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How to Improve Sound Insulation Performance

By December 28, 2018June 15th, 2020Acoustics
Improve Sound Insulation

Looking for Ways to Improve Sound Insulation Performance?

Climate Acoustics have carried out many noise assessments and reports for developments throughout the UK, by assessing the noise climate. Improving the sound insulation is an integral part of any project and its construction build up. 

Here are the steps you can take to improve sound insulation performance, both internally and externally:

External Sound Insulation:

For a new development to achieve planning consent, it may require a noise impact assessment, which is typically requested by either an environmental health officer or planning officer at a local council.

Climate Acoustics will carry out a noise impact assessment to help a development meet British Standard BS8233 by suggesting appropriate construction materials for all external elements of a building. To improve sound insulation from outside to the inside of a building, we recommend a suitable roof and ceiling, and external wall, glazing and ventilation constructions to meet BS8233 internal noise criteria.

Noise breakout sound insulation from inside to the outside of a building is required as part of  contractual criteria and planning requirements. Entertainment noise examples range from noise resulting from nightclubs, wedding venues and festivals. This, as well as domestic animal noise can affect neighbouring residential properties. However, such noise sources can be controlled through fitting acoustic doors and blocking off windows with external wall construction, and noise limiter devices can be fitted to control noise levels internally. 

Climate Acoustics can recommend the most appropriate method of noise reduction and noise control. Call Climate Acoustics today on 01245 800105 or email; We’ll be happy to assist you in solving your noise problem.

Internal Sound insulation:

Over- or under-designing an internal construction is more common than you might expect.
Step 1: ‘What wall or floor construction do I have?’
Step 2: ‘Is the wall, or floor likely to meet Building Regulations Approved Document E for sound insulation? 

Here are the options available for checking a separating wall or floor element, whether it is an existing or new construction:

1) Predicting the performance through acoustic consultant prediction. This can be done by including a margin for flanking and workmanship to make sure the element being installed is likely to meet building regulation requirements. The accuracy of this can be improved through inspection of the separating element.

2) On-site testing of the structure. Testing the structure will give greater clarity to sound insulation results and will include provision flanking elements such as external walls and junction details.

3) Laboratory Test Data. Having laboratory test data available with the existing or proposed element will improve the accuracy of the predicted sound insulation performance.

At completion stage of development, a building control officer will typically request that new or converted buildings are constructed to meet Building Regulations Approved Document E or Robust Details for internal sound insulation.

We can test and suggest appropriate construction materials for internal building elements such as ceilings, walls, floors and element junctions to meet internal noise criteria.

Getting the reverberant field right:

Reverberant is defined as “having a tendency to reverberate or be repeatedly reflected, ”a reverberant room”; ”the reverberant booms of cannon””*. Reverberation time is defined as a “measure of the acoustic properties of a room equal to the time taken for a sound to fall in intensity by 60 decibels. It is usually measured in second.”.**

Reverberation Time can be lowered or increased; a highly reverberant space has an echoey sound and can cause syllables to be prolonged when there is no absorption and there are hard surfaces throughout an area. Typically in schools, due to the function and size of a space in areas such as sports halls, gyms, kitchens and swimming pools, higher reverberation time is expected between 1-2 seconds. In most cases, reverberation time must be controlled especially in areas where speech is critical, such as restaurants and classrooms. Adding absorption in the right areas can work wonders!

A lower reverberation time with the addition of absorptive materials can provide an excellent benefit for offices, school classrooms, recording studios and habitable rooms like living rooms and bedrooms and can make learning and listening a piece of cake!

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