The Pathway to Good Acoustic Design
There are many important acoustic design considerations when designing for apartment blocks, which require both airborne wall and floor and impact floor testing. here are a few of the main considerations:
- Ensure all penetrations are fully sealed where they terminate through floors and they are adequately boxed with acoustic quilt and two layers of plasterboard.
- Avoid the use of lightweight blocks in the inner envelope construction as sound will travel both vertically and horizontally from dwelling to dwelling.
- The use of resilient suspended ceilings will help improve the performance of the floor partition.
- 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.
By simply constructing a good separating wall or floor this may not in itself 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.
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.
In our experience if the acoustic design is taken into consideration from the offset of the project, then it usually results in compliance with Building Regulations Part E. In Some cases, sound test failure can also be down to the poor workmanship rather than the acoustic design, that is why we offer a full acoustic package which includes for site survey visits; that way we have the acoustic design and onsite construction covered, reducing the chance of sound test failure.