Starring role in new TV documentary

A new documentary has been screened with one of our projects playing a starring role. The music centre at King’s College School Wimbledon was designed by Hopkins Architects and is the subject of a Sky Arts programme, first broadcast on 23 February 2021. Adrian James Acoustics Associates Andrew Oldridge and Ian Rees worked alongside principal … Read more

More diplomas

We are delighted to announce that three of our staff have recently been awarded the internationally-recognised Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control from the Institute of Acoustics. George Moore, Martyn Broom and Pete Erskine have all spent the last year studying for the award. All three consultants already hold graduate degrees, so these latest diplomas … Read more

What is a PCT?

If the initials PCT spell confusion to you, we can answer the most common questions about this important regulation. What is a PCT? A Pre-Completion Test (PCT) is a requirement under Part E of the government’s Building Regulations.  Also known as a sound insulation test, the aim is to ensure reasonable standards of sound insulation … Read more

Better classroom design

Many parents are grappling with home schooling at present, but sooner or later children will be back at school. Perhaps now is the time to look to the future and reflect on better acoustic design for classrooms – in particular spaces well suited to pupils with special educational needs. SEND According to published lists, over … Read more

Free CPD: now available

We are pleased to announce our friends at Ecophon UK recently released an excellent new CPD resource. Created by Ecophon’s Concept Developer for Education Shane Cryer, it’s an ideal solution for architects and other professionals who need to keep up with their CPD whilst working from home. The 25-minutes online video seminar is entitled “Designing … Read more

What is SCReAM?

A groundbreaking new research project has recently been announced. Known as SCReAM, it comes from Enzo de Sena – Assistant Professor in Audio at the University of Surrey’s Institute of Sound Recording. Partnering the project are market-leading consumer electronics company Sonos and computer games innovator Electronic Arts. Adrian James Acoustics and Audio Software Development Limited … Read more

SEND Tribunals

If your child has a hearing impairment, how do you choose the right school? Sometimes the local authority will disagree over the pupil’s needs and the fees payable at a specialist school. In such cases, parents can appeal to a Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal, and it’s here that we are often called … Read more

Choosing AV Systems

Theatres, concert halls and school music departments all deserve the best possible AV design within available budgets. With a myriad of equipment available, it is difficult and time-consuming to find the right solution. Getting independent advice can result in a smoother ride for the project as well as savings down the line. At Adrian James … Read more

Rackheath Masterplan

The village of Rackheath lies to the north of Norwich and is part of Broadland District Council’s “growth triangle”. In 2009 it was identified as one of a dozen proposed sites to create new carbon-neutral eco-communities. The government subsequently withdrew this particular programme, but in 2016 a new masterplan was published. The three interested parties … Read more

Hospice acoustics

“We’ve received numerous comments from visitors that they are gobsmacked by how well designed the new building is.” This remark came from Steve Smith, CEO of Havens Hospices, upon completion of the Fair Havens Hospice in Southend-on-Sea. The architects behind Fair Havens were LSI – a practice renowned for its award-winning design of the Arthur … Read more

Outdoor cinema

A side effect of coronavirus has been a huge change in how we enjoy our entertainment. The hospitality industry has been creative in its response and as restrictions have eased, there has been a rise in outdoor events. Throughout the UK, drive-ins have made a comeback and outdoor screens are seeing a surge in demand. … Read more

Hot off the press

A new authoratitive text book has just been published featuring a chapter by our Director, Adrian James. Entitled “Uncertainty in Acoustics: Measurement, Prediction and Assessment”, this scholarly publication is aimed at acoustic specialists, mechanical and building service engineers, environmental health officers, architects and building professionals. The book was compiled and edited by the late Bob … Read more

SEN and the Wherry School

Summer is upon us and teachers are planning for September, when all pupils will be leaving the virtual classroom behind and returning to their schools. For many education establishments, including the Wherry School in Norwich, they have continued to nurture their special educational needs students throughout the lockdown. Opened in 2017, the Wherry School was … Read more

Healthy acoustics

Can good acoustics really contribute to better health? Although a significant proportion of our business is devoted to educational and environmental work, we believe our work in the healthcare sector is equally important. Good acoustic design is vital in healthcare buildings, and we are proud to have been involved in projects ranging from small doctors’ … Read more

