Acoustic Insulation on Building Project Contributes to Sustainable Home Rating

H+H and Icopal pioneered the use of acoustically insulated aircrete internal walls on a continuous concrete floor to exceed the requirements of Building Regulations (Part E) contributing credits to the Code for Sustainable Homes rating on the 6.5-acre Bermondsey Spa regeneration project in south-east London.

Acoustic insulation is important for client Hyde Housing Association’s £18m development of the nine-storey Bermondsey Spa, designed by architects Levitt Bernstein, because the 114 apartments integrate with a medical centre and communal facilities.

Independent tests conducted for main contractor Rok plc, proved that the H+H Jumbo Blok bonded with the Thin Joint System reduced sound levels by 40dB between partition walls and up to 50dB between separating walls. Icopal Monarfloor Acoustics developed the Bridgestop membrane so that it could be used to isolate the 610x270x100mm-thick Jumbo Blok from the continuous floor slab and where the wall meets concrete pillars.

“Masonry cavity separating walls are not normally used with continuous concrete floors, as the cavity is bridged to potentially allow flanking sound, so we are very pleased to have made this breakthrough,” said H+H research manager and acoustics expert Doug Harris. “This is an exciting breakthrough for aircrete construction, confirming its potential for high-density housing designed to integrate with non-domestic space.”

H+H aircrete was chosen instead of gypsum block and drylined studwork to speed up construction, by enabling all the partition walls to be built while the main shell was still under construction, without waiting for the building to be weathertight. It also meant fewer different materials on site and just one team to do the work, thereby avoiding the conflict of trades that can often slow down a project. Main contractor Rok estimates the use of the aircrete construction solution shaved two months off the programme.

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