Construction Noise and Vibration Meeting, Institute of Acoustics Event, London Building News

Construction Noise and Vibration Event, London

The Institute of Acoustics Events at the British Museum, England, UK: Information

1 Jul 2010

Construction Noise and Vibration meeting at iconic British Museum

Institute of Acoustics Event 2010

Attracting six million visitors a year – up to 25,000 visitors every day – the British Museum in London is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the world.

This famous landmark has recently become the focus of an extensive noise and vibration monitoring programme as the museum embarks on a project set to take its conservation and exhibition facilities into the 21st century.

British Museum building:
British Museum
photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

Protection of the landmark building from noise and vibration during construction of its World Conservation and Exhibition Centre is the focus of a presentation at the Institute of Acoustics “Construction Noise and Vibration” meeting at the museum on Wednesday July 14.

Please see on the IOA’s website for presentation and registration details.

Alec Shaw and Heidi Weeks will speak on behalf of the Museum’s World Conservation and Exhibition Centre project team, along with Peter Henson, partner of Bickerdike Allen Partners, on how the attraction’s exhibits, staff and visitors will be protected during the development.

The new state-of-the-art Centre will bring conservators, scientists, exhibitions and storage together in one facility. At present the conservation and science departments are working in ten different locations throughout the museum.

The World Conservation and Exhibition Centre will be built on an underused site near the current museum, and linked to it. Once built, the new facilities would enable the museum to enhance its educational role and substantially increase the amount of training it provides to institutions and colleagues locally and from around the world.

Project manager Alec Shaw and project coordinator Heidi Week said that the initial stage of the development – archaeological investigation and demolition works – is currently underway.

“We are hoping to begin construction early next year,” said Alec. All galleries will remain open during the development.

An extensive noise and vibration monitoring programme is in place at the location. Camden Council, which granted planning permission for the Centre in December 2009, has set noise levels for the construction.

The museum, with the assistance of Bickerdike Allen Partners, has set vibration limits within the museum to protect its very fragile artefacts.

Alec said that vibration was “unlikely to be an issue” as a vibration monitoring system, sensitive to extremely low levels of vibration and placed in galleries and stores adjacent to the site, would alert the project team via email and text if limits are being approached. Members of the team, which includes curatorial staff, would then immediately investigate the cause of the alert.

Peter Henson said that “the key difference about this project to other construction projects is that any exceeding of the vibration limits cannot be allowed since fragile artefacts would be put at risk.

“The contractor is therefore requested to demonstrate beforehand that proposed works will not compromise the vibration limits.”

The presentation by Alec, Heidi and Peter is one of eight at the IOA’s Construction Noise and Vibration meeting, which also looks at changes in British Standard BS 5228 ‘Code of Practice for Noise and Vibration Control on Construction and Open Sites.

Delegates will be able to visit the British Museum at the end of the meeting.

Institute of Acoustics

The Institute of Acoustics is the UK’s professional body for those working in acoustics, noise and vibration. It was formed in 1974, and has more than 3000 members worldwide, working in areas such as aerodynamics, architectural acoustics, building acoustics, electro-acoustics, engineering, noise and vibration, hearing, speech and underwater acoustics.

For more information please see

Location: London, England, UK

English Architecture

Contemporary Architecture in England

English Architecture Design – chronological list

British Museum Building Extension
British Museum development
image © the Trustees of the British Museum
British Museum Building Extension

London Architect

AA Summer Pavilion 2009
AA Summer Pavilion

British Museum architect : Robert Smirke
British Museum London
photo © Nick Weall

Museum Buildings

London Architect

London Museum Buildings

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