The Importance of Soundproofing
Let’s Talk About Noise
Noisy environments can have negative impacts on the mental and physical health as well as the quality of life of occupants in a building (loss of focus and privacy, stress, sleeping problems, etc.). In today’s reality where working from home and uninterruptible noise pollution are becoming increasingly common, architects, building owners and developers are—now more than ever—aware of the importance of soundproofing, and motivated to improve acoustic performance in buildings.
As sound waves can travel through air and components, they must be absorbed by heavy materials (concrete, rubber membranes, gypsum, etc.) to be reduced or blocked. Moreover, as all acoustic materials behave differently depending on the situation, it is important to understand their placement and role in an assembly to obtain optimal soundproofing.
Acoustic performance factors and their principal stakeholders:
- Materials (the manufacturer and installer)
- Type of structure and flooring (the architect and builder)
- Budget (the building owner)
Guidance for Soundproofing
Standards can guide building stakeholders when it comes to soundproofing.
The National Building Code of Canada establishes minimum noise levels according to the Apparent Sound Transmission Class (ASTC), which addresses airborne noises (television, music, conversations, etc.), and the Apparent Impact Insulation Class (AIIC), which addresses impact noises (footsteps, moving furniture, tools, etc.). The higher the number, the better the soundproofing performance. More specifically, the Code recommends an ASTC level of 47 and an AIIC level of 55.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) establishes that a Sound Transmission Class (STC) level of 49 is enough to prevent loud interactions from travelling and being heard by other occupants through a partition, while a level of 55 will block all noise transmission from a home theatre, and 70 will eliminate all common noises.
The Path Towards Peace and Quiet
Noise is everywhere, whether it’s from neighbours or vehicles, or in home, commercial or office settings, effective acoustic performance is a must to create calm and comfortable environments, and therefore promoting the morale, quality of sleep and productivity of the occupants. Luckily, with today’s standards and broad selection of materials, soundproofing is easy to achieve.
Learn more about SOPREMA’s line of soundproofing materials and solutions.