Sounding Board

Sounding Board
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02 January 2013

 

A number of factors need to be considered when specifying flooring solutions for busy environments. In order to follow Building Regulations and help building owners meet their duties under the Equality Act 2010, flooring specifications should help to provide an inclusive environment, and this includes acoustic considerations.

Introduced in 2003 and updated in 2004, ‘ADE – Resistance to the Passage of Sound’ provides guidance on the reduction of sound in a variety of residential situations, not just houses and flats but also care homes, student accommodation and hotels.

While ADE only covers the passage of impact sound (between rooms), both that and step sound (within rooms) are increasingly important considerations for both residential and commercial premises. At the same time, the reduction of background noise also has important ramifications for the ergonomics of schools, offices and any public areas used by people with hearing difficulties.

But when it comes to satisfying such acoustic requirements, some floorcoverings are better than others...

Carpet offers many benefits to busy environments. Not only does it provide a comfortable atmosphere, but also offers good acoustic performance, which can help to reduce noise levels by providing a calm, comfortable and peaceful environment.

Good acoustics can aid building users who are hard-of-hearing, whilst creating environments conducive to learning and concentration. Gradus’ Times Square range is particularly effective at muffling reverberant sound created by students and staff in adjoining classrooms, corridors and halls.  Times Square is available in tile format and is produced with 85% recycled content cushion backing, which not only provides underfoot comfort, but also provides excellent acoustic qualities to help reduce noise levels in busy environments.

Unwanted noise can also be a major problem in care homes. In common areas such as day rooms or corridors, it’s important that floorcoverings contribute to good acoustic design. Conversations need to be heard clearly so the environment cannot be too absorbent or reverberant. Gradus’ Genus, Volnay and Bodega ranges are ideal for care homes as they offer excellent acoustic benefits.

Gradus carpet ranges have been tested for impact noise absorption and sound absorption and perform extremely well in busy environments such as schools, hospitals, care homes and offices.