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Specialist Projects

Some of the projects we work on do not fit into sectors and stand alone as special projects. These are where acoustics can be applied to achieve specific outcomes, and the examples below show a sample of these from some of the headings, which include forensic acoustics, pyrotechnics noise, low-frequency environmental hums, Spaceport project (Cornwall) and more. We remain open to opportunities to find new ways to use what we know to assist clients in achieving their goals using acoustics. 

Forensic Acoustics

The sound of a gunshot or the intelligibility of a voice or shout is an area where acoustic reconstructions and detailed investigation, and the application of acoustic theory can add important details to cases. This is especially the case where witness testimonies include "ear witnesses" and a reference to sound. This may provide the certainty, or uncertainty, on which the weight of evidence may rely.

Acoustic Expert Peter Rogers being interviewed by BBC News about low-frequency hums.

Low-Frequency Hums

The sources of sound that contain low-frequency sound in the region of below 125Hz in our environments, can result in a disturbance which is difficult to locate and resolve. Investigation requires 'sound detective work' to get to the bottom of source identification, and using science makes this a matter of evidence and acoustic fingerprinting.

A number of stories recently in the press illustrate that these low-frequency noise complaints are not isolated cases, and prove difficult for Local Authorities to capture or to establish the weight of evidence necessary to take nuisance action. One such example, which features Sustainable Acoustics giving expert advice, can be seen below: 

For help as a community or an individual needing to seek evidence and potential solutions, we can assist.

Air Source Heat Pumps

Low-carbon energy solutions have led to a wave of Heat Pump installations beginning to replace boilers as part of the Government strategy to tackle climate change in the UK. (see BBC Article April 2021)Permitted Development Rights mean that these can currently be placed near to neighbours, with the potential to cause noise complaints.


Sustainable Acoustics have been involved in preparing practice guidance that has now been issued by the Institute of Acoustics and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. This can be found here and includes a calculation sheet to assist practitioners.

We have also been appointed in a collaboration with Apex Acoustic on a project for the Welsh Government to investigate the impact of noise and implications for Permitted Development rights as part of a Sustainable strategy. We will be reporting on this topic at the end of March 2023. If you are a Local Authority wishing to take continue reading below.  

We remain available for noise and soundscape assessments whether you are considering installing an Air Source or Ground Source Heat Pump, or where you are dealing with a technical review to protect your own health and well-being, or as part of larger developments to consider the cumulative impacts.  

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