Resistance to airborne and impact sound depends upon the combined mass of the existing floor and the independent layers. Often the most effective way of achieving the required Approved Document E (ADE) sound insulation performance between two flats that are built one above the other is the independent or ‘dropped’ ceiling.
Independent ceilings have the advantage of being able to be constructed fairly simply, and where the existing ceiling height exists the addition of this type of construction can achieve both airborne and impact sound insulation standards. However, caution must prevail, an independent ceiling is only effective where the absorbent material is appropriate, where adequate void depths have been considered and where isolation and good finishing has occured. Also carefully consider the application of downlighters which can quickly derate and undo a perfectly good sound separation – better to surface mount or wall mount lighting if you are unsure.
Soundguard Acoustics Ltd can assist in providing more detailed construction advice, especially where flanking walls, window reveals and limited room height may require changes to this type of construction. Soundguard Acoustics Ltd can provide advice from the early stages of the project through to completion and approved Doc E sound testing. Picture source from a recently completed project of three flats in a victorian conversion, Ilfracombe, Devon.