BS 8233:2014 came into effect in February of this year, replacing the 1999 document. Local planning authorities reference BS 8233 in assessing noise levels affecting a site in terms of the required building envelope, external glazing and ventilation strategies. The 2014 document brings design criteria more into line with World Health Organisation Guidance, another document referenced by local authorities in assessing noise impact.
BS 8233:1999 provided ‘good’ and ‘reasonable’ design criteria; generally it was seen that local authorities required on-paper compliance with the ‘good’ standard at the planning stage. The 2014 document has single target values, with the addition of Dining room to the original Living Room and Bedroom criteria, as follows (reproduced from BS 8233:2014):
The new criterion for Living Rooms falls between the ‘good’ and ‘reasonable’ standard detailed in the 1999 document and as such would be a relaxation of targets.
The criteria for bedrooms remains unchanged, however the requirement that LAFMax values should not regularly exceed 45dBA has been removed. This would be seen as a relaxation of the criteria, however the document provides a caveat as follows:
‘Regular individual noise events (for example, scheduled aircraft or passing trains) can cause sleep disturbance. A guideline value may be set in terms of SEL or LAmax,P depending on the character and number of events per night.’
This caveat would allow local authorities to retain some power in requiring that buildings be specified based on Max levels affecting a site.