Media Releases

19 June 2015 – “The sound of silence: is cutting out noise the answer to a stress-free life?”

relax

 

We agree with Poppy Szkiler, managing director of Quiet Mark.

Pressing the pause button everyday to soak up some precious peace and quiet is a priceless stress-buster!

Click here to read the full article in The Guardian.

 

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27 May 2015 – New Research Findings Highlight Need for Further Understanding of the Impact on Health from our Noisy Urban Environment

Researchers in Sweden have provided new insight into the problems caused by living with noise pollution. These findings present links between traffic noise and an increased risk of obesity. The weight gain has been observed to increase incrementally with multiple sources and decibel levels of exposure.

Gloria Elliott CE of the Noise Abatement Society said ‘This research is not the first to examine the health effects that can arise from living in a noisy urban environment. However, the detrimental affects of noise pollution on well-being are still profoundly underestimated. Further investigation into this field is paramount to developing our understanding of risks associated with the increasing urbanisation of our surroundings.

The Noise Abatement Society continues to seek pragmatic solutions to improve the aural environment and welcomes any research findings that highlight the link between noise and stress-related conditions, productivity and quality of life’

Source: BMJ journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine

Click here to read the original article

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Join the Quiet Cities Summit 25 & 26 November 2014

The realisation of the environmental, economic and road safety benefits of delivering goods out-of-hours has taken many significant steps forward, driven largely through the work of the Noise Abatement Society through the landmark Quiet Delivery Demonstration Scheme (QDDS) trials developed by the NAS and the FTA in 2010 and sponsored by the Department for Transport, the London 2012 trials sponsored by Transport for London, and NAS’ own Silent Approach™ programme.

Working with the Freight Transport Association, Transport and Travel Research, and Transport Research Laboratory, NAS has proven time and again that with the use of a consistent methodology, including engaging with local authorities and residents, installing noise monitoring equipment, introducing driver charters and rigorous site assessments, positive results can be achieved, including the ultimate goal of out-of-hours deliveries without disturbance.

However, protecting the rights of residents is of paramount importance. Given the significant health and environmental gains to be made, it is critical to establish feasible and sustainable quiet out-of-hours delivery practices with increased investment from industry and positive co-ordinated input from all stakeholders. Doing so will also lessen daytime disturbance and enable quieter deliveries to become accepted as the norm. Introducing quiet delivery practices now, under strict guidelines and independent monitoring, ensures that the public will be protected throughout.

This is why the NAS are proud supporters of The Quiet Cities global summit – another important marker on this journey, laying the groundwork for more effective co-operation, knowledge sharing and skills development across the transport industry globally. To find out more visit quietcities.com

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Noise Manifesto launched by Noise Abatement Society and Rockwool calling for urgent planning reform to start ‘Quiet Revolution’ in building design

Business leaders back call for ‘better planning laws, not just less planning laws’ 

Manifesto urges Government to boost noise protection as part of National Planning Policy Framework Review

Brighton, 15 February 2013 – As the Government prepares to slash planning red tape and axe up to 70 per cent of the UK’s planning laws, in response to the Taylor Review, a new Noise Manifesto has been launched calling for the Government to boost noise protection in homes and other buildings as part of the new National Planning Policy Framework.

Launched by The Noise Abatement Society and Rockwool, the world’s largest stonewool insulation manufacturer, and based on views expressed at The Noise Summit by more than 100 property, construction and acoustic industry leaders, the Noise Manifesto urges the Government to create better planning laws, not ‘just’ less planning laws.

Divided into actions for the Government and the property industry, the Noise Manifesto calls for minimum national standards of noise protection in buildings and lays the ground-work for a new Quiet Homes Standard to identify quieter homes, commercial and public buildings in the future.

In the face of numerous academic studies and a World Health Organisation report showing the serious effects on health, impact on children’s educational achievement and damage to quality of life caused by excessive noise in the built environment, the Noise Manifesto sets out a 14 point plan to address the issue.

