We often find ourselves undertaking research as part of a specific project. Hundreds of papers on acoustics, noise and vibration are published every year but it is surprising how often we find a subject on which little or no definitive research exists. It is a sad fact that some national and international standards on acoustics are incomplete, ambiguous or sometimes simply wrong. Through the Association of Noise Consultants, we have played a major part in developing alternative protocols and good practice guides where BS and ISO standards are inadequate.
For instance, when we were appointed to design a specialist school for autistic children, we found that there were no published criteria for such schools so we had to devise our own research project to correlate teaching staff experience with measured acoustic parameters in existing schools. Where possible we publish the results of all of our research work, and these publications are listed in the Research and publications page of this website. To stay at the forefront of our profession we have to know about the latest developments. Here our connections with University research groups and with manufacturers are important. We have particularly close ties with the Institute of Sound and Recording at the University of Surrey and have provided work experience to students from their Tonmeister course for several years.
We have been appointed under public and private sector research contracts into subjects including the reliability of room acoustics measurements, the effects of noise in schools and the success of different local authorities in implementing noise legislation. Sometimes we are appointed by hardware manufacturers to advise on the acoustic aspects of new products. These have included prefabricated timber-framed housing modules, acoustically attenuated passive ventilators, acoustically absorptive orchestral screens, mobile diffusers, acoustic doors, modular studios and prefabricated music practice rooms.
We work closely with the manufacturers from the first principles of acoustic design, through prototype testing and development to final commissioning and long-term performance monitoring.