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How to design for effective soundproofing in new builds

The number of new build houses being constructed throughout the UK has increased year-on-year for over the last five years. However it has been widely publicised that these constructions are below par in terms of structural quality, and as a result their soundproofing ability.

The new build dwellings may achieve the minimum sound insulation values set out by UK Building Regulations, however as we have discussed previously these standards don’t accurately reflect modern living. Hush Acoustics offer a comprehensive service together with high quality products in order to ensure new build developments not only comply and exceed UK Building Regulations, but create comfortable environments for habitants to live comfortably in.

Introduction

The appeal of new build homes to house buyers is clear – a modern home, low maintenance, aesthetically on trend with minimalist décor, generally more energy efficient than resale properties, and usually less headaches when it comes to hidden surprises or structural issues.

Unfortunately this isn’t always the case, and according to various media reports, owners of new build properties commonly face a ‘snag list’ of various build defects, and also have a reputation for having thin walls. This means for many new build properties, particularly adjoining dwellings such as semi-detached or terraced, nuisance noise levels are high.

How to design for effective soundproofing in new builds

All new build developments have to ensure compliance with UK Building Regulations Approved Document E (England & Wales), Section 5 of the Scottish Building Standards (Scotland) and Approved Part G (Northern Ireland), and to be fit for purpose. The best way to create effective soundproofing for new build developments is to accommodate the acoustic solution early in the design process.

By fully understanding how nuisance noises will affect a new build dwelling, Architects, Developers and Specifiers are able to create a solution that completely accommodates modern lifestyles. Airborne sources (such as speech, televisions etc), impact sound sources (e.g. footsteps), general noises (such as the flicking of switches, running water and the coffee machine being turned on) and flanking transmission (e.g. airborne sounds being transferred between adjoining rooms through a floors as well as the walls) all affect design, material selection and specification procedure.

Modern new build developments are generally built using lightweight masonry or timber frame construction. These constructions, although more cost-effective for developers, have significantly less sound insulation properties than dense concrete constructions. The main reason for this is the sheer density of concrete compared to timber.

However all is not lost. It is possible for new builds to achieve effective soundproofing with lighter weight masonry or timber frame constructions – by incorporating specialist acoustic systems into early design concepts.

The HD1057 Masonry Acoustic System involves fixing Hush Resilient Bars, Hush Slab 25 and Hush Wallboard directly to either side of a masonry wall. This creates effective acoustic separation, which will drastically reduce airborne and flanking noise sources.

The HD1054 Double Timber Stud Wall System creates effective separation for timber frame constructions. Two stud frames are constructed and filled with Hush Slab 100 and 15mm Soundbloc Plasterboards, completely isolated from the structure using the Hush Isolation Tapes.

Robert Crampton, Managing Director of Hush Acoustics, comments, “We have a wide range of acoustic products and systems which have been specially developed to significantly reduce airborne, impact and flanking transmission noise levels within new build developments.

Hush Acoustics work with House Builders (national and independent) and Architects throughout the UK, helping them to create effective, future-proof soundproofing solutions for their new build developments.”

Innovative acoustic solutions for Architects and Developers

Hush Acoustic are leading the way in achieving effective soundproofing for new build constructions. We work closely with Architects, Developers and other industry professionals to ensure new builds not only achieve compliance with UK Building Regulations in the short-term, but achieve effective soundproofing that will last generations.

We continuously research new techniques and products, as well as challenge industry norms, to achieve acoustic solutions that Specifiers will have confidence in for many years.

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