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Environmental Noise & Vibration in Urban Areas

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). 

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.

Our urban area expertise includes:

  • 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

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 Advisory & Planning Director


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 18,000 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.​
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