Britain’s Noise Abatement Society is on a mission to reduce stress in the workplace and at home by promoting technologies that make machines and computers operate more quietly.
Research at the Nottingham Business School (2003) shows that a noisy environment can increase stress and have a negative impact on health. This effect is not only psychological but also makes sufferers more prone to catch infectious diseases.
So the NAS has devised a system of kitemarking, awarding the Quiet Mark only to machinery that passes its stringent tests. Most of the kit is basically standard-issue noisy devices, but with more insulating material cladding the moving parts. One innovative appliance is the Dyson fan, with no moving parts to rattle and hum, which operates like a vacuum cleaner in reverse, pumping out cool air. The PC from www.quietpc.com contains a copper wheel which cools the computer by circulating air, so there is no need for a fan and both the noise and the power consumption are reduced.
|The Ideal Home Show’s Quiet House for the PassWord programme podcast click here Quiet House|
In the specially-built Quiet House at London’s Ideal Home Show these computers, shredders, fans and domestic appliances such as washing machines and hairdryers received a warm reaction. The house is fabricated from insulating materials such as Rockwool – made from natural rock that is melted down then has air bubble through to produce a fluffy texture – and Fermacell, a dense, soundproof version of MDF.
“As you walk into the Quiet House from the noisy exhibition, you already start to feel less stress and the calm atmosphere makes people relax and open up, “ says Gloria Elliott, the Society’s Chief Executive. Gloria’s father John Connell founded the NAS in 1959 and she has pioneered the Quiet Mark scheme. The most dramatic results in de-stressing came from the silent instruments – piano, drums, guitar and double bass – all digital equipment played on headphones, yet producing an authentic sound.
To experience the effect, listen to our podcast produced featuring Gloria Elliott with Jools Holland’s session players Tom Poulton on the Yamaha grand piano and Alex Welby on silent guitar……Quiet House