Inspired by a Spitfire

The Isle of Sheppey is known as the UK’s cradle of aviation. A few years after Orville and Wilbur Wright made their historic inaugural biplane flight in North Carolina, the brothers visited Sheppey. Balloon manufacturing was already well established in the area, but aeroplane construction soon took over. By the Second World War, the local … Read more

Residents and Festivals

King’s Lynn is a typical North Norfolk market town. For over 500 years the Tuesday Market Place has been its trading centre. This site also serves as a car park and for three weekends every year hosts the spectacular Festival Too music festival. Large crowds flock to the Market Place to hear a wide variety … Read more

Victorian school acoustics

Fingringhoe C of E Primary School in Colchester is typical of many schools built in the Victorian era. During its 150 year history the school has undergone a number of changes to its physical fabric. More recently, environmental conditions within classrooms have also come under scrutiny. The groundbreaking Essex Study into school acoustics pointed to … Read more

Blackhorse Mills

Blackhorse Mills is a new flagship development overlooking the scenic Walthamstow Wetlands. Comprising 479 homes, 11 commercial units and community spaces, it includes a gym, sun lounge area, outdoor pool and private dining rooms. Developed by Legal and General, it has become the first build-to-rent scheme to achieve the prestigious new Home Quality Mark. This … Read more

Central Surgery Sawbridgeworth

We are pleased to announce the completion of the Central Surgery, Sawbridgeworth. This general practice based in Hertfordshire has undergone significant expansion since 2017. The biggest changes have come with the construction of a brand new two-storey extension to the existing building. This provides nine new consulting rooms and two rooms for minor operations. There … Read more

Dragon Hall

Dragon Hall is one of Norwich’s finest medieval buildings, built between 1427 and 1430. It is thought to be unique in Europe as the only trading hall to have been owned by one man – entrepreneur Robert Toppes. The hall fell into decline after Toppes’ death, but it was magnificently restored in the 20th century. … Read more

Coronavirus and business continuity

In the context of the Coronavirus pandemic, please be assured that we are currently operating our business as usual, albeit with a few changes. Naturally, our most important concern is the health and wellbeing of our staff, clients and colleagues. We are carefully following safeguarding measures and government advice, and staff are currently working from … Read more

Lincoln College apartments

120-121 High Street, Oxford is a neo-Gothic listed building in the heart of the city. During the nineteenth century it was home to businesses such as a saddler’s, a bootmaker’s store and “James Russell’s Pianoforte Saloon”. It was also the location of Oxford’s first ever bank, with various banks occupying the building for over 150 … Read more

Cinema City – a medieval gem

You may not expect to watch the latest Oscar-winning film in a medieval merchant’s house, but the success of Norwich’s Cinema City is a tribute to how the city keeps its history alive. The building known as Suckling House was named after the family who owned it in the sixteenth century. With some areas dating … Read more

Gresham’s School Dyson Building

The Dyson Building is an educational centre for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) which is to be built at Gresham’s School in Norfolk. Former Gresham’s student Sir James Dyson has donated £19 million to create this prestigious new establishment with Wilkinson Eyre architects, winners of the Stirling Prize and Lubetkin Prize.  The new Building will stand alongside Greshams’ recently-opened Britten … Read more

Adrian James Acoustics and BB93

Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) is a set of guidelines first published by the Department for Education in 2003. It was last updated in 2015. The document sets out minimum performance standards for the acoustics of school buildings. Company director Adrian James was one of the two original authors of BB93. As a recognised expert he … Read more

Welcome to Gary Percival

Adrian James Acoustics is pleased to introduce the newest member of our team – Gary Percival. Gary has over 10 years experience within the field of acoustics, having graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2009 with a First Class Honours degree in Audio and Music Technology. Having started his career as a sound insulation test … Read more

St George’s Hall

St George’s Hall, Liverpool is a magnificent Grade I listed building dating from 1854. It stands next to a smaller Concert Room which was opened two years later. Located on Lime Street in the city centre, this area is part of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site. The Hall was described by Nikolaus Pevsner as one of … Read more

