Hot Tips (Accoustics)
Flooring's Role in Acoustics
- By Bob Bethel
- April 1st, 2017
When it comes to improving in-class student learning and teacher instruction, multiple
factors must be considered. One important
factor that should not be overlooked is acoustics.
A number of studies show there is a direct
correlation between acoustics and improved
student performance. In fact, research
shows products with high Noise Reduction
Coefficients (NRC) and Impact Insulation
Classifications (IIC) promote better voice
recognition in the classroom. Inappropriate
levels of background noise and reverberations
can hinder reading and spelling ability, affect
behavior and attention and affect concentration
and academic performance.
Laboratories typically use two tests to
measure the acoustic properties of interior
surfaces and finishes: airborne noise reduction
and structure-borne noise reduction.
The airborne noise reduction test, ASTM
C423-02a, measures a surface’s ability to
absorb airborne sounds, which contribute to
ambient (background) noise. A floor covering’s
measure of effectiveness in absorbing airborne
sound is expressed as a Noise Reduction Coefficient
(NRC). The greater the NRC, the better
that product is at absorbing airborne sounds.
The structure-borne noise reduction test
most used for flooring is ASTM E492-09. This
test measures the material’s ability to reduce
impact sound transmission into the space
below. This test is important to perform on
flooring materials selected for multilevel
school buildings. Flooring products undergoing
this test are expressed as a whole number,
the Impact Insulation Class (IIC). The higher
the rating the greater the sound insulation.
Soft floor covering materials such as carpet
or textile composite flooring are excellent solutions
for reducing both airborne and structureborne
noise. They have the ability to absorb
more sound and transmit less sound than other
types of surfaces.
This article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of College Planning & Management.
Bob Bethel is the director of Business Development, Education, for J+J Flooring Group. J+J offers an online calculator, floorlifecost.com. Bob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800/241-4586.