This post is another blatant attempt just to “get something up there” I’m afraid. But this time there are clicky links which may keep you entertained. There are lots of pretty exciting projects going on at the moment, so I thought I’d say a little bit about them!

Noise impact assessment: lots of work in the past couple of weeks on a site for Jarvis Homes which meant I spent the hottest day of the year sitting in my camp chair sunbathing.  No, wait…measuring noise. And sunbathing. A delightful change from freezing street corners in the middle of winter. Over 100 hours of data gathered and used to create a model in Soundplan which I then got a little carried away with, designing fantasy housing estate layouts and messing about with barriers. This means the poor client is receiving a 20 page report full of screenshots, but hopefully that will help to make the text clearer.

Sound insulation testing: normally a pretty routine task, but in this case I met Carol Jarvis who is an absolutely phenomenal trombone player. I felt a little embarrassed even telling her about my amateur efforts, but she and her housemate Mel were lovely, and gave me both cooling beer and a CD to take away. I doubt even if I practiced forever I could play like that, but it’s given me some motivation to try a bit harder. So look out Dobcross Brass Monkeys as I will be back with a venegance after the summer. Possibly playing a pink trombone.

Office design: One of my old projects is in the news too – until I left Capita earlier this year I led the acoustic design for Matalan’s new HQ in Knowsley. It’s quite nice to be able to talk about it now, as we had to use a code name and were sworn to secrecy on pain of death at the time…a good clean office design with the usual mixture of open plan and cellular space, and a triple height circulation atrium along the spine which along with the cafeteria were my major challenges. The ceiling is required to be open for ventilation, so getting sufficient absorption in to control the acoustic of the open plan offices was a good example of co-ordination and negotiation between me, the M&E consultant and the architect.


Environmental noise: Another scheme with Capita was the noise assessment for a quarry in Fife. I was subcontracted in for some number crunching, and to process a mountainous month’s worth of noise data, with audio. A very political project, and an excellent and well balanced report produced by Sue Parr.

Finishing up my report for the Mustard Tree  after my time this week lurking on nearby street corners, and will also be continuing the design work for Deansfield School over the weekend. That one has been exercising me, comparing and contrasting historical noise data to some quick measurements I grabbed last week, and again modelling in Soundplan to try to see how the massing of the new building will change things. I feel quite sad this will be the last Wolverhampton BSF school, as I’ve been involved since the sample schemes at Highfields & Penn and Kings and Tettenhall.

Incoming: Just been commissioned to do a survey in Burslem to consider noise from an existing pub on proposed housing across the road. There’s also a couple of projects in the Nottingham Creative Quarter which I hope to be able to talk more about soon, and the potential for a large housing development in Blackburn…watch this space. I’ve also contributed to a team bidding for work on Chester Theatre which would be an amazing scheme to work on so fingers crossed!

Where have all the consultants gone? Out on site and working hard!

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(Picture copyright Bennetts Associates Architects)