Milton Court concert hall interior with orchestra; Milton Court concert hall interior with orchestra;

Acoustic consulting

We bring creative brilliance and technical excellence to every kind of acoustic environment

We bring creative brilliance and technical excellence to every kind of acoustic environment

Shaping the sound of the world

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.

A brilliant acoustic experience is fundamental to any building or environment. We love the challenge of creating, defining and managing sound ” Raj Patel Raj Patel Principal

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. 

How we work

Define and design room acoustics

Define and design room acoustics

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. 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.

Learn more SoundLab

Control and manage building acoustics

Control and manage building acoustics

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

Audio system design

Audio systems

Audio systems

High-quality audio systems are an essential component of many spaces and best results are achieved when the systems design is developed and integrated alongside acoustic design. We have expertise across both these disciplines. We can model potential options using our SoundLab, helping clients to explore design options and select the right approach to meet their needs. 

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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. 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. 

Environmental acoustics

The impact of noise and vibration on human health and natural environments is becoming increasingly appreciated as a key factor in good environmental stewardship. 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

Acoustics and health, wellbeing, and social equity

Acoustics and health, wellbeing, and social equity

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.

Tools for enhancing acoustic performance

Our commitment to developing acoustics as a practice runs deep. We have developed a range of tools to enhance the outcomes we deliver for clients.

  • SNAPshot

    SNAPshot is a cloud-based, rapid, customised noise assessment and reporting tool, which allows construction site personnel such as site engineers and environment managers to quickly carry out assessments against project specific criteria to inform decision making and fast-track works approvals.

    Learn more about SNAPshot

  • SoundLab

    SoundLab® is a powerful tool, one that enables project collaborators, stakeholders, and communities to explore how acoustics will shape the built environment. By providing objective, quantifiable information in an accessible format, through listening, SoundLab makes the intangible tangible, demystifying and bringing clarity to design decisions.

    Learn more about SoundLab

  • Strutt

    Strutt is a plug-in for Microsoft Excel, harnessing the power and simplicity of the Excel environment to undertake calculations of noise and vibration. Strutt magnifies the capability of Excel by putting hundreds of acoustics and vibration functions at your fingertips, allowing the quick and easy build-up of noise and vibration calculations and predictions.

    Learn more about Strutt


From the smallest, most intimate theatres to concert halls, opera houses, arenas, stadia and rock venues, whether new build or refurbishment, Arup has a wealth of experience to guide every aspect of a project. 


Meet our people