26 July 2019
Just how much industrial and commercial sound is acceptable and when does it become environmental noise? It’s a subjective area with many variables for assessors to consider, therefore ensuring consistency in the methods used for rating and assessing variable sound levels is fundamental.
BSI, the business improvement company, has just released BS 4142:2014+A1:2019 Methods for rating and assessing industrial and commercial sound. This is an amendment of the 2014 edition of the standard and supports current UK planning guidance and Environmental Agency requirements on noise impact assessments.
The standard offers a reference method for assessors1 to make decisions on the level of sound, or change of sound, appropriate to each case, including assessing the problem of tones, impulse sounds and the influence of the context in which the sound is heard.
Sources of industrial and commercial sound likely to be assessed for impact include:
- Industrial and manufacturing processes
- Fixed installations
- The loading and unloading of goods
Mobile plant and vehicles that are an intrinsic part of the overall sound emanating from the premises
David Fatscher, Head of Sector, Environment, Social and Governance at BSI said: “BSI 4142 is one of the UK’s most widely used standards for the assessment of environmental noise. We listened to feedback from our customers and have improved the clarity to provide those making acoustics and noise assessments with a tighter criterion for assessment. It can be used to assess sound, or a change of sound, for many reasons such as a response to a complaint or as part of a planning application.
Responses to sound can be subjective and are affected by many factors, from the background sound level, time of day, acoustics environment as well as local attitude to the source of the sound and the characteristics of the neighbourhood. The standard offers support across environmental health, planning and design engineering, legal and training activities where a monitor of industrial and commercial sound levels is required.”
BS 4142 was first published in 1967, revised in 1990, again in 1997, 2014 and now in 2019. It will be fully updated under the systematic review process again in 5 years’ time (2024).
Further details about BS 4142:2014+A1:2019 can be found at:
- ENDS -
Notes to Editor:
1 Those involved in making sound assessments include: Environmental Health Officers, Acoustics and noise consultants. Planning officials, Design engineers etc.