Acoustics & Community Engagement
“Acoustics Consulting requires an interesting mix of technical and personal skills. It is not enough to be able to make complex noise predictions if you cannot explain what it means to the client. This is our challenge, but is also what keeps me interested in Acoustics” – Acoustics Manager.
RCA Acoustics has been operating in Newcastle since 2010 and has built strong relationships with Government agencies, local Councils, planners, designers and civil contractors over this time. Our high performing team enjoy working on a large range of project types. Today we might be working on a small (but technically tricky) DA noise impact assessment and tomorrow we might be meeting with residents on behalf of TfNSW to discuss architectural noise treatment as part of a major infrastructure project.
Our team bring individual and varied prior work history to our projects. Some examples of prior work include: consulting experience with much larger companies, experience running their own small acoustic consultancy, experience in customer service industries (which helps us be great at community engagement) and residential construction experience. Our ability to bring value to such a wide range of clients lies at the intersection of these varied but complimentary experiences.
Our projects have taken us all over NSW. We provide reports for small Development Applications, large EIS documents as well as providing Project Management and Community Engagement services to large Architectural Noise Treatment projects that might run over multiple years.
We have heard it said that Acoustics is a mysterious black box. The client is often presented with an “answer” but the pathway to that answer is shrouded in technical jargon and buried under complex standards and algorithms. At RCA we take the time to understand the client’s needs but also to explain the processes to the client so that they have a level of understanding that they are comfortable with.
Our team is friendly and actually like talking about acoustics. So please get in touch if you have questions about your project that you would like to discuss. The manager is also happy to chat to anyone looking to start or continue a career in Acoustics. Whether you are considering what formal education pathway to take to pursue a career in acoustics consulting or are exploring a work change and would like to ask about RCA, we are happy to have a quick chat.
At Receiver Noise Treatment
Under the TfNSW Noise Abatement Program (NAP) and under specific project related noise treatment programs, homes that are identified to meet the eligibility requirements are offered architectural upgrades (such as upgraded glazing) to reduce transport noise intrusion into the home.
RCA have been on the TfNSW panel of Architectural Acoustic Treatment Project Mangers since 2015. In this role we meet with the home owner and prepare a scope of building works to be approved by TfNSW. We then work closely with the builder to ensure the treatment is installed to TfNSW specifications. We have a dedicated team that work on these types of projects full time. This team draws on a wide range of backgrounds including residential construction, program management and customer service.
We have worked on treatment projects all across NSW. As south as Batemans Bay and as north as Ballina. One such project was the treatment of over 300 properties due to the Pacific Highway Upgrade between Woolgoolga to Ballina.
Planning & Compliance
RCA work with property developers and local Councils during the development planning stages to ensure that proper Noise & Vibration Impact Assessment is undertaken and that the appropriate noise control measures are put in place. We have worked on a wide range of assessments for industrial, extractive and entertainment developments. We also partner with other environmental consultants to provide input into REFs they are preparing.
Once the project is operational, we can provide compliance monitoring and reporting services to meet project approval conditions.
Building & Architectural
RCA work with architects and project managers during the planning stages to ensure internal acoustic objectives are correctly identified and then met for a variety of indoor spaces including residential apartments, art galleries and sports stadiums.
RCA has also worked with Defense contractors to ensure that secret meeting rooms achieve high speech privacy. This involved on site noise testing to certify the acoustic reduction offered by various partitions.
RCA also provide wall and floor noise reduction testing for residential apartments against Building Code of Australia requirements. RCA provided this compliance testing for the VERVE APARTMENTS on King Street, Newcastle.
RCA also hold a licence for internal building acoustics software EASE, to perform complex internal noise predictions.
RCA staff have provided environmental noise training to civil contractors, the EPA and local Council as well as guest lectures to the University of Newcastle environmental and architecture faculties.
Construction Noise & Vibration
RCA partner with civil contractors at the following stages:
- We prepare noise and vibration impact assessments which will inform their Construction, Noise and Vibration Management Plans (CNVMP).
- We review and help prepare the CNVMP.
- We prepare Out of Hours Works assessments to support requests to TfNSW.
- We provide onsite noise and vibration compliance monitoring to ensure community disturbance is minimised and no property damage due to vibration occurs.
RCA and our delivery partners have recognised that a large part of our At Receiver Noise Treatment program delivery is about community engagement. This is a strength of ours because we have strong customer service experience within our team. Delivery partners have recognised these strengths and have asked us to provide other community engagement services.
One such project involved RCA assisting a Tier 1 civil contractor to engage the community regarding property adjustments required as part of a large road upgrade project. This involved meeting with property owners, explaining the project and acquiring owner agreements.
In 2020 Laing O’Rourke invited RCA to assist with the NSW Bushfire Clean-Up project. This was a very challenging but personally rewarding experience for our project team. RCA’s role was to meet with property owners impacted by the bushfire and to prepare a cleanup scope of works, including hazard identification and contractor access routes.
Transport noise assessments
RCA staff prepare transport noise impact assessments for local Councils and TfNSW. Road and Rail noise predictions are made using the current version of noise prediction software CadnaA.
Road noise assessments are prepared in accordance with all TfNSW and EPA procedures and policies.
Occupational noise monitoring
RCA have provided occupational noise monitoring within a range of noisy work places including production factories, coal preparation plants, RAAF bases and power stations.