Part of making buildings comfortable for occupants is reducing unwanted noise.
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Installing acoustic insulation within building elements can reduce sound transmission between rooms, or from the outside environment to the internal environment, as well as deadening impact noise between the floors of a building. A material that provides acoustic insulation, such as glass mineral wool or stone mineral wool insulation, may be specified solely for that purpose, or because it provides thermal insulation as well.
Building regulation requirements for sound
Dealing with noise and resistance to the passage of sound is part of national building regulation requirements throughout the UK. The exact requirements differ slightly between individual countries, but are generally focused on domestic and residential properties.
Approved Document E of the Building Regulations in England, for example, has four requirements:
- The first part, E1, is that residential buildings should be designed and constructed to suitably resist sound transmission between different parts of the building, and from adjoining buildings.
- E2 requires certain internal walls (such as those between a bedroom and any other room) to provide reasonable resistance to sound.
- E3 deals with reverberation in common parts (stairs, corridors etc.) of buildings such as blocks of flats.
- E4 relates to acoustic conditions in schools, where the standards set out in Building Bulletin 93 applyFor non-domestic buildings, a range of codes of practice and best practice documents offer guidance on appropriate levels of sound insulation to achieve in different commercial and industrial building types. Specifying and installing acoustic insulation
Different types of mineral wool products provide excellent acoustic insulation. They can be used for a variety of applications in all types of buildings.
The combined acoustic, thermal and fire performance properties of stone mineral wool insulation make it an ideal choice for ventilated rainscreen facades. For other external wall applications where acoustics are a factor, glass mineral wool insulation can be fitted between lightweight steel frame studwork, for example, to help reduce the transmission of external noise into the building.
Separating (party) wall constructions that separate one dwelling or residence from another - whether built in masonry or timber frame - must achieve acoustic performance to meet national building regulation requirements. Internal floors and partition walls within an individual dwelling, meanwhile, should also meet applicable requirements for sound transmission.
Regulatory compliance is only a minimum standard, however, and a slight increase in acoustic insulation specification can deliver a significant improvement in performance. When undertaking design and specification work for a project, it is always worth considering whether building regulation requirements will actually deliver occupant comfort.
Insulation products to consider
|Product Name||Thickness Range||Sizes||Lambda||BBA|
|ISOVER Acoustic Partition Roll (APR 1200)||25-100mm||Width 2x600mm, Length 9170mm-20000mm||NA|
|ISOVER Acoustic Slab||50-100mm||Width 600mm, Length 1200mm||NA|
|ISOVER Metac||50-200mm||Width 1200mm, Length 3200-9300mm||0.034 W/m.K|
|ISOVER Polterm Max Plus||50-200mm||Width 600mm, Length 1200mm||0.035 W/m.K|
|ISOVER RD Acoustic Floor Slab||25mm||Width 625mm, Length 1200mm||NA|
|ISOVER RD Party Wall Roll||75-150mm||Width 2 x 455mm, Length 4000-8500mm||0.036 W/m.K|
|ISOVER Timber Frame Party Wall Roll||50mm - 100mm||Width 1200mm Un-split, Length 6000mm - 12000mm||0.036 W/m.K|