Key recommendations in the Noise Manifesto include:

Create a single, national standard for minimum acoustic protection in the design and construction of buildings as part of the National Planning Policy Framework review and The Code for Sustainable Homes

Empower local authorities to refuse planning permission for developments that are deemed to create a noise issue in the finished buildings, as part of the Localism agenda

Create tranquil spaces in new developments to allow residents to enjoy quiet areas

Zone developments to separate commercial and residential buildings

Strengthen planning guidelines around noise protection in schools

Introduce a Quiet Homes Standard to identify buildings which meet minimum acoustic protection levels

Use Green Deal and Eco funding to also improve acoustic insulation as well as boost thermal efficiency in buildings

Improve training for architects to include modules on acoustic design

The Noise Manifesto is being supported by leading industry experts including Professor Bridget Shield, President of the Institute of Acoustics and Gloria Elliott, chief executive of the Noise Abatement Society and Quiet Mark, and is based on the views expressed by those attending the Noise Abatement Society and Rockwool Noise Summit on 20th November 2012. Hosted by TV presenter and architect George Clarke, The Noise Summit provided a forum for leading figures in the architecture, construction, acoustic and property professions to discuss new ways to combat noise pollution in the UK’s built environment.

Thomas Heldgaard, managing director of Rockwool stated: “We urge the Government to consider these points during its review of the National Planning Policy Framework and as part of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Noise is a massive problem and for too long planning laws and guidelines have often ignored its impact and the destructive effect noise has on lives, health and education.

“While we appreciate the Taylor Report’s desire to make the planning process simpler, we call on the Government to consider improving noise protection as part of this NPPF review process – to fail to do so is a massive wasted opportunity which will see millions of people continue to have their lives blighted by excessive noise. While we support axing unnecessary red tape the focus should be on making planning laws better, not just cutting them.”

Lisa Lavia, managing director of the Noise Abatement Society stated: “Noisy homes are a major problem across the UK, with numerous studies linking noise pollution with health issues.

“As the Government is already reviewing planning guidelines, we urge ministers to give the UK adequate planning rules that protect people from noise and create a level playing field for the property industry. Cutting planning red-tape is fine but we have to ensure that the Planning Framework we are left with is fit for purpose – without better noise protection this simply isn’t the case. It’s time the Government started a quiet revolution.

A series of leading industry figures have backed the aims of the Noise Manifesto and added their support to the call for the Government to boost noise protection standards in buildings as part of the National Planning Policy Framework Review:

Professor Bridget Shield, President of the Institute of Acoustics said: “It is well known that noise has a detrimental impact on people’s health, wellbeing and performance. The Institute of Acoustics welcomes the Noise Abatement Society and Rockwool’s manifesto and hopes that it will encourage the government to recognise the importance of the prevention and control of noise, particularly in relation to current changes in planning policy and guidelines.

“Many of our members are involved in the study and measurement of noise and its effects, and in developing and implementing noise control measures.  We believe that noise should move up the political agenda and be recognised as being a key component of planning and building policies and the sustainability agenda.”

Gloria Elliott, Chief Executive, Noise Abatement Society and Quiet Mark says: “When uninvited, sound invades your home, whether it be low frequency or excessively loud, it’s an unacceptable invasion of private space and can seriously affect health, ability to concentrate and general enjoyment of life. Planning legislation should give everyone protection by providing robust rules on proper levels of noise insulation. Whilst reviewing the NPPF, Government has a golden opportunity to improve the effectiveness of building regulations by radically improving insulation standards and their enforcement across the UK.”

The Noise Manifesto

Overview

On the 20th November 2012, over 100 experts from the architecture, construction, acoustic and property professions gathered in London for The Noise Summit, sponsored by Rockwool and the Noise Abatement Society, to  provide a forum to discuss new ways to combat noise pollution in the UK’s built environment.

This Noise Manifesto builds on the views expressed by the industry leaders at this event and calls for the Government and property industry to develop a new approach to tackle noise pollution in communities.

The Noise Manifesto is rooted in a large body of academic and industry research, and work from organisations such as the World Health Organisation, which have identified noise as a key contributor to cardiac problems, stress, poor academic attainment, neighbourhood disputes and low productivity.

There were a wide range of ideas suggested by participants at The Noise Summit to counter noise pollution problems but the points made in this Manifesto are those that the majority felt most passionately about. This Noise Manifesto is a blueprint for change.

We would like the Government to consider these points during its review of the National Planning Policy Framework, which will aim to streamline planning laws, potentially resulting in up to 7,000 rules being dropped.

While we appreciate the desire to make the planning process simpler, we urge the Government to consider improving noise protection as part of this NPPF review process.

The Noise Abatement Society and Rockwool urge the Government and the property industry to enact these Noise Manifesto recommendations and build a quieter future for our communities.

