Lack of confidence puts damper on noise mitigation

Lack of confidence puts damper on noise mitigation

findings by Jacksons Fencing Research

  • Two thirds (64%) of architects and specifiers say that noise pollution is a significant problem.
  • 84% of professionals are not ‘very confident’ when assessing noise.
  • Noise is considered too late or not at all during construction projects, say 35% of industry professionals.
  • An estimated 5m Brits have moved house as a result of excessive clangour.
  • Half of professionals say that government policy on environmental noise is lacking detail.

Despite architects’ and specifiers’ concerns about noise pollution, there is a distinct lack of understanding surrounding the issue according to ‘Cutting through the Noise’, a new report from UK acoustic fencing manufacturer Jacksons Fencing.

Jakoustic® Reflective Acoustic Fencing from Jacksons Fencing

The study found that nearly two-thirds of architects and specifiers (64%) say that noise pollution is a significant problem. It’s concerning then that only 16% of professionals feel ‘very’ confident assessing noise. Many, however, feel UK policy makers are not taking this issue seriously enough. This is particularly concerning given noise has caused 5 million Brits to move house (6% of the adult population), exacerbating the housing crisis.

Acoustic barriers are a commonly employed solution, widely acknowledged for their noise reduction properties (by 71% of respondents), but misconceptions about their costs are a challenge to these being specified more widely.

Sound understanding

Only 16% of industry professionals feel ‘very’ confident assessing a site’s environmental noise needs and a concerning two-fifths ‘a little’ or ‘not at all’, highlighting a serious problem and need for training. This might account for the 14% of respondents who say that noise pollution is not considered at all during construction projects. More worryingly, it suggests that of the 59% of projects that take noise into consideration, a number of these are assessed without a high level of confidence.

Impractical policies

In order to knowledgably and appropriately assess noise, professionals look to guidance, for example, from British Standards or the Planning Act (2008). So while developers and specifiers are ultimately responsible for considering the effects of noise pollution and ensuring it is properly mitigated, government lays the foundation on which their assessments are based.

12k Envirofence® from Jacksons Fencing

Local authorities are a key player where planning and noise pollution are concerned, yet according to a third of professionals, they’re not taking environmental noise seriously enough. 16% say local authorities are doing nothing at all about noise.

There are further issues with government policy regarding noise pollution, which half of respondents say has insufficient detail. Another 22% say that policy is outdated, indicating that professional training should be complemented with refreshed government guidance, relevant to the needs of the current population.

Acoustic barriers

Seventy one percent of professionals say that by significantly reducing noise pollution, acoustic barriers contribute to a development’s sustainability. Where noise is deemed to require such a solution, however, specifiers are faced with a number of challenges.

Jakoustic® Reflective Acoustic Fencing from Jacksons Fencing

Cost is the greatest challenge for professionals when specifying acoustic barriers (54%), which, when considered alongside respondents’ lack of confidence, suggests a stronger understanding of noise mitigation solutions would affirm their immediate and long term value for money.

Peter Jackson, CEO of Jacksons Fencing, comments: “As noise becomes a bigger challenge for architects, it’s concerning that people aren’t consistently factoring it into planning for new builds and developments. Acoustic barriers provide one tried and true solution to this. There still exists a misunderstanding about barriers in the marketplace, along with misconceptions about the costs. Our job is to educate the industry about these solutions and highlight their long term values and benefits.”


Lack of confidence puts damper on noise mitigation