & vibration expertise includes:

  • Water treatment facilities
  • Energy centres
  • Data centres
  • Concrete and asphalt plants
  • Waste transfer and recycling facilities
  • Wood and steel manufacturing and food industries
  • Pipelines
  • Hydrogen facilities
  • Wind farms
  • Solar farms

Whatever industrial noise and vibration challenge you face, whatever the specific industrial setting, we’re here to guide you through the journey from advice and planning to design and implementation.

Environmental Noise & Vibration in Urban Areas

New sites are likely to produce noise, particularly with regards to mechanical plant and machinery. At Sweco, we have the modelling tools, impact assessment experience, and engineering expertise you need to guide you through the planning process in the UK and across Europe.

  • Noise and vibration impact assessment
  • Site feasibility assessments
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Input into Development Consent Orders (DCOs)
  • Construction noise & vibration assessments*
  • Construction noise and vibration monitoring
  • Expert witness and third-party consultations

*For Section 61 prior consent applications

Managing environmental noise and vibration in urban areas can be a considerable challenge, particularly for regeneration and brownfield sites. Noise from existing transport networks such as roads, railways, and flight paths must be measured, modelled and assessed. Existing commercial or industrial sites produce noise which may impact on proposed development and requires assessment with regards to the “agent of change” clause in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

We’re proud that Sweco’s acoustics team stand as market leaders in environmental noise and vibration modelling and assessment for urban areas, with particular focus in impact assessments for large residential, mixed-use, healthcare and education projects.

Andy King Director – Energy, Water & Environment


Why choose Sweco as your trusted acoustics partner?

End-to-end support

Managing noise and vibration in the urban environment is a considerable challenge. Good acoustic design requires that all relevant aspects of noise and vibration are considered throughout each programme stage. For planning, we will determine the project-specific risks and objectives and deliver a robust consideration of environmental noise and vibration. We pride ourselves on helping you deliver an acoustic environment that is fit for purpose, and that minimises the effects of environmental noise on health. We thrive on communicating design for acoustics in a straightforward and knowledgeable way.

Full lifecycle capability

The acoustics team at Sweco use their in-depth knowledge of legislation, standards, guidelines and codes of practice, to help clients make informed decisions about the acoustic design of their development. We critically assess and communicate the risks, opportunities and solutions at each stage of the project, explaining the technical aspects in a straightforward way, with the ultimate goal of helping you deliver a high-quality, regulation and planning compliant development.

Bespoke collaboration

We will work closely with you, as our customer, to develop a clear understanding of the acoustic engineering needs for each individual project. During the planning stage, we will support the planning application through providing noise impact assessments, site feasibility assessments and supporting the EIA. During detailed design, we will support you with best practice acoustic design, help you achieve the most BREEAM objectives where this is a design aim, and help enhance the design of your development.

Sustainability first

As acousticians, we recognise the influence that our recommendations can have on the sustainability of your development. We listen to our customers and explore all feasible options for reducing the energy use of your development. We will advise you on where natural ventilation can be provided while limiting noise ingress. We will explore the acoustic implications of exploiting the thermal mass of a structure for stability of indoor temperatures. Our priority is to help you develop a bespoke solution tailored to your needs.

Sector expertise

  • Film studios
  • Data centres
  • Highways
  • Performing arts spaces
  • Residential buildings
  • Rail/Metro
  • Logistics
  • Mixed-use settings
  • Public realm
  • Offices
  • Schools
  • Commercial settings (restaurants, bars, night clubs)
  • Research & Development labs
  • Hotels
  • Retail settings

Our award-winning Sweco acoustics team are members of the Institute of Acoustics (IOA), and the Association of Noise Consultants (ANC).

The importance of noise control

Environmental noise has the potential to cause annoyance or sleep disturbance and has been linked to health effects such as hypertension. The exposure to noise and vibration is site-specific and it is common for UK planning authorities to require a robust consideration of the effects of noise and vibration on a proposed sensitive development.

Noise and vibration generated by a development site, during both construction and operation, also needs consideration. UK planning authorities commonly require developers to limit noise from their proposed development both during construction and upon completion.

The Sweco acoustics team are market leaders in environmental noise and vibration modelling and assessment, with particular focus in noise impact assessments and environmental impact assessment for large residential, mixed-use, healthcare and education projects.

We also specialise in the acoustics of data centres, power generation, logistics, and manufacturing as detailed further here, as well as large infrastructure schemes as detailed here.

We will assist the customer with developing a design that minimises the risks of later design restrictions due to environmental noise or due to noise emissions from the site itself. We can  provide focused, bespoke advice to meet our customer’s requirements in a pragmatic and straightforward way.

Together with our clients and the collective knowledge of our engineers, consultants and other specialists, we co-create solutions to address urbanisation, capture the power of digitalisation, and make our societies more sustainable.​ With international multi-disciplinary teams, we can call on the right insight and technical capability at the right time from across Buildings, Infrastructure, Advisory & Planning and Compliance.​