Good acoustics can reduce stress, aid learning and improve health. We help our clients understand noise and vibration constraints on a project – and advise on how best to mitigate them.

Our acoustics practice is among the largest in the industry, providing innovative design to all aspects of the built environment. Sound shapes our everyday lives, and here at WSP we are passionate about engineering good acoustic environments that improve how we live, work, play and get around.

Master planning
As a new development begins to take shape, we work with design colleagues to reduce or remove noise and vibration affecting the site and surrounding neighbours – and maximise the developable areas of land.

Our experts can help shape a masterplan through the location, layout and orientation of the proposed buildings and land uses. In mixed-use schemes, we understand the interactions between uses and produce flexible designs that promote community, business and sustainable development.

Once an application is submitted we can provide support as the detailed design evolves, including discharging conditions or giving expert evidence at public inquiry.


Residential schemes
Our work helps developers increase density in a sustainable way, to maximise land value and produce mixed-use developments that create sustainable communities – whilst maintaining a comfortable acoustic environment for desirable living spaces.

Our advice enables buildings in residential areas to be used for different social and business purposes without disturbing the surrounding community – which can help avoid reactive measures later on.


In hospitals and healthcare facilities, good acoustic design aids rest and sleep, maintains privacy and leads to better morale and comfort for patients and staff alike.

Hospital buildings need careful strategic design to address the acoustics of multiple spaces with different uses. Providing confidentiality in consulting and treatment rooms, restful conditions in wards and bedrooms and good working conditions for staff are all key considerations.

With staffing accounting for around 90% of companies’ operating costs, it is essential that employees can work in comfortable, stress free environments to perform at their best. We create robust, innovative and cost-effective design solutions to form productive office environments.
Sound from industrial activities can disturb communities, and we have vast experience in investigating and predicting noise and vibration on behalf of affected residents and the companies at the source of it.

Using the latest noise control techniques, we collaborate with suppliers and design teams to develop practical and cost-effective design solutions, and can provide project-specific support through all stages of the local planning process.

Teaching and non-teaching spaces in schools have different requirements. Music practice rooms can sit above a languages classroom, or a sports hall next to the library, making acoustic connectivity important – while flexible open-plan learning spaces can affect clear speech communication.

Our team can help to control the spread of sound and help teachers understand how to best use various learning environments. The result-acoustically flexible spaces work for schools during the day and after-hours for local community groups.

 “One of the real successes from a building point of view has been the acoustics,” – David Brunton, Principal at City Academy Norwich.


In modern destinations with shops, a bowling alley, cinema, music venue and restaurants, the sensitivity of each business to outside noise – and the noise each creates – requires careful consideration. Our approach enables noisier elements to thrive located next to more sensitive ones.

Controlling noise from large, outdoor event venues like football stadia, allows the venue to operate on a regular basis without upsetting the neighbours. In one recent project, our design even enabled new dwellings to be built on the site of the stadium itself.


Good acoustics play a significant role in transportation and infrastructure design. As well as considering the impact during the operational phase of a development, we’re specialists in all noise and vibration elements that can occur during construction (the source of most complaints).

We also invest in research to advance industry knowledge – for example, increasing efficiency and error reduction in data processing, and using geographical digital mapping so clients and the public can see and understand our assessments.

Key transport projects where we are contributing acoustics expertise include working with Highways England on their smart motorways programme, which is reducing congestion by increasing capacity and maintaining safety using ‘smart’ technology.

For aviation, we’ve provided the acoustic design for the Terminal 1 redevelopment of the San Francisco Internal Airport, where joint working across the design team has resulted in innovative acoustic solutions and establishes Terminal 1 as a benchmark for airports of the future.