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Assessing Lmax for residential developments: the proposed AVO Guide approach

At the IOA Spring Conference 2019 in Milton Keynes, Jack Harvie-Clark and Anthony Chilton (Max Fordham) jointly presented the paper that was written by Beth Paxton (Apex Acoustics), in collaboration with the presenters, David Trew (Bickerdike Allen), and Nick Conlan (Apex Acoustics). The paper is intended to give more background information to the assessment of Lmax that was proposed for inclusion in the AVO Guide at that time. The consultation of the draft AVO Guide revealed a preference for guidance on assessing Lmax.

The ANC Acoustics, Ventilation and Overheating Residential Design Guide includes a suggestion for the assessment of noise from events in terms of Lmax.  This includes consideration of what may constitute a LOAEL and a SOAEL for road traffic noise. This paper traces the path through the scientific literature and historic guidance that has been used to develop the proposed criteria.  The approach used for railway infrastructure developments, to evaluate the probability of additional noise-induced awakenings, is discussed with potential application to road traffic noise and found to be impractical.  An alternative approach to definition of the SOAEL based on an LAFmax threshold and the selection of a suitable design case LAFmax is presented, along with examples of selecting a suitable Lmax value from survey data to use as a design case.

It is hoped that the paper will help practitioners appreciate the background and historical development of criteria for assessing noise from events, the scientific literature – especially in the absence of criteria for noise from events in the WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region 2018.

Download full paper.

Download the presentation slides

Did the audience at the conference presentation want quantitative guidance in the AVO Guide? See the vote on Twitter here.

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