FPInnovations launched the “Next Generation Building Systems” research program to support the expansion and diversification of wood into new markets. “Next Generation Wood Buildings” can be described as buildings that implement design and construction practices, and use innovative wood-based materials and systems beyond those defined and addressed in current building codes. As part of this program, the serviceability research focuses on addressing issues related to floor and building vibrations, sound transmission and creep.
CLT is a next generation wood building material, which is a promising alternative to concrete slabs. To facilitate wood expansion into the market traditionally dominated by steel and concrete, several CLT buildings have been designed or built. Taking this opportunity, we conducted this study on two CLT buildings in the province of Quebec (i.e.,Desbiens and Chibougamau) to collect data that will form a database for the development of design provisions and installation guides for controlling vibrations and noise in CLT floors and buildings. The study also provides some information to designers and architects to strengthen their confidence in using CLT in their building projects. It is our hope that the collaboration through this study demonstrates to both designers and users of CLT buildings that if we work together, we can build good quality CLT buildings.
During the construction, ambient vibration tests were conducted on the two CLT buildings to determine their natural frequencies (periods) and damping ratios. Vibration performance tests were conducted on selected CLT floors to determine their frequencies and static deflections. ASTM standard sound insulation tests were conducted on the selected CLT walls and floors in Chibougamau CLT building to develop the sound insulation solutions. After the two CLT buildings were completed, ASTM sound insulation tests were conducted in the selected units to determine the Field Sound Transmission Class (FSTC) of the finished floors and walls, and the Field Impact Insulation Class (FIIC) of the finished floors.
We found that in general, the vibration performance of these two CLT buildings and their floor vibration performance are functional. The efforts made by the design engineers, the architects, and the contractors to make it happen are commendable, considering the lack of design provisions and guidelines in building codes for controlling vibrations in such innovative wood floor and buildings. The sound insulation of the selected units in Chibougamau building was very satisfactory. This confirmed that with proper design, construction, and installation of the sound insulation solutions studied in this report, CLT floors, walls and buildings can achieve very good sound insulation.
Some specific recommendations for CLT building sound insulation:
If flanking paths can be minimized, then it is expected that better sound insulation than what we measured on the CLT floors during the building construction will be achieved ;
Increasing the stud spacing from 400mm to 600mm for the wood stud walls enhances the airborne sound insulation of the current wood stud-CLT wall assemblies tested in this study ;
Decoupling ceiling from the structure frame and from the CLT floors is a significant factor for cost-effective sound insulation solutions ;
Selection of solutions for FSTC and FIIC above fifty (50) for non-carpeted CLT floors will ensure the satisfaction of the majority of occupants ;
Conducting subjective evaluation is useful to ensure occupants satisfaction ;
For implementation of the sound insulation solutions for floating floors, it is necessary to consult wood flooring and ceramic tiles installation guides for floating the flooring.
There is a strong trend to industrially produce multi-storey light weight timber based houses. This concept allows the buildings to be manufactured to a more or less prefabricated extent. Most common types are volume/room modules or flat wall and floor modules. When assembling the modules at the building site, elastomer isolators are used in several constructions to reduce flanking transmission. The sound insulation demands in the Nordic countries are relatively high and therefore the flanking transmission must be well controlled, where elastomer isolators are an alternative. Decoupled radiation isolated walls is another. There are though no working studies or mathematical models of the performance of these isolators. They are only treated as simple mass-springs systems that operate vertically, i.e. one degree of freedom. In this paper there is an analysis of experimentally data of the structure borne sound isolating performance of elastomer isolators that are separating an excited floor from receiving walls. The performance dependence of structure type is also presented. An empirically based regression model of the vibration level difference is derived. The model is based on measurements of six elastomer field installations, which are compared to five comparable installations without elastomers. A goal is that the model can be used for input in future SEN prediction models for modeling of sound insulation.
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.
Structure-borne sound transmission across a cross-junction of double solid timber walls with a solid timber floor was analyzed in a recent research project. Both, the double walls as well as floor slab, were of so-called Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). The floor slab was continuous across the junction for structural reasons and thus, formed a sound bridge between the elements of the double wall. To gain a better understanding of the contributions of sound transmission between the wall and floor elements from the different possible paths, a thorough analysis was conducted. Hereby, direct sound transmission through, and radiation efficiencies of, the CLT elements were measured in a direct sound transmission facility; as well as, structure-borne sound transmission between CLT elements was measured on a junction mock-up. The experimental data was used as in-put data and for validation of the engineering model of EN 12354/ISO 15712 for the prediction of flanking sound insulation in buildings. The test procedures, analysis and results of this research project are presented here.
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.
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.
This report documents apparent/field impact insulation class (AIIC/FIIC) ratings and apparent/field sound transmission class (ASTC/FSTC) ratings for a large number of light-frame wood-joisted floors, cross-laminated timber floors (CLT), massive glulam floors, and a wood-concrete composite floor. The report includes various construction details involving finishings, membranes under finishings, toppings, underlayment materials for toppings, and drywall ceilings. This report also documents ASTC/FSTC ratings for some light-frame wood stud walls and CLT walls.
The informal subjective evaluation of field floors and walls by FPInnovations staff, and by occupants, revealed that, if a FSTC or FIIC rating is below 45, occupants could clearly hear sound generated by their neighbor’s normal activities. If a FSTC or FIIC rating is above 50, occupants could still hear "muffled" sound generated by their neighbor’s normal activities, but do not hear it as clearly. If a FSTC or FIIC rating is above 60, occupants could not hear any sound generated by their neighbor’s activities, except when there is a lightweight floor with a carpet. In that case, low frequency footsteps could be heard even if the FIIC was above 60.
A major problem in light-weight timber floors is their insufficient performance coping with impact noise in low frequencies. There are no prefabricated solutions available in Australia and New Zealand. To rectify this and enable the implementation of light-weight timber floors, a structural floor was designed and built in laminated veneer lumber (LVL). The floor was evaluated in a laboratory setting based on its behaviour and then modified with suspended ceilings and different floor toppings. Twenty-nine different floor compositions were tested. The bare floor could not reach the minimum requirement set by the Building Code of Australia (BCA) but with additional layers, a sufficient result of R'w+Ctr 53 dB and L’nT,w + CI 50 dB was reached. Doubling of the concrete mass added a marginal improvement. With concrete toppings and suspended ceiling it is possible to reach the goal in airborne and impact sound insulation. The best result was achieved by combining of additional mass and different construction layers.
Fire resistance test was performed for a floor assembly, of which stiffness was reinforced by shortening the span of floor joists by adding glulam beam in the middle of the original span, and which an additional ceiling component was installed apart from floor part. These factors are expected to show good insulation performance of timber framed floor against heavy impact sound. From full scale fire test, it is conclude that the designed and manufactured floor achieved 1 hour of fire resistance rating.
This report summarizes the acoustics research component regarding sound insulation of elements and systems for the research project on mid-rise and larger wood buildings. The summary outlines the background, main research considerations, research conducted and major outcomes. Further details of the design and the results can found in the appendix of Client Report A1-100035-02.1.
The goal of the acoustics research components was to develop design solutions for mid-rise wood and wood-hybrid buildings that comply both with the current National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) 2010  requirements for direct sound insulation and with the anticipated requirements for flanking sound transmission in the proposed, 2015 version of the NBCC. In addition, the design solutions were to provide better impact sound insulation while still achieving code compliance for all other disciplines (interdependencies) as identified in the final report of the scoping study conducted in FY 2010/2011.