“One of the main features at the [at the Ideal Home] show was the Quiet Treehouse, an extraordinary £400,000 building that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Tolkien’s Shire. Inside were a number of products that had been endorsed by Quiet Mark, the international mark of approval from the UK’s Noise Abatement Society that encourages the design of quieter high performance technology to reduce unwanted noise in our environment.
These included the latest technology from brands such as Dyson, Lexus, Bose, Smeg, Philips, Vaillant, Insinkerator, Lumie, Magimix, Kitchen Aid and Samsung. There was even a band playing that could make a ‘sound portrait’ of visitors by feeding off their ‘aura’.
Interestingly, the retailer John Lewis is partnering with Quiet Mark to provide a platform to sell these endorsed products, so the notion that quiet products are an indulgence that only people with money to spare can afford is scotched. If John Lewis are involved, products like this are unlikely to fail commercially because of their price point.
“Noise surrounds us and affects our everyday lives in ways most people are completely unaware of. However, when it comes to electronics we believe it will become an increasingly important consideration for consumers when they are deciding what technology to buy for their home,” said Johnathan Marsh, Head of Buying, Electricals, John Lewis.`
It’s not only in the home that silence can be golden. Quiet Mark is also heading a campaign to move away from using decibels as the key sound measurement as they do not reflect the range of human hearing. A measure that uses pure loudness as a guide misses auditory perception of sounds and its evaluation, be that pleasant or unpleasant.
Such a new measure should be sound quality and in its first attempt to test this metric, Quiet Mark has decided to use a car, the new Lexus CT 200, carried out with HEAD acoustics GmbH. The level of interior and exterior vehicle noise will be tested under different driving conditions, providing an acoustic and psychoacoustic analysis of measurements.
“This is a glimpse into the future where a healthy acoustic environment is as important as the architectural design of a building,” said Poppy Elliott, Managing Director of Quiet Mark says. ”
* The Quiet Treehouse at the Ideal Home Show was designed by Blue Forest Luxury Treehouses and will be donated for permanent use by Chestnut Tree House, the children’s hospice for Sussex
“In our stressful lives we are surrounded by a cacophony of sound and we feel unable to control this pollution. The louder the noise around us, the more energy we waste to overcome it, and it is getting worse day by day. If we don’t do something about this soon, our ability to hear the subtle sounds around us will disappear. Since launching in January 2012, Quiet Mark has significantly changed the way people and manufacturers view products. Quiet Mark has helped to create a demand for use of quieter technology in our homes, in our workplace and in the open air. Quiet Mark sprang from the response to public complaints received by the Noise Abatement Society’s 24/7 national noise help-line, concerning the volume of excessive noise made by household tools and appliances which invade the fabric of everyday life.”
For Quietmark, see http://www.quietmark.com/