Acoustic Ventilation - Greenwood

What is Acoustic Ventilation?

Acoustic Ventilation provides an effective level of replacement air to a dwelling whilst protecting occpants from the transfer of external noise sources.

In new build particularly, noise has become an increasing issue as a result of brownfield re development and density planning requirements.  

Homes situated close to busy roads, industrial estates and even airports are in noist areas, all of which impact on the living environment.  If you open a window you dont want the noise - so acoustic ventilation is specified to ensure noise is eliminated but air isn't!

Acoustics - Choosing the correct ventilation method

If life was simple, then noise issues would simply be dealt with by swapping standard ventilation products for acoustic products, but unfortunately it isnt really that simple!

Noise and Ventilation must be considered together at the DESIGN stage, especially since the noise factor may pre-determin the ventilation stratgey that can be used in the dwelling to achieve the correct level of acoustic protection.

An acoustic report will detail the level of attenutation required to be achieved and this can often mean that certain building elements can no longer be used as a source of ventilation e.g. opening a window.   

 Acoustic Ventilation is available with varying performance levels and suitable for different applications including;

  • Acoustic Wall Ventilators offering up to 55dB(A) reduction
  • Acoustic Window Ventilators offering up to 42dB(A) reduction
  • Acoustic Mechnical Input Fans offering up to 46dB(A) reduction
  • Whole House Ventilation Systems e.g. MVHR

MVHR and Acoustic Ventilation

Heat Recovery Ventilation is an ideal solution for acoustic sites, espeically those with high attenuation targets e.g. close to busy roads, railways or on flight paths

Heat Recovery Ventilation is a whole house balanaced ventilation system that both extracts and supplys air whilst recovering the heat that would have otherwise have been lost.  It is a suitable ventilation method for new build homes and works most effectively and efficienctly in higly insulated dwellings.  

                          Heat Recovery Ventilation

Why Heat Recovery Ventilation?

  • Heat Recovery Ventilation requires only two penetrations in the external facade of the building therefore minimising paths for external noise to ener the dwelling

  • Heat Recovery Ventilation is a balanced system that supplys and extracts air - negating the need to open a window and therefoer minising the path for external noise to enter the dwelling

  • For a site with a high acoustic attenuation requirement, Heat Recovery Ventilation offers a cost effective solution, when comparing against considerably high number of acoustic window or wall ventilators that may need to be installed

    We are very experience in understanding Acoustic reports and advising on ventilation strategies.  Please call our Technical Team on 01903 777135 

Our Acoustic Ventilation range

  • MA3051

    Highest performing acoustic wall ventilator in the UK - the MA3051 is ideal for new build applications where noise planning restrictions are in place. Providing up to 55dB reduction and suitable for wall thicknesses of 140mm and above. Supplied with white external grilles.
  • AAB

    The classic acoustic airbrick is suitable for new build and refurbishment applications and delivers an acoustic performance of 46dB(A). Provides 2500mm2 equivalent area.
  • AWV39

    The AWV39 passive wall ventilator is suitable for new build and refurbishment projects and provides an excellent acoustic attenuation to 39dB(A).
  • EAR42W

    EAR42W is an acoustic window vent suitable for new build and refurbishment and can be applied to most window profiles with add on sections. Provides acoustic performance of 42dB(A).
  • 2500EA/5000EA

    Smallest acoustic window vent providing 5000mm² equivalent area ventilation on the market whilst achieving Building Regulations' EA requirements along with acoustic performances up to 45dB(A)


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Noise pollution

Noise is a nuisance and is the last thing that you want in the comfort of your own home. In new build particularly it has become an increasing issue as a result of Brownfield re-development and density planning guidance notes. What this has meant is that homes have more chance of being sited close to busy roads, railways and airports, meaning more noise which has an impact on the domestic environment. Noise sources can be both internal and external; from the external environment and location, internally between rooms/apartments and even from products, all of which must now be considered at the design stage.

What is acceptable noise?

The decibel scale runs from the faintest sound the human ear can detect at 0dB to well over 180dB which is similar to the noise a rocket creates during launch.

The Building Regulations support the control of noise - from external sources entering the building and from the ventilation system itself within the building.  It is moving up the agenda at every single revision and planning restrictions continue to be placed on sites where external noise transfer will be a problem.

For ventilation systems, ADF:2010 suggests the following sound power levels for continuously running systems:

Bedrooms/living rooms
An upper limit of 30dB(A) weighted sound power level.

An upper limit of 35dB(A) weighted sound power level.

Acoustic ventilators

When a site requires acoustic protection it is usually considered at the design stage. This sometimes means that certain building elements can no longer be used as a source of ventilation, e.g. windows. In this instance it may be essential to provide acoustic ventilation solutions that provide the necessary airflow but reduce noise transfer. The nature of acoustic products means that they are usually much larger than their standard counterparts, meaning that a like-for-like installation cannot always be easily achieved. When acoustic ventilation is required this should also be considered at the design stage, as the noise factor may actually pre-determine the method of ventilation that will be used within the dwelling.

A more effective approach for acoustic design - MVHR

With most ventilation systems, a number of penetrations in the external façade or windows are required to allow air in and out of the dwelling. It is these openings that allow noise transfer from outside and acoustic versions are often the first point of call as they continue to ventilate, but also attenuate the external noise transfer.

An alternative solution would be to review the entire ventilation strategy for the building.  An optimal solution for reduction of noise transfer is Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery which works as a whole house system, both extracting and supplying air which negates the need for window ventilators. The design of an MVHR system requires only two penetrations in the façade of the building, therefore providing a more effective design led solution for any site with noise issues.

When dealing with acoustic issues on site, it is not as simple as replacing a standard product with an acoustic version. Other options such as heat recovery ventilation can provide effective whole house performance to Building Regulations as well as comply with any ventilation noise planning restrictions that have been put in place.

Zehnder Group