Regardless of the application, porous insulation, such as a fibrous mat capable of trapping immobile air, for example, to absorb noise, should be preferred. This structure should be soft enough to play its role depending on the insulation required (insulating against air-borne noise, impact noise or acoustic correction) and sufficiently rigid to guarantee good mechanical behaviour of the surfaces.

The choice of insulation objectives

Insulation corresponds to the level of acoustic performance targeted to insulate premises from neighbouring premises. The better the insulation between two buildings, the better the comfort.
Acoustic insulation comprises all techniques and processes implemented to obtain the required sound insulation.

Material factors

The insulating properties of construction and insulating materials are expressed by performance factors expressed in dB. These indices, measured in laboratories, characterise the ability of construction elements to reduce sounds:

  • For air-borne noise, acoustic absorption factor Rw, expressed in dB. The higher the Rw, the better the material’s noise reduction performance.
  • For knocks, shock noise efficacy factor ? Lw, expressed in dB.
  • In terms of acoustic correction, the absorbing power of the material is measured. Expressed in the form of a general factor ? w, it ranges between 0 (total reflection: the material is not recommended for acoustic correction) and 1 (total absorption: the material can contribute effectively to acoustic correction). The closer the factor is to 1, the better the absorption and especially the acoustic correction of the premises.

NB

These factors are standardised to compare all materials and construction elements with a single rule. They indicate the performance of materials according to each application. 
In terms of renovation, there are no set requirements. It is therefore recommended, when insulating, to comply with acoustic regulation requirements applicable for new housing.

To summarise

For a successful acoustic site, it is necessary to follow 6 stages:

  1. identify the type of noise (interior or external air-borne, impact, equipment noises) ;
  2. identify the cause of the noise, the surfaces through which it is transmitted in order to treat them;
  3. assess the intensity of the noise perceived (in dB), define the maximum level of noise acceptable for premises or housing and thus define the insulation input needed;
  4. identify the nature of existing surfaces to be treated (breeze blocks or hollow bricks, concrete, cellular partitions, plaster boards, wooden or hollow flooring, etc.) ;
  5. choose the appropriate solution and performance for the type of surface.
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