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Dennis Flower looks at the importance of noise in mixed-use buildings

There have been many comments on the increasingly frequent introduction of mixed-use facilities around the UK in recent years, many of which incorporate commercial, residential and leisure within the same or adjacent buildings.

We’ve covered this topic before on The Hub as part of ongoing changes to the High Street, which can also see former offices converted to apartments.

While these require those charged with managing all aspects of the facilities in question to add to their list of skills – particularly those who have previously specialised in just one of the various categories – there are both further considerations and opportunities to consider.

Keep the noise down

One of these is the need to address existing or future noise issues, which can include a aspects such as the number of building users and their need to complete specific tasks – some of which may result in the creation of high levels of noise.

Considerations on noise can also affect the type of HVAC equipment involved and where this is sited, to avoid having to address this at a later date in order to appease the building users or nearby neighbours.

This will, of course, require extra homework when sourcing equipment, either to find plant with the lowest levels or to decide where additional fittings, such as noise attenuators, etc, need to be installed.

Making the business case

Although these actions will often result in extra time, effort and expense for the facility manager and business, it should be a relatively simple task to establish a business case to justify these efforts, particularly when considering the potential disruption that can then be avoided in dealing with complaints and installing noise reduction equipment retrospectively.

With wellbeing continuing as an important topic for a growing number of organisations, avoiding issues related to excessive noise could well be another step in delivering this for all building users and close neighbours.

Dennis Flower is editor of Premises & Facilities Management