Barbirolli Room

Tucked away over a thirteenth-century gateway and at the top of two steep flights of stairs lies an old music room. Part of the Norwich School music facilities, the Barbirolli Room is located opposite Norwich Cathedral in the historic Cathedral Close area of the city. The space is surprisingly imposing, with thick stone walls, leaded … Read more

Diamond Light Source

Diamond Light Source is a national facility located in Oxfordshire. It is the home of a synchrotron – a huge particle accelerator which produces beams of intense light 10 billion times brighter than the sun. This is achieved by firing electrons round a large ring and syphoning off the results into adjacent laboratories. Readings can … Read more

Pete and The Wonder

Pete Erskine is one of our Acoustics & Theatre Consultants, with many years experience of audio production. He also plays a key role in managing the sound system at one of Norwich’s largest churches. Soul Church is a prominent evangelical church. Following a fire in 2006 at a previous site, the church relocated to a … Read more

Unsung hero

With Christmas approaching, we enjoyed seeing this new video which dropped into our inbox recently. Written and produced by Chris Cryer, it comes from the Amsterdam office of the brilliantly creative advertising agency Wieden and Kennedy Chris is the son of Shane Cryer, our principal contact at Ecophon acoustic products, and an old friend of … Read more

Hammerton Court Dementia Intensive Care Unit

Hammerton Court is an outstanding dementia care unit built adjacent to the Julian Hospital in Norwich. Architects Ingleton Wood appointed Adrian James Acoustics to carry out a comprehensive acoustic assessment of the scheme. The design is based around three attractive courtyards, with 36 bedrooms, a coffee shop and lounge areas offering a long term home … Read more

The Atrium, North Walsham

The Atrium is a government-funded “co-location” project to improve arts facilities for students during school hours, along with making these amenities available for use by the wider community at other times. The project transformed an existing site at North Walsham High School by adding a new space, including a 170-seat auditorium. This cinema / theatre … Read more

Chichester Cathedral

There is a particular challenge in working with sound in an ancient building. When that building is Chichester Cathedral – famous for its 277-foot spire, double aisles and unique free-standing bell tower – it is essential that the job is done well. In 2004 Adrian James Acoustics was appointed to design and commission a new … Read more

Into Opera

The inaugural Norfolk Into Opera Festival has recently taken place, and Adrian James Acoustics was delighted to be one of the festival’s sponsors. Three operatic performances and a gala concert were staged in the Octagon Barn, just a stone’s throw from the AJA office. For a few days, this remarkable venue was transformed into an … Read more

Update: Our sponsored orangutan

We have been sponsoring Bidu Bidu the orangutan for a while, through the work of the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Borneo. Now, following years of support he has recovered so well that he has been returned to his natural environment.  With Bidu Bidu’s rehabilitation, we are pleased to announce our support of another orangutan … Read more

Mat’s exotic pets

Outside the office, one of AJA’s staff has a rather exotic taste in pets. Senior Acoustics Consultant Mat Tuora has always loved animals, and has built up a small menagerie since being given a pair of bearded dragons as a teenager. He and his partner Tasha may appreciate conventional pets, but they also enjoy caring … Read more

Two Awards for AJA

The Association of Noise Consultants has just announced its annual awards for the very best in the field of acoustics, and this year Adrian James Acoustics is delighted to have won two prestigious accolades. Manchester’s Crowne Plaza Hotel was the venue for the ceremony, rounding off a day devoted to conference meetings and presentations.  At the evening … Read more

Hampton School Sixth Form Centre

Hampton School was founded in 1557 and lies close to one of England’s greatest historical sites – Hampton Court Palace, residence of Henry VIII.  When the school decided to build a new Sixth Form Centre they needed something ready for the demands of the 21st century.  Now that this project is almost complete, we look … Read more

Pipers Corner

Pipers Corner School for girls is nestled in a rural setting overlooking High Wycombe. When the decision was taken to build a new Performing Arts Centre, we were called in to provide both acoustic consultancy and as theatre consultants. The aim was to create a theatre, dance studio and rehearsal rooms as well as a … Read more

