BS 4142 Assessment

Noise assessment for rating industrial and commercial sound

Planning Applications

Noise assessments to satisfy and discharge planning consent conditions relating to externally fixed plant.

Complaint Investigation

Investigate and objectify the impact of industrial or commercial activity on residential areas.

Site Suitability Studies

Investigate the suitability of land for use as part of a residential or mixed use development.

In order to receive planning consent, a well conducted noise impact assessment is often the first step.

Noise Survey & Impact Assessment

A well conducted noise impact assessment, specifically, one undertaken using the principals in BS 4142: 2014, could be the difference between planning consent, and an unfavourable decision notice!

Is a noise impact assessment standing between you and your ability to move your plans forward? Find out if we can help.

Noise Assessment

For a free no obligation quote: 

T: 0845 508 0890

M: 0787 247 0205


What is a BS 4142 Noise Assessment?

This British Standard describes how to assess sound of an industrial or commercial nature. For example, it may be used when you want to assess sound from a manufacturing processes or item of fixed plant. Essentially, BS 4142:2014 tells us how to measure outdoor sound levels produced by the work activities. It then explains how to use these data to assess the effects on people in near by residential areas.

The most recent revision of this document has been helped by a large amount of experience gained from the use of previous editions. As well as practical experience, the latest guidance also benefits from an increase in knowledge that has come from recent research in the fields of acoustics, human perception, and health.

Response to sound is subjective. This means that it can change a lot from person to person. It will also be affected by a number of other factors. Some of these factors will include: how loud a noise source is compared to other sounds in the area; the absolute level of the noise; and general attitude towards the activity creating the noise.


To this end, BS4142:2014 pays close attention to context in which sound occurs. The document also recognises the difference between sound and noise. Sound is described as something that can be measured by a suitable measurement device, such as a sound level meter. Noise, on the other hand, relates to human perception. As a result, noise is often described as “unwanted sound”.

Noise Assessments for Electrical or Mechanical Plant

On of the primary uses for BS 4142: 2014, is for assessing the noise emissions from externally fixed mechanical and electrical plant. While assessment of noise and vibration from construction and open sites may require an alternate assessment method, most commercial or industrial process will be suited to a BS 4142 assessment.

If you would like to understand if a noise survey, in accordance with BS 4142, is what you need, feel free to call us for a no obligation chat about your current situation.

Plant Assessment
Noise Impact Assessment

Assessing Impacts and Their Effects

The noise policy statement for England introduced the idea of measuring the level of adverse effect experienced in a given situation, a result of noise exposure.

The concept of assessing impact (the magnitude of change) and subsequent effects (the result of this change), has become a cornerstone of environmental and noise impact assessments.

A rating level, in the context of BS 4142, is the specific noise source under assessment, plus any adjustments to account for characteristic features of the sound.

When considering the impact of a noise source, BS 4142: 2014 advises that the following be considered when subtracting the measured background sound level, from the rating level.

a) Typically, the greater this difference, the greater the  magnitude of the impact.

b) A difference of around +10 dB or more is likely to be an indication of a significant adverse impact, depending on the context.

c) A difference of around +5 dB is likely to be an indication of an adverse impact, depending on the context.

d) The lower the rating level is relative to the measured background sound level, the less likely it is that the specific sound source will have an adverse impact or a significant adverse impact. Where the rating level does not exceed the background sound level, this is an indication of the specific sound source having a low impact, depending on the context.

In order to fully understand the impact of commercial and/or industrial sound in your area, please feel free to get in touch.

T: 0845 508 0890
M: 0787 245 0205


A: The Glider Business Centre,
65 Lowther Road,
Dunstable, LU6 3NL

T: 0845 508 0890
M: 0787 247 0205