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0101 Soundproofing

Myth:
Wood is not a good sound insulator. It is a light and rigid material, which amplifies all kinds of noises.
Reality:
What strategies are there for tackling direct sound transmission?
  • Law of mass action: insulation is obtained by increasing mass: that is, the transmission of noise is countered by means of increasing weight.
  • Effective mass (spring-mass system): insulation is achieved by putting layers of different types of material side by side and with densities which dissipate and/or absorb sound with different frequencies.

The former is inherent to heavy construction while the latter is constantly used in light construction. Since wood is a light material, one suitable strategy for countering direct sound transmission is correctly designing multilayer solutions. We can obtain the same level of sound insulation with two types of construction.

Also, soft, light and porous materials are greatly beneficial in terms of absorbing sound and controlling reverberations. Wood and low density fibre boards are optimal in this respect.

Likewise, wood along with absorbent material is a material used to soundproof spaces where sound quality matters.

Conclusion:

There are design strategies for light systems with which the same levels of sound insulation there are in heavy systems can be obtained. In this respect, a system based on wood technology may provide the sound benefits required by applying the right design.

Wood is used as the main material in spaces where sound quality matters.

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