Builders are deaf to dampening decibels

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One in four Dutchmen are frequently bothered by noisy neighbours or passing traffic. Thismeans that 70.000 people are structurally irritated by noise and over half of them get little or no sleep. “Interior noise, like scraping chairs, low frequency music, footsteps but also the maddening drone of ventilation systems, is one of the biggest sources of illness in this country,” we aretold by Lucas Keizer of the Knowledge Centre Sound Insulation (KGI). “Developers can’t wait to tell the world how energy saving their modern building projects and renovations are. But they do very little about sound proofing or they use cheap materials which are badly fitted.” Keizer finds it odd that the government subsidises heat insulation but not sound insulation, while sound insulation helps to reduce noise as well as preserve heat. “Ireally do not understand this at all.”

Keizer tells us that things are changing in the hotel industry. At the top of the list ofcomplaints about hotels is noise and it has been there for many years. Because of the advent of consumer websites such as Zoover and Tripadvisor and social media, this means that hotels can be faced with bad publicity and loose bookings. Investors may face losses if hotel occupancy rates fall. Keizer tells us that the number of stars of a hotel is no guarantee for agood night’s sleep. “The number of stars tells you nothing about how quiet the rooms are.”

KGI is busy establishing a certificate for hotels: the Quiet Room label. “We are testing 36 hotels and 3 hotel chains. According to the level of sound insulation, rooms will be classified into category I, II or III of the Quiet Room® Concept. This gives the hotel the right to carry the Quiet Room label and use it in their marketing and promotion. Hotels from Switzerland, France and Germany have already shown interest.

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