noise impact due diligence

Industrial Premises: Noise Impact Due Diligence

A company in the manufacturing sector wished to expand its operations by leasing a newly built industrial unit of around 150,000 ft2. The existing manufacturing facility was going to be relocated to this new unit, alongside existing and new outdoor located plant.

The manufacturing premises runs 24/7 and the new premises, even though located in an industrial park, is overlooked by residential premises at distances of around 120 metres at three locations.

The noise emitted from the existing premises is almost identical in the night-time as it is in the daytime. Therefore, the client wanted to undertake a due diligence exercise in order to understand the potential noise impact of the proposals to the nearby residential premises.

The acoustic engineers at Finch Consulting (Finch) were appointed in order to advise on exactly the type of review/analysis that was required for an efficient review of the potential noise impact.  The review involved Finch carrying out measurements of background sound levels at the nearby residential premises using long-term unattended sound level measurements, establishing the sound insulation of the external building fabric of the proposed unit, undertaking indoor and outdoor noise measurements at the existing industrial premises, liaising with the team and plant suppliers and undertaking an assessment of the impact using the guidance in BS 4142:2014+A1:2019 “Methods for rating and assessing industrial and commercial sound”.

Finch assessed the noise impact and put forward a variety of mitigation measures proposed taking into consideration the individual contribution of the various internal and external noise sources using the in-depth knowledge of its acoustic engineers in relation to available noise control measures including costs.

The client had to sign lease documents in about three weeks’ time and Finch managed to work within this deadline and produce a report in a timely manner. With Finch’s involvement, the client was able to be reassured that noise mitigation measures were available and practical and therefore the noise constraint was understood, and measures could be implemented to eliminate any subsequent risks.

If the client had signed the long lease without undertaking due diligence, and taking the expert advice from Finch, the consequences could have been disastrous if say upon completion the client found out that the fully operational site with a long lease was unsuitable for use due to the associated environmental noise impact or that mitigation measures to reduce the noise impact were prohibitively expensive. The efficient management of risk is what separates successful businesses from the rest.

*image is from a different site in order to protect the confidentiality of the client.