GOOD ACOUSTIC DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
Unfortunately there are many misconceptions when it comes to acoustic design and construction. Unfortunately by simply constructing a good separating wall or floor this may not in itself provide sufficient sound insulation to pass the sound testing for Part E as the junctions of each separating wall and/or floor with other parts of the building are equally as important. There may be other potential issues such as flanking sound transmission that 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.
The overall design and construction system should therefore be considered and not just the separating wall or floor partitions. 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 where there are large existing penetrations through the floors.
Also, it is never safe to assume because the architect has specified high performance walls, windows and floor/ceiling assemblies that the materials and onsite workmanship will result in compliance with the anticipated results. You should usually reduce the acoustic target by 4-5dB due to onsite construction. When the construction assembly is tested in the lab, it is also certified and the installation techniques are described and undertaken in great detail. Unfortunately it is not always possible to replicate the exact conditions on the site compared to the ideal conditions within in a lab setting, which is a far more controlled and scrutinised environment. This is the reason why a 5 point difference is allowed between the construction design on paper and the actual on site sound insulation performance.
APT Sound Testing can advise on all types of acoustic design, whether it’s accomplished during initial construction or during a refurbishment/renovation project. We have the technical experience to help identify and rectify your soundproofing or noise control problem.
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