Poor acoustics and its true impact

William Wigfield, product manager at ROCKWOOL talks about the impact of poor acoustics.

Stock Photography - Education - Schools

Acoustic insulation is becoming a more important consideration in both the domestic and commercial arena. In the UK, we are faced with greater population densities in our towns and increasing noise pollution from roads, rail and air. Here, we look at the issue that continues to impair buildings across the UK and explain how ROCKWOOL insulation can help reduce sound issues.

Poor acoustics impact hugely on the overall environment of our homes, offices and general buildings. We all recognise that excessive noise can be a major nuisance. But, even at lower levels, it can compromise our attention spans, raise stress levels and adversely affect our lifestyles and our well-being.

Effective acoustic insulation can make a significant impact in reducing sound in homes and commercial environments. It can be applied to dampen sound reverberation, prevent noise affecting other rooms or buildings, reduce the noise from outside, including wind, rain, hail, traffic, and, minimise sound pollution from heating, ventilation and air conditioning and other equipment.


Government Legislation

In 2003, the UK government enforced the new Approved Document E of the Building Regulations. This legislation was used to outline the issue of unwanted noise transmission within residential dwellings in an attempt to improve modern living standards. As well as listing new performance requirements, Part E established a Pre-Completion Testing to help enforce these standards. Under these regulations, new buildings are required to have a minimum airborne sound insulation performance of 45 DnT,w + Ctr dB for separating walls, floors and stairs, and a maximum impact sound insulation of 62 L’nT,w dB. Refurbishment projects, or dwellings formed by material change of use, need to meet slightly less strident standards of 43dB and 64 dB respectively.


ROCKWOOL Acoustic Solution

In meeting these acoustic requirements, the choice of insulation material has a significant impact. Amongst other things, ROCKWOOL is renowned for its excellent acoustic properties. The insulation’s open wool structure makes it ideal for absorbing and regulating noise in residential dwellings for the lifetime of the building. 

Made from stone and manufactured with a non-directional fibre orientation, all ROCKWOOL Acoustic Insulation is high in density, allowing it to trap sound waves and dampen vibrations. One of ROCKWOOL’s leading insulation products with excellent acoustic properties is ROCKWOOL FLEXI®. Incredibly versatile, the product is a dual purpose thermal and acoustic insulation product with a unique and patented flexible edge. This allows installers to fit the insulation quickly and easily without leaving gaps or cracks, significantly reducing acoustic transfer.

The ROCKWOOL RW Slab range is another leading line of products that provide first-class acoustic insulation. In particular, ROCKWOOL RW4 holds a density of 80kg/m³ making it ideal to use as a sound absorber.

Finally, ROCKWOOL Acoustic Membrane offers high performance and economic acoustic solutions for flat roofing, built-up metal roofing systems (e.g. standing seam) and buildings requiring high levels of acoustic performance, including schools, hospitals, cinemas, airports and so on. Used in combination with HARDROCK® Multi-Fix (DD) or other ROCKWOOL insulation products, ROCKWOOL Acoustic Membrane will provide the additional mass required for very high acoustic specifications, improving both airborne and rain noise reduction.