BS4142 noise survey & assessment: What is BS4142 & how we help you

BS4142: What we do & why it matters to you.

BS4142 is one of the many standards that we use to asess noise. Our main objective is to ensure your planning or current environment adheres to the BS 4142 standard.

We're a mechanical engineering and acoustics consultancy with extensive vibration, structural dynamics, noise and acoustics experience. Our expertise is in noise reduction and mitigation through vibration control.

We use the BS4142:2014 standard to assess the sound of an industrial and/or commercial nature. We report on our observations and analysis of the noise assessment, and use our extensive mechanical engineering expertise in mitigating the noise sources.

So you get a noise assessment and a detailed summary of financially efficient and effecive mitigation measures, recommended by our professional engineering team. All mitigation measures are cost-effective and practically implementable.

What is BS4142?

The abbreviation BS stands for British Standards. The organisation is better known as the British Standard Institute (BSI). And is a national organisation of the United Kingdom. British Standards authors technical documents for a broad range of services and products. The institute is like the German equal TüV SüD. And both certify products to their applicable standards.

The standard BS 4142 is used for rating and assessing industrial and commercial sound.

In several cases the BS number coincides with that of the ISO standard. But with this standard, it has no relation. Thus, BS 4142 is not the same as ISO 4142, which relates to laboratory glassware.)

Why you should use Environmentally Sound limited for your BS4142 survey

Environmentally Sound Limited is a mechanical engineering and acoustics consultancy.  When it relates to noise, our objective is to

  • improve living and working environments,

  • improve and design products to operate quietly in those environments

We use our engineering expertise to mitigate the noise by addressing its source and improve the design to reach our objective.

Therefore, we use BS4142 to ascertain the levels of noise and by what margin it exceeds permitted levels.

Thereafter, we provide mitigation measures, and/or resolve the noise problem for you.

Engineer(s) involved

  • A Chartered Engineer registered with the engineering council and who is a corporate member of the Institute of Acoustics will conduct the survey.

  • The company is a Constructionline Gold member, Acclaim Accreditation and SSIP.

  • Noise measurement equipment that is prescribed by the BS4142 standard

  • Calibrated equipment

  • Insurances

  • Travel expenses

  • PPE supplied and used as required

The BS 4142 report and mitigation measures

  • A report that will be accepted by the council. Updates should not be required, as the report shall include what BS4142 and the enforcement agency has requested.

  • Mitigation measures, if required, given by an acoustics consultant and/or mechanical engineering consultant experienced in vibration control, chartered and corporate member of the Institute of Acoustics.

How much does a BS4142 noise survey cost?

The noise survey and the report, as described on this page, altogether BS4142 cost depends on the noise source and the size of your company. We apply a discount for SMEs, making it financially manageable during the current financial climate.

How we help you mitigate and reduce noise levels

We will own and take control of resolving any noise and mitigation issues that you have.

We'll liaise with the enforcement officers, the councils, and with other parties.. We'll conduct the noise survey and any mitigation measures that are required.

Thus, we give you peace of mind. So that you can continue with the important jobs while we resolve the hurdles in your way.

So that you can continue with the important work, while we overcome obstacles for you.

Who is permitted to use BS4142?

Qualified and professional engineers use the BS4142 standard. They are experienced and proficient in conducting noise measurements, surveys and assessments. Usually corporate members of the Institute and Acoustics.

Why is BS4142 used?

The BS4142 standard

How is BS4142 used?

Sound level meters measure sound levels. The sound levels are rated at outdoor locations for:

  • sources of sound in commercial and industrial areas and facilities

  • ambient, background sound levels, background noise levels and residual sound levels

For what is BS4142 used?

The methods for rating and assessing industrial and commercial sound are applicable to:

  • sound from industrial and commercial premises and from manufacturing processes

  • sound from stationary systems, like mechanical and electrical plants and equipment;

  • sound from the loading and unloading of items at industrial at or in industrial and commercial facilities;

  • sound from mobile machinery that is the core of the total sound emanating from the commercial property, i.e. cranes, forklift trucks, and for harbour equipment and machinery.

The methods described in this British Standard use outdoor sound levels to assess the likely effects of sound on people who might be inside or outside a dwelling or premises used for residential purposes upon which sound is incident.

Assessing the impact of the noise

  • The greater this difference in sound level measured, the greater the scale of the impact. Hence. the greater the concern by the enforcement body. And the more effective the mitigation measures should be.

  • If a sound source is approximately 10 dB higher than the surrounding or ambient sound level. The rating level will have a significant adverse impact. All depending on the context.

  • If a sound source is approximately 5 dB higher than the surrounding or ambient sound level. The level will have an adverse impact All depending on the context.

  • The lesser the difference in sound level measured, the lesser the scale of the impact. Hence, the lesser the concern by the enforcement body. And lower the likelihood of requiring mitigation measures.

  • Where the level is lower than the background level, it implies a low likelihood of having an impact. Yet, action required is still dependent on the context.

The information included in the BS4142 report

    Statement of qualifications, competency, professional memberships and experience relevant to the application of this British Standard of all personnel contributing to the assessment.

  • Assessed and surveyed source

    • description of the main sound sources and of the specific sound;

    • operational hours of the day;

    • mode of operation (e.g. continuous, intermittent, tonal and impulsive, or is it dependent on the weather conditions);

    • is the source of the sound running at full load, or partial load

    • layout of the premises in which the main sound source is located

  • Subjective impression s of the person taking the recordings

  • Does a sensitive receptor exist in the area, i.e. school, care home etc.

  • Locality of the source to receptors, and the topography of the landscape and buildings.

  • equipment used for the assessment

  • Weather conditions

There is much more to adhere to in this standard. But, it's directed at the person making the assessment recordings.

BS4142 recommended mitigation measures

Providing desirable noise reduction or mitigation measures is usually requested. Yet, we add the mitigation measures to the conclusion of the BS 4142 noise assessment report.

People concerned about specific noise levels request sound level assessments. And if someone is concerned about a noise level. it does suggest that they already know the outcome.

In our experience, mitigation measures were always required after noise assessments. And it was a pleasure to provide the mitigation measures and put them in place.

We are an engineering company with acousticians and mechanical engineers. We address the source of the noise. As we have an appreciation of how the industrial equipment function, we can mitigate the source of the sound. How the noise emanates from the machines and equipment or plants.

It is our ability to dig deep, to find the source and mitigate the noise at its source.

BS4142 Case study

One of our projects this year involved that of noise and vibration - structure-borne sound. It was for planning application of a building modification.

Several flats were constructed above the ground floor of an existing building. And businesses occupied the ground floor. These businesses had auxiliary equipment. Which included industrial extractor fans, compressors and boilers. All installed at the rear of the premises. The council had a concern about the noise impacting on the future residents of the building.

At the request of the landlord, we performed a noise survey according to BS4142:2019. And reported on the impact on the future residents and proposed mitigation actions.

We provided the customer with a report of our findings. The noise levels, the impact thereof and the mitigation actions.

Our goal was to help the customer. And to provide the relevant data to the enforcement officer.

Through communications with all the parties involved, we succeeded in resolving the concerns. By suggesting cost-effective mitigation actions and putting them in place.

The mitigation measures included:

  • Replacement of the extractor fan with a lower sound level (49dB).

  • anti-vibration mounts for the compressor to isolate the compressor from building structure.

If you have any noise concerns, whether it's commercial, residential, environmental noise or anything else relating to noise - BS4142 or other standards, please get in touch. We can help you.