Lovell House is a three-storey office block on a prominent site in King's Lynn. The developer wished to convert the building into 26 flats, but this raised issues of noise and ventilation because some of the apartments will overlook the Tuesday Market Place, which has been the town's central trading location for over 500 years. As well as being used for the weekly market and as a car park, for three weekends every summer the Market Place is transformed into the main venue for the Festival Too music festival, drawing thousands of visitors to the square.
The conversion of Lovell House was defined as a permitted development. Nevertheless, the Council required us to assess noise from road traffic and other sources, including the market and festival. Our brief was to determine what glazing would meet the Council's requirements for reasonable noise levels inside the flats.
A major consideration was what noise criteria would be reasonable for dwellings situated so close to the Festival Too site. It was clear that criteria applied to normal year-round noise sources such as traffic and the market would not be achievable, and indeed was not achieved in other dwellings overlooking the Market Place. Another significant factor was that the south elevation of Lovell House is very close to a relatively busy road. We discussed these issues at some length with the Council prior to carrying out our work, and we agreed separate noise criteria for year-round traffic noise and for the short-term noise from the festival.
Fortunately we had undertaken noise monitoring at Festival Too in a previous year, so our client was able to benefit from the results. This data, combined with noise measurements from vehicle movements and from the market, were used as input to a CadnaA model. This allowed us to predict noise levels at each individual window, and from that to recommend different types of glazing and ventilation strategies around the building.
Client: Ikon Norfolk Ltd
Architect: Chaplin Farrant
Photo credits: AJA / Google Earth / Brown & Co