Health

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 S12.60Acousti­cal 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.