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Pol 05 Reduction of noise pollution

Number of credits available Minimum standards
1 No


To reduce the likelihood of noise arising from fixed installations on the new development affecting nearby noise-sensitive buildings.

Assessment criteria


The following is required to demonstrate compliance:

One credit

  1. Where there are, or will be, no noise-sensitive areas or buildings within 800m radius of the assessed site.


  1. Alternatively, where the building does have noise-sensitive areas or buildings within 800m radius of the site, one credit can be awarded as follows:
    1. Where a noise impact assessment in compliance with BS 74451BS 7445:1 Description and measurement of environmental noise, Part 1: Guide to quantities and procedures, British Standards Institute, 2003.BS 7445:2 Description and measurement of environmental noise, Part 2: Guide to the acquisition of data pertinent to land use, British Standards Institute, 1991.BS 7445:3 Description and measurement of environmental noise, Part 3: Guide to application to noise limits, British Standards Institute, 1991. has been carried out and the following noise levels measured/determined:
      1. Existing background noise levels at the nearest or most exposed noise-sensitive development to the proposed development or at a location where background conditions can be argued to be similar.
      2. The rating noise level resulting from the new noise source (see CN4).
  2. The noise impact assessment must be carried out by a suitably qualified acoustic consultant holding a recognised acoustic qualification and membership of an appropriate professional body (see Relevant definitions in the Additional information section).
  3. The noise level from the proposed site/building, as measured in the locality of the nearest or most exposed noise-sensitive development, is a difference no greater than +5dB during the day (07:00 to 23:00) and +3dB at night (23:00 to 07:00) compared to the background noise level.
  4. Where the noise source(s) from the proposed site/building is greater than the levels described in criterion 4, measures have been installed to attenuate the noise at its source to a level where it will comply with criterion 4.

Checklists and tables


Compliance notes




Shell and core


Applicable assessment criteria

Option 1 – Shell only: This issue is not applicable.

Option 2 – Shell and Core: All criteria relevant to the building type and function apply.

Refer to Appendix D – BREEAM UK New Construction and Shell and Core Project Assessments for a more detailed description of the above shell and core assessment options.

Simple buildings


Applicable assessment criteria This issue is not applicable.


Attenuating noise at its source

See criteria 4 and 5.

BS 8233:19992BS 8233 Sound insulation and noise reduction for buildings, Code of practice, British Standards Institute, 1999. gives recommendations for the control of noise in and around buildings. Confirming the specification of attenuation measures in accordance with this Code of Practice can be used as a method of demonstrating compliance with criterion 4.


Compliance at the design stage

See criterion 2.

At the design stage of assessment, where noise-sensitive areas or buildings are present, actual measurement is unlikely to be possible due to the planned but non-existent installation. In such situations compliance can be demonstrated through the use of acousticians’ calculations or by scale model investigations. For such cases BS 7445-2 states that 'as universally agreed prediction models do not exist, the method adopted should be carefully described in the acoustician’s report' and that 'when available, prediction models accepted by relevant authorities should be used'.

Where prediction through these methods is not possible, measurement will be necessary using either a noise source similar to that proposed or, alternatively, measurement of the actual noise from the installation (once installed); compliance with the latter approach requires a written commitment to appoint a suitably qualified acoustician to carry out the required measurements post-installation, and a further commitment to attenuate the noise source in compliance with criteria 4 and 5 of BREEAM (if proved necessary by the measurements).


Untreated buildings This assessment issue does not apply to buildings designed to be untreated, i.e. where internal spaces will not be serviced by heating, ventilation or air-conditioning systems and therefore have no noise generating plant. Examples of such building types could include industrial warehouse storage.




Criteria Interim design stage
Final post construction stage

One or more of the appropriate evidence types listed in The BREEAM evidential requirements section can be used to demonstrate compliance with these criteria.

Additional information

Relevant definitions

Noise-sensitive area
Landscapes or buildings where the occupiers are likely to be sensitive to noise created by the new plant installed in the assessed building, including:
  1. Residential areas
  2. Hospitals, health centres, care homes, doctor’s surgeries etc.
  3. Schools, colleges and other teaching establishments
  4. Libraries
  5. Places of worship
  6. Wildlife areas, historic landscapes, parks and gardens
  7. Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or near a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
  8. Any other development that can be considered noise-sensitive.
Suitably qualified acoustician
An individual who holds a recognised acoustic qualification and membership of an appropriate professional body. The primary professional body for acousticians in the UK is the Institute of Acoustics.

Other information


BREEAM UK New Construction non-domestic buildings technical manual 2014
Reference: SD5076 – Issue: 5.0
Date: 23/08/2016
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