Actions for Government

1. As part of the National Planning Policy Framework review, based on the findings of the Taylor Report, we urge the Government to strengthen building regulations relating to noise pollution to create a single, national standard for the design and construction of homes and to improve acoustic protection in buildings, following a review of standards in comparable northern European countries.

2. A new planning policy should be developed as part of the NPPF review to allow local authorities to refuse planning permission, under the Localism agenda, where noise in the completed development would be deemed to be excessive and cannot be cost effectively reduced.  New noise sensitive developments should not be created in places where occupants would be likely to resort to legal action against established economic activities which are otherwise acceptable.

3.    The Code for Sustainable Homes should be updated, with noise protection included as one of the measures for sustainable building design, reflecting the importance of quiet buildings to the health and wellbeing of the occupiers.

4.   Planning policy should enable and encourage local communities to create and protect tranquil spaces and green squares and empower planners to consider the availability of conveniently located tranquil spaces when granting planning permission for homes in noisy environments as part of the Localism and Big Society agenda.

5.   New National Planning Policy Framework guidelines should encourage the establishment of development zones, as part of the Code for Sustainable Homes, that create and maintain sufficient acoustic separation between residential and other noise sensitive uses, and noise generators (such as commercial and enterprise zones). This zoning should guide planning application considerations and allow residential and commercial (and other noise generating areas) to function successfully and cost effectively. Local authorities should be empowered to ensure that the economic, social and cultural benefits of land use mixing are secured without creating noise disturbance.

6.  Government policy should encourage local authorities to test innovative approaches to tackling intractable local noise and soundscape problems, such as in the White Nights project run by Brighton and Hove Council, including through targeted funding for pilot projects. Government should encourage and enable partnerships between private and third sector partners, and Government agencies, covering noise prevention and other beneficial outcomes such as crime prevention and enhancing the urban environment.

7.  The Government should establish a cross-sector, inter-disciplinary acoustic, academic and property industry task force to provide greater assistance to minimise the health effects of Low Frequency Noise, establish the impact this has on people and create a maximum exposure limit for householders. The task-force should be mandated to recommend changes to building regulations to protect residents in their homes from Low Frequency Noise.

8. The Government should strengthen building standards for schools to better address the impact of poor acoustics on educational attainment, building on the extensive research that has been conducted into this problem. These guidelines should set stricter minimum acoustic protection levels and lower maximum allowable noise levels for class rooms that should be followed by developers and architects when designing new schools, universities and colleges (and extensions to existing facilities) to create better learning environments.

9. A new Noise Panel including external experts, as well as civil servants from across Whitehall should be established to assist Government in finding cost effective solutions to improving noise insulation and addressing noise issues within the spirit of the Big Society.

1  The Government should examine whether a new funding programme, to tackle poor noise insulation, which creates acute distress leading to neighbour conflicts in parts of the UK’s existing housing stock, would be possible, in partnership with private sector funding and within the auspices of the ECO home improvement programme and the Code for Sustainable Homes. This would be highly complementary to the aims of the Green Deal and could be achieved at no additional cost using insulation that provides both acoustic and thermal properties.

Actions for the Property Industry

1.    A Quiet Homes Standard should be introduced as an industry standard to identify homes that meet certain levels of build and design quality, and new homes should be marketed with information showing the level of acoustic protection they provide. This can either be a stand-alone Quiet Homes Standard or an adaption of the Quiet Mark™. The industry should also explore additional ways to help homeowners identify the acoustic performance of buildings, through labelling and information schemes.

2.  Minimum standards should be agreed as best practice by the property industry for sound insulation between floors and partition walls in flat conversions within existing houses and large buildings as part of a Quiet Homes Standard. This should include the industry agreeing how to integrate certification within wider building regulation compliance to create a structural and acoustic Best Practice guidance for new builds.

3. Training and degrees in architecture should include a mandatory module on acoustics and noise, with acoustic design a key part of professional qualification. This should include modules looking at the creative use of acoustics and ways to design soundscapes to encourage architects to create aurally innovative and tranquil spaces within developments. Training needs to go beyond giving traditional technical tuition on dB levels to encompass a more creative way to design acoustic environments and inspire a new generation of architects.

4. Auralisation techniques should be incorporated into the design process for all major infrastructure and residential/commercial/educational developments, including the relevant outdoor spaces that would be affected by these, to ensure the acoustic environment of the finished building(s) will meet the new Quiet Homes Standard. This auralisation process should be used to increase consumer knowledge and understanding of noise levels and their impact on finished buildings.

