Noise Reduction in Spain (Another Opportunity Waits)

Some trends fade quickly because without realizing it, a new and stronger trend has entered the scene. There was a trend towards noise pollution in Spain last year. Unfortunately, the trend was short lived for two reasons.

The first reason stems from the construction and real estate sector, which is facing a decline. A particular company that has since commercialized “silent bricks” has left the scene very early. Noise inherent in the construction quality of buildings is one of the problems. New projects are being built with these higher quality bricks. If you live in a house for about 10 years, it is quite normal to hear literally what your neighbors are talking about. But the silent brick trend is gone for a while.

The other trend has become obsolete with new environmental policies becoming popular. (especially Fujitsu) air conditioners have commercialized their air conditioners in a completely silent environment. Today this area is demanded by energy-saving economical air conditioners. Silence is no longer an issue.

Yet noise is one of the social problems in Spain. I love Spain and Spanish society for being expressive and extroverted. The flip side is the amount of noise the same society produces. Visit a public school in Spain during the break and you’ll see what I mean. There is no better indication that awareness is not yet a priority: schools are where people need to learn and change.

There is little awareness of this problem. But new initiatives continue to draw attention, as Bayer did by linking excessive noise to health problems:

“Bayer’s Spanish subsidiary has launched a campaign to reduce noise pollution. The internet-based initiative was developed by Bayer experts in collaboration with experts and health officials from Spanish universities.” ([http://www.bayer.com/en/spain.aspx])

Also, the growth of cities and towns made the problem a more real one. The construction of houses, apartments and commercial centers along the highway is no exception. However, this did not lead to a demand for the roadway to be insulated with sound barriers. And that’s – again – due to a new trend: the economic downturn in Spain. The unemployment rate in Spain is currently growing faster than in any other European country. Noise pollution needs to wait for better times to be brought under control.

HJB

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