Turbine Testing

An increasing demand for renewable energy and rising fuel costs has led to more micro turbines in locations such as farms. However, although the noise generated by such machines may differ from that produced by large industrial farms, there is still a need to assess their impact on the environment. Principal Acoustics Consultant Ian Rees … Read more

CadnaA Software

The use of industry-leading specialist software is a key element in our success. Adrian James Acoustics invests heavily in software and hardware in order to ensure we can offer an outstanding service. Our team of experts use such predictive technology to offer a comprehensive solution to customer demands, building on our wealth of experience and … Read more

Awards Season on the horizon

Summer has officially arrived, so the awards season is upon us. On 6th June the Association of Noise Consultants will present its annual celebration of the best in the field of acoustics. Manchester’s Crowne Plaza Hotel will host the ceremony, with categories including Innovation, Good Acoustic Design and Workplace Acoustics. A number of international sponsors are supporting the event, such as Ecophon, Bruel & Kjaer and Armourcoat … Read more

AJA and Theatre Consultancy

Company director Adrian James was extensively involved in theatre and concert hall design even before he created Adrian James Acoustics in 1994. He had worked closely with leading theatre consultants in the UK, the Middle East and Hong Kong, as well as other auditoria such as the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Opera House … Read more

The Roost recording studio

A great recording studio is an environment where sound can be captured as faithfully as possible.  When singer-songwriter and blues guitarist David Foster decided to create a studio in the grounds of his home, he called on Adrian James Acoustics as the natural choice for the project.  David’s vision was to set up a home … Read more

Liverpool Hope University Eden Building

When we are appointed to a new-build project our aim is always to keep sight of the architect’s vision.  In the case of the Eden Building at Liverpool Hope University, we worked alongside Halsall Lloyd Partnership and were tasked with reducing noise within a complex structure.  The Eden Building houses the University’s Education Department and … Read more

AJA’s Home Brewer

At Adrian James Acoustics we can boast our very own home-brewer – Senior Acoustics Consultant Andrew Oldridge. Not only is Andy an outstanding acoustician, he is also devoted to brewing up the perfect ale. His hops-based hobby took off three years ago, and Andy has already started winning acclaim for his creations, including a recent … Read more

Call Centre Assessments

AJA have undertaken a variety of acoustic assessments at call centres in the UK, including those operated by Aviva, Centrica, Vodafone UK and AXA. The principal acoustic challenge faced in call centres is high noise levels (usually as a result of dense population), reverberant conditions and inadequate acoustic screening between desks.  While ambient noise levels … Read more

Another Award for the George Green Library

Back in 2013 we were awarded the first-ever UK prize for architectural acoustic design.  This was for our work alongside Hopkins Architects and contractors Galliford Try at the UEL Stratford Campus Library. Five years later, and as part of a group led again by Hopkins, we have received another accolade – a Highly Commended award from the … Read more

Jacob Heringman

Jacob Heringman is an acclaimed lute player and friend of Adrian James Acoustics. His career has ranged from concerts, recordings and videos to appearances on film soundtracks such as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.   He has worked with many early music specialists as well as folk musicians, … Read more

The Future of Recycling?

We all know the importance of recycling, but how can processing plants carry out necessary work whilst keeping noise levels down to a minimum? Adrian James Acoustics was presented with this challenge when we were appointed by Norse Environmental Waste Services to work on the Marsham Composting Facility in North Norfolk.  The plant used innovative … Read more

Great Ormond Street Hospital

Another snippet of @MrBernardBear to brighten your Monday morning @LondonMarathon @GreatOrmondSt @Nrw_Cathedral @NorwichSchool @NorwichLowerSch — Ashley Grote (@Ashleyjgrote) April 23, 2018   We were delighted to sponsor a rather unusual entrant to the London Marathon 2018. Ashley Grote – Master of Music at Norwich Cathedral – took the bold step of running 26 … Read more

Our sponsored orangutan

Say hello to our sponsored orangutan. Bidu Bidu was just a year old when he was rescued as part of the Orangutan Appeal in 2012. Living in the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Borneo, he faces a brighter future now, and AJA is pleased to be part of his support network.

