by | Apr 18, 2024 | Glossary | 0 comments

The Importance of Noise Control

Building Compliance Testing – Your Building Compliance Partner


IANL is defined as Internal Ambient Noise Limit.

In the bustling world we live in, noise is an omnipresent element. However, when it comes to the sanctity of our living and working spaces, controlling ambient noise becomes crucial. For developers, architects, and builders, adhering to internal ambient noise limits is not just about compliance; it’s about enhancing the quality of life for occupants.


What Are Internal Ambient Noise Limits?

Internal ambient noise limits refer to the maximum allowable levels of background noise within a building. These limits are essential for ensuring comfort and are determined by various factors, including the building’s purpose and location. For instance, residential areas have stricter noise limits compared to commercial zones.


Setting the Standard

The Association of Noise Consultants provides comprehensive guidelines for measuring sound levels in buildings1. These guidelines cover sound pressure levels from all sources and propose methods suitable for different measurement tasks. It’s important for consultants to have the appropriate skills and knowledge to apply these methods effectively.

BREEAM Requirements

BREEAM, which stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, is a leading global sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure, and buildings. It sets out a range of criteria including acoustic performance, which encompasses internal ambient noise levels.

For indoor ambient noise levels, BREEAM requires an assessment by a Suitably Qualified Acoustician (SQA) to ensure that the building’s external fabric and any external factors do not adversely affect the indoor ambient noise levels1. The focus is on the acoustic performance of the external building fabric, which is outside the control of the tenant. This assessment is crucial for developments where the layout is unknown, and the acoustician must base their assessment on the most sensitive room type likely to be present in the building2.

School BB93 Requirements

Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) is the standard for acoustic design in schools in the UK. It sets out minimum performance standards for the acoustics of school buildings and is used to demonstrate compliance with the Building Regulations.

BB93 specifies that the internal ambient noise limit in teaching rooms from non-school related activity should be 35 dB LAeq,30minFor new build schools, the upper limit target is 40 dB LAeq,30min, and for refurbishments, it’s 45 dB LAeq,30min3Classrooms designed specifically for use by hearing impaired students, including speech therapy rooms, have a stricter limit of 30dBA LAeq,30min4.

These standards are essential to ensure that the learning environment is conducive to both teaching and learning, providing a space where students can concentrate without the distraction of excessive noise.


Compliance with Regulations

Building Compliance Testing Limited ensures that structures meet the required airborne and impact noise insulation levels, often achieved using robust details. For internal walls, a minimum airborne sound insulation level of Rw 40 dB is required2. This standard applies to walls between bedrooms and other rooms, as well as between bathrooms and other rooms, excluding those with doors.


Day-time and Night-time Variations

Ambient noise limits vary depending on the time of day. During daytime, an internal noise level of 35 dB LAeq,T is appropriate for resting conditions within living rooms and bedrooms, while a level of 40 dB LAeq,T is applicable to dining rooms3At night, the recommended internal noise level within bedrooms drops to 30 dB LAeq,T4.


The Role of Building Compliance Testing

At Building Compliance Testing Limited, we specialise in ensuring that buildings not only meet the regulatory requirements but also provide a comfortable acoustic environment for occupants. Our team of experts conducts thorough testing and provides solutions to meet the stringent standards of internal ambient noise limits.



Adhering to internal ambient noise limits is a critical aspect of building compliance. It’s not just about following the law; it’s about creating spaces where people can live, work, and relax without the intrusion of unwanted noise. Building Compliance Testing Limited is committed to delivering excellence in this field, ensuring that every project we undertake meets the highest standards of acoustic comfort.


Let Us Be Your Building Compliance Partner

Contact Us for Internal Ambient Noise Limits

If you are interested in the services of Building Compliance Testing, then we highly recommend getting in contact with us by filling out an enquiry form on our website! Or if you prefer to, you can instead phone us on this number: 01621 493 594 or email us on this address: contact@buildingcompliancetesting.com

We look forward to working with you!