Q: What exactly is meant by noise pollution and why it can be such a problem?
A: Noise surrounds us every day from obvious sources such as traffic, aircraft, neighbours and power tools. Less obvious sources also impact our senses, such as floorboards creaking, the constant soundtrack from radios and TVs, and appliances whirring, rattling and sometimes thundering into our consciousness.
The World Health Organisation has actually defined noise as the biggest threat to public health after air pollution. Noise causes many short and long-term health problems, including extreme stress, sleep disturbance, increased risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, as well as hearing impairment.
Q: How is Quiet Mark looking to reduce the issue?
A: Quiet Mark engages directly with industry, manufacturers, consumers, retailers and influencers establishing noise-reduction and acoustic design as key considerations in product development. Quiet Mark educates millions of consumers on the impact of noise in the home environment through new national retailer partnerships with Argos, ASDA, Currys Dixons, John Lewis, Very, Littlewoods and more, presenting a clear, easy way to identify quieter products.
Through its acoustic tests, and validation of manufacturers’ performance claims, Quiet Mark awards its distinctive Purple ‘Q’ Mark to products that are the quietest high-performance models in their category and noise reduction solutions to equip designers to build and design better buildings.
Q: So why is Quiet Mark an important consideration for the construction sector?
A: Noise pollution is a universally disruptive problem that needs addressing with greater understanding, and the building services sector could play a crucial part in the fix because we spend 90% of our time indoors. Noise insulation and absorption is something we need to address seriously within our built environment.
Professionals often don’t know enough about which acoustic products are best to meet the bespoke needs that each building project requires, or aware of the latest solutions available to suit their project budgets.
As a result, sound design can often be low on the list of priorities. Products and materials are selected without full understanding of their acoustic performance or the important installation and specification process to make them effective. This leads to poor acoustics in buildings that do not support human health.
Q: What can merchants do to make their customers aware of the issue?
A: To assist the construction sector, Quiet Mark has launched Acoustics Academy. This online platform has been developed to showcase expertly verified acoustic solutions for architects, designers, contractors, build-developers, specification-buyers and the wider building sector.
Acoustics Academy presents Quiet Mark approved solutions to unwanted noise to further equip and empower the building sector for every scenario. This includes science-made simple commentary, installation insights for building sector materials and Quiet Mark approved products in consumer and commercial technology sectors.
By simplifying the complex world of sound design, Acoustics Academy helps this vital industry audience understand and compare the most reliable and best-performing products on the market. This is achieved through like-for-like comparisons and validation of products, which are organised into a master directory for their performance, design, sustainability, suitability and cost-effectiveness.
Q: What sort of brands are Quiet Mark Partnering with?
A: Quiet Mark partners with 60+ brands worldwide including AEG Electrolux, BSH Bosch, Dyson, Fisher & Paykel, Interface, Karcher, Mitsubishi Electric, Samsung, Siemens, STIHL and Whirlpool. The Acoustics Academy framework includes specialist products, materials and technologies.
This covers every type of acoustic solution for all building application scenarios including; approved specialist Acoustic Glazing from Pilkington Glass, Sound Barriers from Saint-Gobain Ecophon, Pumps from Grant and Salamander, Acoustic Doors from Enfield Speciality Doors, Insulation from Rockwool, Commercial Ventilation from S&P UK Ventilation Systems, Acoustic Plasters from Armourcoat Acoustic and BASWA acoustic AG and much more.
*Other familiar brands listed on the Quiet Mark website include Dimplex, Glow-worm, Grohe, Hiab, Ideal Boilers, Karndean, Mira, Triton, Vaillant and Vent-Axia.
Q: What plans does Quiet Mark have to work with the construction industry, and merchants in particular, going forward?
A: Quiet Mark awarded brands and products are currently promoted in Screwfix, and we are in conversation with other groups about formal partnerships, continuing to meet with building merchants to add to existing Quiet Mark partners.
As well as the online Acoustics Academy platform, Quiet Mark is working to launch further opportunities to teach merchants and their trade customers about noise pollution, and how they can work to reduce it.
For example, the organisation is currently completing the production of an Acoustics Academy Podcast Series recorded with industry expert speakers. These are designed to bring a new wave of knowledge to the design and building industry audience and anyone keen to understand the vast world of sound design for living spaces.