聲學小知識—你所不知道的住宅噪聲

每月住宅的處理費賬單大家一定不陌生,水費電費管理費,還有公攤費用,以及漸漸被大家認識的污水處理費,特別是高層住宅小區,這些費用的明細一般都會更多,有沒有想過一些費用就是伴隨著噪聲。

比如污水處理費,這就是小區的污水泵在作用,平時可能我們能夠聽到的污水泵噪聲並不明顯,畢竟他是低頻噪聲,一般污水泵都會安裝在泵房內,就是為了防止影響小區的安靜。污水泵是小區人們生活必不可少的機械設備,所以在設計開發的時候就考慮到其噪聲問題。這類型機械設備基本都是低頻噪聲,而污水泵的噪聲不算高,控制在35分貝一下就達到了規定。處理污水泵噪聲同樣是從阻隔振動源出發,在機體的本身安裝減震設備,減少振動噪聲通過牆壁地面傳播出去,架空其鏈接的水管或者安裝彈性支架,特別注意的是管道在牆體的進出口位置,填充隔音棉等等減震材料,泵房的門窗隔音也很重要,這樣能夠加大降噪的效果。

設備噪聲的處理需要檢測噪聲源,檢測噪聲類型,隔音材料的隔音效果也需要測試,設備以及周邊設備的降噪結果都是可以通過專業的聲學測量儀器來檢測的。

以上圖片: 噪聲振動精密測量儀器

Norsonic 848A 為聲學照相機確立了新的標準。和傳統的聲學照相機相比,由於它使用了大量的麥克風,所以它消除了鬼影的問題。對於傳統的聲學照相機而言,由於它採用的麥克風相對比較少,所以了它增加了照相機的旁瓣效應,從而導致照相機產生了鬼影:也就是你可能會”測量到”一個並不存在的聲源。

Norsonic 848A的軟件是非常直觀的而且便於操作。在接受培訓幾分鐘以後,使用者就可以操作系統並進行實際的測量。我們可以提供三種碟面的聲學照相機,它們分別有不同數量的麥克風傳感器和不同的碟面尺寸。直徑0.4m的陣列有128個麥克風組成;直徑1.0m的陣列有256個麥克風組成;直徑1.6m的陣列有384個麥克風組成。

所有數碼麥克風單元被置於蝶形炭纖維基座內,並受到防塵和防濕保護網的保護。基座強大而堅固的結構確保所有的麥克風處於正確的位置-這對於聲場測量是非常重要的。內圈陣列中麥克風的細小間距對於高頻測量時降低空間混疊是很重要的。由大量麥克風組成的陣列也有助於提高測量的動態範圍和降低自噪聲。通過所有麥克風對選定方向的信號進行加權平均而得到的信號可以遠遠低於採用單一麥克風測量時候的自噪聲。也就是它可以測量普通聲級計測量不到的聲音。

這個系統可以讓使用者在進行噪聲分析時對現場實時的多 個噪聲源有一個清晰的認識。該系統進入測量現場後數分 鐘之後就可以進行測量。通過在畫面上移動鼠標,你就可以 在實際測量時對選定方向的聲源進行分析和監聽。同傳統的方法相比,這個系統就有助於使用者在短時間內對噪聲 問題進行診斷,這究竟是一種干擾聲源,一類聲學洩漏,還 是一個難以處理的噪聲問題。

作者:深明顧問有限公司自2008年以來一直涉足環境領域。由經驗豐富的環境專家、聲學專家和數碼技術專家組成的團隊,我們精通為公共和私營部門提供一站式的環境、數碼通信及數碼視覺科技服務。通過為客戶提供獨特的智能解決方案,我們充分利用了長達十年的經驗,為跨國公司和政府提供專業服務。 專業知識已發展到空氣和水的質量、噪聲、綠色建築和廢物管理。 憑藉在環境規劃和評估、可行性研究和政策審查、生態設計、監測和審核中廣泛的專業知識,加上追隨世界數碼潮流,深明顧問有限公司已經成熟為領先數碼環境及可持續發展管理的專業顧問。
(網站:https://anewr.com,领英:ANewR Consulting Group,Twitter:ANewR – Everyday Newer,YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

聲學小知識—監測環境的需要 (5)

我們需要什麼儀器來進行噪聲測量?

