Social Housing Acoustics

It has been widely written about, by Floorscan and others, that sound disturbances in the home can be detrimental to the health on a grand scale. Causing things like sleep deprivation, the negative effects therein, tinnitus, hypertension and others; it is a problem that won’t go away without treatment.

This makes for unhappy children, unhappy pets and, if you’re a landlord or housing association, unhappy tenants. Unhappy tenants can lead to complaints and loss of contracts, affecting your bottom line.

We were called out to a Housing project suffering from just that issue, looking for a quick, effective and affordable fix.

Upon speaking to the tenant and understanding their concerns, we specified an Acoustic Wall to be installed in the lounge. The offending noise was coming externally from the street below.

We assessed the flat and found, in the lounge area, the external facing wall through which street-level noise was leaking. We moved the furniture and carpet, and called an external plumber to disconnect and remove the radiator. Most soundproofing systems also have heat insulating properties as a by-product. Our systems are low-impact spatially, so re-attaching the radiator was not a problem.

A common issue for installing soundproof systems blocking external noise is the leakage created by windows. In this case, a double glazing unit, comprised of two seperate sliding frames, was already installed. This kept the whole project nicely within budget and time-constraints. As an extra, we insulated the area between these two windows to maximise effectiveness, working with what we had.

There was a great level of noise from the road. The system we specified for this project was extensive as a result, without being intrusive to the property’s structure.

Materials:

50mm Metal Track and Stud Frame

dB Slab 100mm and 50mm (45kg/m3): a non-combustible mineral wool insulation, designed specifically for use in walls, cavity floors and ceilings.

Maxiboard 17mm: a high impact composite building board made from cement and gypsum with a polymeric core.

dB Matting 15: a high mass flooring system that reduces impact and airborne sound

12.5mm Acoustic Fermacell Plasterboard: a dense soundproof sheet material comprised of fibres from recycled paper and water; as well as a Fine Surface Treatment (FST) skim coat for use on boards and plasterboard to achieve a smooth surface ready for painting.

Standard Skirting, standard Acoustic fabric.

SRS Gripfix: a fast setting, gap filling rubber/resin adhesive which will bond with most surfaces; Fermacell Joint Stick: a moisture cross-linked polyurethane-based, oready mixed adhesive for jointing fibreboards; and standard Joint Filler.

Acoustic Sealant: high density gap filling mastic that offers excellent sound stopping properties; and Acoustilay Perimeter Strips, foam seal for isolating acoustic systems and perimeter walls.

Magnetic Door Seals and Automatic Drop Seals.