Welcome to The Quiet Mark Podcast.
Simon Gosling, CMO at Quiet Mark - the independent, international approval award programme associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society - explores our relationship with sound in a series of conversations with experts who’ve spent their lives working with acoustics.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises environmental noise as the 2nd largest environmental health risk in Western Europe behind air quality. The Mayor of London’s Environment Strategy warns that noise can contribute towards a range of physical and mental health problems, disturb sleep and affect people’s hearing, communication and learning.
And, in our smart-phone era, noise isn’t only about the big sounds of planes, traffic and construction sites. Smaller sounds like someone FaceTiming on the bus or playing music loudly through their tinny headphones can cause stress, annoyance and impact on our mental health.
Let’s talk quietly about sound.
Episode 46: Soundscaping for Success - Solutions For a Noisy World - With Evan Benway, Managing Director at Moodsonic, and Ethan Bourdeau, Sound Concept Lead at IWBI
In a recent Fast Company feature, 'Quiet or I’m quitting: Here’s why your employees are getting so fed up with workplace noise', Jennifer Alsever writes, "As workers return to offices, they may be less tolerant of pre-pandemic decibel levels, especially if they are introverts".
Noise can make us lose concentration, motivation, and brain functioning: People lose an estimated 86 minutes of productivity each day because of noise distractions, according to a study by Steelcase. It takes another 23 minutes to get back on task after an interruption, according to another University of California at Irvine study.Sensitivity to noise varies among people. Introverts, for instance, tend to tolerate much less noise than extroverts, according to Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. She writes of one study in which extroverts chose 72 decibels for the “just right” level of sound, while introverts chose 55 decibels. Those introverts also performed much worse on tasks when exposed to the extrovert’s noise levels.
In the Fast Company article, Amanda ends with a section looking at Solutions for a Noisy world, saying:
To improve acoustics, companies are installing modular phone booths for quiet work and building huddle rooms with soundproofing that allows everyone in virtual meetings—both at home and in the office—to hear more clearly. On Quiet Mark's Acoustics Academy directory of verified solutions for every application area, you will find such meeting room and booth solutions by brands including BuzziSpace, Vetrospace and BlockO.
In addition, Amanda notes, "Companies are also turning to “soundscaping.” One UK soundscaping company, Moodsonic, does this by playing a wide range of nature sounds, from the babble of a stream to island forests, inside client offices and thereby silencing noisy conversations or a surge in activity. "The company’s software uses sensors to monitor areas of offices and automatically adjust the sounds", says Evan Benway, managing director of Moodsonic.
Moodsonic was recently Quiet Mark certified and is also one of many solutions listed on Acoustics Academy. In this episode, accompanied by fellow guest, Ethan Bourdeau, Sound Concept Lead at IWBI - The International WELL Building Institute, we take a deep dive into the ways in which sound masking and soundscaping can help support a human-centric approach to building design; creating inclusive spaces that cater to a wide neurodiverse range of occupants, from extroverts to introverts.
Episode 45: LOUD IN THE USA! - The Dangers of a Noisy Planet - with Rick Neitzel - Full Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Global Public Health at University of Michigan
For more than a year, Rick Neitzel has been Full Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Global Public Health at University of Michigan, where he has worked for over 11 years. In this episode our host, Simon Gosling, asks him to explain the health risks related to noise pollution.
Quiet Mark was founded 10 years ago, in 2012, to recognise and certify advancements in product manufacturing which reduced unwanted noise and improved acoustics; making it easier for consumers and trade buyers to find the quietest products available on the market. In this episode we return to the core of our roots to revisit why we do the work that we do.
Rick has recently been involved in Apple's Hearing Study, sharing new data from thousands of participants across the US in an effort to help people better understand their hearing health.
In 2017, he was one of the writers of a study looking at the Economic Impact of Hearing Loss and Reduction of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in the United States. It estimates that hearing loss affects more than 13% of the working population and claims that if the 20% of hearing loss resulting from excessive noise exposure were prevented, the economic benefit would be substantial, with a core estimate of $123 billion.
Episode 44: I Heard it Through the Grapevine - with Dan Belmont, Wine Ambassador at Liebherr UK
Of the 1,200+ certified products listed on quietmark.com one of the most visited categories is refrigeration. And one of the bet know brands in that category is Liebherr, many of whose fridges, fridge-freezers, freezers and wine cabinets we certify.Liebherr refrigerators and freezers offer modern design, outstanding technical performance, innovative technology and superb energy efficiency. In developing its refrigerators and freezers, Liebherr pays attention to customer needs so that appliances are convenient to use and make everyday life easier.One of those people whose life is being made easier by Liebherr is our guest on this episode of The Quiet Mark Podcast, their Wine Ambassador, Dan Belmont, Proprietor & Wine Buyer at Good Wine x Good People.Dan has spent hundreds of classroom hours thrilling guests with wine & cheese education on both sides of the Atlantic. From the restaurant floor to festivals, television & radio – Dan shares his passion and curiosity for the world of wine and aims to inspire his guests to start their own life-long journey of wine appreciation.He is a certified American Wine Expert and holds the Level 3 certification in Wines & Spirits from the WSET. He led the education departments of NYC’s famed Murray’s Cheese, the largest artisan cheese retailer in the US, and Bedales of Borough, a trio of London wine bars inspired by market-driven fare.Dan currently lives in London with his wife, where he is the Wine Ambassador for Liebherr UK, and proudly supports a variety of international trade associations and producers as a presenter, educator & judge. His decade-plus of experience is the engine behind his latest work - goodwinexgoodpeople.com - now shipping personalised mixed cases UK-wide!Listen, as our host, Simon Gosling asks Dan to share his story and explore the role of sound in our enjoyment of wine and the dining experience.