我們聽到聲音,因為耳朵可以讓我們感受到從物體發出聲率的振動。因此,我們需要一種可以像我們耳朵一樣的儀器進行噪聲監測。這是噪音計。內置權衡的作用。它就像我們的耳朵一樣,懂得權衡某些部份聲壓。

在數碼化的世界中,我們充分利用互聯網帶來的便利,進行站點監測。互聯網傳輸噪音計收集的噪聲數據。我們利用管理網頁來查看在線收集的數據。在過去,數碼化節省了監測所需的人力資源。現在,我們可以輕鬆地實時獲取數據及過往記錄。

我們又應該記錄什麼數據?首先,我們要記錄監測環境的分貝數據。讓我們可以根據相對應的日期和時間找出特定事件發生的時間。這就是為什麼我們需要儲存歷史數據的原因。此外,天氣狀況可能會迫使我們放棄某些日子的監測數據。尤其是雨天,因為雨水會影響噪聲記錄。有些時候,你想在多於一個位置放置監測站。管理網頁上有地圖顯示功能,可以顯示你正在查看的監測站。

你已經瞭解噪聲測量的關鍵要素。現在,讓我們一起觀察環境;確定你要監測的區域;瞭解噪聲監測設備;設置噪聲監測站;閲讀管理網頁上的數據記錄;簡要介紹噪聲監測因素和緩解措施。研究環境噪聲一段時間。你將發現所監測的環境特徵,並思考該怎麼改善環境。

我們有責任保護和改善環境。你能想想一種創新的方法來解決周遭的噪聲問題嗎?使用吸聲材料來設計具美感的減噪方案可行嗎?

作者:深明顧問有限公司自2008年以來一直涉足環境領域。由經驗豐富的環境專家、聲學專家和數碼技術專家組成的團隊,我們精通為公共和私營部門提供一站式的環境、數碼通信及數碼視覺科技服務。通過為客戶提供獨特的智能解決方案,我們充分利用了長達十年的經驗,為跨國公司和政府提供專業服務。 專業知識已發展到空氣和水的質量、噪聲、綠色建築和廢物管理。 憑藉在環境規劃和評估、可行性研究和政策審查、生態設計、監測和審核中廣泛的專業知識,加上追隨世界數碼潮流,深明顧問有限公司已經成熟為領先數碼環境及可持續發展管理的專業顧問。
(網站:https://anewr.com,领英:ANewR Consulting Group,Twitter:ANewR – Everyday Newer,YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

聲學小知識—監測環境的需要 (4)

如何正確地測量噪聲?

你可能會在工作間測量噪聲,同時間亦會整體測量其它聲源。所以你收集到所有物體的數據,以及房間中的總體聲壓。在許多情況下,背景噪聲可能會在測量期間淹沒你想要測量的機器噪聲。我們如何消除背景噪聲,並糾正背景噪聲對測量的影響?

你需要做的是在物體運作的情況下測量聲壓,然後關閉物體運作並測量背景噪聲,計算之間的差距,得出數值。在圖表的水平軸上以得出數值定位,找到相交點。然後從左側的垂直軸找出所需減去的數值。從總體水平中減去該值,即可得到機器的聲壓水平。或者,你可以利用方程式計算結果。

背景噪聲對我們的噪聲測量有很重要的影響。在測量之前,我們必須觀察四周環境,定出監測站的理想位置。觀察環境時,我們需要注意許多要點。你在該環境中可以找到多少個噪聲源?噪聲源具有什麼特徵?我們能準確指出大多數噪聲源所在的位置嗎?在現場,噪聲源來自哪個方向?每個噪聲源相隔多遠?牆壁/結構是否有可能引起反射?

除了背景噪聲外,我們還要注意外部因素,例如放置噪音計的角度,天氣亦會影響測量結果。我們是否涵蓋了大部分噪聲源?監測站是否靠近噪聲源?監測站附近有多少人類活動進行?是否具有良好的WiFi信號和穩定的電力供應?最後的是,所選地點安全嗎?

