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What is Airborne Sound?

Posted in Soundproofing & Sound Testing on Oct 08, 2018

When designing buildings, there are different types of sounds that should be considered when thinking about sound insulation. One of those types of sounds is airborne sound, which is sound that travels through the air.

Typical examples of airborne sound include talking, sounds from radio and television, sounds from pets like a dog barking and the sound of cars starting, or travelling down a road.

Airborne sound is the opposite of what is known as structure-borne sound, which is sound that is created as a result of impact on a specific part of a building. That being said, airborne sound and structure-borne sound are sometimes linked, as airborne sound can have an impact on a specific part of a building when it travels through the air and structure-borne sounds like footsteps can radiate into the air, resulting in airborne sound.

What causes Airborne Sound?

There are many considerations given to the causes of airborne sound. One major way that airborne sound can occur is due to low standards of workmanship, resulting in gaps around doors allowing airborne sound to travel. These gaps and cracks allow sounds to travel through the air, giving sounds an access point to travel to different parts of a building.

Windows and doors that open out onto spaces that have lots of noise like a main road can cause airborne sound, but not being able to open these doors and windows can cause ventilation issues, so this is something that should be addressed when designing a building.

How can Airborne Sound be reduced?

One of the ways in which airborne sound can be minimised is through the technique of acoustic absorption. This decreases the amount of sound that reflects back into the air when hitting a surface within a building. Treating floors, walls and ceilings so that airborne sounds become less prevalent can do this.

Another way in which airborne sound can be reduced is through the use of sound insulation. Sound insulation uses a similar technique to acoustic absorption, but instead of absorbing sound, sound is blocked from travelling to a connected space of a building because of the building elements.

One final way in which airborne sound can be reduced is by ensuring any holes, gaps and cracks are identified and fixed to prevent sounds being able to travel through to other parts of a building.

It's all in the design and construction

During the design and construction phase, it's essential that issues regarding airborne sound are dealt with, and rectified if relevant. If walls, floors and ceilings are treated to absorb sounds, buildings will benefit from being relatively soundproof.

There are many ways in which airborne sounds can be reduced, and it's important that in order to achieve the best possible reduction, the sound is identified and tested, to ensure that the chosen technique is relevant and will have the most impact in order to minimise the emergence of airborne sound in buildings.


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- Paul Hastings

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30th May, 2017

I engaged Nova at the outset of my project (which I recommend you do) to assist with providing a detailed material specification and installation guidance. There was always someone available to help with practical enquiries and advice...

- C.G. Henry

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29th Nov, 2017

I had Adam come round to a property which i thought was beyond repair. He gave sound advice with exact details of what needed to be carried out in the most cost effective manner. Once the works were carried out he returned, tested it...

- Andrew Youngson

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6th Dec, 2017

I have worked with the team at nova on a number of projects and have always been very helpful and competitively priced. Highly recommend this company for any sound test and report.

- Carol Chaplin

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14th Jun, 2017

Excellent service, engineer was very informative and helpful.  Good customer service being able to speak to knowledgeable people on the telephone when making inquires about the procedure involved for the sound testing of our property...

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2nd Dec, 2015

Good efficient service. Recommend it to all.

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9th Nov, 2015

Very attentive and friendly service, keen to serve the client, and absolutely not about dragging the case out for fees - will work to save the client fees, and understand the practicalities of the case and the opposition that applications...

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9th Nov, 2016

Adam was very attentive and very professional answered all my questions and returned all calls the engineer arrived at the time agreed and again explained everything before carrying out the test , and we received our report within couple...

- Charles OKell

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23rd Feb, 2017

Its a tricky area and you need the right support, Paul Robinson  brought Adam's team to the table and we'll be working together again in future for sure.

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14th Dec, 2016

Although we had followed the building reg, in terms of sound insulation the property conversion still failed the sound Test. Adam was very helpful and professional and guided us to the point that when it was retested again we passed. Would...

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19th Jun, 2017

Friendly efficient and cost effective service, without complication

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20th Dec, 2016

Excellent service and communication with all the members of staff we had dealings with.  A very professional approach and attitude by all.  An experience that is refreshing within the building sector and a company I could recommend...

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2nd Oct, 2017

Fast turn around and great service, recommended

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21st Sep, 2016

Excellent service by Adam and the team at Nova. The service they delivered was efficient, competitive and I would highly recommend them!

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20th Jul, 2016

Having selected Nova Accoustics to perform a sound test on my latest project, I found the whole process completely professional, prompt & efficient .

The phone contact to set up the appointment was extremely  helpful...

- Michael Dickinson

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1st Mar, 2017

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7th Sep, 2017

Fantastic service very quick and punctual highly recommended.

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22nd Nov, 2016

Used Nova Acoustics to sound test a property we'd converted in the Newcastle area.

Excellent service from start to finish. Professional, helpful & reliable throughout...highly recommended.

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23rd Mar, 2017

Really helpful team of people and very quick service, which was greatly appreciated.

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17th Aug, 2016

We are a small design firm and NOVA Acoustics provided very sufficient services to our clients with reasonable price. And they are quick to respond too.  Highly recommended.

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24th Apr, 2017

Very good company, communicated all the way through.  Competitive pricing, I will be using them again in the near future.

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6th Jul, 2017

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5th Oct, 2017

Excellent  service so far and will be contacting them again for their services.

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26th Jul, 2017

Fantastic service from this company at a very reasonable price, would definitely recomend....

- Robert Myers

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27th Apr, 2017

I used Nova acoustics to sound test my basement flat conversion for the building control certificate

And found them to be professional and friendly. The test was done mid afternoon and I had received by six o'clock the same...

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13th Jul, 2017

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29th Jun, 2017

iKoustic have worked with Nova Acoustics for some time now and they are constantly thorough, professional and super helpful in everything they do ... They are certainly our partner of choice ... Rick

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10th Aug, 2017

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20th Mar, 2017

As most of you reading this message are now probably aware  the difficulty of finding guidance and compliance of the part E building regulations is an arduous task. Well search no more! Adam at Nova Acoustics not only talked me through...

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27th Jul, 2017

Speedy quote, arranging the testing & report! Seb was really friendly & efficient onsite. Highly recommend!

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26th Sep, 2017

Came promptly at the requested time. Did the work professionally and in good time and provided the required reports so no issues or problems to report.

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27th Jul, 2017

NOVA provided a fast and efficient service. They came to carry out the sound tests on my 8 Bed HMO, which was a change of use from 4 flats. Very friendly and professional service. Mark (Hull)

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4th Oct, 2017

Excellent company, providing a professional service at a competitive price and a quick, hassle free  experience. I would recommend them to anyone.

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31st Aug, 2017

Excellent service from start to finish.

Highly professional team who where very accommodating to the team on site and worked exceptional well with everyone.

Having worked with other companies within the same...

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31st Oct, 2017

Excellent speedy service, Luigi was very proficient and professional at carrying out his job, a real asset to the company. Thank you Luigi. Kind Regards, Ant Mason

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