The Importance of Good Acoustic Design

The importance of good acoustic design and construction should never be under-estimated. If a project fails its sound insulation testing at the precompletion stage, it may need costly remedial work and may delay the buildings handover to the client.

We provide an acoustic design service to Architects, Property Developers and Building Contractors. We specialise in helping small developers pass their sound testing to achieve Part E compliance on all types of projects such as new build dwellings, apartment blocks, and conversion projects such as the changing of offices into residential dwellings.

Many of our clients have previously conveyed negative feedback that larger acoustic consultancies don’t always understand small builder requirements and subsequently often produce complicated acoustic design detailing that are both difficult (in terms of build-ability) and very costly to undertake. We try to provide acoustic solutions that are cost effective and easy to construct, saving our clients time and money.

In our experience by simply constructing a robust separating wall or floor may not-itself provide sufficient sound insulation to pass Building Regulations Part E, as the junctions of each separating wall and/or floor with other parts of the building are equally as important and require careful consideration to prevent noise flanking etc.
Noise flanking transmission can occur via construction components such as:

  • Dividing Floor Partitions – Through Floor and Floor Joist Space (if insulation has not been installed or direct fixing to joists without a drop ceiling below the partition under test)
  • Dividing Ceiling Partitions – Above and Through the Ceiling Space (where an adequate acoustic break has not been carried on through the ceiling void)
  • Shared Structural Building Components – Floor Boards, Floor Joists, Continuous Drywall Partitions, Continuous Concrete Floors, and Cement Block Walls.
  • Through Structural Steel (structural steel beams are often a major cause of noise transmission as plasterboard is often fixed directly to the steel without sound breaks)
  • Plumbing Chases – Junctures Between the Walls & Floor Slab Above or at the Exterior Wall Juncture (this should be filed with mortar etc. to add mass to this weakened area)
  • Through Windows (if they are no double glazed or have secondary glazing as a minimum)
  • Fixtures & Outlets – Light Switches, Telephone Outlets, and Recessed Lighting Fixtures (if penetrations have been cut back to back with the opposite dwelling under test)
  • Structural Joints – Perimeter Joints at Wall & Floor, Through Wall & Ceiling Junctures (these should be filled with acoustic mastic)
  • Around the End of the Partition Through the Adjacent Wall (acoustic mastic should be used to seal this junction)

In our experience, flanking sound transmission often occurs through lightweight inner walls and is often the dominant pathway between adjoining dwellings. When converting existing buildings in to residential dwellings such as offices conversions and existing wall and floor construction should be carefully considered during the final design, as extra wall/floor linings may be required to upgrade the existing construction to prevent excess noise transference and prevent sound test failure at the end of the project.
We offer an easy to follow turnkey solution for to fulfil our clients acoustic requirements. We can usually provide considerable cost and efficiency benefits for all our clients’ new build and conversion projects.

If you would like more information in regards to our acoustic design and sound insulation testing service please contact us now.