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Supporting health and wellbeing in buildings

Supporting health and wellbeing in buildings

The built environment can have a profound impact on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of communities, so it is extremely important to carefully select the materials used in interior spaces to ensure they aren’t creating a dangerous environment for the building inhabitants. Designers and specifiers need comprehensive and reliable information to help them make informed decisions when looking for building materials and furnishings. Our ‘supporting wellbeing in buildings’ pillar outlines the policies and practices we follow to guarantee that our products are safe and provide value to the spaces in which they are used.


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Indoor air quality and material safety

Indoor air quality can be negatively affected by the materials used in building interiors, often due to the emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The EPA describes VOCs as gasses emitted from certain solids or liquids that can include a variety of harmful chemicals—some of which have both short and long-term adverse health effects. VOCs are emitted from many everyday things including paints, furnishings, office equipment like printers and copiers, cleaning supplies, and building materials—with concentrations consistently recorded up to ten times higher indoors than outdoors.

The screening for harmful chemicals in our products begins prior to the purchase of raw PET fibre. Our sustainability team thoroughly reviews any material before it is accepted for use in our products, and our products are then independently assessed and verified by third-party organisations including Declare, Health Product Declaration, and CDPH. We have committed to highly detailed product certifications, listing all ingredients down to concentrations of 1%. This means that specifiers of our products can have confidence in the knowledge that the information they have is true and accurate. All Autex Acoustics® products are VOC tested to the high standards of the CDPH Standard Method and are within the allowable VOC limits for acceptable health impacts, even with prolonged exposure. 


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The impact of indoor noise on health and wellbeing

Autex Acoustics products are designed to reduce and control reverberated noise and echo in interior spaces. Noise reduction is a significant contributor to wellbeing, and it is proven that unwanted or excessive noise can have significant detrimental impacts on occupants of spaces. When studying the impact of sound on how we think, Psychologist Nick Perham discovered that office noise impairs workers’ ability to recall information and do basic arithmetic. In busy open-plan environments, even quiet conversations can disrupt productivity, and prolonged exposure to auditory stimuli can cause a variety of problems including tiredness, pain and high blood pressure. From our high-performance Quietspace® panel, which is engineered to absorb a minimum of 85% of sound energy, to our lightweight Cube™ panels that absorb excess reverberation, Autex Acoustics products are designed to improve the acoustic environment of building interiors, and as a result, improve the health and wellbeing of building inhabitants.

Our commitment to supporting wellbeing in buildings As a manufacturer, it is our responsibility to ensure that our products are safe and reliable. Through independent assessment and verification, architects and designers can feel confident in their material choices, knowing that they are specifying the best products for their projects.


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