Acoustic Insulation Solutions
Acoustic Insulation generally refers to products designed to create more control over levels of noise within residential and commercial buildings.
In today’s ever more hectic world, unwanted noise is becoming more and more of an issue, and not just from a comfort point of view. According to a World Health Organisation study, noise pollution can have a serious adverse affect on your mental and physical health, with links to cardiovascular disease and cognitive impairment in children. Review the report here
Trends in building construction techniques and modern open plan home design, coupled with increased power of entertainment systems have made the inclusion of acoustic insulation to control noise essential.
Just ask anyone that has ever lived in a home where you can hear all the noise from the kids bedrooms while you’re trying to sleep, or noise from the home theatre room disrupting peace and quiet while trying to work, and you will know just how important acoustic insulation is.
Acoustic insulation is best considered and built into the home or office at time of construction. Costs of optimally acoustically insulating a building as a percentage of the building cost during construction is minimal, but the impact on comfort and liveability are considerable. The options available post construction are limited and much less effective, plus the costs are significantly increased.
Acoustic insulation products are characteristically dense to either absorb sound waves or prevent transmission of sound waves and thus the transfer of noise from one room to another. There are a number of acoustic insulation options to be considered when building.
Acoustic Insulation solutions for new construction:
Internal walls – It is highly advisable to include acoustic insulation in internal walls around areas of high noise, for instance home theatres, bedrooms, playrooms, laundries, bathrooms etc, as well as around specific rooms like home office / studies or bedrooms that you want to designate as special quiet areas.
External walls will normally have thermal insulation already, which will provide a measure of acoustic insulating effect. However, it is advisable to increase the density of insulation in external walls for buildings where there is likely to be high levels of external noise, for instance, near airports, backing onto main roads, close proximity to neighbouring properties etc.
Between floors – for multi level homes, multi residential apartment or office buildings, it is recommended to use acoustic insulation between the floors to minimise noise that is transferred from above to below and vice versa.
Pipe lagging – another important area that is often overlooked is the lagging of pipes. Waste pipes and water pipes that run through ceiling spaces or between floors in multi story developments can emit considerable noise, which is very noticeable for inhabitants. The proper lagging of pipes will minimise this.
Acoustics Insulation for existing homes:
Acoustic insulation tends to be a larger problem in older existing homes, due to the fact that previous construction trends put less importance on controlling noise levels, plus the options to remedy noise issues in an existing home are generally quite costly.
However, that is not to say that all is lost. Even though installing acoustic insulation into an existing home will normally require the removal of plasterboard facings from walls, with clever planning the improvements can be very effective and dramatically increase the comfort and liveability of the home for you and your family. Plus the costs will likely be far less than the costs of selling up and moving.
Depending on the nature of the noise issue being experienced, it is also possible to provide an effective measure of noise control in a variety of other ways:
- by installing insulation into a ceiling cavity if none exists
- installing floor coverings to dampen foot traffic & transfer between levels
- by installing externally mounted acoustic absorbers
If you are experiencing high levels of unwanted external or internal noise within your existing home or office, we recommend consulting an acoustic expert in conjunction with a builder to define your options and best course of action.
Acoustic Insulation for industrial applications:
Noise pollution issues within the industrial arena abound:
- Noisy machinery
- Pump Housings
- Plant rooms
- Engine bays on boats
There are a variety of products available that can be employed to bring relief in these instances. Most notably Mass Loaded Vinyls barriers, which as the name suggests are vinyl products that have been impregnated with barium to increase the density and mass of the product and create a barrier against noise transmission.