Ireland - Services


Acoustics, Noise & Vibration

The RPS Acoustics team, based across Ireland and the UK, has an enviable track record in the provision of specialist acoustics, noise & vibration consultancy services. Our experienced team of consultants works with public and private sector clients across a wide range of industries. The team works closely with clients at all stages of a project's lifecycle from inception to design, commissioning and compliance testing.

We provide focused advice and assessments to deliver practical and cost-effective solutions and enhance prospects for obtaining permits and planning permission. We support clients with regulatory compliance, mitigation schemes, and improvements to working environments to meet licence and planning conditions. Our consultants are members of the Institute of Acoustics and the Acoustical Society of America.

Key services:

Building & Architectural Acoustics

Environmental Impact Assessment

Noise Measurement & Testing

Noise Modelling (Airborne and Underwater)

Underwater Noise Measurement

Expert Witness

Case Studies

M28 Cork-Ringaskiddy Motorway



This Strategic Infrastructure Development (SID) is key to the development of Cork City, allowing the Port of Cork to relocate and free up their lands in the city for residential and commercial development in addition to providing better access to the city from Ringaskiddy and Carrigaline. RPS provided the planning and design team and prepared the Environmental Impact Statement for this 13.5km project. The preferred route was contentious as both the northern and southern end of the mainline are routed close to residential areas.

In the design of the scheme, our acoustic experts carried out background noise monitoring and route and option assessments based on acoustic and vibration sensitivities. Route noise modelling included identification of mitigation requirements and design of mitigation measures. In addition, we prepared the Noise and Vibration Chapter of the Environmental Impact Statement, acted as expert witness at the An Bord Pleanála Oral Hearing and assisted in the compilation of the Schedule of Environmental Commitments.

M8/M73/M74 Motorway Improvements



RPS provided acoustic design services to Ferrovial Agroman Lagan JV, which is responsible for the design, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the M8 / M73 / M74 Motorway Improvement project on behalf of the Scottish Roads Partnership. This £500m project improves the safety and reliability of journeys between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and provide a north / south link to the UK.

Our acoustics experts provided a value engineered acoustic design service on the project. This included 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, we developed a cost effective acoustic design.

The project opened to traffic in 2017 and was awarded an ACEI Design Excellence Award in 2018.

National Scale Wind Turbine Noise Model



The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland needed to evaluate the potential impact of setting lower noise limits for wind energy developments on available wind resource in Ireland. RPS was commissioned to develop a national scale noise model for wind energy. The output from the model comprised an available resource in GWhr based on potential noise limits. RPS acoustics and GIS specialists worked together to develop the model.

The acoustic model comprised multiple scenarios including; different turbine types, tip heights, terrain, ground absorption, directivity, and weather conditions. This resulted in over 100,000 model scenarios which were analysed statistically to generate probability density functions for noise level plotted against distance. This allowed separation distances to be set with confidence intervals.

GIS modelling was then used to identify zones suitable for development. This excluded noise sensitive locations and a range of exclusion zones such as Special Areas of Conservation, cultural heritage sites, military lands, etc. The model then calculated available GWhr capacity based on a range of planning and development scenarios.

Oweninny Wind Farm



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 in three phases.

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. The proposed development was approved through 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 to ESB International and Bord na Móna, including route selection for overhead and underground cable route options and presenting the noise section of the EIS at oral hearing. The project involved analysis and presentation of long-term noise monitoring data at multiple sites.

Underwater Noise Propagation Study for Irish Waters



RPS, in association with National University of Galway (NUIG), has developed underwater noise models for Irish waters.

The Petroleum Infrastructure Programme (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 innovative 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 undertook noise monitoring and developed 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.