Our experience of places is driven by our ears as much as our eyes, which is why acoustics is fundamental to any successful building or environment. Arup is a leading acoustics, noise and vibration design and advisory practice.

Our team works across a wide range of acoustic environments, whether it’s developing an incredible acoustic experience in concert halls or  managing vibration inside a particle physics laboratory.

We take a people-centric, sensory approach to design, carefully considering the function of each individual space inside buildings, as well as the impact of buildings and transport systems on their surroundings (and vice-versa). We combine insights from designers and advisors experienced in a wide range of project types, bringing cross-disciplinary and cross-market innovation to all of our work. Collaborating with our audio-visual and theatre consulting teams we can also plan, design and integrate all the necessary infrastructure and systems into our solutions. 

Discover how we can help:

Control and manage building acoustics

Understand the acoustic impacts of building design and operation.

Control and manage building acoustics

At the building scale, there are five main factors influencing the overall acoustics experience.

Soundlab brings to life the acoustic implications of many kinds of project or proposal.

We help you to control the amount of noise coming into a building from the outside, how, where and when to control the amount of sound propagating from the inside of the building to the outside, how sound propagates inside a building, and by the noise and vibration created from mechanical, electrical, plumbing and other systems.

Our experts fine tune solutions, and use our SoundLab to help our clients and project partners to explore and select the desired acoustic performance they want to offer employees, visitors, clients or customers.

Learn more about how Soundlab shapes better project outcomes and understanding.


Define and design room acoustics

Achieve acoustics that suit the space.

Define and design room acoustics

Acoustics should always be driven by room function. What's right for a concert hall or recording studio, will not be the same as a subway station or patient room in a hospital.

Bjork reverberation chamber

In her Cornucopia tour, Bjork sought to capture the intimacy of singing live in a small room, unaided by stage amplification. She commissioned Arup to design an acoustic reverberation chamber as part of the touring set — a unique approach to live stage performance that projects an encapsulated and solacing moment to a large-scale audience.

Getting acoustics right is best achieved as an integral part of a design team, at the very start of the design process. It begins by determining functional requirements, then designing the room shape, form, volume and materials to produce the desired experience. Our digital tools allow us to not only model the sounds of spaces during design, but also enable clients to experience them using our innovative SoundLab.

Environmental acoustics

Manage the impact of noise and vibration on human health and natural environments.

Environmental acoustics

Our tools and techniques, especially SoundLab, have helped bring clarity to environmental noise issues early in projects.

At Arup we have always strived to go beyond mandatory noise limits and policy to advocate for more joined-up thinking around the design of environmental soundscape and a proactive approach to go beyond policy.

Our tools and techniques, especially SoundLab, have helped bring clarity to environmental noise issues early in projects and helped clients appreciate that achieving a better soundscape is not only beneficial to the environment, but it makes for a better project experience overall.

Health and wellbeing

Understanding and managing the wellbeing implications of building or environmental acoustics.

Health and wellbeing

Managing the acoustic impact on user or visitor wellbeing.

Acoustics are a critical factor in the resulting health and wellness produced by environments wherever people live, work, travel or socialise. Stress from noise has a huge impact on health with the worst effects often being felt by the most marginalised communities. We believe positive acoustic design, and mitigation of noise and vibration, should be fundamental considerations in any design discussion.

Manage transport noise and vibration

Understand and mitigate the impacts of sound, noise and vibration.

Manage transport noise and vibration

Understanding and mitigating the impact of sound, noise and vibration is important to delivering the desired conditions within the system itself, and in the surrounding environment and buildings.

Managing noise and vibration was a central part of our work guiding Crossrail (the Elizabeth Line) through tunnels under central London.

Where possible, control at source is the most effective approach, and crucial when a transport system is added or extended close to neighbouring buildings and communities.

With proximity concerns, it is important to understand the potential impact at the outset of the project and design accordingly – isolation systems need to be designed in from the start. This could mean isolating a building from underground or surface rail, or requiring buildings to be fully isolated to absorb vibration and limit noise from nearby roads. We enable clients to address these issues at individual building up to city scale, to help determine appropriate and effective solutions.

Learn more about our work on Crossrail.