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23 February 2018

Sound Isolation for Multi-Residential Dwellings

acoustic sound transfer apartment living

When thinking about comfort in multi-residential apartments, we often think about the aesthetics of the design: how the space looks, its functionality and what sort of furniture we adorn our residence with. It’s not often, or until we have a problem, that we think about the acoustic design of an apartment.

One of the most challenging aspects of acoustic control in multi-residential dwellings is eliminating sound transfer from adjacent apartments, which can be caused by loud voices, music or simply impact from walking. Because sound from one space to another creates vibrations, the wall and floor/ceiling assembly can essentially become its own speaker due to the level of vibration that dissipates through a structure if poorly constructed.

The New Zealand Building Code (NZBC) requires a minimum Sound Transfer Class of 55 between multi-residential apartments. Many publications state that this can be achieved by employing insulation, resilient channel and two layers of gypsum board, although this assembly often only just reaches the requirements of the NZBC. The solid structure of this assembly can cause an amplifying effect due to movement of energy through vibration.

A simple solution to avoid an 'amplification' effect is to break the structure up to eliminate the vibrations travelling through the solid structure. Absorbing the vibrations is most commonly achieved by specifying resilient sound isolation mounts and hangers. 

Resilient Sound Isolation Disgram 2

Although multiple options exist, not all resilient isolation hangers are created equal. Some resilient mounts are designed and tested to perform to certain levels, whilst others are simply a metal clip with a rubber insert; this doesn’t necessarily guarantee a high attenuation of sound transfer or impact noise. Acoustic engineers will recommend using resilient isolation hangers that have been acoustically tested in complete wall assemblies.

Having this testing data available states that the ceiling/floor assembly will absorb an exceptional level of sound transfer and impact noise without the cost of added plasterboard and extra labour time.

The Resilmount range of isolation mounts from Studco are constructed using a high quality thermoplastic polymer and have been tested at the renowned Riverbank Laboratories in U.S.A and at University of Auckland Acoustic Laboratory to achieve the required performance in a range of wall and ceiling assemblies. Highly durable, the polymer composition of Resilmount Isolation Mounts ensures longlasting performance that won’t deteriorate over time. A favourite amongst acoustic engineers and contractors alike, the Resilmount range caters for a variety of ceiling and wall assemblies. 

Studco Building Systems are proud to be solution partners to multi-residential construction and encourage architects, engineers and specifiers to speak with our Technical Team to understand how our systems can greatly improve the comfort and liveability of tall building structures. Visit the Studco website or call  1300 255 255. 

View more information on Studco Building Systems, including contact details.
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