Biamp releases report on hazardous ambient noise
WORLD: Biamp Systems has participated in the creation of a new white paper on the hazardous effects of noise in everyday life. Named Building in Sound, the white paper has been developed in collaboration with acoustics expert and TED speaker Julian Treasure and concludes that everyday noise levels regularly exceed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended levels, impacting on both health and business.
Drawing on a variety of academic, government and industry body sources, the paper is described by Biamp as drawing ‘clear links between excessive noise and poor acoustics and ill-health, distraction and loss of productivity, even disruption to educational development’.
Among the examples of noise pollution offered in the report are urban street traffic recorded at 70dB, motorway noise averaging at 85dB – the same point at which US Federal Law mandates hearing protection for prolonged exposure, and an average busy office which can regularly reaching 65dB.
The white paper forms the beginning of a wider campaign to find solutions, calling for, says Biamp, ‘an integrated approach to acoustic design that incorporates sound technology with a more thoughtful approach to architectural design and construction’.
‘Noise is a major threat to our health and productivity – but until now we have been largely unconscious of its effects because of our obsession with how things look,’ commented Julian Treasure, who is also chairman of UK-based consultancy The Sound Agency. ‘We need to start designing with our ears, creating buildings and public spaces that sound as good as they look. If we do that, we can transform the productivity and wellbeing of office workers, patients in hospitals and children in schools, among many others.’
Biamp Systems vice president of marketing Graeme Harrison added: ‘This isn’t a call for silence, but an appeal to start considering the effects poorly managed sound can have. The right sound and acoustics can transform education, healthcare and work, but we have to address the problem now because it’s only going to become more difficult in the future. We have the technology and expertise to manage the acoustics of new and existing environments, but now’s the time to act and build in sound.’
The full white paper can be found on the Biamp Systems website or by clicking here.