Jeremy Broadhead, Commercial Manager at Heckmondwike FB, looks at why carpet is being widely specified for its acoustic properties.
“Managing noise in a building continues to present a challenge for designers, which is why there is specific legislation covering different building types and uses. Schools should be designed in accordance with Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) Acoustic Design of Schools, the latest version of which was updated in 2014.
One of the most common complaints for those working in educational environments is the inability to work effectively due to high levels of background noise. Although the acoustic insulation of external structural elements may have been given adequate consideration, noise created internally from floors is often not taken into account. For instance, it is not uncommon for measures such as triple glazed windows to be specified to reduce external noise and then overlook the fact that most noise disturbances come from inside the building, with incorrect choice of flooring being the main cause. Hard flooring, such as timber, tile or laminate, can contribute to the problem, especially where a building is open plan or has several storeys.
This is why carpet – and particular fibre bonded carpet with its excellent attenuation properties is being specified more frequently for schools and colleges.
The characteristics of carpet mean it is effective at absorbing sound and the conduction of impact noise can be reduced by up to 30dB, just by the right selection of product. The human ear perceives a reduction of 10 dB (A) as halving the volume. The comparative values for some hard floorcoverings is between 5-15Db.
Array’s fibres have a high surface area and therefore offer good levels of sound attenuation. This range of carpet can reduce sound transmission by 22dB and has a dampening effect on the sound waves which transmit from a floor above to one below.
As a result, Array from our Creative range is now being specified in educational environments where noise can be an issue. It is perfect for use here because research has shown that background sound from inside and outside the classroom negatively affects learning, especially for young children who require optimal conditions for hearing and comprehension.
As well as offering excellent acoustic properties, Array is also renowned for its aesthetics with a smart linear pattern in a choice of 12 accent shades.
With the ever present issue of foot traffic and human voices, carpet will continue to play a key role in reducing noise transmission within schools and colleges.”