iAcoustics were engaged by Brock McClure Planning Consultants to prepare a Noise Impact Assessment in light of a
request for further information by the planning authority as related to a proposed gymnasium in Greystones, Co Wicklow with potential gym noise being a factor. Nikafit Studios are now up and running at the meridian Centre in Greystones!
The R.F.I. sought information about the potential noise impacts on nearby noise-sensitive commercial & residential properties, including a dentistry practice and an adjacent performance Theatre. The Planning Authority were also interested in identifying the key noise sources attributable to the normal operation of the gymnasium, and for the client to demonstrate how any potential noise impacts of these sources can be managed/controlled to ensure minimal likelihood of adverse impacts.
iAcoustics engaged in an immediate start upon our initial engagement, and attended the site in order to carry out a baseline noise survey. We measured the average sound pressure level, and utilised other measurement parameters to determine the extent by which road traffic noise impacted in the prevailing noise environment.
Next, in order to establish the key noise sources and to anticipate the likely noise levels arising from the proposed development, iAcoustics attended another local Nikafit premises during a busy evening class in Kilcoole which was similar in scale, setup and occupancy. A representative internal noise level during a typical class was established at this reference location.
iAcoustics then undertook a detailed site survey and desktop analysis of the subject site in order to determine the likely levels of sound insulation afforded by the existing building envelope to ensure no breakout of gym noise. The subject site shares a common boundary with the Whale Theatre in Greystones; background noise levels in theatre settings need to be very low, sudden noises can negatively impact moments of suspense during theatrical performances. iAcoustics needed to carry out a detailed spectral analysis based on the anticipated noise levels inside the development, the sound insulation of the separating walls, and the required levels inside the theatre. We are able to determine that noises generated within the gymnasium would be inaudible to individuals situated in the theatre.
An obvious concern with gymnasiums is the impact of amplified music. We made it clear in our report that consideration must be given to the fact that Nikafit offer personal training on a one-to-one or small group basis. Loud, intrusive music would hinder the instructors’ ability to deliver clear instructions to the group, negatively impacting speech intelligibility; it would be simply incompatible with the Nikafit business model. We observed this at the reference premises in Kilcoole. The gym also utilises a highly effective sound system which allows speakers around the premises to be individually controlled, meaning the music could be played only in areas where it was needed, and reduced or turned off completely in areas where it is not, therefore minimising noise generation.
With regards to noise emissions to the immediate environment through the glazed façade, noise prediction models were developed for a number of noise sensitive receptors. Starting with the anticipated noise level inside, this noise level incurs losses due to the solid glazed façade, and through propagation over distance. iAcoustics demonstrated to the planning authority that the noise level contribution from the gymnasium at each noise sensitive receptor would be insignificant when compared to the prevailing noise climate, therefore the likelihood of adverse impact could be considered very low during the normal operation of the development.