Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), which is well suited for construction of tall buildings, is becoming a more popular construction material in North America. However, to ensure comfortable living conditions, sound insulation measures are necessary. The study presented here compares results of direct impact sound insulation of 5- and 7-ply CLT floors covered with different a concrete toppings on various interlayers. Improvements of up to 21dB in Weighted Normalized Impact Sound Pressure Level (Ln,w) were observed using a newly proposed reference floor for CLTs. Furthermore, the improvements of floor coverings on CLT floors are compared to those achieved on other types of construction, such as the reference concrete floor. The improvements of Ln,w tend to be higher on the concrete floors than on the CLT floors tested. These and other findings will be presented.
Sound insulation performance is critical to the broader market acceptance of mass timber buildings in both residential and non-residential building markets. The project aims to develop dry floating floor solutions for mass timber floors with improved sound insulation performance. The specific objectives are:
1. To design floating floor assemblies using wood-based panels such as medium density fiberboard (MDF), gypsum board, and structural concrete panels for mass timber floors with considerations for fire requirements;
2. To evaluate the impact sound insulation performance of developed floor assemblies with a focus in the low-frequency range.
The number of occupant complaints received about annoying low-frequency footstep impact sound transmission through wood floor-ceiling assemblies has been increasing in proportion with the increase in the number of multi-family wood buildings built. Little work has been conducted to develop solutions to control the low-frequency footstep impact sound transmission. There are no code provisions or sound solutions in the codes. Current construction practices are based on a trial and error approach. This two-years project was conducted to remove this barrier and to successfully expand the use of wood in the multi-family and mid- to high-rise building markets. The key objective was to build a framework for the development of thorough solutions to control low-frequency footstep sound transmission through wood floor-ceiling assemblies.
Field acoustic tests and case studies were conducted in collaboration with acoustics researchers, builders, developers, architects, design engineers and producers of wood building components.
The field study found that:
1. With proper design of the base wood-joisted floors and sound details of the ceiling:
With no topping on the floor, the floor-ceiling assembly did not provide sufficient impact sound insulation for low- to high-frequency sound components ;
Use of a 13-mm thick wood composite topping along with the ceiling did not ensure satisfactory impact sound insulation;
Even if there was the ceiling, use of a 38-mm thick concrete topping without a proper insulation layer to float the topping did not ensure satisfactory impact sound insulation ;
A topping system having a mass over 20 kg/m2 and composed of composite panels and an insulation layer with proper thickness achieved satisfactory impact sound insulation.
2. The proper design of the base wood-joisted floors was achieved by the correct combination of floor mass and stiffness. The heaviest wood-joisted floors did not necessarily ensure satisfactory impact insulation.
3. Proper sound ceiling details were found to be achieved through:
Use of two layers of gypsum board;
Use of sound absorption materials filling at least 50% of the cavity ;
Installation of resilient channels to the bottom of the joists through anchoring acoustic system resulted in improved impact sound insulation than directly attaching the resilient channels to the bottom of the joists.
A four-task research plan was developed to thoroughly address the issue of poor low-frequency footstep impact insulation of current lightweight wood floor-ceiling assemblies and to correct prejudice against wood. The tasks include: 1) fundamental work to develop code provisions; 2) expansion of FPInnovations’ material testing laboratory to include tests to characterize the acoustic properties of materials; 3) development of control strategies; and 4) implementation.
The laboratory acoustic research facility built includes a mock-up field floor-ceiling assembly with adjustable span and room height, a testing system and a building acoustic simulation software.
The preliminary study on the effects of flooring, topping and underlayment on FIIC of the mock-up of the filed floor-ceiling assembly in FPInnovations’ acoustic chamber confirmed some findings from the field study. The laboratory study found that:
A topping was necessary to ensure the satisfactory impact sound insulation;
The topping should be floated on proper underlayment;
Topping mass affects impact sound insulation of wood framed floors;
A floating flooring enhanced the impact sound insulation of wood framed floors along with the floating topping.
It is concluded that:
1. even if the studies only touched the tip of the iceberg of the footstep impact sound insulation of lightweight wood-joisted floor systems, the proposed solutions are promising but still need verification ;
2. with proper design of the base wood floor structure, the proper combination of flooring, and sound ceiling details along with proper installation, the lightweight wood floor-ceiling assembly can achieve satisfactory impact sound insulation ;
3. this study establishes a framework for thoroughly solving low-frequency footstep impact sound insulation problem in lightweight wood-joisted floor systems.
Solutions will be developed in the next phase of this study as planned and the study will be conducted under NRCan Transformative Technology program with a project dedicated to “Serviceability of next generation wood building systems”.
The objective of this work package is to provide an acoustic performance knowledge database of European timber building constructions. In a first step a methodology for structuring the planned data base will be developed. The database will be fed with existing examples from the different European timber building regions. These examples will be grouped into similar solutions and sound insulation performance. After reprocessing the data the different construction systems will be optimized in WP 2.
An interface to the borad public of the database will then be developed. This user friendly and appealing front-end of the European Timber Sound Insulation Atlas (EATSI-Atlas) will provide information on various evaluation criteria, including expected future European target values.
This client report on the acoustics research component regarding sound insulation of elements and systems for mid-rise wood buildings is structured into a main part and four appendices. The main part outlines the background, main research considerations and summarizes conducted research and major outcomes briefly. It is structured like the Acoustics tasks in the Statement of Work of the Mid-rise Wood research project to identify accomplishments. For details on the research, testing and results, the main part references to four appendices that contain more details including test plans, test methods, specimen descriptions and all test data that is vetted so far.
In recent years Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) was introduced as an emerging building system in the North American market. CLT elements consist of multiple layers of wooden beams that are laid-out cross-wise and laminated together to form solid wood panels for floors and walls. As part of a multi-disciplinary research project a comprehensive study was conducted on the impact and airborne sound insulation of this type of elements in order to create a data base that allows building designers to predict the acoustic performance of CLT systems. Parametric studies were carried out on the direct impact airborne sound insulation of CLT floor assemblies (with/ without various floor topping and gypsum board ceiling variants), on the direct airborne sound insulation of CLT walls (with/without gypsum board linings), as well as on the structure-borne sound transmission on a series of CLT building junctions. The results were then used as input data for predictions of the apparent impact and airborne sound insulation in real CLT buildings using the ISO 15712 (EN12354) framework that was originally developed for concrete and masonry buildings. The paper presents the prediction approach as well as results of prediction and measurement series for apparent impact and airborne sound insulation.