確定監測位置後,讓我們瞭解怎樣運用儀器測量噪聲。

作者:深明顧問有限公司自2008年以來一直涉足環境領域。由經驗豐富的環境專家、聲學專家和數碼技術專家組成的團隊,我們精通為公共和私營部門提供一站式的環境、數碼通信及數碼視覺科技服務。通過為客戶提供獨特的智能解決方案,我們充分利用了長達十年的經驗,為跨國公司和政府提供專業服務。 專業知識已發展到空氣和水的質量、噪聲、綠色建築和廢物管理。 憑藉在環境規劃和評估、可行性研究和政策審查、生態設計、監測和審核中廣泛的專業知識,加上追隨世界數碼潮流,深明顧問有限公司已經成熟為領先數碼環境及可持續發展管理的專業顧問。
(網站:https://anewr.com,领英:ANewR Consulting Group,Twitter:ANewR – Everyday Newer,YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

聲學小知識—監測環境的需要 (3)

什麼是噪聲?噪聲只是關於音量的高低嗎?

假若你在晚上睡覺時,被蚊子的聲音包圍,你會否覺得難以忍受?當然,蚊子的聲音不會使你失去聽力,但是你可以說蚊子發出的聲音是噪聲,因為它令你感到頭疼。聽到尖銳的聲音,令你感到疲憊,頭暈以及噁心。所以,噪聲是指不想要及給人煩擾的聲音。

什麼是聲音?聲音是指通過氣態,液態或固態的彈性將振動轉換成聲波。聲波變化決定了人類是否可以聽到聲音。人耳可以檢測到每秒至少20次變化的聲波,但不超過每秒20,000次的變化(20Hz-20kHz)。所用單位是赫茲。

什麼是分貝? 分貝是對數標上發送和接收信號強度之間的比率。 人耳可以檢測到最小的變化是1分貝。 3dB的差異相當於聲量的兩倍。人類會全面接收物件發出的聲音、從牆壁反射的聲音和傳輸到相鄰房間的聲音。

但是,人耳不會百份百接收到從物體發出的完整聲量。傳輸時會失去一定程度的聲量。聲音功率水平是從聲源發出的聲能。另一個概念是聲壓,用來測量從聲源到接收位置的聲能。聲音功率水平是原因,而聲壓是結果。

如果我們房間中有多個聲源,結果是各個聲壓的總和嗎?不,答案並不是特定聲壓的總和。

你應該做的是測量每個物體的聲壓,計算差值。查看圖表,在水平軸上找到分貝點,並根據交點在垂直軸上找到數值。然後把這數值加到較高分貝的物體的數值上。另一種方法是用方程式計算總聲功率。

你瞭解聲音和噪聲是什麼。我們又如何從科學實踐研究環境中的噪聲?

作者:深明顧問有限公司自2008年以來一直涉足環境領域。由經驗豐富的環境專家、聲學專家和數碼技術專家組成的團隊,我們精通為公共和私營部門提供一站式的環境、數碼通信及數碼視覺科技服務。通過為客戶提供獨特的智能解決方案,我們充分利用了長達十年的經驗,為跨國公司和政府提供專業服務。 專業知識已發展到空氣和水的質量、噪聲、綠色建築和廢物管理。 憑藉在環境規劃和評估、可行性研究和政策審查、生態設計、監測和審核中廣泛的專業知識,加上追隨世界數碼潮流,深明顧問有限公司已經成熟為領先數碼環境及可持續發展管理的專業顧問。
(網站:https://anewr.com,领英:ANewR Consulting Group,Twitter:ANewR – Everyday Newer,YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

聲學小知識—監測環境的需要 (2)

我們與噪聲,以至於我們的生活環境有什麼關係?