A vision for change

This Noise Manifesto reflects the views expressed at The Noise Summit and the views of The Noise Abatement Society and Rockwool on the best ways to address the issue of urban noise, develop better buildings and design quiet spaces and acoustically innovative areas in the built environment.

Building design that neglects to create a good acoustic environment frequently results in noise pollution which impacts on other residents and users of the building. Noise pollution is more than just a nuisance; it adversely affects health and wellbeing, negatively impacts quality of life leading to increased stress and lower productivity and is a growing and insidious problem in the UK.

The steps outlined in this Noise Manifesto provide a blueprint for change, and a foundation to drive quieter communities and cut noise pollution in homes, offices, schools and public buildings.

We believe a fresh approach to noise is needed. We urge the Government, property industry and local authorities to take up the baton and enact these recommendations and ensure that the new National Planning Policy Framework and is not just more efficient and streamlined but also that it, and the Code for Sustainable Homes, address the critical issue of noise in buildings and communities and provide new guidance and minimum standards for noise protection in the UK.

Rockwool and the Noise Abatement Society will be hosting a second Noise Summit in 2013 to look at how the industry can create better urban soundscapes and address the health, educational and lifestyle issues that excess noise creates.

‘It is time to start a quiet revolution’.

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Out-of-hours deliveries to be encouraged during London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

  • London Councils, businesses and TfL support a considerate, flexible approach to out-of-hours deliveries during Games-time
  • Companies making or receiving out-of-hours deliveries during London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are urged to adhere to Code of Practice developed by TfL, the Freight Transport Association and the Noise Abatement Society
  • Pragmatic approach to Games time deliveries could provide legacy of improved road safety, air quality and reduced congestion in capital

Transport for London (TfL), London Councils and London’s business community have today (2 April) confirmed that they will be sympathetic to companies that need to make or receive out-of-hours deliveries in London during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The pragmatic approach was endorsed by London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee last week, when they approved a statement to help local authorities explain the position on night-time deliveries during the Games. The statement makes it clear that councils will be supportive and sympathetic to the needs of businesses needing out-of-hours deliveries during the 2012 Games, when deliveries to businesses on the Olympic Route Network, in central London and around venues will be affected by Games-related restrictions on key parts of the capital’s road network.

London boroughs reserve the right to continue to enforce against businesses that are inconsiderate or disturb local communities, especially if complaints are received about excessive noise being made when making or receiving deliveries. Good steps to minimise the chance of any enforcement action include following the Code of Practice and in particularly sensitive areas businesses are advised to discuss this issue with local borough councils in advance.

In order to support the needs of London’s residents and those of the freight industry and businesses affected by Games-time restrictions, Transport for London (TfL) has today published the final Code of Practice for out-of-hours deliveries. The code, which was developed with the Noise Abatement Society and the Freight Transport Association, provides businesses and delivery companies with simple, practical guidance on how to minimise noise from night-time deliveries and is available now

London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy, said: “The challenges surrounding deliveries during the Games are considerable. However, the success of the quieter out-of-hours delivery trials we’ve commissioned in recent months clearly demonstrate that out-of-hours deliveries can, and I believe will, play a vital role in ensuring London and the rest of the UK keeps on moving this summer.

“I urge businesses that make or receive deliveries in London to use the Code of Practice for all out-of-hours deliveries. It is up to the freight and business community to prove to London’s borough councils that they are aware of, and care about, the impact they have on the communities they deliver to. If the industry gets it right this summer, this is also a real opportunity for reducing congestion and improving air quality and road safety in London in the future.”

Nick Lester, Corporate Director for Services at London Councils, said: “London’s councils are working hard to ensure that businesses can keep running as smoothly as possible during the Games and to minimise disruption to residents. While enforcement will be as light-touch and flexible as possible, boroughs will continue to enforce against any business stopping Londoners from getting a good night’s sleep.”

Sara Parker, CBI’s London Director, said: “This agreement on a more flexible approach to deliveries is a real breakthrough which will mean that London’s businesses can continue delivering a high-quality service to their customers during the Games.

“With so many Londoners and visitors out and about in the capital over the summer, it’s really important that shops, pubs and restaurants can remain fully stocked.”

Baroness Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said: “The Olympics are a positive thing for London, but it’s vital that businesses in London are able to remain open during the Games. This code of practice will provide certainty around more flexible delivery arrangements – without which many businesses will be unable to operate normally. This would be bad for residents, bad for businesses and bad for employment both during and after the Games.”

Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “The Olympics and Paralympics present a fantastic opportunity for businesses and it is a positive step that London Councils and TfL have reached an understanding which will help firms to operate as near to normal as possible during the Games. As a Chamber we will continue to communicate to our members, and the wider business community, the importance of adhering to TfL’s Code of Practice and planning ahead to make sure that any changes to operations are kept to a minimum while firms take full advantage of all the Games will offer to business.”

Sue Terpilowski, London Policy Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Small businesses across London will support this announcement on night time deliveries. This is a victory for common sense, when the roads will be heavily congested, to enable deliveries to be made at night time. We will work closely with our members to ensure they are aware of the Code of Practice to ensure that residents are not disturbed during the Games.

“It is vital that London remains open for business during the Games and so mitigating the risks of imposed transport obstacles are very much welcome.”

Sarah Bell, lead Traffic Commissioner for Olympic Delivery, said: “Today’s announcement by London Councils and TfL goes a long way to addressing the challenges the freight industry faces in making deliveries to some parts of London during this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain urge the freight industry to consider out-of-hours deliveries as one of a number of solutions that will help both the freight sector and London keep on moving this summer, and we ask them to abide by the conditions of the Code of Practice that TfL has published today.”

Natalie Chapman, Freight Transport Association Head of Policy for London, said: “The FTA welcomes the flexible, sensible approach London’s boroughs are taking to the challenge freight operators and businesses face around making and receiving deliveries during Games-time.

“We will be urging freight operators to follow and respect the conditions laid out in the Code of Practice. If they can prove, as we believe, that out-of-hours deliveries can be made without disturbing local residents, there could be tremendous legacy benefits for the capital, both in terms of improved road safety, air quality and a reduction in day-time traffic congestion.”

Lisa Lavia, Managing Director of the Noise Abatement Society, said; “London Council’s decision to support the principle of quiet, out-of-hours deliveries during Games time ensures that the rights of local residents are protected while taking a pragmatic approach to the challenge businesses making and receiving deliveries face this summer.

“TfL’s out-of-hours delivery trials, which have been conducted using the Code of Practice we helped them draft, have proved the viability of quiet deliveries in the capital and the conditions under which they may be feasible. Introducing quiet delivery practices during Games-time, under strict guidelines and independent monitoring, ensures that the public can be protected throughout.’’

Notes to editors

1. There are four main regulatory issues around out-of-hours deliveries, which have been discussed with the freight sector and with London Councils officers. The position on each of the regulatory issues is as follows (from London Councils Transport and Environment Committee paper, 15 March 2012):

a. London Lorry Control Scheme: London Councils have published a factsheet on the operation of the London Lorry Control Scheme during the Games. This sets out how they plan to issue temporary permits for the Games.

b. Planning Conditions: Borough Planning Officers have a legal duty to investigate complaints of breaches in planning conditions; these may include conditions limiting the hours of delivery.

c. Alcohol licensing: some local authorities attach conditions to alcohol licenses restricting deliveries at night.

d. Noise nuisance: Environmental Health Officers have a legal duty to investigate complaints of noise nuisance and enforcement may result. The legislation covers such issues as noisy neighbours as well as noise from delivery activities and can lead to a Noise Abatement Notice being issued and the impounding of any equipment causing the noise nuisance.

2. The Traffic Commissioner have been working closely with road transport trade associations and TfL to offer practical advice to help road haulage operators plan for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. For more information see here

3. London Councils and TfL will monitor and assess the impact of out-of-hours deliveries during Games time, which will inform any future potential changes to out-of-hours deliveries in London.

4. The Code of Practice was developed in partnership with the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Noise Abatement Society (NAS). TfL engaged with, and sought feedback from, the freight industry, London boroughs and other interested parties, which has resulted in the final version which has been published today. The Code of Practice sets out practical tips on how both drivers and those receiving the goods can work together to make deliveries as quietly as possible. Information on out-of-hours trials, the Code of Practice, is available here

5. TfL is working closely with businesses and our London 2012 partners to minimise the impact of the Games on the capital’s road network. However, it is essential that freight operators plan in advance to ensure they understand the transport challenges of the Games, including the Olympic Route Network, and take steps to reduce, re-route, re-time or re-mode deliveries wherever possible. Road ‘hotspot’ maps for each day of the Games, and data which allows operators to check whether individual postcodes are affected, along with the Code of Practice, are available at tfl.gov.uk/2012

6. Over 200 free TfL workshops, both inside and outside the capital, have been on offer since January to help hauliers and their customers from across all sectors continue to operate effectively this summer. To apply for a place, businesses should visit Freight 2012 where there is a full list of workshop dates, times and locations. Businesses should email freight@tfl.gov.uk to book a place.

