Tuesday 4 June 2024

1 Golden Lane - Disingenuous Sound Measures

In their recent "Community Newsletter" for the 1 Golden Lane project, Midgard present the following table:

On the face of it these sound levels look fine, you'd think.  But look closer.  Midgard are giving measures using LAeq10 Hours in plain old dB ... this is about the best way to hide noise nuisance while coming across as all clever and technical.  But ...

LAeq (Equivalent Continuous Sound Level) is a flawed measure of sound nuisance which hides problematic peaks by averaging sound energy over long periods. The LAeq 10h measure used by Midgard averages over 10 hours, no doubt including the “Reduced impact hours” in the average.

Limitations of LAeq in more detail:

  • Focuses on average energy: LAeq simply averages the sound pressure level over a specific time period. This doesn't account for fluctuations in the sound, which can be crucial for human perception of nuisance. A constant sound at a specific LAeq might be less bothersome than the same average level with frequent peaks or variations. The 1 Golden Lane work involves relatively brief bursts of extremely loud noise.
  • Ignores frequency content: LAeq doesn't consider the frequency makeup of the sound. High-frequency sounds are generally perceived as more annoying than low-frequency sounds at the same LAeq level. For example, traffic noise with a lot of high-pitched engine sounds might be more bothersome than constant low-frequency hum from ventilation even if they have the same LAeq. The noise produced by the power tools in use on the 1 Golden Lane site is often of a high piercing frequency.
  • Doesn't capture temporal aspects: LAeq doesn't consider how the sound changes over time. Sounds with sudden loud bursts or those that occur at night can be more disruptive than sounds with the same LAeq that are spread out evenly. Some of the noisiest work on the 1 Golden Lane site seems to be saved for the very start and very end of the permitted work times.
Alternative Measures that Midgard could use if they really wanted to be helpful:
  • Lmax: This metric measures the maximum sound pressure level during a specific period. It's a good way to identify potential for sudden loud noises that might be startling or disruptive.
  • Leq,n: This metric represents the equivalent continuous sound level for specific time intervals within the measurement period (e.g., Leq,1h for hourly levels). It provides a more detailed picture of how sound levels fluctuate over time.
  • Frequency weighting: Weighting scales like A-weighting (dBA) and C-weighting (dBC) prioritize frequencies that humans perceive more readily. This helps provide a better understanding of how annoying a sound might be.

Saturday 1 June 2024

1 Golden Lane construction - noise

 In the "1 GOLDEN LANE EC1Y 0RR - Community Newsletter – May 2024" the contractors give the times they will be working during the rest of the project:

Click to read the whole newsletter

On the basis of their behaviour so far the contractor intends to make as much noise as they like during the hours they have given, except for a break from the noisiest work between 10 to noon and 14:00 to 16:00.  The City thinks this is fine.

Montcalm hotel redevelopment ... getting bigger

It seems that the Montcalm is to be enhanced.  It will be getting taller, of course.  The dark finished growth above the brickwork is the new floor (or floors):

Click to expand

More details here:  https://montcalm-at-the-brewery.co.uk/

And, of course there will be a "consultation":

Good afternoon all,

I hope you are well.

I am contacting you on behalf Montcalm Group regarding proposals for renewed investment in The Montcalm at the Brewery, 52 Chiswell Street.

Many thanks for taking the time to meet with the project team last month.

I am pleased to notify you that following several meetings with key stakeholders, our public consultation has now launched. As part of our commitment to early community engagement, we will be holding a drop-in public exhibition to share out plans.

This will take place at:
Date: Thursday 6th June
Time: 3pm- 7pm
Location: Samuel Room, Montcalm at the Brewery, 52 Chiswell Street, EC1Y 4SA

We very much hope to see you there.

For further information, please visit our consultation website, https://montcalm-at-the-brewery.co.uk/

In the meantime, if you would like to meet with the team or have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards,


Thursday 21 March 2024

White Cross Street Ramp Closed Thu 21st March

From the BEO:

Dear Residents,

I am writing to inform you that the ramp on White Cross Street by Staircase 64, Ben Jonson House, will be closed tomorrow (Thursday 21 March), all day, due to repairs taking place on the drains and associated pipework.

There will be barriers in place as well as signs directing to the ramp round the back of Ben Jonson as an alternative.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Kind Regards,
Barbican Estate Office

Monday 18 March 2024

Highwalk still leaks

Further confirmation that the City's mega projects to strip back and relay the surface of the highwalks was a poor choice.

Rather than establish a boring on-going maintenance programme to fix the drains and carry out essential repairs the City awarded themselves a capital project to completely resurface the western end of northern Barbican highwalks.  The project took ages, inconvenienced residents for years and cost a fortune.  In the end the highwalk looks little better than it did before (some say worse) and the water penetration problems, the excuse for the project in the first place, remain.

The City are currently trying to justify a re-run of this disaster at the eastern end of the northern part of the Barbican highwalks, Ben Jonson Highwalk and its neighbours.

The number one priority in this context should be to fix the drains as part of a long term on-going maintenance programme ... but no.

And then the City acts all surprised when water penetration is *still* causing problems on the western highwalk illustrating that the resurfacing project was, in many ways, worse than useless.

As reported in the latest Barbican Estate Bulletin:


Podium repair work - Beech Gardens

Property Services have been carrying out work to resolve a leak into the reception area of Nuffield Health. An area of podium tiling had been lifted and waterproofing work carried out to cure the leak.

Museum of London: Move progress

 Here is an item from the BBC about how the packing is going in the Museum of London's move from London Wall to Smithfield:

Click to read the article