Norbord is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of engineered wood-based panel products. Sweco was commissioned to undertake a comprehensive Noise Impact Assessment for the expansion proposal at the existing site in Inverness.
The proposals included a new Oriented Strand Board line (OSB3), a Dryer and a new Wet Electrostatic Precipitator (WESP). This assessment included a wide range of considerably noisy plant, both existing and proposed affecting nearby residential properties in a rural area. In addition to noise breakout through the buildings envelope, sources of external noise such as extraction fans and extraction filters were also assessed.
Essential advice was provided to comply with the PPC regulations in terms of noise control, which requires installations to operate using Best Available Techniques (BAT). We undertook detailed calculations of noise emission levels from proposed noise sources and noise source measurements of the existing plant to produce a highly detailed 3D noise model. This model allowed us to produce accurate predictions and contour maps of the propagation of noise from the factory towards the potentially affected noise-sensitive receptors.
The schedule of mitigations proposed was carefully selected to reduce noise levels as far as practicable without affecting the normal operations of the factory. The detailed mitigation measures proposed were optimised to ensure compliance with the acoustic targets, without costly over-specification. The success of the noise impact assessment was essential to get consent from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to the expansion proposals.