Acoustics case study

ALOFT, Liverpool


Formerly a Royal Insurance Company building, Aloft Liverpool was designed in 1849 by James Francis Doyle to accommodate the growing business. The copper plated dome on the roof is a defining feature of the building, and was once visible from many parts of the city. After becoming disused in the 1980s, a major refurbishment by Falconer Chester Hall and Balfour Beatty started in April 2013 to redevelop the site as a hotel. The project has maintained many of the building’s original features including the original wooden panelling, stained glass and marble floors, and opened to much acclaim in October 2014.


There were a number of unique acoustic requirements for the refurbishment of this listed building, including controlling noise and vibration intrusion from outside, whilst retaining many original window systems. It was also important to provide adequate sound insulation between hotel rooms in accordance with the brand requirements and building regulations. Many of the retained features in the ground floor main hall area could not be touched, therefore alternative approaches were needed to meet the right acoustic solutions for the building. Aloft Liverpool looked to retain acoustic consultants to test the existing building and provide sound solutions that matched the building’s original features.


SRL undertook extensive acoustic testing of the existing building prior to embarking on the acoustic design. During the design process, particular focus was placed on how to combine new structures and the existing building, whilst also avoiding additional acoustic linings that may detract from the original features of the building. SRL’s expert acoustic consultants worked on solutions that would provide sound insulation between the ground floor multi-use areas and the bedrooms immediately above and below, in line with brand aspirations and Building Regulation Part E. We worked with the team to make informed decisions on what modifications could be made without compromising the appearance of the building or comfort of hotel guests.