Welcome to the Quiet Mark (UK) Press Office
Welcome to the Quiet Mark (UK) Press Office
What is Quiet Mark?
Quiet Mark is the international approval award programme associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society charitable foundation (est. 1959). Conducting expert acoustic testing and verification of products Quiet Mark has over the past 9 years driven change in manufacturing worldwide to prioritise noise reduction within the design of everyday machines, appliances, technologies and house build materials, creating the first one-stop platform for third-party approved noise reduction solutions for every living space to health and well-being.
Through specialist acoustic measurement and product assessment, Quiet Mark identifies the quietest products in over 70 product categories giving consumers and trade buyers a more informed choice about the sound levels of the products they buy. The Quiet Mark scheme drives designers and manufacturers to reduce sound levels of their products enabling households and workplaces to rebalance the soundscape reducing stressful unwanted noise.
Why Quiet Mark?
"I couldn't hear my baby crying over the noise of the hairdryer"
The damaging effect of excessive noise on health, productivity and social cohesion is seriously underestimated. World Health Organisation research shows that environmental noise pollution affects mental and physical health and is now second only to air pollution as the world’s largest killer pollutant. Across an estimated population of 340 million people, at least 1 million years of healthy living are lost each year due to noise pollution in Western Europe.
In our fast-paced lives, vibrancy is exciting and necessary. But this heightened state can only be valued if there is also the opportunity to choose the alternatives of calm, quiet and the chance to switch off. Quiet Mark was established to provide a credible, independent scheme that would help consumers easily identify quieter products for the home, at work and for public spaces.
Acoustics Academy for the Building Sector
In February 2020, in a move to further expand its service to tackle noise-related problems in building design Quiet Mark launched its Acoustics Academy to include third-party verification of specialist acoustic materials for the building sector including - walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows etc.
This brand-new online platform further equips and empowers architects, builders and designers with a guide to expertly verified leading acoustic solutions for every building application area. For more details - www.acousticsacademy.com
Quiet Mark has established a unique alliance of partnerships with leading retailers who are helping shoppers to find the quietest appliance technology available on the market including John Lewis & Partners, Argos Sainsburys, Currys Dixons, ASDA, Lakeland and British Independent Retailers Association.
Quiet Mark is working in partnership with the US Good Housekeeping Institute, one of the most trusted and respected names in America, acoustically testing and reviewing products for the benefit of its readers and raising the bar for quality acoustic design to support consumers health.
By highlighting the distinctive purple Quiet Mark as a trusted symbol, our retail partners are enabling consumers to make a more informed choice about quieter high-performance products they share their homes with. This is a powerful example of collective customer care to combat stress-related noise; an important health and environmental issue.
The Quiet Mark Podcast
In April ‘20, Quiet Mark launched The Quiet Mark Podcast to explore the human relationship with sound, and:
- Highlight the health and well-being benefits of improved acoustics in the built environment, both in and outdoors.
- Establish Quiet Mark’s Acoustics Academy online platform as a key tool for Architects, Acousticians and The Building Sector, seeking expertly verified leading acoustic solutions for every building application area.
- Raise awareness to the health risks of noise pollution, the 2nd biggest killing natural pollutant after air pollution, according to WHO
- Explore solutions to unwanted noise through Quiet Mark certified appliances and building materials; helping to improve domestic WFH soundscapes and increase productivity.
- Learn lessons from the quietening of the planet during lockdown, to how calmer soundscapes can foster healthier cities.
Listen to The Quiet Mark Podcast HERE: https://www.quietmark.com/events/the-quiet-mark-podcast
The Noise Abatement Society (NAS) was founded in 1959 by the entrepreneurial businessman John Connell OBE who believed that being exposed to excessive noise profoundly affected health, children's learning, productivity, and general quality of life – he called noise ‘the forgotten pollutant’.
John almost single-handedly lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament, when in 1960, noise became a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK. His practical problem-solving included introducing rubber dustbin lids and plastic milk crates to reduce urban disturbance, stopping night flights, and in the early 70’s he commissioned detailed planning for a revolutionary Thames Estuary Airport directing flight paths out to sea.
Today the internationally respected NAS seeks to accelerate change to protect future generations from a worsening aural environment by disseminating new methods of sound management, running an awareness programme for schools, incentivising industry to design low-noise technology and providing the only national helpline dedicated solely to the problems of noise. NAS cannot change the human condition, but it can offer practical ways to support those who wish to exercise choice in an otherwise noisy world.
For more details - www.quietmark.com
Quiet Mark's National Noise Report October 2021: Household & Workplace Pandemic-Recovery Survey
Quiet Mark's National Noise Report October 2021:
Household & Workplace Pandemic-Recovery Survey
18 months after the first lockdowns…
Over half of UK adults would now factor noise into their future employment decision
and would also like a quieter home - reveals the new Quiet Mark trends report.
Quiet Mark, the independent global certification programme associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society charitable foundation (est.1959) has conducted a brand new 2021 survey, taking a deep dive into the UK’s attitudes towards noise in their home and work lives, in the wake of both increased work from home and return to the workplace this Autumn.
