The second ANC (Association of Noise Consultants) Awards were held this evening (Tuesday 24th June ) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Birmingham. These prestigious awards were presented by Sarah Cruddas, former BBC science correspondent now reporting for Sky News and ITV, followed by a gala dinner to celebrate the awards.
The ANC (Association of Noise Consultants) awards promote and recognise excellence among UK acoustic consultants and raise the profile of the acoustics industry. The four awards were Environmental Acoustics, sponsored by Bruel & Kjaer; Architectural Acoustics, sponsored by Ecophon; Transportation Noise Control, sponsored by IAC and Sound Insulation, sponsored by Robust Details.
The Awards look for examples of work that displays innovation, and originality in acoustic design or approach to a particular project. Work must have been undertaken in the last two years but might not necessarily be complete. The consultancy must be in operating in the UK although the project may be elsewhere.
The Winner of Environmental Acoustics, sponsored by Bruel & Kjaer was – High Speed 2 – Sound Demonstrations – Arup Acoustics.
HS 2 is a nationally-significant project, high in the public’s awareness. The UK has very little existing high speed rail, and very little railway with noise mitigation. Hence the public has almost no experience of what the project will sound like. This understandably increases public concern about potential noise impact. This is the first time state-of-the-art 3D auralisation has been used on such a large infrastructure project to engage with stakeholders, inform design, and aid decision-makers. This enables people to decide for themselves what the impact of the proposals might be.
The demonstrations have been played to leaders of community groups, MPs and central government officials. Most importantly an estimated 25,000 people have heard what HS2 will sound like in their community, and are now better informed about the character, level and impact of high speed rail.
This project has, for the first time, used verified state-of-the-art 3D auralisation to complement design and consultation on a nationally-significant infrastructure project.
The judges were impressed by the practical and extremely useful nature of this project which provided a means to demonstrate noise in a way the general public would understand. It was an approach that others should adopt and the engagement with those affected was a good example to follow on similar projects.
Highly Commended was – Wind Turbine Amplitude Modulation: Research to Improve Understanding as to its Cause and Effect – Hoare Lea Acoustics.
Commended was Calculations of Noise Levels from Road and Rail Sources for END Round 2 Mapping – Hepworth Acoustics.
The Winner of Architectural Acoustics, sponsored by Ecophon was – Winsford E-ACT Academy
This 12,500m2 new build school for 1700 pupils, had to be delivered to a very tight budget of £18.1m with a contractual requirement to achieve all relevant legislative and regulatory requirements, Building Bulletins as well as a BREEAM rating of “very good”. The Acoustician played a proactive role in achieving the acoustic contractual requirements stipulated on this project, without compromising quality, performance or budget.
The judges noted that a range of acoustic solutions had been employed and they were very effective in difficult spaces with a limited budget. It was most encouraging to see the integration of acoustics with the design from the earliest stage which had resulted in a successful acoustic environment being created. Talking to the architect at an early stage was an innovative element of this project and an approach which should be adopted wherever possible.
Highly Commended – Fundacion Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon – Arup Acoustics
Commended – Radegund Hall, Coleridge Community College, Cambridge – Max Fordham llp
The Winner of Transportation Noise Control, sponsored by IAC was Ground-borne sound and vibration from trains – Arup
High Speed 2 is a nationally-significant project, high in the public’s awareness. In terms of track km, this project is the largest implementation of a ground-borne sound and vibration prediction model in the UK. It is also the first time a project has implemented a method to predict ground vibration from trains in revenue service at speeds of up to 360km/h. Consideration of these speeds has led to a better understanding of the parameters that are most important vibration generation and hence how HS2 can be designed so that it minimises the impact of ground-borne sound and vibration.
This project has for the first time developed an accurate prediction method for ground-borne noise and vibration which is able to extrapolate to train speeds greater than 300km/h by ensuring that the mechanisms that generate ground-borne vibration, such as wheel and rail roughness, are appropriate for the required speed range and by maximising the goodness of fit of the model with the available data at lower speeds.
The judges noted this work was pioneering as a model to predict Ground Bourne Noise and Vibration from trains in excess of 360kmh did not exist and were encouraged to see that input had been sought from an expert group throughout the model’s development. The development of the model is a significant step forward in groundborne sound and vibration modelling possibly discovering something that was unknown previously and so receives the transportation noise control award.
Highly Commended – British Airways East and West Base Ground Running Pens – Clarke Saunders Associates.
Commended – Park House, London – Hann Tucker Associates.
The Winner of Sound Insulation, sponsored by Robust Details was Racecourse Estate, Sunderland – Apex Acoustics.
As of January 2012 the Racecourse Passivhaus Estate in Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear, was the largest residential Passivhaus scheme in the UK, built as part of a sustainable legacy. This was a pioneering development for the UK in terms of design and scale delivering Passivhaus with a more traditional UK design aesthetic as well as a new approach to customer education and engagement.
The acoustic design is special for two distinct reasons: firstly, the performance achieved is of the highest quality – these may be the first dwellings to be measured in the UK to achieve the Class A categories for both sound insulation and ambient noise according to the Acoustic Classification Scheme proposed under COST Action TU0901, now to be adopted as an ISO Standard. Secondly, the method used to assess the sound insulation design is highly innovative, original and offers powerful insight into the performance parameters; this method is transferrable to other design and testing assessments.
The judges noted that this project combined high performance thermal design with good sound insulation which offered a good way forward for sustainable development. They were pleased to see a post-occupancy assessment was undertaken and that ambient noise and noise from the ventilation system was considered. Using the latest information from the COST programme was an illustration of innovative and original thinking which helped this project to be declared the winner.
Highly Commended – One Hyde Park, London – Clarke Saunders Associates.
Commended – Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, London School Of Economics – Arup.
Source: The ANC (Association of Noise Consultants UK)