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44 INSULATION


OF ALL THE INSULATION MATERIALS AVAILABLE ON THE MARKET, GLASS MINERAL WOOL IS LIKELY TO OFFER THE GREATEST SET OF BENEFITS


GLASS MINERAL WOOL


Despite glass mineral wool insulation often being viewed as a material that solely affects the thermal performance of a property, it can in fact help to significantly improve the acoustics of a building. If the correct product is specified, it can even contribute to the surpassing of Building Regulation standards as well as greatly improving levels of acoustic comfort.


Of all the insulation materials available on the market, glass mineral wool likely offers the greatest benefits. It is lightweight, easy to install, non-combustible, sustainable, provides effective thermal performance and most importantly for its acoustic performance, its porous and elastic structure allows it to absorb sound and drastically reduce the transfer of noise. What’s more, thanks to its


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versatility, it can also be manufactured to meet a wide range of requirements from external and separating walls to internal walls and floors, roofs and loft spaces. For separating walls it is recommended that glass mineral wool roll be specified, which is usually compliant with many of the generic Robust Detail specifications. The Robust Details scheme was developed as an alternative to pre-completion testing for demonstrating compliance with Part E of Building Regulations, and is seen by many as a cost effective, low risk way to comply.


When it comes to internal walls, the most


effective way to combat the transfer of noise is to build a lightweight partition (either timber or metal stud), consisting of two sheets of plasterboard with a layer of acoustic insulation sandwiched in between. Although the Building Regulations state that a requirement of 40 dB is mandatory,


by using a mass-spring-mass partition construction it is easy for housebuilders and developers to increase it to 45 dB or even 50 dB (where loud speech cannot be heard between walls). Achieving these high levels of sound reduction will positively impact how the end users will use the home in the future, allowing them to do the things they want to do without disturbing others. For internal floors, a mineral wool insulation is also recommended to enhance sound absorption within the floor/ceiling void in order to achieve the minimum airborne sound insulation performance (40 dB) required by Part E. Currently, there is no regulation for impact sound for internal floors, but for enhancing the acoustic comfort within homes, housebuilders are encouraged to consider ways to maximise both the airborne and impact noise performance of internal floors as well. To ensure that future residents can go about their daily activities without disturbing people in other rooms or adjoining properties – and vice versa – it is recommended that housebuilders incorporate glass mineral wool insulation, which has high acoustic performance, during the specification stage. It is also recommended that housebuilders partner with a reputable manufacturer to receive guidance on regulations and the solutions available to them.


Jol Berg is head of technical from Isover


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