Noise - Environmental - Insulating the Home - Walls
An external reference
is to the proposed revisions to the Building Regulations which cover conversions
and suitable sound insulation treatments to walls.
If the noise is coming from outside, the most likely weak points are air bricks, vents and the windows and these should all be considered; unless the walls are particularly lightweight, treatment of the walls to reduce external noise is unlikely to be beneficial.
The typical form of wall treatment is erecting a secondary leaf in front of, but isolated from, the existing wall; naturally the whole of the wall needs to be treated. A secondary construction might comprise
Such a treatment will result in a significant loss of room area. An alternative would be to use plasterboard drylining (e.g. Crown dry-liner or Gyproc Triline) where the mineral wool backing, glued to the existing wall, isolates the new inner plasterboard layer; the same general advice as for secondary walls, should be followed; the cost and loss of area are likely to be lower, but so will be the likely improvement especially at low frequencies.
A possible alternative, in some circumstances, might be to build a floor to ceiling wardrobe across the whole wall to be treated, along the lines of the secondary wall construction above; note that the doors should be 50mm solid timber incorporating effective seals at the jambs and thresholds, i.e. louvered or sliding doors are not suitable. This way the cavity would be put to use and the clothes in the wardrobes would act as the absorbent material in place of the mineral wool.
The most cost effective form of noise control treatment is either to consult the manufacturer (if appropriate) for details of a proprietary silencer/attenuator, or to fit a mineral wool lined cowl or hood around the fan to direct air flow downwards, and prevent a direct sound path, through the fan unit to the room occupants. The cowling can be constructed of galvanised steel or plywood as appropriate; it should not fit too closely to avoid too great a load being placed on the unit.