Commercial / Industrial / Retail

PKA have over 45 years experience providing acoustic advice for the community, commercial and industrial sectors.

Projects have ranged from office and administrative buildings, heavy industrial facilities, small restaurants and everything in between. We have state of the art noise measurement equipment as well as 3D internal and external noise modelling software packages.

A brief list of the type of projects that we may be involved with is shown below.

Commercial buildings and fitouts
Mechanical plant and refrigeration noise assessment
Environmental noise assessment
Industrial noise control
Occupational noise assessment and hearing loss surveys
Restaurant noise
Construction noise management planning and construction noise monitoring
Sporting facilities – motorsport, gunclubs/rifle ranges, horse racing, ball sports (tennis, basketball etc), indoor sports centres
Animal noise
Infrastructure (power, sewerage etc)

Industrial Noise Control

PKA are able to assist in all types of industrial noise control. During the design phase of new facilities we can predict noise levels from processes and develop noise control solutions.

Acoustic issues that may require assessment include noise breakout to neighbouring boundaries, noise to spaces within the facility or noise reduction for OH&S.

For existing facilities we can carry out surveys to identify problem areas. Individual noise sources can then be assessed for possible treatment. Note that treating the noisiest plant item(s) may not always be the most efficient solution. In some cases treating a number of slightly less noisy plant items may be easier and cheaper, whist giving the same overall outcome as treating one single noisier item. Our experience enables us to derive the most efficient solution possible.

Industrial noise control solutions can include simple modifications, off-the-shelf treatments (like attenuators/silencers, enclosures or absorptive lining) and complete custom designed systems.

Environmental Noise Assessment

PKA have prepared thousands of environmental noise assessments for projects of all different sizes and scales. The extent of work required will vary depending on the type of project. Please read through the sections of this website dedicated to specific projects for more detailed information or simply call us to discuss the requirements for your project.

Note that many environmental noise assessments require noise surveys to be carried out on site. Such surveys are often required to be carried out over a week or more (plus time to organise site access etc.). Please contact us as early in the process as possible so that we can advise on required timeframes that can be worked into your program.

Construction Noise Management Planning & Monitoring

Many Council’s now require some form of Construction Noise Management Plan (CNMP) or Construction Noise & Vibration Management Plan (CNVMP) to be submitted for DA or CC.

Based on supplied information regarding construction staging, duration and plant selection PKA can predict expected noise levels to sensitive receivers. Comparing these levels to the required noise criteria PKA can suggest a range of noise management strategies which can be employed. These strategies will usually also include guidance regarding complaint handling procedures. Based on these items a CNMP can be prepared which both satisfies Council’s requirements as well as giving you a useful plan to manage noise from your site.

In addition to a CNMP some sites may also require noise and/or vibration monitoring to be carried out during the construction process. PKA can provide the monitoring equipment, the expertise to coordinate installation and maintenance, interpret data and prepare reporting documentation.

PKA have been involved in the noise and vibration monitoring for both the Hill and Bradman Grandstands at the Sydney Cricket Ground over recent years. In this case the construction site literally projected over the adjoining Fox Studios and its active soundstages. To complicate issues the noise levels from aircraft overflights were above the noise criteria for construction noise, meaning that traditional noise monitoring could indicate exceedances whenever an aircraft flew over. To minimise downtime on the construction site due to noise limit exceedances, whilst allowing filming at Fox to continue a real time monitoring system was designed and commissioned. This system not only monitored noise levels and emailed warnings when high noise levels were recorded but it also allowed construction staff to listen in to each monitoring station to audibly identify what had caused the exceedance. If the exceedance was caused by construction noise they could take action and if the noise was from an outside source (aircraft or film production) there was no need to modify construction activities.

Restaurant Noise

High noise levels are a common complaint for many modern restaurants. The design trends over the last decade have tended to move away from soft furnishings towards a minimalist, clean aesthetic. This may look great but noise levels can get out of control.

Many diners find it difficult to converse with companions across a table, let alone at people at the other end of the table. This can lead to reduced interaction and a sense of isolation, particularly for people with some level of hearing loss (including many elderly persons). Patrons will also raise their voices to be heard over the din, exacerbating the problem. Staff are also impacted, finding it fatiguing and having difficulty hearing orders (which can lead to unhappy customers and even more unhappy staff).

