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Soundproofing for historic mill conversion


The developer of an apartment conversion scheme in the Pennine village of Diggle near Oldham wanted to achieve superior sound reduction standards in the walls and floors and go beyond the minimum requirements set out by the Building Regulations.

The Old Mill House project involved transforming a Victorian industrial building into several residential dwellings. The project’s design needed to comply with the requirements of Approved Document E, which sets out minimum standards in England and Wales for airborne and impact sound transmission between dwellings where there is a Material Change of Use.

However, to deliver the highest quality living accommodation to potential buyers, the developer insisted that the acoustic specification not only met the minimum standards but went beyond them.

To achieve their goals for the floors and walls, they approached Hush Acoustics for assistance in developing the specifications and providing the required products.

Meeting the challenge

Given the unique nature of the properties being created, the acoustic design for the flooring had to be compatible with underfloor heating and more unusual floor finishes such as stone tiling.

The specification developed by Hush Acoustics for the separating floors beneath the floorcoverings featured a plywood timber deck, below which was the underfloor heating system and 8mm Hush FFR resilient underlay.

For the ceiling side, Hush recommended standard acoustic insulation for use within the timber joists, two layers of 15mm Fireline plasterboard attached to the underside of the joists, the Hush MF Ceiling System to allow Hush Slab 100 to be fitted in the void created, finished with a layer of 15mm Soundbloc plasterboard.

For the separating walls, two specifications were developed according to the types of walls. In areas where there was an existing masonry wall, a wall lining consisting of independent stud work, Hush Slab insulation and Soundbloc plasterboard was developed. In other areas of the scheme, a twin timber stud wall is recommended, again featuring Hush Slab insulation and Soundbloc plasterboard.

As part of the process, the Hush Acoustics team undertook many site visits and guided the design and build process to ensure the correct installation was followed, and pre-completion testing was also arranged.

The results

The solutions developed and provided by Hush Acoustics fully met the developer’s goals to go beyond Approved Document E’s compliance standards according to the pre-completion tests:

Approved Document E minimum requirements Actual performance achieved
Airborne sound
The higher the figure the better.
43 dB DnTw+Ctr 68 dB DnTw+Ctr
51 dB DnTw+Ctr
52 dB DnTw+Ctr
Impact sound
The lower the figure the better.
64 dB LnTw 58 dB LnTw and
53 dB LnTw


Client feedback

“I wanted to create dwellings of the highest quality, and acoustic comfort is central to that. Partnering with Hush Acoustics on this project was extremely beneficial and I’m delighted with the finished results. The way the team supported me, my architect and contractors from the outset meant everyone involved could be confident that the acoustic products were being deployed correctly and that was confirmed in testing.”

Products used:

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