Building with cross laminated timber (CLT) has gain increased interest over the last years, but in common to other wood-based building systems, inadequate low-frequency sound insulation is seen as a problem. This paper deals with two methods to improve the sound insulation of CLT panels, normally made from spruce: 1) heavy CLT, introducing compressed, i.e. densified, spruce as well as alternative wood species, and 2) elastic layer based upon shear motion. In addition to a series of laboratory measurements, a full-scale CLT floor made of two 60 mm birch panels with a 12 mm elastic layer in between was tested in a two-room test mock-up. The results from the acoustical measurements showed that the floor has about 7 dB greater airborne and impact sound insulation for one-third octave bands, 50–3150 Hz, compared to a standard CLT floor of the same total height.
A previous Swedish research project indicated the potential need for evaluating impact sound insulation from 20 Hz in buildings with lightweight constructions. This is a discrepancy compared to the commonly used frequency intervals starting from 50 or 100 Hz. The statistical significance of this groundbreaking suggestion was however not satisfactorily strong since the result was based upon a limited number of building objects.
The scope of the present paper is to secure the previous study by adding additional objects to the underlying database, thereby increasing the confidence of the results. The methodology is to perform impact sound insulation measurements in apartment buildings of various construction types and to perform questionnaire surveys among the residents. The measured sound insulation is compared to the subjective rating by the occupants in order to find the parameter giving the highest correlation with respect to frequency range and weighting.
The highest correlation was found when the impact sound insulation was evaluated from 25 Hz using a flat frequency-weighting factor. Frequencies below 50 Hz are of great importance when evaluating impact sound insulation in lightweight constructions.
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.