The go to approach for a noise assessment is to keep windows closed to ensure internal noise levels meet British Standards. However, openable windows are encouraged by the GLA to reduce and mitigate overheating risks to CIBSE levels set out in TM59.
Without careful consideration this presents an inherent conflict with residents left to choose between uncomfortable noise levels and uncomfortable living temperatures. The ANC’s Acoustic, Ventilation and Overheating Design Guide attempts to bridge this conflict with pragmatic advise on window opening schedules and risk factors to noise levels.
To ensure noise and overheating levels are kept to a minimum we believe the answer lies at concept design stage where decisions on the orientation of the building and the overall look of the building are considered. This is when it can be considered what design solutions would create for comfortable living environments, this might include living areas being located away from noise sources and external shading included in the overall look of the building. This would all help towards residents to be able to naturally cool their homes without being exposed to high noise levels.
We are continuingly looking at the bigger picture to ensure an optimised design has been created to provide the best possible living environment.