Acoustic well-being: how to defend it at home

Acoustic well-being it is that condition in which no noise disturbs us in what we are doing and nothing would change acoustic climate in outline. A sort of nirvana of the eardrums.

The point is how to defend the acoustic well-being within the walls of the house, where we do not often find a similar quiet condition; perhaps removed those few minutes at dawn or very late at night for those who have the habit of staying up late.

The pitfalls of noise come from both the outside and the inside and the 'modern' buildings designed with lightweight structures do not help us. It is easier for a house built in recent years to have thermal protection rather than good soundproofing.

Outside everything depends onacoustic impact of the activities that take place around the house. Countryside and city center have very different acoustic climates, but there are also other factors that can make a difference: busy roads, railways, airports, noisy industries, supermarkets, commercial and recreational activities.

The list of external enemies of ours acoustic well-being it is very long and we can talk about precautions rather than defenses. The first is to include the verification of the acoustic zone in the real estate valuation of the house we would like to buy. Not that the zoning acoustics municipal is a very reliable indicator, but it is already something.

The second tip is to visit the property several times and on different days and times. Never only on Saturdays, when many factories are closed, and never only at 10 in the morning because you may miss some noisy evening or night activities.

Third tip: install windows with double glazing, if you don't already have them. The noise is 'lazy' and passes from where it makes less effort; windows, French windows and glazed openings are generally the main road. Double or triple pane glass can reduce noise by several dB, especially if significant noise sources are present outside.

Moving inside, the dangers here are even more serious. Inside the buildings are both the airborne noise, which is transmitted by voice, both the footsteps which is typically the one felt on the floor below and generated by the impact of the steps on the slab.

Again, the acoustic well-being it defends itself with prevention. Ask the seller who offers you an apartment in a multi-storey building acoustic certificate of the building with the indication of passive acoustic requirements of the building according to the Dpcm 5.12.1997.

The acoustic certificate is not a mandatory document by law, so it may not even exist, but the most foresighted manufacturers have begun to use it because it is a good selling point. L'noise pollution it can lower the value of real estate, even by 20-30% in some cases.

Certified or not, must be verified on sound insulation of the walls and the slab, and the noise of the technological systems. In the case of walls, it must be ensured that the dividing walls between different real estate units are double masonry and contain a layer of soundproofing material.

In the case of insoles, it must be verified that there is a floating floor and that one has been interposed between the screed and the flooring soundproofing layer sufficiently elastic, ditto between screed and vertical walls. The noise level of the systems must then be checked: flushing, lift, autoclave, which should be soundproofed along the pipes and in the shafts.

To do all these things, however, you need skills. If you are not an expert on architectural acoustics it may be a good idea to ask for a phonometric survey to a specialized firm. When there is a lot of money at stake, as is normal when buying a house, it can be a good investment.

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