OCKDOWN QUIET cess but as Quiet Mark explains, this shouldn’t be the case.

At a time when the government is encouraging industry to ‘build, build, build’, it is vital that the quality of build is paramount especially when it comes to aural design. Quiet Mark’s mission is to ensure that acoustic quality is never overlooked in the built environment. Its team of acoustic specialists review products for performance, characteristics and cost. Products selected for the Acoustics Academy platform are effective, robust and provide simple indicators to enable comparison.

Sharing the wellbeing benefits of architectural acoustic design, the Acoustics Academy line-up of expert speakers included Biophilic Designer, Oliver Heath, BDP Acoustics and Lighting Directors, Richard Grove and Colin Ball, Adrian Passmore, Associate Director at ARUP and Ethan Bourdeau, Acoustic Standard Lead at The WELL Building Institute.


BEFORE LOCKDOWN Prior to lockdown, in 2018, The World Health Organization calculated that

at least 1m healthy life-years are lost every year in western European countries because of environmental noise, with cardiovascular disease contributing to the vast majority of these deaths, especially high blood pressure, heart attacks and coronary heart disease. It is thought that noise triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which damages blood vessels over time.

Sound and acoustics are complex, which is why the Acoustics Academy also features an educational ‘Sound-Made-Simple’ guide, to clarify complex acoustic terminology with insights to design with sound.


RECONNECTION WITH NATURE Oliver Heath, one of the Masterclass Speakers at the Acoustics Academy and guest on episode three of The Quiet Mark Podcast, has long evangelised on the wellbeing and mental health benefits achieved through a biophilic approach to design, incorporating natural elements which invigorate our visual, aural and touch-based senses. Whilst it might seem obvious that humans could only gain from being amongst nature, it may have taken this unprecedented time of quiet and less rushing around, flying and commuting, to stop and truly appreciate its vitality.

In his Acoustics Academy keynote presentation, Oliver Heath highlights numerous studies over the last 35 years which list the benefits to the built environment through improving a connection to nature, such as:

● Office design - productivity can be increased by 8%, rates of wellbeing up by 13%, increases in creativity, with reduced absenteeism and presenteeism.

● Hospitality design - guests willing to pay 23% more for rooms with views of Biophilic elements.

● Education spaces - increased rates of learning 20-25%, improved test results, concentration levels and attendance, reduced impacts of ADHD.

● Healthcare spaces - post-operative recovery times decreased by 8.5%, reduced pain medication by 22%.

● Retail - the presence of vegetation & landscaping has been found to increase average rental rates on retail spaces with customers indicating they were willing to pay 8-12% more for goods and services.

● Homes - can become more calming & restorative, with 7-8% less crime attributed to areas with access to nature and can command an increase of 4-5% in property price.


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