Shh! Join the Quiet Revolution!

Manufacturers of quiet technologies and original innovators have been justly recognised at the John Connell Awards packed ceremony last night in the House of Commons.

The awards are designed to recognise and promote innovative ideas and initiatives from Local Authorities, industry, individuals and organisations that have made a positive impact on the reduction of excessive noise in the community, helping to improve the aural environment.

They are named in honour of the Society’s founder, John Connell OBE, who successfully lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960 when noise became a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK.

Gloria Elliott, chief executive of the Noise Abatement Society, said:

“We live in an increasingly noisy society and many of us are unaware of the destructive effect that noise pollution can have on health, learning, productivity and quality of life. Each of the winners of the John Connell award categories have made an outstanding contribution to creating practical solutions to help reduce noise pollution, enabling us all to benefit from a more harmonious environment.”

Enterprise in Quiet Transport Award, sponsored by the Freight Transport Association (FTA)this award is given in recognition of exemplary transport and delivery schemes working for the public benefit.

Winner: Carrier Transicold

Carrier Transicold is leading the way in Quiet Transport and enabling the potential for out-of-hours deliveries in urban areas. Carrier Transicold has continued to innovate by adding the new Vector 1550 City model to its family of PIEK certified units. This, together with the Vector 1850 City MT overcomes many of the challenges of distribution in urban or sensitive areas. The mono and multi-temperature refrigerated trailers operate at a level of under 60dBs, as required by PIEK, and a full 10 dBs lower than most typical tractor units. Being able to operate more quietly has meant the option of delivering out of hours, which in turn leads to greater efficiency in the supply chain, improved road security, and reduced traffic congestion, pollution and fuel consumption.

Highly Commended: Bosch Rexroth Silence Plus gear pumps

Rexroth developed SILENCE PLUS to reduce noise pollution in hydraulic systems. For decades now external gear pumps have demonstrated their usefulness as rugged and economical workhorses. Their pri­mary features – pressures up to 280 bar, extremely high effi­ciency and low price – have come to be taken for granted. Their noise also became something of a given. This new technology for ex­ternal gear pumps, points toward a future with (almost) silent hy­draulic systems. Pumps powered by electric motors, with virtually no hydraulic noise, are predestined for use not only in manufacturing plants and warehouses but for supermarket use, passenger lifts, log splitters, garbage presses, and it would enable the use of forklifts to load and unload even at night

Innovation Award – this award aims to encourage the development of new solutions to resolve noise pollution problems, using a pioneering approach that addresses this issue from a unique standpoint.

Winner: Organ of Corti

This unique and beautiful experimental instrument recycles noise from the environment. It does not make any sound of its own, but rather uses sounds already present by framing them in a new way – “recycling sounds”. Named after the organ of hearing in the inner ear, it uses the acoustic technology of sonic crystals to accentuate and attenuate frequencies within the broad range of sound frequencies present, like road traffic or falling water. By recycling surplus sounds from our environment, it offers new and pleasurable ways of listening to what is already there.

Technology Award, sponsored by the Institute of Acoustics – this award applauds the vital role that industry can play in reducing noise pollution in our environment.

Winner: Linde Frostcruise Cryogenic in-transit refrigeration system

FROSTCRUISE™ is an efficient, economical, cryogenic in-transit refrigeration system. It provides an eco-friendly solution for the transportation of perishable chilled and frozen food, based on the use of liquid nitrogen (LIN) as the refrigerant. FROSTCRUISE™ is low-noise and operates much more quietly than diesel-operated refrigeration systems and can therefore be used to deliver at night or at early hours.

Highly Commended: Echo Barrier H1 and range of products

Echo Barrier is a temporary acoustic barrier designed for use on major construction projects to reduce problems of excessive noise pollution from work sites. The Echo H1 acoustic barrier literally soaks up sound around it rather than reflecting it, attenuating noise by up to 30dB. Designed for quick and easy installation on standard Heras fencing or similar, the H1 is aimed at sites where it is important to reduce noise levels and maintain good community relations, such as in residential and public locations. The benefits of reducing on-site noise using Echo Barriers are considerable, including reducing the likelihood of noise complaints, creating a more productive working environment, and extending site operating hours and ultimately significant cost savings.

Silent Approach™ Award, sponsored by Brigade Electronics – this award encourages development in the area of reducing noise to the benefit of the community whilst enhancing the environment.

Winner: Professor Jian Kang, University of Sheffield, for Soundscapes in Urban Open Public Spaces

Open public spaces are important elements of urban areas. However, in many such spaces the quality is significantly affected by the unsatisfactory soundscape, which could be ‘too noisy’, or ‘too vibrant’, or ‘too quiet’.  A Soundscape approach, however differs from conventional noise control engineering, and represents a paradigm shift in that, it combines physical, social and psychological approaches and considers environmental sounds as a ‘resource’ rather than a ‘waste’.

In recent years, Professor  Kang has systematically carried out a series of pioneering projects, funded by the University of Sheffiled and institutions across the globe, to research the improvement of soundscapes in urban open public spaces, with a series of outcomes, including: Tools and Design Guidance published by the EU; Computer modelling simulations; and a Soundscape Database of over 10,000 field interviews for predicting users’ perception of and developing evidence and understanding of soundscapes in urban open public spaces. His work has changed the way that soundscapes in the public realm will be perceived, understood and developed inspiring a new generation of architects, policy makers and urban planners.

Highly Commended: BAM Nuttall for Derby Station

The NAS receives numerous complaints about the cacophony of sound often found in railway stations

The transformation of this station, however, its aesthetics and soundscape, has delivered a welcoming gateway to the city. The rejuvenation of the station was the product of the collaborative efforts of Network Rail, BAM Nuttall, White Young Green, TG Baker and Balfour Kilpatrick, who have exemplified best practice soundscape management. A silent approach was considered throughout the process, from white noise reversing alarms, hydraulically powered concrete chainsaws to ambient noise sensing PA systems providing a pleasant overall soundscape for travelers.

Quiet Mark Award of Distinction Quiet Mark Award of Distinction

Launching in December 2011 is Quiet Mark, the international mark of approval awarded by the Noise Abatement Society for excellence in quiet design. Encouraging manufacturers to think low-noise addresses the consumers desire for stress-free living at home and in the workplace and will help to improve the natural aural environment. The special Quiet Mark Award of Distinction will be given annually to a company who has shown outstanding eco-quiet values. 

Winner: Lexus

The leading car manufacturer LEXUS has been recognised for the prominent ‘Join the Quiet Revolution’ campaign. This high profile consciousness raising initiative resonates with the NAS Quiet Mark’s remit to champion manufacturers of quiet consumer goods. Extolling the benefit of quiet, its value to the consumer and the environment, Lexus continues to drive the eco-quiet market forward to the benefit of our soundscape.

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