The other side of the equation is that restaurants need to maintain an energised, vibrant environment. A restaurant that is devoid of any noise will also be devoid of atmosphere.

Finding a balance between the competing requirements of comfort, atmosphere and aesthetics is where PKA can assist.

For information on noise from restaurants and other licensed premises to external noise receivers see the Venues Page .

Sporting Facilities

Council or other consent authorities will often require the submission of an acoustic report to address the noise impacts from a new sporting facility.

PKA are able to assist in the acoustic assessment and design of noise controls for all types of sporting facilities, including:

  • Motorsport facilities including race circuits, motocross, go-karts, drag racing etc
  • Gun clubs and rifle ranges
  • Horse or dog racing venues
  • Ball sport facilities including tennis clubs, basketball courts, bowling venues etc
  • Indoor sports centres
  • Skate parks

Animal Noise

Council or other consent authorities will often require the submission of an acoustic report to address the noise impacts from new animal facilities.

PKA are able to assist in the acoustic assessment and design of noise controls for all types of animal facilities, including:

  • Council pounds
  • Boarding kennels
  • Veterinary facilities

This may include detailed surveys of the existing acoustic environment, design of acoustically rated kennels, assessment of external runs etc.

Mechanical Plant & Refrigeration Noise Assessment

PKA have extensive experience in assessment and noise control for all types of mechanical plant, both to address noise to internal spaces as well as for external/environmental impact assessment.

With regards to mechanical plant noise to internal spaces we have completed low-noise designs for theatres, office fitouts, telepresence rooms and 6-Star residences. We can provide solutions for Green Star compliance, AAAC Star Ratings and Australian Standards.

One thing to bear in mind is that reducing internal noise levels from air-conditioning in office spaces may also reduce the speech privacy between adjacent spaces (because the rooms are quieter). This may then require the background noise levels to be artificially raised (for example with masking speaker systems), resulting in higher upfront costs (for speaker systems as well as duct attenuators) and higher running costs (to power speaker systems and overcome the additional system pressures due to duct attenuators). PKA take a holistic approach to interior noise level design to ensure these inefficiencies are avoided.

With regards to mechanical plant noise to external receivers we have provided noise control designs for cooling towers, chillers, refrigeration compressors/condensers, air-conditioning units and fans, ranging from industrial scale to residential.

A critical aspect of noise compliance for external plant is the location of the plant. The extent of noise controls required for a plant item will depend on where it is located relative to the potential receiver locations. If possible it is best to consult with us during the early design phase to ensure plant is located such that noise control treatment (and costs) can be minimised.

Occupational Noise Assessment & Hearing Loss Surveys

PKA can work with you to provide a safe work environment by assessing existing levels as well as providing advice to control noise levels.

Under the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 managers are legally required to identify, assess and control noise levels within the workplace to ensure that no employee or other person is exposed to noise levels above the maximum legal criteria.

Exposure to high noise levels can lead to fatigue and stress, impair concentration and communication as well as lower job satisfaction and morale. Noise induced hearing loss can impact people in a variety of ways including making communication difficult, reducing enjoyment of music or TV and impairing the ability to hear warning alarms etc.

The first step for an employer to take is to assess the existing noise exposure levels to their employees.

PKA can carry out a noise audit of existing levels to identify noise levels throughout a site as well as identify noisy areas or equipment. In conjunction with either Noise Dosemeter readings (a small sound level meter attached to an employee over the course of a shift) or advised schedules of worker activity we can then build a profile of noise exposure levels to at risk employees.

In some cases noise exposure levels will found to be below the required standards, however if noise levels are found to exceed the regulation, noise control options will need to examined. PKA can assist in the design of noise control solutions to all commercial and industrial facilities. Only once engineered noise control options have been exhausted Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can be considered. In these instances PKA can also advise on the type of PPE which must be provided.

The above list is just a selection of the projects we have done. It is to show a cross-section of the solutions we can achieve for your project. But each job is different, and we engineer a solution to fit. So please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a situation which is not listed here. Call PKA on 02 9460 6824 or Send an email to