An important new development of service accommodation to be managed by one of the North of England’s largest RSLs features the use of Finnforest’s SoundBar System, chosen to create the acoustic separation between the intermediate floor levels of the development.
The residential building at Catterick in Yorkshire has been built for the MOD by Mansell, while Wave Homes is the specialist timber frame supplier with which Finnforest worked closely to ensure all structural and Part E requirements were met. The design team has been led by Croft Goode Architects, based in Preston.
The building comprises of a mix of 31 apartments and office units for ex-service personnel. With residential accommodation located directly above the office units, it was important to find an acoustic solution to the potential sound transmission which might disturb those using the offices below. Finnforest supplied around 1650sqm of its SoundBar System for the first floor of the building, in order to meet this requirement.
The Project Architect for Croft Goode, Adam Scott, explained: “We specified The SoundBar System E-FT-4 for this MOD accommodation project at Catterick, having previously used it on two extra care developments in Blackpool. It proved absolutely ideal there: tests on both buildings giving very good sound reduction figures. SoundBar also offers a more durable surface finish than a timber floating floor, while we received good technical assistance from the Finnforest Technical Manager.”
At the time of the properties being erected by Wave, the timber frame manufacturer was a subsidiary of Riverside Housing – the social housing provider involved - but has since been sold. Phil Key was one of the management buy-out team and commented: “Unusually for us these kits were supplied as un-insulated storey height panels, while the engineered timber i-joists were also installed individually, rather than being made up as floor cassettes. Work on site went very well though, and The SoundBar System went in without any problem.
“SoundBar is in fact one of a number of standard solutions in our stable that we offer to our clients and we have completed a number of accommodation projects with Finnforest, across several sectors.”
The SoundBar System comprises three key elements: Finnjoist, the UK’s only fully engineered i-joist; and Lafarge Gyvlon’s well proven pumped, self levelling and quick drying screed. Between these elements is placed Finnforest’s SoundBar Board, which deadens sound to control transfer between floors. These elements have been brought together to form The SoundBar System, which is BM TRADA approved and NHBC and Zurich accepted.
Having its own Robust Detail (EFT-4), the system provides an alternative solution to other Robust Detail systems in timber frame and can also be used in masonry construction. This saves time onsite because there is no need to wait for pre-completion sound testing when a Robust Detail (EFT-4) is specified. Where site access or egress is difficult and where space is at a premium, The SoundBar System has many advantages reducing the need for on site craneage, storage and waste disposal. Finnjoists, SoundBar board and Lafarge screed are delivered direct to site, as they are needed.
The Lafarge Gyvlon screed binder (calcium sulphate) element of The SoundBar System is a by-product material created in the manufacture of another product. Environmentally it rates very highly as a sustainable product, which can be flowed out to the exact volume required, according to the layout and depth.
Acoustic performance of The SoundBar system is higher than both Building Regulations and other Robust Details in both airborne and impact performance. The SoundBar System meets and exceeds the minimum 45dB airborne and 62dB impact performance criteria specified in Part E. Onsite testing of this E-FT-4 detail has shown an improvement of more than 5dB in both airborne and impact testing, achieving levels to meet Code Level 4 requirements as a minimum. Reduction in sound transmission could also, potentially, leading to more credits towards the Code for Sustainable Homes and potentially can be achieved with a shallower i-joist section of 220mm depth, rather than 240mm.
Kevin Riley, Vice President Construction Industry for Finnforest, said: “The SoundBar System provides a cost effective, environmentally sound solution to the construction of acoustic flooring. While it is popular for flatted developments such as this, we are also seeing a remarkable uptake of the system in other sectors where sound transmission between intermediate floors is an issue, for example in the care home sector and for student accommodation.”