Sound Proofing for your building.

Building sound is a not for profit organisation that looks at how we can control the sound in our homes. There are many devastating external sound pollution problems such as London buses on main routes, noisy neighbours racking up the dB levels, and even building sites making a lot of sound pollution, some of these are keeping you awake at night and even causing stress and illness. We want to workout how we can make the home a more comfortable place to live.

We look in detail at sound loss through sash windows, doors, brick walls, and any other external part of the building exposed. We look at the modern technologies in place to resolve noise pollution as well as the costs and the level of skill required to install them.

For example sash windows have an unbelievable level of sophistication these days. Double glazing is almost standard in a sash window and the new fashion triple glazing. The amount of reduced sound transfer through the modern glazing provided by Pilkington and Saint Gobain is simply astonishing. There are all types of sound proofing glass such as Optithon from Pilkington which comes as a laminate. That means it’s two panes of glass stuck together with their special sound reduction compound. Then this glass can be put together with another piece to effectively form quadruple glazing! The only problem is the sash windows sound proofing is so good. We then need to look at how to stop sound transfer through the brick wall.

Most London homes have two skins of brick with an air cavity. This air cavity can now be filled with a foam. The process is known as cavity wall insulation and is extremely good at cutting out heat loss as well as reducing sound transfer through your building structure. The added benefit of cavity wall insulation is that if you’re in London and a homeowner, there are several schemes and grants available to carry out this work and I will go into that in more detail as the site expands. It’s a widely discussed top though, because cavity wall insulation brings some pitfalls such as the house no longer being able to breathe. That sounds stupid right? Wrong…if your home cannot breathe it may suffer from damp and this is the root of all evil for timber. Joists, and inside of sash window frames are vulnerable to damp if you close the cavity wall insulation and that is why this method may not be appropriate for all homes. There is another way to hand this though, rather than filling the cavity we can attach sound acoustic boarding into the inside of the brick, and then plaster board, and finish over.

This is extremely effective and how most recording studios keep the noise in! There is a slight drawback and that is it will literally decrease the size of your room all around the perimeter by around 15cm. This is actually quite significant on a 4m wide room, typically losing up to 8% of the rooms width. We will go into farm more detail in a future post as it’s very interesting.

Remarkably noise can come straight through the roof via aeroplanes above. If your building is on a flight path it’s an evil sound that can nearly shake the home.Fortunately loft insulation with acoustic boards can be installed and this will act to reduce the amount of sound transfer directly through your roof as a result. The added benefit is that it will act as standard loft insulation and this results in a very comfortable home indeed. I highly recommend anyone suffering from flight path sound and noise pollution to consider this service.

Doors can be fitted with a secondary type glazing that will reduce sound transfer. This secondary glazing is also commonly fitted to sash windows and often can be installed as part of a mega sound reduction system to include double glazing of original sash windows as well, however is not all that popular due to the aesthetic issues that are created. It completely ruins the look of a period home, as well as making cleaning difficult, and then adds an extra service level, because they do breakdown and stop functioning properly, normally within ten years. The sliding version are much better for maintenance as they do not have serviceable mechanical parts, however not appropriate for the portrait style that is most common with sash windows. They are far better suited to casement windows which have more of a landscape layout. Then there is sash window draught proofing which I will go into in far greater detail in the link provided.

Thanks for reading guys, let’s work together to build a more comfortable home and life. Please feel free to comment and let me know if you think you can improve the content and accuracy of the website, I am by no means an expert in all sash window sound proofing.