Yes, that’s right; REC is quoting a 1970’s glam rock song by Slade. And yes, we are that cool –although not cool enough to be in a glam rock band, sadly. But just like Slade, we are interested in noise so loud that you can feel it, however, perhaps unsurprisingly, that’s where the similarities between REC and Slade end. Nonetheless, the crucial point to this introduction is noise. REC has decided it’s time to start shouting about noise.
As an environmental consultancy, we recognise that any form of pollution – whether it be air, noise (especially loud pop songs) or land – can have a negative impact on the environment and our health. However, it’s clear that noise pollution in particular never quite makes the headlines – but it should. Just like air pollution, regular exposure to high levels of noise pollution can have a crucial impact on a person’s health. As the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports, noise pollution is an ‘underestimated threat that can cause a number of short –and long – term health problems’.
So why and how does noise affect us? With road traffic being the main source of noise pollution from within cities, complaints about noisy neighbours at a high and some 17,000 people suffering with ear conditions because of elevated noise at work, excessive noise is a problem that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. In excess, noise can interrupt peoples’ sleep, disturb their home, work and social life – and because of this, the issue has been linked to various health problems, including; increased stress, blood pressure levels and antisocial behaviour, as well as underperformance, physiological, cardiovascular and psychological problems. What’s more, despite guidelines set out by the WHO to combat noise pollution, EU findings show that 40% of the EU are still exposed to higher levels from traffic alone, with a reported one in five Europeans being regularly exposed to noise at night that could significantly damage health.
So yeah, noise pollution is a pretty big deal – and what’s worrying is that some of it can go unnoticed. Excess noise isn’t just being woken up by students having a ‘bangin’ house party at 2am in the morning – it’s the background noise at work that after a while may go unnoticed, the constant traffic zooming past your window, or noise from commercial and industrial activities. Fortunately, if Acoustic Assessments are done during the planning stages of a development, property developers and house builders can ensure that their site meets WHO noise guidelines and help protect the health of their tenants along the way.
REC’s Associate Director, John Goodwin, who specialises in Acoustics, says ‘We recommend to clients that they get us involved with a site from inception. Allowing us to provide input into strategic design of a development from a noise perspective early on often brings a win-win situation for both client and the environment. Whilst meeting EU regulations, REC can maximize the developable area and the development stands a better chance of being granted approval first time. We work with a very broad spectrum of clients who bring with them some very interesting sites, but whatever the picture, we will present the client with options for their scheme. Using state of the art noise modelling software to accurately calculate noise levels across a site, it means that we can ensure that mitigation is accurate, as well as cost-effective”.
Now, where were we…’Come on feel the nooize, Girls grab the boys..we get wiiild, willld wild’.
For more information on Noise Assessments, please visit our Acoustics section here or get in touch with REC’s Acoustic experts directly by calling us on 0845 676 9303 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page 1, Environmental Noise and Health in the UK Report, 2010, CIEH