Industrial noise affecting residential premises
Finch Consulting’s acoustic engineers were contacted a while ago by an overseas legal firm in relation to a potential issue with its client. The client runs a spirits distillery from a warehouse that was surrounded by residential dwellings in London. Initially, it was a small operation but with a sudden increase in demand for its product, production increased 10 fold to 2 million bottles a year.
New building services equipment was quickly designed and installed in order to assist with the production demands. However, most of these building services also discharged noise into the atmosphere either in the form of ducted fan inlet/outlets or roof-mounted heat rejection plant.
This plant noise impact affected nearby residents who complained to the manager of the distillery about this noise nuisance.
As the client was recently acquired by a global conglomerate in the drinks industry, the issue reached the internal legal team in charge. Due to the expertise of Finch’s acoustic team in legal and regulatory matters associated with noise control, our experts were able to guide the overseas legal team in understanding the regulatory and legal regime in the UK and most specifically in the London Local Authority where the distillery was located. The discussions involved a review of national and local planning policy, as well as environmental law and provisions in relation to noise nuisance. With all this relevant knowledge the legal team was able to formulate a clear strategy going forward in order to protect the interests of all parties, including the neighbours who raised complaints about this nuisance.
Finch’s experts were appointed to carry out an engineering appraisal of the in-situ building services and offer a series of mitigation measures for consideration by the client in conjunction with newly appointed building services engineers. When a noise control plan was engineered, Finch also assisted with the appointment of contractors and the selection of products (i.e. vibration isolators, acoustic enclosures, in duct noise attenuators).
Finch also commissioned the final installation to ensure compliance. When Finch’s expert knocked on the door of the most affected residents asking permission to undertake noise readings of the plant noise in the garden of the property, the response received was “I didn’t even know it was running”.