Housing Specification Blog

Homes getting noisier thanks to open plan living

August 8, 2012 Alexandra Blakeman Housing Issues

Around 87% of house hunters say that noise levels are an important consideration when purchasing a home. The modern trend for open plan living and wooden flooring significantly decreases sound absorption, creating a noisier home.

Trendy open plan living areas contribute to increased noise levels. Click on image for original source.

Research carried out by Insulation specialist Rockwool and the Noise Abatement Society found that more than one in ten (11%) of Britons have been disturbed by noise in the past 12 months. Noisy neighbours were the most common complaint.

The report suggests that increased noise levels are a result of the current trend for open plan living. Around 2.9m British householders said they’d replaced their carpets in the last three years with wooden flooring, and 650,000 homeowners had knocked down walls to create a more spacious living environment.

Various acoustic solutions are available on the market. There are measures that can be taken to reduce noise reverberation in open plan spaces. Soft furnishings are a traditional, yet effective way to absorb sound and low ceilings are good way of limiting sound travel.

Rockwool UK managing director Thomas Heldgaard stated: “We strongly encourage householders and tenants to speak to builders, developers and landlords about noise insulation when they are making home improvements. If insulation is being installed anyway to improve energy efficiency and heat retention, it makes sense to also ensure that it is improving the acoustic insulation of the building.”

Lisa Lavia, Managing Director of the Noise Abatement Society said that Landlords need to address this problem: “Noise is a major nuisance and problem for people across the country and improving the quality of homes and the levels of noise insulation within them is vital.”

Continued noise disturbance can have a profound effect on a resident’s well-being and peace of mind. The Noise Abatement Society website offers some valuable advice to those dealing with excessive noise problems.


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