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Building Products April 2017

INSULATION AND ACOUSTICS insulation of walls and partitions only relate to the transmission of airborne sounds, such as speech and music. And in most cases, floors must also resist the transmission of impact sounds, such as heavy footsteps and the movement of furniture. There are many products available on the market that will help specifiers to construct a building to minimise the transmission of noise. In fact, there are products on offer that can actually enhance the performance of a partition. They can provide high levels of sound insulation up to and exceeding regulatory requirements for separating walls, and can be used on a wide range of buildings where it is important to provide occupants with a comfortable acoustic environment, whilst at the same time maximising available floor area, for example, schools and hospitals. There are also plasterboards with a high-density core for improved sound insulation performance. Also, one of the most effective ways to control noise levels in commercial buildings is soundabsorbing ceiling tiles. With performance levels up 28 BUILDING PRODUCTS | APRIL 2017 to Class-A sound absorption, ceiling tiles can meet the demands of a variety of sectors. In fact, studies have shown that reducing reverberation time through the use of sound absorbing ceiling tiles in hospitals can result in staff experiencing less strain and pressure, with overall positive effects on their work environment and improved speech intelligibility. However the best defence against noise is to ensure that proper precautions are taken at the design stage and during the construction of the building. By ensuring that the measures for each room are compatible with the building’s future usage, expensive and inconvenient retrofitted remedial measures installed post-occupation can be avoided. Furthermore, due to the importance of building acoustics, standards exist in both legislation (Building Regulations) and as specific codes setting performance requirements for particular types of building designs. For residential buildings, the England and Wales Approved Document E - Resistance to the passage of sound advises on the protection against sound from other parts of the building and adjoining buildings; protection against sound within a dwelling; reverberation in the common internal parts of buildings containing flats or rooms. However, for educational buildings there is a specific standard that has been developed for the acoustic design of schools: Building Bulletin 93. By following the guidelines outlined within this bulletin, you will comply with the Building Regulations Approved Document E4. And in healthcare environments, there is a Health Technical Memoranda, which provides acoustic design guidance for hospitals and healthcare buildings. Undeniably building acoustics can be a complicated subject, however it does not have to be. It is good advice to liaise with a reputable manufacturer, as there are many benefits to be had with the expert advice and guidance from technical teams. Paul Howard is Innovation Manager at British Gypsum <<< Continued from page 27


Building Products April 2017
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