7. Freight operators and their customers are being targeted with a major campaign, launched at the end of February, to ensure supplies keep moving during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The 16-week marketing campaign urges people who make or receive deliveries in Games transport ‘hotspot’ areas to plan ahead so they can continue to operate effectively and profitably this summer. The advertising is in a variety of locations including on petrol station fuel pump nozzles, at motorway service stations, at major ports, and on radio stations and in trade magazines.

8. The freight industry is vital to the success of London. Approximately 280,000 freight journeys take place within London on a typical weekday, delivering to some 290,000 businesses and 7.8 million residents.

9. Road freight; deliveries, collections and servicing activity accounts for 17 per cent of Greater London’s traffic and this is predicted to rise to 25 per cent of total traffic by 2030.

10. 89 per cent of London’s freight is moved by road and 6.4 per cent of London’s employment is freight related, making it a significant business sector, crucial to the London-wide economy.

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Out-of-hours Deliveries during London 2012 Games are viable, trials show

  • New draft Code of Practice contains practical measures that businesses can take to minimise noise from out-of-hours deliveries

Transport for London today released the results of a series of trials of out-of-hours deliveries conducted with a number of London boroughs, and a range of businesses including supermarkets, pubs and hotels in advance of the London 2012 Games.

The businesses are based in areas where the Games will have the biggest impact, and during the trials they all followed TfL’s new draft Code of Practice and asked their suppliers to do the same.

The draft code, which is available at www.tfl.gov.uk/2012outofhoursdeliveries and was developed in partnership with the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Noise Abatement Society (NAS), sets out practical tips on how both drivers and those receiving the goods can work together to make deliveries as quietly as possible.

TfL is making the draft code available now, but is asking the freight industry, other interested parties, and the London boroughs that have not already taken part in the trials to share their feedback on it. A final version of the Code of Practice will be published early in the New Year.

Peter Hendy, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “The London 2012 Games will offer a wealth of great business opportunities, but companies based in – or delivering to – affected areas need to start making plans now if they are to benefit.  Busier roads at peak times and restrictions on parts of London’s road network during the Games mean that their deliveries could be delayed or disrupted if they don’t plan ahead.

“Many companies are already coming up with creative solutions, from stocking up on non-perishable goods to consolidating their deliveries with neighbouring businesses.  Our trials have demonstrated that out-of-hours deliveries are also a viable option that businesses may want to consider. We would strongly urge those businesses and freight operators following this approach to adhere to the draft Code of Practice to help ensure that out-of-hours deliveries are carried out with minimum disruption to local residents.”

During 10 weeks worth of out-of-hours deliveries, all the participating businesses reported that revising their delivery times worked well with no complaints from residents about noise. 

The trial at the Marks and Spencer Simply Food store on Earl’s Court Road, conducted in close liaison with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, found that:

  • On-site auditing by borough noise team officers was successful in monitoring driver and store staff behaviour, and checking that the draft Code of Practice was being followed;
  • Changes made during the first week of the trial, for example fitting protective coverings to the metal chains on roll cages, ensured that noise levels were kept to a minimum;
  • Despite the store being deemed a sensitive site, no complaints from residents were received during three weeks of deliveries made at 4.30am.

Dave Hordern, Marks and Spencer Logistics Manager, said: “This has been a very important trial for M&S, as it provided the opportunity to have a ‘dry run’ of what we’ll need to do, both at this store and elsewhere, during the Games period. Most importantly, it proved that the Code of Practice works and it is possible to deliver through the night in sensitive areas as long as we demonstrate best practice and use common sense. We intend to roll out the Code of Practice for night-time deliveries across London.”

Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London, said: “TfL’s trials reinforce earlier trials undertaken across England by FTA, the NAS and others and prove that if done properly residents’ rights to a good night’s sleep needn’t be taken away.

“Given the immense challenge faced by commercial vehicle operators during the Games period, off-peak deliveries are going to be unavoidable so we would urge operators to adopt this best practice guidance to help them and the companies that rely on them make this Olympic-sized challenge – of keeping up with heightened demand in a severely restricted environment – an Olympic-sized success.”

