Dutch building code regulates noise limits for outside placed heat pumps



To reduce CO-emission, Air/Water and Air/Air heat pumps are increasingly used in the Netherlands. Due to several noise complaints, the Dutch government decided that legal regulations were necessary to restrict outside noise. The legislation process consisted of three phases.

Determination of noise limits on neighbouring plot boundaries, based on a comparison with existing noise regulations for small companies in a defined quiet living environment. Creation of rules for ground-bound dwellings and for apartments.
Determination of the legal noise measurement procedure of installed heat pumps, such as defining working conditions and how to deal with tonality.
Developing a design tool for simple situations. This tool calculates the sound attenuations between the heat pump and all relevant receiver positions. The smallest attenuation determines the allowed sound power level of the heat pump. This is key information for appropriate selection of heat pumps. For complex situations, special calculation is still needed.