我們知道噪聲對健康有害。噪聲可導致心律和血壓升高。噪聲也會影響我們的免疫系統。失眠是很常見的。最重要的是,巨大的噪聲可令我們損失聽力。

為什麼我們不能有一個安靜的住所?除了人多地少這因素,用於住宅重建的原地點本已是高噪聲的環境。

計劃和協調長期住房戰略是具有挑戰性。在香港,可用於房屋開發的地點靠近交通擁擠的道路和鐵路。最近,你不難在繁忙的街道留意到單幢房屋。由於土地稀缺,驅使我們尋找其他重建地點。

重建-意思是重新發展的行動或過程 –利用非住宅土地來發展住宅。例如,如果該點以前是廠房用途,這區域可能本繁忙的交通網絡。我們喜歡交通帶來的便利,但是不可避免地在交通擁擠的區域內居住。

專業的環境監測專員認識許多降噪措施,例如樓宇後移,樓宇佈局/座向,建築鰭片。儘管如此,香港仍有約九十萬人忍受不可避免的交通噪聲。

為使居民免受交通噪聲超過70dB(A)L10(1小時)的影響,所用的減噪方法是為了減少人口暴露於交通噪聲的百分比。同時需要探索和開發創新的噪聲緩解措施。暴露於交通噪聲中的人口百分比是可比較的基準,用於評估城市在緩解噪聲方面的成效。

讓我們從噪聲概念開始。

作者:深明顧問有限公司自2008年以來一直涉足環境領域。由經驗豐富的環境專家、聲學專家和數碼技術專家組成的團隊,我們精通為公共和私營部門提供一站式的環境、數碼通信及數碼視覺科技服務。通過為客戶提供獨特的智能解決方案,我們充分利用了長達十年的經驗,為跨國公司和政府提供專業服務。 專業知識已發展到空氣和水的質量、噪聲、綠色建築和廢物管理。 憑藉在環境規劃和評估、可行性研究和政策審查、生態設計、監測和審核中廣泛的專業知識,加上追隨世界數碼潮流,深明顧問有限公司已經成熟為領先數碼環境及可持續發展管理的專業顧問。
(網站:https://anewr.com,领英:ANewR Consulting Group,Twitter:ANewR – Everyday Newer,YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

聲學小知識—監測環境的需要 (1)

環境健康是指人與環境之間的關係 –人類健康與福祉,健康與安全的社區。這些社會倡議,是可以運用科學來專業探討。重要的是,新生代領導者可以以科學化方式來學習環境。我們可以追踪環境健康。這堂課是關於身處環境中的噪聲監測的。讓我們牢記三個目標:了解你身處的構建環境,科學化監控和分析數據。

目標1-認識你身處的構建環境。憑你的感覺,你是否感到周圍環境很嘈雜?你認為你身處的環境是優質的嗎?

目標2-如何進行科學化的監測。有句諺語: 工欲善其事 必先利其器–先進的技術幫助我們運用科學來證明我們的大膽假設。而我們需要的是合適的工具來執行科學監控。

目標3-數據分析。結構或非結構化的數據都能告訴發生的故事。當找到當中模式時,我們便能夠使用數據來監視狀況。我們收集數據,發現各噪聲之間的相關性,外部環境和緩解效果。便能夠進一步了解影響噪聲的因素。

到底,噪聲與我們的生活環境之間有什麼關係?

作者:深明顧問有限公司自2008年以來一直涉足環境領域。由經驗豐富的環境專家、聲學專家和數碼技術專家組成的團隊,我們精通為公共和私營部門提供一站式的環境、數碼通信及數碼視覺科技服務。通過為客戶提供獨特的智能解決方案,我們充分利用了長達十年的經驗,為跨國公司和政府提供專業服務。 專業知識已發展到空氣和水的質量、噪聲、綠色建築和廢物管理。 憑藉在環境規劃和評估、可行性研究和政策審查、生態設計、監測和審核中廣泛的專業知識,加上追隨世界數碼潮流,深明顧問有限公司已經成熟為領先數碼環境及可持續發展管理的專業顧問。
(網站:https://anewr.com,领英:ANewR Consulting Group,Twitter:ANewR – Everyday Newer,YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

ESG – an expense or a profit?

