The growing need for quiet in our homes and workplaces
07 March 2022
OVER HALF of Brits, (52%), would factor noise into their future employment decision. More than a quarter (28%) would prioritise working from home claiming it is quieter and enables them to concentrate better than in their workplace. On the other hand, just 14% would prioritise working on-site as they find that to be more productive.
Image: The Quiet Mark certified BlockO Base Acoustic Meeting Pod, enabling work and meetings to take place in a more private setting and where you can focus without distraction.
Quiet Mark, the independent global certification programme associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society charitable foundation, has recently conducted a National Noise Report survey of 2,000 UK Adults; taking a deep dive into the UK’s changing attitudes towards noise in their home and work lives, in the wake of the pandemic.
Quietness, whether at home or the workplace, has become a key priority for workers in 2022. Employers recognise that many people work well from home, with no change or even an increase in productivity. This has paved the way for a huge rise in “hybrid work”, allowing staff to work some days in the office and others from home.
Studies by Hawkins/Brown, the UK’s 7th largest architecture practice, show that whereas, prior to the pandemic, 6 desks were necessary per 10 employees, hybrid work has reduced this ratio to just 3 to 10. The space saved has given rise to agile workplaces that incorporate activity-based working, allowing workers to pick and choose settings throughout the office that fit their needs at a given time. This means there may be some open areas within an office that are available to use when a worker feels that is the best fit, but there may also be more private spaces where someone can close a door to really sit and concentrate in silence.
This has given rise to new types of acoustic office furniture that have recently achieved Quiet Mark certification and inclusion in their Acoustics Academy platform of verified acoustic solutions for every building type. Products such as Vetrospace’s modular meeting rooms, pods and phone booths, BlockO’s acoustic meeting pods and BuzziSpace’s range of acoustic lighting, and office furniture.
Image: The Quiet Mark certified Vetrospace modular meeting space provides a peaceful and healthy environment in which to work, with clean, fresh air.
Founded in 2017, before the pandemic, and based in Finland, Vetrospace Ltd. manufactures unique meeting pods and phone booths that incorporate critical health technology, including anti-microbial lighting, anti-viral nano-coating and clean-air ventilation. The result, Vetrospace claim, is the most hygienic, private modular spaces on the market.
Image: A Quiet Mark certified BlockO Base acoustic meeting pod
BlockO Base acoustic meeting pods provide space for up to four people, where work and meetings take place in a more private setting and where you can focus without distraction. Disinfection lighting and an antimicrobial coating destroy viruses and bacteria from its surfaces.
Image: Avoid noisy environments in your next one to one meeting, with this BuzziSpace BuzziRing Wall Mounted Acoustic Enclosure
BuzziSpace’s BuzziRing Wall Mounted Acoustic Enclosure is acoustically well-balanced on the inside, being an ideal space for focused work, catching up on emails, video conferences or phone calls away from distractions. Not only is BuzziRing an acoustic cocoon within the inner circle, but it also absorbs the sound waves from crowded surroundings and prevents them from bouncing back into the room, thanks to the space between the wall and BuzziRing.
Image: Reduce reverberation times and increase acoustic comfort with the BuzziSpace BuzziMoon range of acoustic pendant lighting.
BuzziMoon, again by BuzziSpace, is one of the first acoustical lighting solutions that perform equally on lighting as well as acoustic level. The LED light module has an output of 2500 lumen at a colour temperature of 3000K and is designed specifically to answer the request of general lighting in office space.
The soft edges diffuse sounds while the structural body, made from absorbing materials, delivers excellent acoustic performance. With its high density, this solution works on the whole audible spectrum, from low to mid and high tones.
Image: The Quiet Mark certified Daikin MCK55W Humidifying Air Purifier.
Concerns over the quality of the air circulating through our homes and offices were rising prior to Covid, and the amount of time we spent indoors during lockdown only served to reinforce these concerns.
Daikin air purifiers minimise asthma and allergy symptoms by removing dust particles, pollen and other allergens from your indoor air, helping to keep you healthy by filtering out airborne bacteria and viruses. Their Quiet Mark certified air purifiers, such as the Daikin MCK55W Humidifying Air Purifier pictured above, clean your air by combining patented streamer technology and an active plasma ion generation unit with high performance HEPA filters. The result: healthy and clean air quality for everyone.
Delivering exceptional cleaning for both home and office, the Daikin Humidifying Air Purifier is quiet but effective. Its superior performance eliminates the need to open windows and doors for fresh air – no more chills or draughts, just total peace of mind.
Office bathroom design has also changed radically since the pandemic, with a contactless experience being a key goal. As door handles make way for touch-free chicane bathroom doors, sensor taps and quiet hand dryers and toilet flushes are other areas of growth in testing and certification at Quiet Mark.
Image: The Quiet Mark certified Dyson Airblade Wash+Dry hand dryer
The Quiet Mark certified Dyson Airblade Wash+Dry hand dryer has reprogrammed digital motor technology and precision air apertures, making it up to 39% quieter than its predecessor, according to Dyson’s own loudness testing.
Image: The Quiet Mark certified GROHE Rapid SLX installation system
The Quiet Mark certified GROHE Rapid SLX installation system comes with GROHE Whisper technology that helps stop sound travelling through walls so you can enjoy peace and quiet. Also, GROHE EcoJoy cuts your water usage by up to 50%. Simply select either large or small flush (6L/3L), or if you prefer, stop a full flush before it’s over.
Significantly, in December 2021, Quiet Mark announced a groundbreaking, industry changing new partnership with NBS, a leading construction data and specification platform, to empower architects to specify ‘acoustics first’, by providing a shortcut for specifiers to source responsible products.
Quiet Mark and NBS have joined forces to enable the 3,600+ practices that use NBS, to make 13.6M decisions on specifications per month, to easily source Quiet Mark certified products and materials. The aim is to elevate the aural design of buildings, optimising the overall level of acoustic comfort for occupants.
In fact, the Dyson Airblade Wash+Dry hand dryer and GROHE Rapid SLX installation system mentioned above, are just a couple of the growing number of Quiet Mark certified products that can be found on the NBS platform. Commenting on the Quiet Mark & NBS partnership Dyson Professional’s Global Specification & Training Director, Paul Gregory said, "Dyson enjoys a good relationship with NBS and sees more than 10,000 impressions every month with around 500 BIM files downloaded. I'm sure the "acoustics first" shortcut will drive more awareness of Quiet Mark certified products for the built environment and go on to drive more specification of Dyson Solutions for business”.
Poppy Szkiler, CEO and Cofounder of Quiet Mark said: “Because sound is invisible it is often overlooked. Yet the fundamental impact it has on all the physical rhythms of our bodies, our hormones, heart-rate and brain waves, is so profound and inherent to our wellbeing and therefore also to the design process of the buildings we live in."
Szkiler added: “Quiet Mark is passionate about elevating wellbeing through improved acoustics in the built environment. Just as our retailer partnerships have helped consumers to reduce unwanted noise in their homes, Quiet Mark has partnered with NBS, to enable industry-wide architects and specifiers to easily find and specify verified acoustic products and materials, to create healthier buildings.”
For more details visit www.quietmark.com