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Acoustic flooring given greater emphasis in green buildings

Many new buildings and refurbishments are built with energy-saving green technology, but until recently acoustics were not regarded as a green issue. Now, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system has been revised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

Acoustics have been added to this rating system and, in order for buildings to qualify for high green ratings, architects and builders will need to incorporate sound masking technology.

These acoustic ratings are not applicable to United Kingdom buildings yet, but many architects are looking at how to reduce sound levels in buildings. An example of this is the new Northampton Academy school refurbishment plan, which uses Polyfloor’s acoustic flooring to reduce the noise levels from the footfall of its 1,400 pupils.

Polyfloor acoustic tiles provide around a 19-decibel sound reduction, which exceeds the requirement of the Building regulations.

Jed Queally, Business Manager of Northampton Academy, said:

“We specifically wanted an acoustic floorcovering to help create a more peaceful learning environment for our pupils, where excessive noise from foot traffic around classrooms would be less of a distraction.”

There are regulations that cover excessive workplace noise levels that can impair hearing, but in environments that do not pose a danger to hearing, noisy work environments can make it difficult for workers to concentrate.

When creating an environmental audit, businesses should consider acoustics. The acoustic qualities of materials used for contract flooring in Cheshire or North Wales businesses are part of the environmental impact of these business.

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