The latest British home and work trends headlines interestingly show a significant lack of knowledge around how noise importantly impacts on well-being. Other surprise findings are young people aged 18 - 34 having particularly strong preferences for quieter technology:
If Brits were to consider a new job, half (52%) would factor noise into their employment decision. Over a quarter (28%) would prioritise working from home as it is quieter and enables them to concentrate better than in their workplace. On the other hand, just 14% would prioritise working on-site as they find that to be more productive. Over one in ten (12%) would want to work in a different industry or work environment altogether in order to minimise noise.
With kitchens becoming the new wfh office, it’s no wonder over four fifths
(82%) of Brits have appliances within their home that they would like to make less noise
Over half (57%) of Brits would like their home to be quieter, with a further 62% noting that they are drawn towards quieter appliances. This is stronger amongst those aged 18-34 (66%) compared to those aged 55+ (54%). This love for quieter appliances transfers to the cost Brits are willing to pay, with two thirds (63%) of 18-34 year olds willing to pay more for quieter appliances.
The survey, carried out by Opinium Research, sampling 2,000 UK adults aged 18+ across all regions also showed that almost four fifths (79%) of Brits say that it matters how loud an appliance is when purchasing one for their home, with 45% wishing their washing machine, and 43% their vacuum cleaner, were quieter than their current ones.
At 45%, Washing Machines is the product category that most Brits wish they had a quieter model than their existing one.
Through scientific testing and assessment Quiet Mark identifies the quietest products in multiple categories spanning many sectors, including: home appliances and technology, building sector materials and commercial sector products. Only 10% to 20% of the quietest best performing products are awarded Quiet Mark certification.
Each product category is re-evaluated annually to reflect new models coming on to the market. In the past year the number of Quiet Mark certified products listed on quietmark.com has tripled from 350 to over 1,000. The number of manufactures achieving certification has also increased from 60 to over 80, as more household brands join long standing names including Dyson, Samsung and Philips to show responsible achievements in engineering.
Quiet Mark’s Retail Partners, making it easier for millions of customers to source the quietest appliances and technology
Recognising increased consumer demand for quieter appliances, many of the UK’s largest retailers, including Argos, John Lewis & Partners, and VERY, have formed retail partnerships with Quiet Mark. Each has their own Quiet Mark section on their websites, making it easier for their millions of customers to find the quietest technology for all areas of their homes.
John Lewis's technology director, Laurence Mitchell, says there are more than 10,000 searches a month for appliances that include the term "quiet" on the retailer's website, with washing machines and kettles the most likely devices to be linked to the search.
However, the survey did also highlight a lack of knowledge related to the health risks of noise. When it comes to knowledge on hearing, over a third (39%) of Brits incorrectly believe that hearing loss begins at 110 decibels, about the noise level of a rock concert. Just under half (47%) know that exposure to noise can disturb sleep and cause high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Only a fifth (19%) know that noise is the second biggest killing natural pollutant after air pollution, according to The World Health Organisation.
“Because sound is invisible it is often overlooked. Yet, the fundamental impact it has on all the physical rhythms of our bodies, our hormones, heart-rate and brain waves is so profound and inherent to our well-being. According to our latest public surveys commissioned by Quiet Mark”, says Poppy Szkiler, CEO & CoFounder of Quiet Mark.
“There is still a huge knowledge gap about this in the UK, which often prevents noise reduction being made a priority in the design focus of new product development, yet unwanted noise is a serious pollutant which affects our brain-waves, heart rate, all our physical rhythms”.
Quiet Mark’s mission is to raise awareness to these health risks, drive quiet design innovation to support public health, and provide solutions to unwanted noise. When people see the distinctive Quiet Mark logo alongside a product, they know it’s one of the quietest products or materials on the market, enabling them to increase the acoustic comfort of their spaces, for greater well-being and improved mental health.
Note to Writers/ Journalists:
The data shared above, and slides in THIS SURVEY DECK share a small selection of highlights from the survey in which 7 questions were asked of the 2,000 respondents across the whole of the UK. Quiet Mark would be willing to provide more granular intel to support a feature, and, should it be of interest, an interview with Quiet Mark’s CEO/ CoFounder, Poppy Szkiler, to discuss the findings further.
Contact Simon Gosling, CMO, on 07717 776852 - email@example.com
Quiet Renewable Energy with Quiet Mark Certified Heat Pumps
RENEWABLE ENERGY HEAT PUMPS BRING PEACE OF MIND,
BUT DO THEY SPOIL OUR PEACE & QUIET?
Image: The Quiet Mark Certified Grant Aerona³ R32 Air Source Heat Pump
All heating products make some noise, but heat pumps are usually quieter than fossil fuel boilers. A ground source heat pump may reach 42 decibels, and an air source heat pump may reach 40 to 60 decibels, but this depends on manufacturer and installation.
