Different strategies for sound attenuation
The reduction of noise between spaces is the basic concern of most offices and businesses. The focus therefore should be sound attenuation using a variety of strategies. It should however be kept in mind that there is not just one strategy which can help attenuate the sound. Rather it’s a mix and match of different structures and strategies to help lessen the sound amongst spaces.
Sound control strategies
- The first thing which should be done to reduce the noise is to plug in all the gaps. When sound waves travel, they don’t do so in straight line. They come in contact with a surface and bounce off in all directions that are possible. Since the energy is transferred from one molecule to another it is very easy for sound to travel through even the minutest of spaces. For example if there is a tiny gap between the door of two rooms, sound is still going to bounce off and travel from one room to another. It can even pas through electrical fixtures, pipes and small gaps. The main strategy which should therefore be employed is to seal off all the gaps. Tis can be done with the help of an acoustic sealant or any gasket material. This would prevent flanking or the sound bouncing off from one place to another.
- Increase the mass of the wall. While sound energy loses its volume as it passes through the different layers in the wall, adding to the mass of the walls and the ceilings can significantly reduce the sound. This can be done with the help of installing gypsum panels. The extra panels can be added on one or both sides of the walls. So by simply adding a few panels sound can be considerably reduced. There is simply no need to make giant structural changes.
- Hard connections between the framing and the panels can allow an easy path for the sound vibrations to pass through. By modifying the wall in a way that gypsum panels are attached to stud can actually help provide a better sound attenuation. Another technique which actually works is by attaching the panels on both the sides to the studs making use of resilient channels. These inhibit the sound from passing through the header or the base plates.
- Adding insulation to wall cavities can also increase the resistance to sound waves. This is one of the most effective attenuation strategies other than increasing the mass of the wall.
- In commercial spaces steel studs are used to attenuate the sound. They are also more effective then wood because they are a great deal less rigid. Thinner studs work better than thicker ones when it comes to reducing sound.
A combination of all these strategies provide the most efficient sound attenuation. In commercial spaces which are more sensitive to sound like concert halls, hospitals and schools I is better to get advice from a professional acoustician.