May 27 2005
Ever had a problem with noisy neighbours? Barking dogs driving you mad? Loud music being played at unsociable hours?
Noise Action Week’s website reveals that a poll asking people what they thought was the most annoying sound found 50% of respondents said it was loud music. And more than two thirds of all complaints received by environmental health officers relate to some sort of domestic noise.
For new homes, noisy neighbours are increasingly becoming a thing of the past.
Since July last year, housing developers are building to new standards well above the minimum level set by Government, under a scheme managed by Robust Details Ltd, set up in order to improve sound insulation in new houses and flats. New homes built now are much better insulated to deal with sound coming from neighbours, giving yet another reason to buy a brand new home rather than an old one.
Mick Noble, spokesman for property website new-homes.co.uk, said "There is nothing worse than not being able to have peace and quiet in your own home. Noise is a continuing complaint, and the regulations now in place for nearly a year mean that buying a new home will be a far better way to ensure that you don’t have the problem of noise from your neighbours, especially as people do not always have the chance to live in detached properties."
Dr Sean Smith, Principal Research Fellow at Napier University, conducted the research that ulitimately resulted in the launch of the Robust Details scheme.
He said: "No other country in the world has adopted such a radical approach to dwelling sound insulation design. In addition the use of resilient floor treatments to address footfall noise also allows dwellers to incorporate laminate or hard floor finishes and still meet the regulatory requirements by a significant margin. These resilient flooring systems also provide a high comfort factor and reduce the hardness of the walking surface. New build dwellings are also setting excellent standards of insulation against external noise entering into houses and apartments by the high levels of insulation both in window specification and external wall specification. Having higher levels of sound insulation between dwellings and for external facades means that new build home designs in England and Wales are complimentary to the increased quantity of urban living required by PPG3 and Central and Local Government objectives."