Acoustic Insulation

Having blogged previously about the many attributes of our natural insulation products beyond just thermal insulation I thought I’d elaborate more on each attribute. Because of the types of materials we use and the ways in which they are produced many of them have excellent acoustic absorption properties which make them ideal to use in areas where acoustics are important.

Our primary focus is on thermal insulation and reducing heat loss to a minimum is always at the top of list of requirements. However, with the increasing focus on much more open plan living we are encountering more and more problems with acoustics. Large open spaces inside buildings with hard surfaces can cause long reverberation times which can make speaking and listening difficult and make these spaces quite uncomfortable to spend time in.

Our Unger-Diffutherm wood fibre boards have an excellent capacity to absorb sound, so much so that they can be used between rooms or within walls and ceilings to keep buildings quiet. They can also be used on the surface of walls and ceilings to absorb sound as a retrofit measure.

Our UdiTOP and UdiFLEX wood fibre insulation systems are used in roof constructions, especially where the living space is partly or wholly within the roof structure, to keep the sound of the wind and rain out. It’s one thing to hear the gentle sound of the wind and rain outside and another to hear every drop of rain pounding on your roof tiles like buckets of ball bearings hammering down!! One thing that people often notice inside wood fibre insulated buildings is how quiet it is even when the rain is pouring down or the wind blowing a gale. Bizarrely, you can hear birds quite well through it so you actually create quite a relaxing sound profile inside!!

Although not a thermal insulation product, our EBB clay boards are phenomenally good at absorbing sound and are used (probably surprisingly) in between bathrooms and adjacent rooms and also to keep bedrooms quiet. They are a relatively lightweight way of ensuring an excellent sound break between adjacent rooms and also between floors. In terms of numbers, a 100mm stud partition, filled with UdiFLEX wood fibre wool, with a layer of 22mm EBB clay board on either side has around 4 times as much sound absorption as a solid concrete block wall (-63dB reduction), nearly 4 times what is required by Building Control for party walls.

Finally, for floors, we have our Cemwood products. This material can be laid at around 50mm thick and in conjunction with a 20mm layer of UdiTHERM and a floating timber floor on top provides a very effective sound break. Because this is a ‘loose’ material it absorbs vibration very well and so impact noise from walking is prevented as well as airborne sound. It can also be ‘poured’ in to timber stud walls, again absorbing vibration and sound very effectively.

So, when designing buildings where acoustics are important (which is basically anywhere you have people trying to talk to one another) it useful to consider whether your insulation materials can keep the building quiet as well as warm. If you’d like to discuss this more and see how we can help you please contact us.


Chris Brookman
Chris Brookman

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