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Guide B4 Noise and vibration control for building services systems (2016) (pdf)
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Guide B4 Noise and vibration control for building services systems (2016) (pdf)

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Guide B provides guidance on the practical design of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and is divided into six sections which are published separately:

B0: Applications and activities

B1: Heating

B2: Ventilation and ductwork

B3: Air conditioning and refrigeration

B4: Noise and vibration control for building services systems

Guide B Combined index

The full set is available at a discounted price here: Guide B (full set)

The PDF version of Guide B4 incorporates changes made to Figure 4.63 and Table 4.A1.1. Those who have purchased the print version should download the corrigenda here: Guide B4 Corrigenda (May 2022)

Topics covered in Guide B4: Noise and vibration control for building services systems include:​

  • Mechanisms of noise generation, noise sources and transmission paths
  • Summary of noise and vibration problems from HVAC
    • Typical sources of hvac noise and their characteristics
    • Transmission paths
    • Control of the transmission paths
  • Noise sources in building services
    • Fans
    • High velocity/high pressure terminal units
    • Grilles and diffusers
    • Fan coil units
    • Induction units
    • Air conditioning units
    • Fan-assisted terminal units
    • Rooftop units/air handling units
    • Acoustic louvres
    • Chillers and compressors
    • Pumps
    • Boilers
    • Heat rejection and cooling towers
    • Chilled ceilings
    • Lifts
    • Escalators
    • Electric motors
    • Noise from water flow systems
  • Noise control in plant rooms
    • Risk of noise induced hearing loss
    • Breakout noise from plant rooms
    • Break-in noise in plant rooms
    • Estimation of noise levels in plant rooms
  • Airflow noise – regeneration of noise in ducts
    • Flow rate guidance
    • Prediction techniques
    • Damper noise
    • Turbulence-induced noise in and from ductwork
  • Control of noise transmission in ducts
    • Duct components
    • Unlined straight ducts
    • Lined straight ducts
    • Duct bends
    • Duct take-offs
    • End reflection loss
    • Passive attenuators and plenums
    • Active attenuators
    • Use of fibrous sound absorbing materials in ducts
    • Duct breakout noise
    • Duct break-in noise
    • Attenuator noise break-in
  • Room sound levels
    • Behaviour of sound in rooms
    • Determination of sound level at a receiver point
    • Source directivity
    • Sound transmission between rooms
    • Privacy and cross talk
  • Transmission of noise to and from the outside
    • Transmission of noise to the outside and to other rooms
    • Transmission of external noise to the inside
    • Naturally ventilated buildings
  • Criteria for noise from building services systems
    • Objective
    • Choosing noise criteria parameters
    • Design criteria
    • Using dBA, dBC, NR and NC levels
  • Noise prediction of sound pressure levels from building services
    • Room effect
    • System noise
    • Breakout/break-in noise
    • Noise propagation to outdoors
  • Vibration problems and control
    • Fundamentals of vibration and vibration control
    • Rating equipment for vibration emission
    • Vibration isolation criteria
    • Common types of vibration isolator
    • Practical examples of vibration isolation
    • Noise in HVAC systems
    • Vibration in HVAC systems
  • Appendices
    • Explanation of some basic acoustic concepts
    • Regeneration of noise by duct components and terminations
    • Interpreting manufacturers’ noise data
    • Noise instrumentation
    • Vibration instrumentation
    • Uncertainty in measurement and prediction of sound levels and sound power levels
    • Application of noise prediction software and integrated building design processes


Guide B4 Steering Committee: Bob Peters (Chair), Alan Fry Salex, Richard Galbraith, Peter Henson, Alex Krasnic, John Lloyd, John Shelton, Peter Tucker

Referees: Richard Cowell, Mark Saunders, Keith Shenstone

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