Quiet Mark is the independent global certification programme associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society charitable foundation. Through scientific testing and assessment Quiet Mark identifies the quietest products in multiple categories spanning many sectors, including: home appliances and technology, building sector materials and commercial sector products.
At QuietMark.com you’ll find Quiet Mark certified heat pumps, both Air Source, and Ground Source, which have all achieved lowest noise levels out of market-wide comparisons by leading manufacturers, including Grant UK, Vaillant and Warmflow and Worcester Bosch.
Image: The Quiet Mark Certified Vaillant aroTHERM Plus Air Source Heat Pump
From 2025 developers will be obliged to fit air or ground-source heat pumps in new homes as part of the government’s bid to cut carbon emissions and make us all more energy-efficient. The Energy Saving Trust says you should expect to pay between £9,000 and £11,000 for an air-source heat pump, the most popular UK choice. That’s more than three times the cost of a typical new gas boiler with thermostatic radiator valves, excluding radiators (£2,300). However, with a heat pump, average savings on fuel bills may eventually recoup at least some of the cost of installation; Igloo, a challenger energy company, estimates £3,000 over seven years, typically.
“During the colder months, your heating can be on for long periods of the day, especially with working from home either part or full-time now being standard for many office-based workers. So making sure your main source of heat, whether that’s a Heat Pump or a boiler, isn’t going to disturb you when it comes on, can be essential”, says Poppy Szkiler, Quiet Mark CEO/ CoFounder.
“At Quiet Mark we not only take into account the type of heat pump but we ensure we assess models on a like for like basis - it would be unfair to compare a heat pump for a 2 bedroom house with a model designed for a much larger home. There are 2 types of heat pump available - Ground Source and Air Source, so always be sure to speak with a manufacturer or installer to find out which type of heat pump is best for your situation’, continues Poppy.
Image: The Quiet Mark Certified Compress 7400iAW air to water heat pump by Worcester Bosch - Product launches October 2021
If you don’t have space for a ground source heat pump or don’t want your garden dug up for it to be installed, then an air source model will probably be right for you. These come in 2 forms, ‘Monoblock’ and ‘Split’, again, good advice is key to ensure you get the right one installed in your house. Monoblock units are currently the most common in the UK and have the benefit of not having to be installed by someone with Gas Register qualification but it is worth doing your research to ensure you get the most suitable for you in the long term.
Image: The Quiet Mark Certified Grant Aerona³ R32 17kW Air Source Heat Pump
When it comes to installing an air source heat pump, considerably more planning must go into the preparation compared to the installation of a conventional boiler replacement. Neil Sawers, Grant UK’s Commercial Technical Manager, explains some of the factors homeowners and their installers need to consider when planning a heat pump installation.
“Air source heat pumps operate at low temperatures which are much lower than the high system temperatures associated with oil boilers. Therefore, to help a heat pump work both efficiently and effectively, high levels of insulation ideally need to be in place so that any heat loss from the property is minimised. Every heat pump installation should start with thorough preparation and a key part of this is a heat loss calculation which will identify any heat loss from the home and, when required, will suggest ways this can be reduced.
“Many homes built since the late 1990s will already have more than adequate insulation so installing a heat pump becomes a straightforward choice – the building materials of such homes mean that they retain more heat and are very well suited to low temperature heating systems. “For older properties, there are several steps homeowners can take to improve the energy efficiency of their home. In uninsulated or poorly insulated homes, as much as 25% of heat is lost through the roof, 35% through walls and 25% through floors and that adds up to a lot of wasted energy. Loft insulation is an easy one to start with and it is a job that homeowners can do themselves for a cost of about £6 per m².
“Wall insulation is another effective way of reducing the amount of heat that escapes a home. Cavity walls – typically seen in properties built after 1935 – are relatively simple to insulate with the insulation injected directly into the walls. Solid walls are more difficult to insulate but these can either be clad with insulation on the outside or have it attached inside. “Another popular energy-efficiency measure is installing double glazed windows. Windows are an outlet where heat can be lost so improving their insulation will significantly reduce the overall heat loss of a home. Not only is this measure strongly recommended for heat pumps installations, it is estimated that installing double glazing could save a single-glazed detached home more than £100 on their annual energy bills (Source: Energy Saving Trust). “These energy efficiency measures can make a home feel much warmer and considerably easier to heat, preparing a property to be kept warm by a heat pump.
“However, it must be pointed out that not all these measures will be needed in order to install a heat pump – many homes will have one or more of these measures already in place so, provided the heat pump model and the heat emitters are correctly sized, a heat pump will fulfil the household’s heating demand.
“For those converting to a heat pump from a gas or oil heating system, they should aim to make their house is as ‘leak’ free as possible and while, ideally, energy efficiency measures should be installed in advance, these measures can be retrospectively fitted if homeowners want to spread the cost. Here at Grant UK, we are helping homeowners identify where improvements can be made and we suggest a programme of initiatives that they can follow to help improve the energy efficiency of their home over the next ten years. By implementing a series of measures over several years, the capital outlay does not have to made in one up-front cost and it could allow many more homes to benefit from heat pump heating sooner rather than later.”