Lisa Lavia, Managing Director of the Noise Abatement Society, said “TfL’s out-of-hours delivery trials will help continue to establish the viability of quiet deliveries and the conditions under which they are feasible. Protecting the rights of local residents is of paramount importance. Given the significant health and environmental gains to be made, it is critical to establish feasible and sustainable quiet out-of-hours delivery practices. Doing so will also lessen day-time disturbance and enable quieter deliveries to become accepted as the norm. Introducing quiet delivery practices now, under strict guidelines and independent monitoring, ensures that the public will be protected throughout.’’

The London boroughs involved in the first round of trials were the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark, Redbridge and Westminster City Council. A further five trials will be completed early in the New Year.

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NAS Statement on the Department for Transport’s Announcement to consider further development of Quiet Delivery Schemes, as set out in Logistics Growth Report, 29.11.11

The Noise Abatement Society (NAS), Department for Transport (DfT) and the Freight Transport Association (FTA) will explore further working together to build upon the Quiet Deliveries Demonstration Scheme (QDDS) as part of the Chancellor’s Logistics for Growth Report.

The report reveals that:

“The Government will consider the requirement for further guidance on quiet night time deliveries. The Government will ask the Noise Abatement Society and the Freight Transport Association to build on the Quiet Deliveries Demonstration Scheme by expanding the existing Scheme’s best practice guidance into a toolkit that includes standards for quiet night time deliveries; and identify if additional government guidance is needed to promote uptake.”

The NAS hopes that continued investigation of the types of constraints and requirements for seeking relaxation of delivery hours, will help to advance the potential benefits of introducing mindful, quiet out-of-hours deliveries.

Gloria Elliott, Chief Executive, Noise Abatement Society said:

“The Noise Abatement Society welcomes the opportunity to share in the process of contributing pragmatic guidelines for quiet deliveries to help stimulate growth while protecting the interests of the public.

The QDDS trials have been a significant landmark on the journey to achieving the ultimate goal of out-of-hours delivery without disturbance. However, protecting the rights of local residents is of paramount importance. Given the significant health and environmental gains to be made, it is critical to establish feasible and sustainable quiet out-of-hours delivery practices with increased investment from industry and positive co-ordinated input from Local Authorities.

Doing so will also lessen day-time disturbance and enable quieter deliveries to become accepted as the norm. Further establishment of quiet delivery practices now, under strict guidelines and independent monitoring, ensures that the public will be protected throughout.’’

For more information:

View the full Logistics Growth Review package

The Government has also announced a significant new tranche of investment in the transport network across the country as part of the National Infrastructure Plan. This can be found at http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/national_infrastructure_plan2011.htm.

The link to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, which contains a number of additional measures targeted at small and medium sized businesses and construction firms, is http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/as2011_documents.htm; and the link to the Growth press notice is at:  http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/press_135_1.htm

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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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Technology is the winner at the ‘Noise Oscars’

A ‘quiet technology’ provider was rewarded for its innovation at the prestigious 11th annual John Connell Awards, dubbed the ‘Noise Oscars’, last night by the Noise Abatement Society.

The awards 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.

The ceremony took place at the House of Commons and was hosted by Mike Weatherley MP for Hove and Portslade on behalf of the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) Trustees, and are designed to recognise and promote innovative ideas and initiatives that have made a positive impact on the reduction of excessive noise in the community, helping to improve the aural environment.

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

“It was very difficult to judge the winner from the high standard of entries that we received, but the overall winner of the Technology award demonstrated a pioneering and innovative approach that addresses noise pollution from a unique standpoint.”

The Technology Award is sponsored by the Institute of Acoustics and 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

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.

Gloria Elliott, congratulated the recipients:

“We have been encouraged by the number of technological advancements which consider noise mitigation as part of their functionality. This year’s winner, Linde Frostcruise considers good acoustic design to be also a vital part of environmental sustainability. We have also recognised Echo Barrier for the technology which will protect many residents from work site noise.”

Trevor Cox, President, Institute of Acoustics (IoA), added:

“The Institute of Acoustics is the UK Professional Engineering Institute that deals with noise, and is active in research, education, environmental health and industry. Part of our work is to encourage governments to consider the acoustic-implications of legislation and regulations, to improve how the UK sounds. After all, noise has many deleterious affects such as damaging health, reducing attainment in schools and causing annoyance. With good engineering and design much can be done to reduce noise and its effects. Many Institute of Acoustic members deal with the complex problems of noise ‘on the ground’ working on behalf of both noise generators and sufferers, and so we are delighted to sponsor an award which promotes innovative technology to reduce noise.”

