High Quality Building Design Key to Meeting Noise Challenges in Urban Environments

Published in conjunction with International Noise Awareness Day, this new ROCKWOOL report highlights the impact of noise on our lives as well as solutions in the built environment.

Drawing together information on health impacts, costs and government policy, it highlights how growth in high density living coupled with trends such as 24-hour economies means that cities like London will continue to face challenges in achieving good growth and a good night’s sleep.

Noise is already the number one complaint in urban hotels[1], whilst it’s also one of the main reasons given by Londoners for moving out of the city – with 41% citing it as a reason for leaving[2]. The health consequences are also well-documented, with a WHO study finding that at least 1 million healthy life years are lost every year in Western Europe as result of exposure to environmental noise[3].

So despite the pressure to develop our cities at pace, noise mitigation must not be forgotten. Research also shows that quiet sells. For example, Premier Inn’s sound conscious hotel in Leicester Square is one of the best-performing hotels in London, with occupancy rates of 95%[4].

Managing Director of ROCKWOOL UK, Rory Moss, said "Building in noise considerations from the outset of a project is the most straightforward and cost effective route to achieving quiet buildings. By considering noise as an integral part of the design process, alongside factors such as aesthetics, lighting and layout, materials can be carefully selected to meet real life performance needs. With so many developments in the pipeline for London, now is the time to ensure we’re building to support our health and well-being."