How to Reduce Building Impact Sound Tips

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How to Reduce Building Impact Sound

11 Dec 2019

How to Reduce Building Impact Sound Advice

Sound travels through buildings in two ways – either airborne or structure-borne sound.

Impact sound is an area of structure-born sound that is particularly important to consider during the building development process. This type of sound takes place when an object impacts on another object, as a result sound is then transmitted to another area. In buildings this typically occurs when footsteps are transmitted through the floor and heard on another floor within the building.

The Undesirable Effects of Impact Sound

Depending on your level of tolerance, you may not actually think that impact sound is too big of a problem. However, beyond it being just a mere nuisance, it can actually cause a variety of serious health problems, especially when it is experienced and heard in residential buildings. These health issues include:

  • Phycological problems
  • Increased stress and/or blood levels
  • Hearing difficulties and even eardrum damage
  • Lower levels of productivity
  • Lower performance from workers
  • Anxiety and/or tension

How to Minimise Impact Sound

There are many ways that the likelihood of impact sound occurring, and even if it does, and its effects being as harmful. Some of the easiest and best ways to reduce and minimise it, include:

  • Raised Flooring and Suspended Ceilings – These are often used to increase the level of insulation against impact sound that a building has.
  • Compounds with Soundproofing Properties – the application of layers of compounds with soundproofing qualities can help reduce impact sound. These compounds are normally set in place between two tough materials, like the subflooring and the main flooring. The compounds then dissipate the resulting vibrations from the impact sound and reduce it.
  • Thick Pad Cushions and Soft Carpeting – both thick pad cushions and soft carpeting are useful when you need to reduce impact sound with mid to high level frequencies. However, they are not as effective on their own for dealing with lower frequency sounds.

Consider Impact Sound During Building Development

The most effective way to ensure that a building development has the correct sound proofing is to incorporate acoustic solutions early in the design process. Utilising expert acoustic advice from a firm like will ensure that your building is compliant with UK Building Regulations and that you avoid complications further down the line. Impact sound is measured within specific areas of a building by utilising a tapping machine that creates a sound on a surface to measure sound in an adjoining or neighbouring space.

Architects and developers should be considering the noise and impact sound exposure during the planning and development process. From an internal perspective, architects should be considering the building layout, separating wall and floor performance. Additionally, the reverberation control and individual room acoustics should also be considered. Incorporating the correct sound proofing for each of these aspects will ensure that you create an environment that is compliant, and just as importantly, is an optimal living or working environment.

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