Sound Testing in Southwold

The control of environmental noise may be one of the keys to a better quality of life but it is also an important legal requirement.  At Adrian James Acoustics we carry out many different types of noise assessments, usually arising from planning applications or the need to comply with building regulations. In each case, we … Read more

St Mary Bredin, Canterbury

Part of our raison d’etre is to carry out a very wide range of projects. These often include educational establishments, concert venues and industrial spaces, but we also receive requests to enhance and improve the acoustics in church buildings. One such project took place in 2005 when we were appointed to work with Purcell Architects … Read more

Magnificent new music building opens

We have recently commissioned the magnificent new music building at King’s College School in Wimbledon, which has acoustic and audio-visual systems design by AJA. The three-storey building houses music classrooms, practice rooms, rehearsal rooms of all sizes and a recording suite. Pride of place goes to the extraordinary 200-seat concert hall, for which we designed … Read more

Wells Maltings

Wells Maltings is an impressive brick and flint building dating back to the mid-nineteenth century.  Set in the heart of Wells-next-the-Sea, it is one of nine former malt houses once employing 50 workers in the town. For many years The Maltings was used for community events, but in 2010 it was decided to completely renovate … Read more

AJA Prize Winner Announced

We are pleased to announce that this year’s winner of the AJA Research Seminar Paper Prize is Neil Dawes (pictured left). Neil’s paper is entitled “Cover Song Detection: Developing the Chroma Based Approaches to Detection for Large Scale Application with Greater Accuracy”. In non-technical terms, the paper discusses different approaches for automated detection of cover … Read more

Two Awards for Nur Alem Pavilion

We are delighted to announce that Adrian James Acoustics has won two awards at the Association of Noise Consultants 2018 conference. Our work on the Nur Alem Pavilion for Expo 2017 was Highly Commended in the Building Acoustics category, and Principal Acoustics and Theatre Consultant Ian Rees won the Best Presentation award for his entertaining presentation … Read more

Mikhailovsky Theatre, St. Petersburg

The Mikhailovsky Theatre is a magnificent opera and ballet house in the heart of St Petersburg, first opened in 1833. The theatre’s programme is primarily a repertoire of opera and ballet by the resident companies but the theatre also stages concerts by the resident Mikhailovsky Orchestra and by visiting orchestras. As often happens in opera … Read more

Mapping Out our Future: One Year on

Adrian James Acoustics has significantly expanded over the last few years, and IT investment remains a vital part of that expansion. For many years we used an in-house spreadsheet system for timesheets and project tracking, but this had no way of managing resourcing or future planning. It also required frequent manual intervention to keep it … Read more

The Writers’ Centre at the Dragon Hall

Our Principal Acoustics & Theatre Consultant Ian Rees has worked on numerous projects, but the historic Dragon Hall, Norwich is particularly exciting.  This merchant’s hall dates from 1430 and is part of the “Norwich Twelve” – recognised as one of the city’s most important medieval buildings. Now a Writers’ Centre is being established at the … Read more

A Day Out at the Tower

Adrian was delighted to be invited to the SEN Legal Annual Conference at the Tower of London Conference Centre, previously the New Armouries*.  In between the many excellent presentations and discussions, this gave him the opportunity to re-visit the venue for which he was the acoustics consultant when it was converted in the Nineties.  He … Read more

National Youth Choir at Greshams

We were delighted to hear that the National Youth Choir of Great Britain made good use of the new music school at Greshams, where they were resident for their Spring 2018 course.  Several AJA staff turned up for their final concert in the rather less acoustically distinguished St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich, with occasional accompaniment … Read more

Fletton Quays

Fletton Quays is part of a £120 million development in the heart of Peterborough.  This ambitious council-backed venture was launched in 2017 as the initial project for the Peterborough Investment Partnership.  The goal is to regenerate an area adjacent to the River Nene, creating an attractive space featuring apartments and restaurants, a hotel, a dedicated … Read more

NUA Boardman House wins ANC Award

UEA Bob Champion Building commended in ANC Awards

Andy Oldridge achieves Chartered Engineer registration

We are pleased to announce that Andy Oldridge has been accepted for registration as a Chartered Engineer by the Engineering Council, having recently completed the rigorous reporting and interview process. As well as now being able to add ‘CEng’ to an increasingly baffling array of letters after his name, registration is also recognition of his competence and expertise in … Read more