Good Acoustic Design Considerations
In our experience careful consideration to acoustic design should be undertaken from the start of the project, if this process is followed it usually results in successful precompletion sound testing in compliance with Building Regulations Part E.
In many cases sound test failure can be down to the poor workmanship rather than acoustic design, that is why we offer a full acoustic package which includes for site survey visits; that way we you can be safe in the knowledge that you have the acoustic design and onsite construction covered, reducing the chance of sound test failure.
Here are some simple acoustic design tips:
- Ensure all penetrations are fully sealed where they terminate through floors and they are adequately boxed with acoustic quilt and two layers of plasterboard.
- Use resilient acoustic hangers within the ceiling design to provide isolation between materials.
- Avoid the use of lightweight blocks in the inner envelope construction as sound will travel both vertically and horizontally from dwelling to dwelling.
- Ensure all support steels/timbers are carefully boxed out where they travel from flat to flat vertically and horizontally.
- Use a high quality resilient acoustic membrane on top of the floor to improve the impact performance of a floor.
In our experience by simply designing and constructing a good separating wall or floor it may not provide sufficient sound insulation to comply with Building Regulations Part E as the junctions of each separating wall and/or floor with other parts of the building are as equally important. One of the main problems with partition failure is down to noise flanking, this can occur via construction components such as:
- The internal partitions
- The inner leaf of the external wall
- The external wall cavities
- The external façade or outer leaf
- The roof structure
- The foundations.
Flanking sound transmission may in some cases be the dominant pathway between adjoining dwellings, especially in existing buildings where you are planning to convert offices/large houses into flats and lightweight materials have been used in the wall construction. If the acoustic consultant has not been made aware of the existing construction it may increase the chance of sound testing failures.