Climate change is a burning issue. Human activity is recognised as the main of climate change. The harmful act is burning fossil fuels that release large amounts of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas and are trapped in the atmosphere. We never thought our presence would change our planet to such a level, though we hear it on the news daily. It is our time to learn how to minimise our impacts while making our living. Governmental, commercial, industrial, and individual. It is not only for us but also for the next generation. We would not want our next generation to live in a messy world.

For Hong Kong, Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2030+ had issued to engage the business sector and community to combat climate change in full force and sets an ambitious target of carbon intensity reduction by 65% to 70% by 2030. In 2021, it developed to Hong Kongs Climate Action 2050, embracing four NetZero strategies—NetZero electricity generation, energy-saving and green buildings, green transport, and waste reduction.

While at the governance side, the Companies Ordinance requires Hong Kong companies to include descriptions of the company’s principal risks and uncertainties, environmental policies and performance in their directors’ reports for each financial year (for a public company). The company must comply with relevant laws and regulations that significantly impact the company. Just as importantly, a company’s relationships with its employees, customers and suppliers would substantially affect the company and on which its success depends.

Keeping up with the world trend of transparency, the Hong Kong Exchange has been part of the global movement to disclose ESG performance. The listing rule has been upgraded to requiring listed companies to make mandatory public disclosures about their ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) performance and risk management on ESG report annually, starting from 2016.

In combating climate change, benchmarking is needed to evaluate progress and performance. Benchmarking requires data. Without data, performance cannot be quantified, and targets cannot be planned accordingly. Without a clear goal, policies and strategies cannot be formulated, let alone implemented.

The first is regarding the data. Scoping climate change-related data is complicated. Here below are examples of Greenhouse Gas emission scopes. Greenhouse Gas emission is one of the most significant contributors to climate change.

  • Scope 1 Greenhouse Gas Emission: Direct emission data includes the stationary combustion sources (e.g., electricity, heat or steam generation), mobile combustion sources (e.g., motor vehicles and ships), and the use of refrigerants (e.g., HFC and PFC) and any other emission activities. 
  • Scope 2 Greenhouse Gas Emission: Energy indirect emission data, such as the electricity purchased from electricity suppliers and the gas purchased from the energy company, can be inputted and calculated through the system.
  • Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas Emission: Throughout the supply chain, Indirect emission data like landfill gas generation, business travel, electricity consumption by freshwater and wastewater processing, paper consumption and other emission activities are suggested and included in the current system.

The following issue is that people face problems when compiling reports for their company, such as complicated Unit Conversion for non-ESG Background Colleagues. Emission Factors and Standard Requirements are constantly changed. Internally, staff are using different formats of data collection.

Hence, companies invested in ESG Dashboard that can handle Unit Conversion and emission factors and simplify data collection amongst group companies/subsidiaries. Because accuracy is essential as this will affect the decision-making. Imagine that you have the wrong data about electricity consumption and the incorrect action/remediation to the problems. In the long term, it’s becoming a substantial wrongful total energy consumption calculation. The dashboard can support companies handling complicated data collection, streamlining the process, and generating accurate ESG reports.

Photo Above: ESG Dashboard handling complicated data collection, streamlining the process, and generating accurate ESG reports

After all, In the context of a company reporting or investing, would you say ESG is an expense or a profit? This dilemma is like when your room cooler is broken, you go to the shop and have choices of 1) room cooler of old model which is not an energy-saving type, and 2) the room cooler granted with Energy Efficiency Label. The former is cheaper than the latter, but in the long run, the latter induces lower electricity bills. Which room cooler would you choose? On the technical side, we always perform a life cycle assessment – a cradle-to-grave analysis to assess impacts associated with a product from raw materials extraction to manufacturing, distribution and use. We consider all the stages of thinking if it’s “worth” making it. When we put this concept and practice into ESG reporting and investing, paying a bit more upfront on governance tool—the ESG dashboard, discovering the issues and controlling it through effective ESG data management. It will result in savings, enjoying lower operation and reputation costs, and costs to the environment.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

What is technology Vs Sustainable Development Goals?

