img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

A sound effect on people

The focus of sustainability within the built environment has moved on and is no longer simply a discussion of environmental or energy efficiency credentials; it now includes personal well-being too.

In association with

When comparing different products sustainability is a topic that can confuse. There are increasing amounts of products that are able to claim a good environmental performance, but much of this relates to how the product is produced, the raw materials used and its lifetime costs. Although these three elements are still key, helping to improve a building occupants’ environment in terms of well-being is just as significant, as this can contribute to a more productive, healthier space. Acoustic design plays an important role in this.

Let’s take hospitals as an example. It’s well understood that good sleep is crucial to the success of any healthcare treatment, as our bodies do most of their healing while we sleep. Hearing is one sense that never sleeps so intelligent acoustic design to reduce the spread of noise is key; creating a calm space also helps to lower blood pressure and stress for both patients and staff, leading to happier people, potentially fewer mistakes and sustaining an improved quality of care.

Similarly, the well-being of occupants in offices can also be affected by acoustics. With open-plan design now the dominant office design, it is interesting to note that it’s estimated that workers lose as much as 24 days productivity a year because of unwanted noise. Well-designed acoustics enhance clear communication by preventing the propagation of unwanted sound it so that occupants hear only what they need to. This ultimately increases comfort and performance levels, helping to deliver sustainable business growth. With people representing up to 90% of an organisation’s costs, their well-being should be a key consideration in assessing the long-term success of a project.

At Ecophon, reducing the environmental impact of its products at every stage has been an important focus.  As a result, the company has been able to reduce CO2 emissions, develop new eco-friendly materials and will soon implement the recycling of used panels, while also improving acoustic performance to help create healthier, happier indoor environments. Occupants can also be rest assured that the materials added to the spaces they inhabit were manufactured responsibly, using recycled materials and renewable energy where possible to further reduce the impact of production on the environment     

Whatever the type of environment delivered, when it comes to sustainability it is clear that any success goes much deeper than just the ‘green’ credentials of the products used. Although using sustainable materials is important, considering a product’s effect on people’s well-being should be a top priority too as this contributes considerably to the long-term success of any building.

For more information on Ecophon, please visit www.ecophon.com

 
1234

Latest

Want to revitalise a heritage-rich site in Shrewsbury, design a reading space versatile enough to pitch anywhere in the world or lead a Passivhaus-standard leisure centre project? These are the latest architecture contracts and competitions from across the industry

Latest: Revitalise a riverside town centre site in Shropshire

Tuesday 31 January 2023, 9 am – 11.15 am

PiP Housing & Residential Webinar 2023

Local commitment and creative engineering produced a sustainable community and tourist amenity in the MacEwen Award winner – Scott Whitby Studio’s Jubilee Pool in Penzance

Sustainability, heritage, grassroots action and social benefit in one scheme

Brighton’s Centre for Contemporary Art displays illustrations of ideas from the public which show an imagined architecture that is more closely linked to nature

Exhibition displays imagined architecture more closely linked to nature

We need to rise to the challenge of good design not chase after superlatives, says RIBA president Simon Allford

Don't be distracted by chasing after superlatives, says Simon Allford