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Blog

Our extensive industry experience means that we hold a lot of valuable knowledge and we would like to share this knowledge with you.

Here you will find blog posts from the SIDERISE team including articles written by our technical experts. Find out more about our products and what’s going on in the industry for acoustic, fire and thermal insulation.

We all like a bit of peace and quiet, but sound is all around us every day of our lives, and when it’s unwanted we call it ‘noise’. This can have an impact on our well-being and our level of performance when we are working.

If you are considering the specification of an acoustic material, then chances are you looking to solve a ‘noise’ problem.  In the third in a series of blogs, Mike Carrick AMIOA, Head of Acoustics at Siderise Group, stresses the importance of design restraints and raises the question of what areas to treat - steps 5 and 6 to acoustic specification to mitigate against noise.

Step 5 - Understand the design restraints

When considering the specification of any acoustic material, other factors will invariably need to be considered. A building, for example, would need to have a number of attributes; light, air movement, fire safety, access, aesthetics and functionality to name but a few. For example, adding four layers of plasterboard to a window would make an excellent choice from an acoustic perspective, but very bad from a functionality perspective as there would no longer be a window, we would have a loss of light and visibility.  Therefore, the choice of what to use and the limits of its effectiveness would need to be balanced with these and other design factors and  restraints.  This may seem obvious, but specification of a treatment or material that is not acceptable to the client or architect is a waste.

Step 6 - Identify the areas to treat

Identification of the source and receiver, all possible sound paths along with understanding the design restraints should enable you to identify the areas that need to be treated and how they can be treated whilst maintaining the original design intent.

The old saying ‘a chain is only as strong as its weakest link’ is very apt in acoustic specification. There is absolutely no point in treating one area if for any reason another area of weakness cannot be uprated.  For example, a wall may have a very high acoustic performance, but within the wall there could be a window and a door, both of which offer low acoustic performance. You would therefore need to acoustically enhance both the window and the door. If you only uprated the door, the window would be the ‘performance limiting factor’ and the overall difference would be negligible despite time and money being spent on the door. Ultimately, it’s always best practice to acoustically treat the lowest-performing element or area.

In my next blog, I’ll provide some insight into the effects of material placement and how acoustic materials fall into one of three camps - isolation, absorption and sound barrier. 

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