The award was sponsored by The Institute of Acoustics, and had a separate judging panel, comprising of:

  • John Hinton OBE, Chair of Judging Panel, past President of The Institute of Acoustics (2008-2010) and a recipient John Connell Lifetime Achievement Award 2009
  • Gloria Elliott, Chief Executive, the Noise Abatement Society
  • Max Dixon, Town planner and urbanist specialising in noise and soundscape management, formerly of the Greater London Authority and recipient John Connell Lifetime Achievement Award 2009
  • Trevor Cox, president of the IoA, and recipient of last year’s John Connell Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Alan Blissett, environmental health officer at London’s Southwark Council and recipient of last year’s John Connell Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Stephen Crosher, technology expert for renewable and environment sectors
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Unsung heroes awarded ‘Noise Oscars’

Individuals that have made an outstanding contribution to the noise industry were rewarded at a glittering ‘Noise Oscars’ ceremony last night at the House of Commons. 

The 11th annual John Connell Awards, announced by the Noise Abatement Society (NAS), 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.

The Lifetime Achievement Awards are bestowed on those people who have worked tirelessly in pursuit of a better aural environment. They have dedicated their lives to raising awareness of the destructive effect that noise pollution can have on health, learning, productivity and quality of life.

Gloria Elliott, chief executive of the Noise Abatement Society, said: “There are many organisations and companies that are all working towards our common goal to reduce noise pollution. However, there are also several individuals for whom this cause is intrinsic, and we want to recognise the huge efforts they have made to the industry, and shout about their successes.”

The awards were hosted by Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove and Portslade, on behalf of the NAS Trustees, and the prestigious honours were bestowed on the following individuals:

Trude Adler Award – this award celebrates the unsung heroes who make our world a better – safer, healthier, quieter – place to live and to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude.

Winner: Geraldine Nicholson , the Chair of the local campaign group No Third Runway Action Group (NoTRAG) and the Women of Sipson. Geraldine has been recognised for her tireless and exemplary work with residents and community stakeholders to campaign with John Stewart against BAA’s plans to build the third runway at Heathrow Airport. Geraldine has kept fighting since 2005: to save the school her young boys went to, for the community she grew up in, the pub, the church, the village shop: fighting to stop the forced removal of thousands of people; her friends and neighbours. 

11th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award – in recognition of our founder, John Connell OBE, and the 11th Anniversary of the Awards in his name, the award honours key individuals who have made outstanding contributions to raising the profile of noise pollution as a critical environmental issue and who have worked tirelessly over the course of their careers to effect solutions for the public benefit.

Professor Bridget Shield has been recognised for her continuing work on the effect of noise and poor acoustics on children and teachers in primary schools. Bridget’s research has informed new legislation on the acoustic design of schools and, in 2003, she was appointed by the Department for Education and Skills, as editor of Building Bulletin 93 which contains the statutory acoustic performance specifications for schools, under the Building Regulations.

Bridget Shield, Professor of Acoustics in the Faculty of Engineering, Science and Built Environment at London South Bank University has many years’ experience of teaching, research and consultancy in environmental and architectural acoustics. She is the author of over 70 published papers and her research interests have included prediction of industrial noise, community response to railway noise, concert hall acoustics (with Professor Trevor Cox), and annoyance caused by low frequency noise.

Professor Shield was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Acoustics in 2007, and is currently President-elect of the Institute.

Bernard Berry has been awarded this accolade for his continuing work and expert advice on the effects of noise. He has been a consultant to industry, Governments, local governments, the EU and has collaborated on research projects with a number of organisations.

He is an Adviser to the World Health Organisation [WHO] European Centre for Environment and Health [ECEH] in Bonn, and a member of the WHO Working Group on Aircraft Noise and Health.

He has published over 120 papers in academic journals and conference Proceedings, reports and book chapters, and given more than 100 presentations at conferences.

He is Chairman of the main British Standards Institution [BSI] Technical Committee on Acoustics.

He was President of the Institute of Acoustics from 1996-1998.  And was the Institute’s Vice-President for International Relations from 2001 to 2007. In October 2009 he was presented with the Institute’s Award for Distinguished Service – “for his outstanding contribution to the life of the Institute”.

In April 2010 he was elected a Distinguished International Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the United States of America. This distinguished, honorary status is conferred upon individuals who have personally made extraordinarily significant contributions to the theory and/or practice of noise control engineering.

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