Acoustics and Indoor Environments

Addressing noise hazards

David Ward
January 8, 2024

Cost-effective solutions for creating healthy and quiet homes in the UK

In today's fast-paced world, the allure of a lovely day in the great outdoors is undeniable, but the reality is on average, individuals spend a staggering 90% of their lives indoors1. This isn't merely a reflection of the British weather but a global phenomenon, highlighting the importance of ensuring that the places where we live, work, and play are not just functional but are truly healthy spaces.

The digital age and the COVID-19 pandemic have further heightened the importance of indoor environments. Homes now double as workplaces, schools, and sanctuaries, making air quality, natural light, and noise control essential considerations. It's clear that our indoor spaces play a pivotal role in our overall well-being, necessitating careful design and construction to ensure healthy, nurturing environments that positively impact our lives.


Yet last year, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) published research showing that in owner-occupied and socially rented homes alone there were 2,683 serious hazards due to noise in 20222.

The cost to the NHS of these hazards is £1,335,3602 each year, while the cost of mitigating them is estimated at £3,929,4162, meaning the cost of fixing them would be paid back within three years. And these figures don’t even include homes where people rent from private landlords, which are more likely to suffer from serious disrepair.

Creating healthier indoor environments

ROCKWOOL's Expertise in Noise Mitigation and Legislative Support

At ROCKWOOL UK, we are specialists in products which mitigate the impact of noise as part of a well designed built environment. The choice of material in a building, for example, can make a significant difference to the experience of noise from internal and external sources.

Last year, ROCKWOOL was in parliament to support the Healthy Homes Bill currently making it’s way through the House of Lords, as well as Lord Crisp’s proposed amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill to enshrine healthy homes in law3.

Local Authorities can also act to keep homes healthy in their area.

  • First they can set planning conditions that new homes are built in accordance with British Standard BS8233:2014, which sets maximum limits for external noise coming into homes.
  • And where social housing is being retrofitted through funds like the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, they can insist contractors use insulation that is non-combustible with good acoustic performance.

Because, wherever we live, every home should be a healthy home: safe from fire, free from cold, and yes, free from excessive noise.

Webpage history

Our experts continually review and update our articles when legislation changes or new information becomes available. 

First published: 10/01/2024