Sandy Brown provides advice on acoustics, noise and vibration control. We are widely recognised as experts in building acoustics, studio acoustics and auditoria acoustic design but our extensive portfolio encompasses over 8,000 projects spanning a number of sectors.
Whether advising independently as acoustic consultants or as part of a multi-disciplinary design team, we formulate innovative yet practical and cost-effective solutions to suit the design objectives of each individual project.
Since we were founded in 1969 we have built a reputation for excellence. We have pioneered the development of building acoustics and are recognised for providing the highest standards of service and advice on projects across the world.
We regularly work with leading international and local architects and developers. Our case studies provide more details on how we have helped a number of prestigious developments.
We advise on all aspects of architectural acoustics including design, measurement, specification, simulation and the testing of materials, construction and designs
We advise on all aspects of architectural acoustics, including:
- Room Acoustics
- Acoustic Quality
- Reverberation Control
- Airborne and Impact Sound Insulation
- Surface Finish Treatment and Facade Sound Insulation
We also offer advice on maintaining privacy and confidentiality using sound masking techniques.
Our services in architectural acoustics cover:
- Specification Simulation
- Testing of Materials, Construction and Designs.
We keep abreast of emerging technology and are interested in efficient and sustainable design solutions that are robust and cost effective.
We provide advice on all environmental noise issues, including measurement and assessment of transportation noise sources such as roads, railways and aircraft
We provide advice on all aspects of environmental noise, including measurement and assessment of transportation noise sources such as roads, railways and aircraft. This advice includes the control of mechanical equipment noise to neighbours and the assessment of construction and demolition noise. We also provide Environmental Statements and Environmental Impact Assessments and have advised on a variety of different noise sources including pubs, clubs, windfarms, football crowd roar, sports facilities and factories.
The creation of soundscapes and the use of effective acoustic design to manage noise and use sound as a positive feature is another area of importance for Sandy Brown.
We advise on all aspects of building services noise including siting of central plant zones and providing strategic advice in relation to main items of plant, plant room constructions and noise to atmosphere
Building Services Noise
We advise on all aspects of building services noise. This includes siting of central plant zones and providing strategic advice in relation to main items of plant, plant room constructions and noise to atmosphere.
We also advise on the control of noise in air conditioning systems, including:
- Assessment of duct borne noise
- Duct breakout noise
- Airflow velocity generated noise, noise from room units such as fan coil units (FCUs) and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR)
- Self generated noise
- Water and plumbing noise
The services we provide cover design, measurement, specification, simulation and testing of mechanical services equipment and products. We work closely with manufacturers in developing low noise products and have carried out extensive investigation of noise from MVHR systems and FCUs.
We use state of the art acoustic modelling software to assist in the design process, including a number of bespoke programs that have been developed in-house.
Acoustic Modelling and Simulation
Acoustic modelling is an important tool that we regularly use to help our clients understand acoustic concepts.
We use state of the art software to carry out a variety of acoustic modelling and simulation. In addition, we have both permanent and portable simulation set ups for ambisonic and binaural simulations to provide a more immersive demonstration of reverberation, sound insulation, acoustic quality, environmental noise and ground borne noise.
We have a variety of acoustic utility programs that we regularly use as part of the design process including a number of bespoke programs that have been developed in-house, such as ACS.
Our suite of software packages includes:
- ODEON and CATT – for room acoustics and auralisation
- INSUL – for airborne and impact sound insulation
- Zorba – sound absorption prediction
- BASTIAN – for the prediction of flanking sound.
We also model environmental noise from transportation sources and construction sites using CadnaA software to produce 3D noise distributions over facade elevations and ground level noise contours.
To model noise and vibration propagation, including pipe-in-pipe and Transient Statistical Energy Analysis, software that has been specially developed in-house allows us to continually update and enhance our techniques.
With all modelling, validation against real situations is essential and we are constantly looking to verify, improve and refine our modelling techniques.
