The Additional Costs of Using Resilient Channel
Acoustic Control is an important consideration in both specification and construction of each building to ensure that the impact of airborne noise and impact noise is minimised in transfer between spaces. A common place in which soundproofing is required is in multiple dwellings such as housing conversions and large scale residential builds – where a sound transmission can be most problematic, and the requirement of Part E Building Regulations determines whether a property is suitable for living.
Resilient Channels (RC) are very common in the construction industry to improve acoustic performance in soundproofing walls and soundproofing ceilings by creating separation and suspending the mass away from the structure. They are usually chosen for their relatively cheap market price per m2 and promise of increased performance in both airborne and impact.
To make you aware of the potential issues and additional costs RC can leave with a project, we have provided some critical points to review before proceeding with this method.
Whether you are soundproofing your home, a recording studio, an office or even a general events space, iKoustic want to make sure the project is right every time by specifying and supplying our MuteClip System, which we expand on under the heading 'What Is My Alternative?’'.
Using the Resilient Channel and its inherent issues with installation
When fixing RC, there are common issues which take place that can compromise performance overall
When attaching the screws into the plasterboard, it is easy to fix through the RC and into a stud or the brick and block work, leaving a direct path of sound to travel through the screw and compromising the overall performance.
If the RC is extended too far and has contact with the adjacent surfaces, this will cause the wall or ceiling to be short-circuited, leaving a direct path of connection for the sound to travel back through - compromising performance.
If the RC is installed the wrong way up, the weight of the Acoustic Plasterboard and any other attachments will cause the wall to push closer to the stud work rather than further away, leaving the wall short-circuited.
Exceeding the weights of RC by adding too much product to the bar will cause the wall to sag, leaving the mass in hard contact with the flooring resulting in poor performance.
If the screws are over tightened into the wall, this can pull the RC in, causing it to bend and warp. The soundproofing would then need to be removed, along with the RC and replaced (also now leaving a potentially unusable plasterboard need replacement)
What would these incorrect fixings cost me?
When investigating previous projects which appear to be failing Building Regulations or unexpected poor results, we have found Resilient Channels fixed in the above methods lead to inferior performance.
With the incorrections above, this could leave a significant performance dip of around 10dB in some cases and remember – 10dB is a 50% loss in performance of perceived loudness (so with the 10dB reduction you would recognise this as being halved)
If the wall is left to deteriorate over time with this incorrect installation, this could pass Part E Building Regulations as a starter and over time decrease in performance by making hard contact with the flooring, leading to costly remedial works being passed over to the contractor who carried out the work.
Additional reading for Guidance on Passing the Sound Test
We have created a blog post that gives guidance on passing the sound test - click on our icon below!
What is my alternative?
MuteClip® also comes in two additional variations which help to either decrease the amount of head height lost for ceilings with use of our MuteClip® LP (Low Profile), this allows both clip and channel to sit within the joist and our MuteClip® XP (Extended Profile) allowing variation for adjusting to joist and ceiling heights with its extendable bracket to reduce additional costs of structural levelling.
With a simple spacing configuration, you only require one screw per MuteClip®, and this can be fitted direct to brick and block work, metal framework and timber stud work
The MuteClip® Channel easily clips into the MuteClip®, this means that there is an increased suspension from the rubber mounting within the clip
Materials are fitted then on to the Channel which then all your self-tapping screws will sit within the cavity
When fastening Acoustic Plasterboard, it would not be possible to overtighten because of the above point, it would not meet anything – nor would the MuteClip® Channel buckle.
MuteClip® System also provides increased performance in low frequencies over the performance of Resilient Channel.
MuteClip® Performance on Impact Noise
With Ln,w you are looking for a lower number, as you can see on the graph below - both single and double layer plasterboard are performing higher than the Resilient Channel.
A 4-6dB increase depending on the final layers
MuteClip® Performance on Airborne Noise
With Rw, you are looking for a higher number, and we have acoustic data that displays increased performance across the board with the MuteClip® System over the Resilient Channel
A 6-8dB increase over the resilient channel