We have heard many about these terms: “Climate Change, NetZero, Decarbonisation”. There is Paris Agreement, nations targeting to combat climate change by 2030, 2050 etc. A lot of sustainable infrastructures are established. They are labelling like Green Buildings, Energy-efficiency labels, etc. Many governments’ funding schemes relate to innovative green technologies and awards. And, because of COVID-19 and the technology development, innovative measures are required nowadays and in the future to combat all sorts of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Digitalisation, Information and Communications Technology are those innovative solutions, and no one can escape from this trend. SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure will become another focus on climate change.

What is the role of ICT in sustainability?

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can spread information around the world, facilitating people to reach the information and education and therefore transforming their lives by having more knowledge. The mass will make the world change.

The ICT practice lies in the goal of economic growth. An increase in technology application is one of the ways to increase in the production of goods and services in an economy. In recent years, especially in Covid time, we’ve heard a lot about the Internet to provide services, such as education, online shopping, and food delivery, for our convenience and health and safety. This is precisely the use of ICT.

Back in 2012, OECD launched a study about “ICT investments and productivity: Measuring the contribution of ICTS to growth”. The study revealed that “ICT producing industries account for no less than two-thirds of total factor productivity (TFP) growth in Germany, Slovenia and the United Kingdom, about 60% in the United States and just below 50% in France and the Netherlands. ” The more modern example is banking service going virtual – online banking, contributing service distribution to a broader scope of audience and territories.

Other than economic growth, nowadays, we all talk about sustainability, ESG. ICT contributes a lot to sustainability and ESG. We apply ICT in managing ESG factors on the dashboard. The company can use the dashboard to manage and monitor the ESG performance for the company itself and its subsidiaries. Environmental and social are two of the dominant factors in sustainability and ESG. ICT in environmental is about environmental data management and monitoring plus the Internet Of Things (IoT). ICT in the social topic is about engagement, inclusion and diversity, such as using 4D virtual reality to educate non-specialists and the general public about the complex data and environment.

Adopting ICT can avoid being suspected of greenwashing too. Greenwashing is a very notorious image that companies would not want to bear. ESG impact is considered, e.g. for a product from raw materials extraction, production, distribution and use. The whole value/supply chain involves different companies and staff from diverse backgrounds. We cannot assume all staff from other experiences, and companies know well about ESG and how to implement it. There’s a technical side of skillsets and knowledge. Not everyone can comprehensively understand the ESG issues and describe them well enough.

For example, the product manufacturer may be different from the one responsible for the packaging. The marketing person may not understand what ESG matters in promoting the products. And the logistics that we often neglect. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has produced “Guidance for Making environmental claims on goods and services” in the UK, advising what and when is misleading the environmental claims. Before claiming the product/service is green, we need to ensure the necessary aspects are examined with proof. Data is the proof.

All-round ESG awareness and education are vital. ICT can spread the message and knowledge widely—the ICT captures, aggregates, stores, analyses, displays, and exports performance data. The accumulated data proof represents the corporate action. ICT itself is an industry. The new market/business model can potentially be explored because of the application of ICT.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)

What is acoustics Vs Sustainable Development Goals?

ANewR starts our story with Acoustics. Participating in acoustics projects since 2008, let’s explore the meaning of acoustics in the sustainability movement.

(1) What is the role of acoustics in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? How can acoustics contribute to sustainability?

When we talk about “Environment”, the first thing that comes to mind is the greenery vs the waste, the blue sky vs the air pollution, and the crystal-like water vs the mud-like water. The acoustics is invisible; still, it is not hidden—We do not see acoustics, but it does not mean it is not affecting us. We know that noise is bad for health. Noise can cause elevated heart rate and blood pressure. Noise can alter our immunity system too. It is common for us to experience sleep disturbance with significant problems. To the extreme, we would lose our hearings to a substantial noise level. In this way, it is no doubt to say acoustics is about our health and safety. Human beings must stay healthy to contribute to the economy and society.

While innovative acoustic development has inspired us a lot, the role of acoustics in SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) should not be purely about our health. Let’s take an example of one of the marvellous acoustic instruments, the Acoustic Camera. It helps us detect noise in a complex environment. In our exceptional case, an acoustic camera was used to detect the faulty rail wheels to avoid causing significant casualties to the public. The potential utilisation in preventing problems do us great help. Health and safety are social issues.

