Blue Acoustics Team to instructed to carry out an agricultural noise assessment in a charming area of Cornwall, to support a planning application for the construction of a new potato shed. The purpose of the survey was to establish the combined noise impact of the proposed shed and the existing shed, and provide mitigation planning as required.

Concerns were raised about the noise emitted from the existing shed as complaints had been made by the nearby residents. The residents explained that they could hear the cooling plant noise at night time when background noise levels dropped.

The sheds maintain a cold, dark and moist climate, capable of preserving potatoes for many months before distribution and this requires an air management system with external condensers.

The location was very remote and background noise levels respectively low. As such, the existing shed was found to generate excessive BS4142 assessment levels from its refrigeration system. The condensers were positioned at the far side of the shed to the receptor which initially seemed ideal, but fan noise was found to penetrate the shed wall and re-radiate through the roof and walls towards the house.

Extensive measurement of the air management system was carried out to determine the noise breakout for a number of output settings. This was used to conclude that the existing shed could be run at 80% output by day and 50% by night. A wooden enclosure was also designed and installed to minimise noise transmission from the condensers into the shed, further reducing assessment levels.

The new shed was to use an up-to-date system with an array of independent coolers hung from the roof and so roof noise breakout was calculated accordingly, however, calculations indicated excessive night time noise levels at the dwelling from the proposed design. The answer was to run the units at speed setting S2 and increase the hanging distance from the roof which we calculated to be 1.5m. The job proved to be much more involved that originally though but planning was eventually approved.

The team at Blue Acoustics has extensive experience across the full spectrum of noise related consultancy. All staff are trained to MSc level in Applied Acoustics and are members of the Institute of Acoustics, which is considered the industry gold standard for acoustics professionals.

We regularly service clients throughout the UK, in particular Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter, Devon and Somerset. We cover a range of disciplines such as Noise Surveys, Noise at Work Assessments, Industrial Noise Surveys, Residential Noise SurveysSound Insulation TestingHospital Acoustics, School Acoustics and Office Acoustics.

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