Our services include advice on the control of vibration and ground-borne noise from railways, light rail, underground trains and include the subjective effects of vibration
Our services include advice on the control of vibration and ground-borne noise from railways, light rail, underground trains and include the subjective effects of vibration.
We have state of the art equipment to record, measure and analyse vibration and are able to assess building elements such as floors to determine the response to vibration from pedestrian activities or from special activities – such as in dance studios or gyms. We also advise on structural isolation using elastomers and springs to control transfer of vibration.
For mechanical equipment, we can provide recommendations on controlling vibration at source or provide solutions to protect sensitive equipment for low vibration applications. We also advise on the vibration impact of construction and demolition works for nuisance and potential building damage.
We have a wide range of instrumentation for measuring noise and vibration
Measurement and Testing
We are an accredited ADE2003 testing organisation under the Association of Noise Consultants (ANC) scheme. As such, we carry out airborne and impact sound insulation testing to demonstrate compliance with approved document E of the Building Regulations, Section 5 of Building (Scotland) Regulations, Building Bulletin 93 for schools and perform BREEAM testing. We are also qualified for the assessment of credits under the Home Quality Mark scheme.
We regularly arrange site, factory, mock-up and laboratory noise and vibration testing in accordance with appropriate standards.
We have extensive instrumentation that has traceable calibration, which includes:
- Sound level meters with audio recording for a variety of sound measurements
- Loudspeakers and tapping machines for airborne and impact sound insulation testing
- Data logging sound level meters with alert capability for environmental noise measurement and management
- All weather microphones and meters for long-term unattended measurements
- Speech intelligibility sound analysers assessments including STI and STIPA
- Tri-axial data logging and vibration meters with alert capability for construction monitoring
- Tri-axial vibration recorders with PC based signal analysis software Sound field microphone and four channel audio recorders for ambisonic audio recording.
We provide expert advice and evidence in planning inquiries, licensing hearings and noise nuisance cases. We have represented clients in all aspects of noise and vibration matters.
Legal and Planning
We provide expert advice and provide evidence in planning inquiries, licensing hearings and noise nuisance cases. We have represented clients in all aspects of noise and vibration matters.
Our experience includes providing expert evidence before Select Committees of the House of Commons and the House of Lords on transportation noise.
It is important to us that our acoustic design advice forms part of a wider sustainable agenda. We integrate our advice with green building design and provide advice on achieving BREEAM excellent or outstanding and LEED platinum ratings
Sustainable Building Design
It is important to us that our acoustic design advice forms part of a wider sustainable agenda. We integrate our advice with green building design and provide advice on achieving BREEAM excellent or outstanding and LEED platinum ratings.
In relation to acoustics, sustainable design covers assessment of natural ventilation, use of thermal mass, use of sustainable materials such as cross laminated timber and the need to rationalise acceptable noise levels with temperature control in dwellings.
Key considerations in the design process are:
- Alternative plant options to reduce plant noise and increase energy efficiency
- Alternative room units and the need for balance between noise reduction and sound masking
- Good aerodynamic design, achieving lower velocities
- Use of high quality fans with variable speed controllers
- Use of combined heating and power (CHP)
- Specification of products that embody energy efficiency Setting design targets that are appropriate to energy efficiency
We advise on the design, specification and commissioning of sound systems for a range of applications
Sound System Design
We advise on the design, specification and commissioning of sound systems for a range of applications, including:
- Speech reinforcement
- Musical performance
- Voice alarm and sound systems for emergency purposes
- Paging and public address
- Background music
- Soundscapes and ambient effects.
There is often a delicate balance to be found between sound system technology and architectural considerations. Sandy Brown offer an integrated approach to sound system and building acoustics design, utilising state-of-the-art acoustic modelling tools. We pride ourselves on developing solutions with sensitivity to each venue’s unique architecture.
Our team keep abreast of the latest technological innovations such as emerging techniques in immersive audio and have helped to revolutionise the audio experience in prestigious venues including London’s Royal Albert Hall.