Photo above: Acoustic Camera as maintenance and quality control solutions

On the other hand, city planning also involves soundscape—the acoustic ecosystem can be designed through analysis of the big sound data and seamless integration with the city planners, architects, environmental consultants, landscape architects, and psychologists. The city design via big sound data analysis facilitates our achievement toward sustainable cities.

Photo Above: Soundscape for urban design

We do not see much mention of acoustics in any SDGs. However, the real-world practice shows us acoustics is part of the sustainable movement, helping people maintain health and safety (SDG 3) and develop sustainable, liveable cities (SDG 11) via the benefit of big sound data and innovative technology.

(2) What are the challenges facing the acousticians?

There is a quote, “If a craftsman wants to do good work, he must first sharpen his tools.” We do not witness noise by eyes. And noise is omnidirectional; it is hard for human ears to find noise direction. That is why we need tools to assist us in doing our job. Acousticians’ best handy tools are unquestionably additional pair of ears—sound level meter, noise compass, acoustic camera. These tools are innovative in their invention and highly useful too. Reliable tools improve our work efficiency. The experience of the acousticians also defines the work quality and accuracy. If you have experience in measuring noise, you will know what to be aware of—the surroundings, the background noise, the obstacles, and the position.

Acousticians tend to be very technical people. It can be challenging to explain to others what they find out from the equation. Conventionally, the noise model can be descriptive type, full of text and numbers.

(3) How shall we equip our young acousticians?

Young acousticians learn acoustics concepts and theory in school, practise noise measurement in their first job, and accumulate analytical skills over time. Nowadays, we are experiencing the metaverse—a virtual world network. Could we make good use of this incredible technology with acoustics? We find that acoustics are very traditional in the presentation in some countries. The report is wordy and full of technical data that non-specialists find impossible to understand on their read. If the acousticians contribute by participating in the development of acoustical 3-dimension (3D)/4-dimension (4D), acoustics has a new way to go to the future. In Asia, especially when talking about Hong Kong, they have been developing a 3D Environmental Assessment for over ten years. Noise is envisioned in a 3D/4D model for public engagement and education purposes. The visualisation brings the information inside out. It enhances the ability to decide on project commencement by revealing the noise mitigation effect before and after.

Photo Above: 3D Environmental Impact Assessment

(4) Where can talents acquire such skills?

Universities and institutions are prone to support and succeed in passing down knowledge. They will help you master the fundamentals of acoustics. In contrast, the market development is diverse and fast. Talent’s experience also depends on the culture of the organisation they work for—whether the organisation is innovative or sticks to the conventional. Acousticians could learn more by expanding their horizons from the projects they handle.

As acousticians, their minds are full of acoustic equations and numbers. They even may not realise the actual impact of their calculations. Impressively, we had a project helping acousticians realise the result of acoustic products. We utilised 4D virtual reality to visualise and illustrate the effectiveness of the acoustic window product. It was an exciting project, seeing young professionals engaging so much in learning the acoustic window effectiveness.

Photo Above: Applying 3D/4D and acoustics to education acousticians

(5) What can we do to create more positive impacts?

The rise of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) brings us together. We can share and express without boundary limitations, and we learn openly. We believe that incorporating environmental knowledge with another discipline (today, we talked about information technology) accelerates innovation in sustainability.

By: ANewR Consulting Limited, a digital environmental consultant headquartered in Hong Kong since 2008. Our expertise has grown into the context of air and water qualities, noise, green building, waste management, and remediation. With extensive know-how in environmental planning and assessment, feasibility study and policy review, ecological design, monitoring, and audit (EM&A), ANewR has matured to be a leading management consultancy. Standing in the digital transformation reign, ANewR has participated in various environmental digital projects – interactive 3D visualisation, immersive automation virtual environment, Virtual reality, automation system, and monitoring platforms.
(Website: https://anewr.com, LinkedIn: ANewR Consulting Group, Twitter: ANewR – Everyday Newer,YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpvmxnR9hbNxytSfBdfV8Q/videos)