Environmental Noise Assessment and Design of Solutions
We are recognised nationally as specialists in the field of noise and acoustics and as such our staff have extensive experience in solving noise problems and providing detailed designs that are achieving a great degree of success. Benbow Environmental is also a member of the Association of Australian Acoustical Consultants (AAAC) which allows our company to benchmark the latest procedures and technology used for noise impact assessment.
We have a comprehensive range of noise instruments, including data loggers (class 1 & 2), class 1 sound level meters and sound intensity analysers. This combined with our knowledge of modelling programs including Concawe, Soundplan, ENM and TNOISE, enable us to solve all your noise matters from straightforward noise monitoring or compliance testing, to more detailed projects to assist with regulatory approvals. Benbow Environmental can also specify appropriate control measures, design of solutions and noise management plans where required.
Benbow Environmental is also able to provide advice with a great degree of expertise in road design. From the preliminary phase of assessing the existing ambient noise, to the most efficient and cost-effective noise mitigation measures of the final design.
We provide broad range of services in architectural and building acoustics including noise assessments subject to council approval (Development Application & Construction Certificate) to meet relevant Australian Standards and Councils' requirements. Benbow Environmental has more than 20 years of experience in different areas as described below. Our level of success is recognised by a large number of councils throughout New South Wales and interstate.
- Traffic and aircraft noise intrusion studies for residential and commercial developments
- Detailed acoustic design for proposed developments to meet BCA and other relevant requirements
- Advice on noise issues for residential and commercial buildings including sound insulation and noise control measures
- Conducting acoustic tests
Some of the areas Benbow Environmental have worked on are listed below
- Helicopter landing sites and other aircraft noise
- Traffic and heavy truck noise studies, traffic management plans, truck noise management
- Motorsports – Wakefield Park, Canberra International dragway, Dubbo International dragway, Dubbo dragstrip
- Design of industrial plants for operation 24 hours a day – Visy Botany, WSN Chullora, Aeropack Fairfield, Ingal Civil Products Minto, Visy Smithfield, Hyne Timber at Tumbarumba, Visy Tumut
- Music venues and festivals – Cockatoo Island Festival, Bondi Beach New Years Eve festival (featuring Fat Boy Slim)
- Compliance testing – Visy Smithfield, EDL Appin and Tower, Allied Mills Tamworth
- DEC and council approvals – Numerous residential buildings developments throughout Sydney
- Community consultation, including televised public meetings
Latest Newsletter Article Related to Noise and Acoustics
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Noise Model Calibration - February 2010
Just as all instrumentation needs to be calibrated to give realistic results, so does a noise model.
Digital computers are used almost exclusively to model noise emissions and propagation. As with all models, the quality is dependent on GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out).
Noise models use fundamental physics mimicked by mathematical algorithms to accurately simulate noise emission and propagation. There must be a translation between a noise source, be it a single source or an entire industrial complex, and a mathematical description of the noise emission, its propagation characteristics and any intervening objects and landforms between the source and any noise receivers.
Modern noise models assist in this, but a great deal of knowledge and experience goes into setting up a good noise model. Since you, the client, cannot wait an eternity for an answer, rules of thumb are often applied to simplify the model.
While the rules of thumb are well tried and tested, it is always wise to test the noise model, including the simplifying rules of thumb and assumptions, against a known reality. This testing of the noise model is called calibrating the model.
Calibrating the model is often done by measuring “reference” points on-site, free from other external noises. The model is run to predict the noise level at these reference points. The measured and predicted noise levels are compared and should agree. If the model calibrates well, it can then be used to predict noise levels at other locations with confidence.
If the model does not calibrate well, there are two courses of action based on personality. The budding young megalomaniac will try to alter reality to suit their noise model. The wiser amongst us will test the model’s inputs for errors and then test for poorly applied rules of thumb and assumptions, only then will we try to suit reality to suit our noise model.
Traps for young players (Common errors found through calibrating the model):
- Incorrect data entry - elevation lines, source/receiver heights etc
- Heights being defined relative to ground when they should be absolute or vice versa
- Sound power levels incorrectly chosen
- Heights of walls/noise barriers etc not uniform
- Poor assumption made in calculations
- Poor monitoring techniques
The importance of calibrating the model is seen by looking at the common errors identified through calibartion.