An Investment in Acoustics
acoustic wellness is the next big thing in residential wellness.
By STEVE HAAS
PHOTO COURTESY OF SH ACOUSTICS.
AN INVESTMENT IN ACOUSTICS delivers more than just a boost in your home value; it is an investment in your health. Until now, there have been limited efforts made by the various trades to control sound in the home because you can’t see sound. And if it’s not visual or tactile, it doesn’t resonate. Lighting Design and Thermal Control took 50 years to evolve into their current states and are now both at the forefront of the wellness movement. Acoustic Wellness is what’s next in residential wellness.
Because you can’t see sound – it’s not visual or tactile – it often doesn’t resonate. And the trades aren’t explaining the concept of acoustic wellness to homeowners who are generally unaware of the negative effects of noise. Likewise, modern wellness technology manufacturers and service providers don’t address acoustics but focus on water, air quality and lighting as the trinity of home wellness. But acoustics needs a place at the table.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has published stats and studies that show how dire the effect of noise is on our health. According to the WHO, excessive noise “seriously harms human health” and interferes with people’s daily activities at school, at work, at home, and during leisure time. It can disturb sleep, cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects, affect hearing, reduce performance, and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behavior. The Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act has also established the Office of Noise Abatement and Control (ONAC) to carry out investigations and studies on noise and its effect on public health and welfare.
Sound quality (performance) addresses all the needs and functions of a space. It’s about how you want the sound to behave and how to tame it, having precision control over the room’s sound character. Performance spaces, such as a home theater, media room, live residential concert space, or listening room, must be acoustically designed for optimal performance. Sound containment in the bedroom is essential to health because noise can disrupt sleep cycles. Street noise, like the sound of a garbage truck picking up trash in the morning and interior noise, such as a teenager playing music in an adjacent bedroom, can be problematic if not contained.
Every acoustic design is unique to the acoustician, the individual home, the noise level, the homeowner’s preferences, audio-video specifications and other factors. Design decisions profoundly affect acoustics, so having the acoustician involved from the beginning helps eliminate potential acoustic issues before they exist, saving time and money.
The homeowner’s serenity and long-term health, prevention of stress-related disease and overall comfort are priceless. And that sounds pretty healthy.
Steve Haas is the CEO and Principal Consultant for SH Acoustics. Stay tuned for more information about the benefits provided by proper acoustical design as his team will be exploring methods for making every room of the house sound its very best in future articles here at Technology Designer Magazine.