Stress, irritation, sleep loss, poor concentration and even cardiovascular problems. The health implications of noise pollution are well-documented. The solution? Good acoustic insulation – especially in the places where people live, work and learn.
Rumbling traffic, loud neighbours, echoing conference halls, distorted conference calls, beeping delivery vans or the relentless barking of dogs — noise pollution is all around us.
The World Health Organisation reports that in Europe excessive noise is responsible for 12,000 premature deaths every year, contributes to 48,000 new cases of heart disease annually, triggers chronic ‘high annoyance’ for 22 million Europeans and disturbs the sleep of 6.5 million people across Europe.
All this acoustic misery adds up to an estimated cost of €40 billion every year in the European Union in terms of lost workdays, healthcare, hospital allocation, decreased productivity and learning challenges.
The secret to good acoustic health is to focus on the three sources of noise pollution — external, internal and mechanical — and find solutions to tackle every area. Knauf Insulation can help. Our Mineral Wool can improve acoustic well-being, particularly if combined with sound-absorbing boards, partitions, facades or installed in floors.
To learn more about how our solutions can improve acoustic well-being at home, at school and in our workplaces.
AFAS Software Experience Centre in features 2,000 m2 of Knauf Insulation’s Acoustifit Glass Mineral Wool
The challenge: Excessive noise is a key concern whether we are working from home or commuting to an office. Novelty ringtones, loud paper shredders, colleagues eating at desks, shouting into conference calls or trying to be heard in an echoing room — work can be challenging without good sound insulation.
Impact on well-being: A study by the British Journal of Psychology in the UK found that if you can hear someone talking while you are reading or writing, productivity can fall by up to 66%. In another productivity test a group of students carried out mental arithmetic tasks while exposed to office noise and then in silence. They performed better when conditions were quiet. In the US, research into the working habits of 40,000 office workers discovered that there was no evidence that open plan offices offered benefits over closed alternatives. In fact, open plan workers complained more about sound privacy.
How Knauf Insulation can help: From rattling air-conditioning units and external traffic noise to hollow internal partitions and echoing meeting rooms, we have solutions and systems for any acoustic application.
Solutions: Our HVAC insulation solutions are fire-resistant and reduce mechanical noise. Externally our Mineral Wool can be fixed to outer walls or combined with façade fittings for an attractive finish and we also provide a range of flat roof solutions. Internally we supply a versatile range of wall lining systems that offer high quality acoustic performance as well as interior walls and doors that combine the sound-absorbing excellence of our Mineral Wool with Knauf systems. For noisy technical rooms Heraklith® Wood Wool panels are ideal for insulating walls, floors and ceilings and provide effective sound insulation for car parks.
The challenge: Poor acoustics in educational buildings means students cannot hear lessons properly, online lessons are distorted, music lessons next to a language class can ruin comprehension and assemblies or gym classes are lost in translation.
Impact on well-being: Continuous exposure to disruptive noise impacts understanding in class, memory, reading ability, academic performance and causes stress and cognitive fatigue for educators, says the World Health Organisation. In the UK, for example, one research paper found the average classroom noise level was 72dB, almost vacuum cleaner level.
How Knauf Insulation can help: As an example, our solutions exceed the acoustic standards of Building Bulletin 93 — recognised standards in the UK for school noise levels, reverberation times and sound insulation.
Solutions: The noise-blocking fibre structure of our Rock Mineral Wool, Glass Mineral Wool and wall systems filled with these sound-absorbing materials offer great acoustic performance. Our Heraklith Wood Wool is ideal for garages and ceilings, our flat-roof solutions are perfect for noisy classrooms and for echoing gyms or school halls, we offer customised combinations to meet every shape and size of space.
Photo: Heraklith A2 Wood Wool was installed in Da Vinci College in the Netherlands to minimise noise from adjoining classrooms
The challenge: Our homelife is often bombarded by external noise from traffic or construction outside to internal disturbances such as noisy airconditioning systems or loud neighbours next door.
Impact on well-being: According to pre-pandemic research by the European Environment Agency at least one in five people in Europe are exposed to external noise levels that are harmful to health. Around 22 million Europeans suffered ‘high annoyance’ and 6.5 million endured significant sleep disturbance both of which can trigger health issues such as stress or cardiovascular problems.
How Knauf Insulation can help: When it comes to tackling external or internal noise we have a range of solutions for houses or apartments that can meet any home requirement.
Solutions: Our Mineral Wool façade systems can be easily fixed to exterior walls and finished with render, brick slips or boards or tiles. Our lightweight ventilated façade systems also provide a range of appealing aesthetic options while our Urbanscape Green Roof solutions can be customised to meet any noise-reducing requirements and are great for biodiversity and CO2 absorption. For new buildings or renovation our SUPAFIL Blowing Wool is ideal for lofts, cavity walls and timber frames. Internally, DRS Sound Supreme Board has been developed for door cores and is popular with hotel companies, our Rock Mineral Wool is often used as the core of sandwich panels and Heraklith Wood Wool is a naturally inspired solution for garages and basements.
Photo: Knauf Insulation’s Acoustic Roll and OmniFit Roll were installed in The Gables housing project Liverpool, UK to achieve great levels of thermal and acoustic comfort
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At the new AFAS Software Experience Centre at Leusden in the Netherlands, health, well-being and comfort are regarded as a priority for building users. A total of 2,000 m2 of Knauf Insulation’s Acoustifit Glass Mineral Wool and 1,200 m2 of Heraklith® Wood Wool A2 Decorative Boards were installed in the futuristic building in addition to 15,000 m2 of 12.5 mm Knauf A Gypsum Board and 12.5 mm 27,500 m2 of Diamond Board