When embarking on the design process for a new building, whether it’s a swanky hotel, an office space, or a cosy residential abode, soundproofing should be at the forefront of the architect’s mind. The importance of soundproofing cannot be overstated; while a hotel may boast luxurious amenities and pristine cleanliness, it will fail to produce repeat customers if the guests are constantly privy to intrusive noises from the neighbouring rooms or floors. Similarly, noise complaints are the leading cause of tensions between neighbours in residential areas. As such, architects, planners, and engineers must not only consider the insulation of sound within properties but also from external sources such as bustling traffic from a nearby main road or the rumbling vibrations of a train line in close vicinity.
In this article, we will explore numerous methods for soundproofing walls. While some of these methods are best implemented during construction, others can be retrofitted to existing buildings. The extent to which a building is soundproofed can vary depending on the age of the structure; noise regulations have changed over time, meaning some buildings might require more extensive soundproofing than others. However, if tenants are suffering from the woes of excessive noise from within their building or surrounding environment, there are solutions available that will undoubtedly provide some respite and bring back a sense of peace and tranquillity. Make sure also to equip yourself with a class 1 or class 2 sound level meter in order to measure the noise level.
Decoupling walls is the optimal method for curbing sound transmission through walls, floors, and ceilings. This technique isolates two surfaces of a structure in such a way that they vibrate independently of each other, thus preventing structure-born sound from being transmitted from one space to another. This can be achieved in several ways. For construction purposes, staggered stud walls or double stud walls can be used. For retrofits, resilient sound isolation clips or hat channels have proven popular.
Sound damping involves using specific materials to absorb and reduce sound transmission. In new builds, this can be easily achieved by installing dead walls that do not vibrate. Cavity wall insulation is also an excellent choice for both new and existing buildings. If you happen to reside in a house constructed after the 1930s, then cavity wall insulation could potentially be a suitable alternative for you. This is owing to the fact that the empty space can be loaded with an assortment of materials including fibreglass, mineral wool, or polystyrene beads. This method not only aids in muffling sound but also proves to be beneficial in curtailing heating expenditures by enhancing the overall heat insulation quotient.
Install Sound Absorbing Products
When it comes to soundproofing a room, sound-absorbing materials are a cost-effective way to alleviate noise pollution. Hard surfaces such as glass, marble, quartz, granite, and concrete amplify sound, making soft furnishings a suitable choice for deadening unwanted noise. For wooden or tiled flooring, consider installing thick rugs. Instead of wooden or metal blinds, opt for thick curtains or fabric blinds for window dressings. Acoustical curtains are also an available option.
Adding Mass to Walls
While adding mass to walls is not the sole solution to soundproofing, it remains an essential consideration for both builders & DIY enthusiasts alike. Doubling the mass of a panel can boost sound transmission loss by at least six decibels, making a significant difference. Thus, adding mass to walls reduces the amount of sound transmitted through them. There are various methods for adding mass to walls, so the chosen approach depends on your budget and the desired aesthetic of the room.
If you are planning to construct a new building, soundproofing should be at the forefront of your mind. The aforementioned article provides information on some of the many benefits of soundproofing your building.