March 10, 2017

Bautex Blocks Create Healthier Buildings by Soundproofing Walls

Constructing buildings that protect occupants from excessive noise is essential in today's hectic world. Noise pollution in homes and commercial buildings adds to stress and inhibits communication. Additionally and importantly, a study by the University of Michigan, Environmental Health Science Department concluded that tens of millions of people might be at risk of heart disease along with hearing loss from noise pollution.The disturbing noise that infiltrates buildings comes from traffic, trains, planes, construction activities, close neighbors, and more. Soundproofing exterior walls is crucial to controlling the level of outside noise that reaches the interior of a building. Building designs that eliminate or reduce unwanted and disturbing noise from entering a building are essential to the health and well-being of the occupants.

Insulated concrete blocks (ICBs) for exterior walls are popular for their energy efficient and disaster resistant traits, and also for their noise reducing features. The concrete in ICBs reflects noise and the foam insulation absorbs sound.  In fact, a survey conducted by ICF magazine found that residents of homes built with ICB were far more likely to comment on the quietness of their homes than those living in wood-framed homes. Additionally, a comparison of ICB and wood-frame walls by Portland Cement Association found that sound penetrated an ICB wall about one-fourth to one-eighth as much as a wood frame wall. Insulated concrete blocks are an excellent choice to ensure a sound proof exterior wall in both residential and commercial construction.

The Bautex Wall System is an ICB wall assembly that significantly reduces the transfer of sound from the outside to the inside of a structure.The Bautex Wall System (when finished with one thin layer of plaster on the inside wall surface and thin applied stucco on the exterior wall surface) received a high Sound Transmission Class (STC)* rating of 51 and a high Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class (OITC)** performance rating of 47. These standards meet and exceed acoustic standards required today in most commercial, government and educational building construction. For example, the ANSI S12.60 “Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements and Guidelines for Schools” aims to create a classroom environment that optimizes communication and improves learning. The ANSI S12.60 standard mandates that exterior and interior walls of offices, conference rooms, and main corridors in schools obtain a minimum STC of 45 and that classroom walls achieve a minimum STC of 50. Bautex Wall System’s STC of 51 exceeds both these standards. The Bautex Blocks also create an integrated wall assembly that exceeds 2015 building codes for energy efficiency and safety. Exterior and interior walls in both residential and commercial construction can utilize Bautex Blocks. The Bautex Systems LLC company is headquartered in San Marcos, Texas and serves builders throughout the southwest United States.  

For the comfort and safety of a building's occupants, soundproofing exterior walls is an essential part of a building's design. Exterior walls constructed of insulated concrete block can control noise pollution better than wood framed walls. Insulated concrete block walls are also more energy efficient and disaster resistant that simple wood framed walls. Decreasing noise pollution inside a building improves the quality of life for the residents by reducing their stress level, improving communication, and lessening the risk of heart disease and hearing loss.

*The STC rating indicates how much a material (or wall) reduces a sound as the sound moves through the material (wall). Calculation of the STC rating is by the ASTM E-413 Standard. The higher the number, the better the noise isolation.

**The OITC rating indicates the rate of transmission of sound between outdoor and indoor spaces in a structure. Calculation of the OITC rating is by the ASTM E-1332 Standard. The higher the number, the better the noise isolation.