Ireland - Services

Services

Acoustics, Noise & Vibration

Our dedicated team of consultants has extensive experience working with both public and private sector clients across a range of industry sectors in Ireland and the UK.

We provide focused advice and assessments to deliver optimum solutions and enhanced prospects for obtaining permits and planning permission. We also support clients with regulatory compliance, mitigation schemes, and improvements to working environments to enhance performance and safety.

Our services include:

Building & Architectural Acoustics

Environmental Impact Statement

Noise Measurement & Testing

Noise Modelling (Airborne and Underwater)

Underwater Noise Measurement

Vibration.

Expert Witness

As a multidisciplinary consultancy, we provide integration of noise data with our marine structures and ecology teams to provide cost effective solutions and appropriate mitigation.

Case Studies

Dublin Port Terns Noise Survey

Dublin Port Terns Noise Survey

Dublin Port Company / Natura Consultants

RPS provided acoustic and ecological monitoring support services with Natura Consultants to the Dublin Port Company

The aim of this 2015 study was to determine how pile-driving noise impacts on nesting terns, a protected species in Dublin Port.

The study involved the playback of recordings of pile-driving activities at varying decibel levels and observing the reaction behaviour of the nesting terns. The noises were played from a boat within close proximity of the nesting terns and the team documented the reactions of the birds in real-time, visually from the boat and through cameras set up on the nesting site in addition to continuous noise level measurements. Disturbance behaviours resulting from additional activity, such as boats entering and exiting the port, were also taken into account.

The physical and acoustic records taken from the field studies were then analysed and compared in detail to observe any correlation between the pile-driving noises and the reaction of the terns. The findings of this study will inform the decision-making process for future projects, in relation to noise buffer zones near Natura 2000 sites.

Galway Harbour Extension

Galway Harbour Extension

Galway Harbour Company

RPS presents airborne and underwater noise evidence at Oral Hearing.

Galway Harbour Company proposes to construct a new port area south of the existing docks in a Natura site. Due to the sensitive nature of the site a full assessment of both airborne and underwater noise on humans and wildlife was presented at the hearing.

Evidence included background noise levels and noise modelling calculations for the project during the construction and operation phases. During construction the potential impact of dredging, blasting, piling and general construction were considered. For the operational stage the potential impact of shipping, commercial and leisure-boat traffic were considered. The potential impact on a resident seal population, migrating salmon and elvers in addition to diving birds were included in the EIS and presented at the oral hearing.

M8/M73/M74 Motorway Improvements

M8/M73/M74 Motorway Improvements

Ferrovial Agroman Lagan JV (for Scottish Roads Partnership)

This £500m project will improve the safety and reliability of journeys between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and provide a north / south link to the UK.

RPS is working for Ferrovial Agroman Lagan JV responsible for the design, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the project on behalf of the Scottish Roads Partnership. A genuine, integrated team approach has been adopted to cover the whole asset lifecycle.

RPS has provided a value engineered acoustic design service on the project. This includes road traffic noise modelling for multi-tier, free flow junctions and other complex intersections. Proposed mitigation measures include natural screening, low road noise surfaces, earthen berms and timber noise barriers. Using an iterative design process a cost effective acoustic design has been developed. The project is currently at construction stage.

Oweninny Wind Farm, Co. Mayo

Oweninny Wind Farm, Co. Mayo

ESB International / Bord na Móna

Oweninny Wind Farm is the largest proposed onshore wind farm project in Ireland with an application for 112 turbines and a combined capacity of 370 MW.

The site is located in Ballacorick, Co. Mayo and comprises cutaway and cutover bogland and a number of Natura sites. Ireland’s first commercial wind farm was established at the site in 1992 and the current project proposes 112 large turbines.

The proposed development is subject to the strategic infrastructure procedure including an oral hearing. It includes a visitor centre, which will provide insight into the history of power generation, from peat to wind energy.

RPS has provided a range of acoustic services including route selection for overhead and underground cable route options, presenting the airborne noise section of the EIS at oral hearing. The project involved analysis and presentation of long term noise monitoring data at multiple sites.

SEAI Wind Farm Noise Model

SEAI Wind Farm Noise Model

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)

RPS develops the first national scale acoustic model for wind farm noise in Ireland.

The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government is undertaking a review of national planning guidelines for onshore wind farm development. This review includes potential changes to the existing permitted noise levels from wind farm developments and RPS has been involved in the impact assessment process to determine the potential impact of any proposed change on noise levels.

As part of the process, RPS has developed the first national scale acoustic model for wind farm noise based on modern turbine designs. This model provides statistical noise emission data for differing terrain, turbine type, turbine hub height and weather conditions. Using a combination of acoustic and GIS modelling techniques, plots of potential development areas and capacities were developed.

This data has permitted the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government to assess the economic impact and in particular the impact on national climate change policy to be evaluated. The new guidelines are due to be published shortly.

Underwater Noise Propagation Study for Ireland

Underwater Noise Propagation Study for Ireland

Petroleum Infrastructure Programme (PIP) and National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG)

RPS, in association with NUIG, has developed underwater noise models for Irish waters.

The PIP-funded project provides the first validated underwater noise propagation study in Irish waters, through the integration of seismic survey noise observations and an acoustic noise propagation model.

This ground-breaking project involved a ten day survey from the Irish Coast to the Porcupine Bank, with a programme of underwater noise monitoring using a drifting buoy methodology as well as an autonomous underwater vehicle.

RPS was engaged to undertake the noise monitoring and develop the underwater noise model in collaboration with NUIG. From the seismic source data collected and the validation of models on this project, RPS has developed underwater noise modelling parameters for Irish waters generally. Using the validated model parameters in combination with site specific data for other sites RPS can provide robust underwater noise models for a wide variety of marine projects.