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Sikh Temple Reading

Client: Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara

  • RIBA Stages
    • 2: Concept Design
    • 3: Developed Design

What we did

This Sikh community in the middle of Reading was looking to relocate its existing Gurdwara to a residential road on the outskirts of the city. The proposed move involved redeveloping two semi-detached houses into a 2-storey temple. 

Typical activities that take place in and around the temple include:

  • Worship in the main part of the hall during which there is the singing of hymns accompanied by 3 musicians, as well as religious discourse and readings - all of which are relayed around the Gurdwara over a public address (PA) system;
  • The preparation, cooking and serving of a communal meal in the large community kitchen (langar) and dining hall located adjacent to the worship area;
  • Members of the Sikh community and wider public coming to and leaving the temple.

Such noise generating activities required environmental noise surveys and noise impact assessments to be included in the planning application for the new site.

In assessing the potential noise issues associated with the proposed development, our noise measurements needed to:

  • Establish ambient and background noise at the proposed new site and nearby noise sensitive properties;
  • Quantify noise levels from a typical Sunday's activities and events at the existing temple;
  • Establish noise transfer sources and levels within the building, particularly when meal cooking and preparation is taking place during the service;
  • Assess noise egress to the local residents;
  • Assess noise levels from the cars and people arriving and leaving the temple throughout the day.

Acoustic features of this project

In order to quantify and meet the noise breakout targets for the new building, as set by the local borough council and National Planning Policy Guidance, we:

  • Set up an unattended long term noise survey at the existing site and collated the results;
  • Reviewed the designs for the new Gurdwara temple;
  • Predicted activity and breakout noise levels from the new site's worship hall, using the existing site's noise measurements and taking into account the wall construction, glazing and roof fabric of the new temple's design;
  • Established the noise emission criteria for the proposed building's ventilation;
  • Predicted noise levels from the visiting cars and site's parking provision;
  • Provided a report of the measured noise results and an assessment of the proposed development design from an acoustic and noise emission perspective.

Planning permission for the new Gurdwara was ultimately not granted, with the Council raising concerns over the size of the building and the parking provision (among other factors). 

The project team

Architect: Per Pro Akaal Associates
Acoustics: Adnitt Acoustics


  • Noise egress from amplified worship activity to local residential area
  • Noise breakout from large kitchen and dining hall during service
  • External traffic and plant noise


Do you have a similar acoustics requirement for your place of worship project? 

Get in touch with one of our consultants to find out how we can help.

 Make an online enquiry

 020 7099 9735

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