Dalton Square Case Study Image


The distinctive 13 Dalton Square, which sits within the Lancaster City Conservation Area, is designated locally as a heritage asset. The five storey building started life as a cinema, but since showing its last film in 1974 has had a variety of uses, including a play centre and a disco. However, in recent years, neglect meant it had fallen into disrepair.


Plans to revitalise the former cinema building with a new apartment development incorporated flexible design so it could be used as either high-quality student accommodation or as a luxury aparthotel. Within the new design, the façade and cinema foyer of 13 Dalton Square would be retained.

13 Dalton Square is located directly adjacent to a popular local nightclub, which presented challenges for the proposed mixed-use development. Miller Goodall was brought into the project by the architects, HPA, to carry out a noise and vibration assessment in support of the planning application.


The project found innovative solutions to achieve difficult acoustic criteria and overcame rigorous third party interrogation. We achieved this by working in close collaboration with the architect to develop significant sound insulation improvements at the façade, while maintaining a high quality look to the building and a good level of amenity and accessibility for its future occupants.

∧ Mitigation measures

∧ Final noise design

Action and outcome

Three separate weekend periods were surveyed, including two bank holidays, to obtain nine nights of entertainment noise data. Three sound level measurement locations were used as well as one vibration monitoring position directly adjacent to the nightclub.

A baseline noise model was created of the existing noise sources for the worst-case measured octave-band levels. The prediction model indicated very high low frequency noise levels at the proposed building facades.

A number of detailed mitigation measures were recommended which were approved by the Lancaster City Council and planning permission was granted.

For our work on Dalton Square, we received a Highly Commended in the Environmental Noise category in the Association of Noise Consultants’ 2020 Awards. The awards promote and recognise excellence among UK acoustic consultants and look for examples of work that display innovation and originality in acoustic design or approach to a particular project.

For more information

Call: 01204 596166
Email: info@millergoodall.co.uk

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Bringing Miller Goodall into your project as environmental consultants means you can be certain that you are meeting the required standards of environmental best practice. Talk to us: info@millergoodall.co.uk