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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorluz13827
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2021
    We're in a converted ground floor flat - we get a decent amount of impact noise, and some airborne noise, from flat above in their kitchen area (kid running around, mainly). I know the optimal would be a suspended ceiling, but we don't want to lose height, so trying to do the best without.

    Planning to fit wood fibre insulation of 60kg/m³ between the joists (along with better plasterboard and possibly a resilient bar type of solution). My question is would 140mm of insulation be much better than 100mm - or would the extra 40mm not be of huge benefit?

    I'm sure there's a correlation, but not sure if it's the law of diminishing returns when it gets past a certain point..

    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2021
    Look at the British Gypsum White book think it is on line. They have in there countless solutions to sound proofing noise problems. Separating the ceiling covering from the joist is part of the system i.e with resilient bars. It is a while since I looked at soundproofing so cannot recommend how to do it but direct you to plasterboard manufacturers. There will also be specifications within building regs on how to achieve sound proofing so look there for ideas that you could use/adapt. You do not say if you are renting if so the landlord has to meet certain sound proofing regulations before they can let.
    I used resilient bars in my build for the walls and ceilings between bedrooms with loft insulation in the ceiling and sound bats in the stud partition cavities. Can't tell how successful as did not have a base line to start like what you have.
    I know of someone who used a sound deadening membrane think it was EPDM or similar bonded to a party wall which worked very well.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2021
    Rockwool batts high density, triple plasterboard three different thicknesses, seal all air paths, more mass the better and suspended would be better
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2021
    Second the recommendation to look up the white book, which is online. Resilient bars are definitely worthwhile, probably essential. Sound deadening membrane tends to be mass-loaded vinyl, which also works well. Acoustic rockwool (i.e. high density) works well. Heavier (acoustic) plasterboard also helps.

    As revor says, you don't say who is above you, but if you can persuade them, perhaps through a landlord or freeholder, to add some better underlay to their floor that would help a lot.

    Lots of absorption plus lots of mass that isn't rigidly coupled is the key. There's loads of info about sound reduction online.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2021
    Some flats have clauses in the deeds precluding wood flooring - often ignored
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2021
    If your problem is emanating solely from the kitchen above, it would suggest that the sound transmission measures in the converion were pretty good. The problem is likely to be that the kitchen will have a hard floor covering and possibly airborne transmission via penetrations in the floor for pipes ( hot/cold water, waste water, gas) .
    If your floor is a suspended one you could look under your kitchen units to see how the penetrations were dealt with and it might be safe to assume the flat above was done in same manner. If they’re not sealed and assuming they are accessible it wouldn’t be a big job to do something to those as a first job.
    I did a newbuild block of flats in 2003 and used a system from Lafarge. This works really well where there are carpets in the rooms above, not quite as good in the kitchens, but this was improved by putting an acoustic layer under cheap laminate then a soft vinyl over.
    Children are always an issue, people walking around normally are inaudible , heavy footed kids running about are clearly audible. Whatever system you look into , try and find out if its meant to cope with kids running about as i’m not convinced its taken into account.
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeAug 28th 2021
    In reply to Revor.

    I’m a landlord and aside from meeting sound regs of the day i’m unaware of any legislation regarding sound transmission between houses/flats. Without doubt its an issue and apparently the biggest complaint to council housing/environmental health departments.
    However i’ve never heard of a council taking action against a landlord for sound transmission , usually its a case of neighbours being excessively noisy. They will also say that kids running about is just a normal function of family life and take no action whatsoever.
    When i’ve had issues, with tenants in situ

    Ask them to get kids to calm down a little, not wear shoes in house.
    I’ll provide cheap thick rugs for lounge , kids bedrooms and runners for hallways.

    One particularly problematic flat in a conversion ( ceiling beneath had been retained because of the coving ) ended up with
    150mm acoustic rockwool between joists
    Isolation tape over joists
    22mm tongue and grooved chipboard, glued and with perimeter tape.
    Layer heavy rubber crumb underlay
    12mm mdf taped
    Layer heavy rubber crumb underlay
    Biggest rug I could find.

    This does show the benefit of resilient bars and two layers of 15mm plasterboard. Which is how rest of building was done.

    Basement flat will periodically report (what seems to be a stage every kid goes through) children in flats above seeing how many steps they can jump down on the stairs above in common area. This is dealt with by inviting the parents to listen to the sound it makes in the basement flat.
    • CommentAuthorwholaa
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2021
    There are a lot of guides out there with resilient bars to decouple, I see some companies offering other products which they say are better like genie clips. Any thoughts on these?
    • CommentAuthorbhommels
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2021
    In addition to the White book already mentioned, I found this website (I declare no interest) quite useful as it has many different products for soundproofing including the relevant installation guides etc.
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2021
    Posted By: ArtiglioI’m a landlord and aside from meeting sound regs of the day i’m unaware of any legislation regarding sound transmission between houses/flats.

    It is Part E robust detailing. There are drawings and specs within robust detailing on how to achieve the requirement for different situations. There will be a solution somewhere in there for Luz to get ideas for a solution.
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2021
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: revor</cite><blockquote><cite>Posted By: Artiglio</cite>I’m a landlord and aside from meeting sound regs of the day i’m unaware of any legislation regarding sound transmission between houses/flats.</blockquote>

    It is Part E robust detailing. There are drawings and specs within robust detailing on how to achieve the requirement for different situations. There will be a solution somewhere in there for Luz to get ideas for a solution.</blockquote>

    Apologies i took your original comment as there being a standard landlords had to meet in excess of building regs. Both my conversion and new build met the standard required at the time ( though this was before testing was required) my experiences since show why standards have been improved since.
    The date that Luz’s building was converted would help.
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2021
    Fortunately changes in regulations are not retrospective just imagine if that applied would be a nightmare every time the regs changed. Electrical regs as an example that would be a minefield.
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