Episode 43: Find Your Quiet Place - with Gregory Scott - Founder at SoundPrint
Followers of Quiet Mark's social media channels will have seen a news feature that we recently shared by Caroline Davies & Harry Taylor in The Guardian, titled: ‘It’s atmosphere’: is noise of London’s restaurants just part of the charm?The piece stated that "the capital’s restaurants are the loudest in Europe, and second only to San Francisco worldwide. A random survey by SoundPrint, a global app measuring noise levels, found 80% of 1,350 London restaurants were too loud for conversation".On tagging that post, Quiet Mark was immediately contacted by SoundPrint's Director of Marketing, Sharon Cohen Bunkin who then enjoyed a call with Quiet Mark CMO & Host of The Quiet Mark Podcast, Simon Gosling, to discover more about one another's companies.In this episode we enjoy a conversation with Gregory Scott, Founder at SoundPrint, an app that not only shows you how loud a restaurant is before you book, it also allows you to take your own sound measurements and write your own sound reviews, enabling restaurateurs to address noise complaints that could be loosing them business and repeat custom.In Spring 2018, Scott launched SoundPrint. The app, which has now achieved 170k downloads, has a built-in meter that measures sound levels for at least 15 seconds, recording levels in real time, as well average and maximum decibels.Download the app here: https://www.soundprint.co/Loud restaurants aren't just annoying — they could be hazardous to our health. According to the World Health Organization, anyone exposed to sound levels over 85 decibels for more than eight hours could be at risk of hearing loss. This is about the same sound level as a leaf blower or gas-powered lawn mower.
Episode 42: Eco-Friendly Acoustics- Creating spaces that are kind to our ears and to our planet!
Together, building and construction are responsible for 39 per cent of all carbon emissions in the world. To meet the UK government’s commitment to reduce net carbon emissions to zero by 2050, the building industry has a big role to play, requiring radical cuts in emissions from construction and operation.Our guest on this episode of The Quiet Mark Podcast is Nigel Burton, Director of Acoustics at Temple, Board Member at The Association of Noise Consultants and Member of the London Branch of the IOA Institute of Acoustics.
Our host, Simon Gosling, asks Nigel how he brings sustainability to his specification decisions when sourcing acoustic products to suit his designs and recommendations. Nigel also raises the case for choosing refurbishment over new build.
Temple are leaders in the field of built and natural environments and creating sustainable futures. By forming inclusive alliances with their clients, associates, other environment, planning and sustainability experts, they make a meaningful environmental and social difference together and offer an authentic, unrivalled service.
Quiet Mark is one of several 3rd Party Certification filters that Specifiers can now use when making product decisions on our partner’s platform, NBS Source. By selecting Quiet Mark and various sustainability certification filters, when sourcing products, we’re helping to make it easier for developers to create healthier buildings which enhance occupant's wellbeing, whilst also being kind to the planet.
Episode 41: And The Winner Is... The Sound of the Year Awards 2021
After a successful inaugural year, The Sound of the Year Awards returned in 2021/22. A celebration of everyday sound in all its forms, the awards are presented by The Museum of Sound in partnership with The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop and others. The awards aim to highlight the rapidly-growing international community of sound professionals and enthusiasts as the value of good sound, listening, and healthy sonic environments are becoming recognised as a vital part of our lives.
Quiet Mark was delighted this year when our CEO & CoFounder, Poppy Szkiler was invited to join the esteemed panel of judges. Quiet Mark was also the official partner of a brand new category for 2021, 'Best Sound Innovation in Everyday Life': Recognising a new technology, appliance or technique made public in the last year that has improved the sound of something experienced in everyday life.
On this episode, we speak with Manchester based Sound Artist, Hayley Suviste, Lead Producer of The Sound of The Year Awards, to find out more about this year's awards. Our host, Simon Gosling, also enjoys a global conversation with the category winner, Justin Wiggan in Cornwall UK, and Runners Up, Fanis Maragkos in Athens, Greece and Yui Onodera in Tokyo, Japan, to find out more about their fascinating, innovative and timely entries and the stories behind them. Learn more about their work here: https://www.soundoftheyearawards.com/2021