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It has become our new urban menace – noise pollution. Over the past few decades, we’ve experienced an extensive increase in noise pollution caused in large part by an increase in commuter traffic through personal and public transportation due to the steady growth in population and urbanization. The effects of this excessive noise on the quality of our lives have become wide-ranging.
Excessive noise can interfere with sleep, rest and conversation. It can cause fatigue, irritability, headaches, stress and even hypertension and other health and behavioral disorders. As a result, one of the main goals for builders, architects, and discerning homeowners has become the need to contain and reduce noise pollution in their home environment through soundproofing to protect themselves from sources of unwanted noise to enjoy a healthier home.
“Sound dampening the exterior walls of a home is essential for the health and well-being of the occupants,” explained Keven Rector at NUDURA, a leader in building with insulated concrete forms (ICFs), a proven solution for the dampening of sound through exterior walls of homes and commercial buildings for the past few decades.
NUDURA ICFs are made of two long panels of EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam insulation held together with webs that are molded into the foam to create a form. During construction, they are assembled to form the foundations and walls of a building. Steel bars are placed horizontally and vertically in the ICF. Concrete is then poured inside the gap between the foam panels to form a solid, continuous insulated structure.
“Our double-foam insulated concrete forms serve as an effective sound barrier and dampens sound vibrations from unwanted outside noise, such as traffic, trains, and neighbors so that rooms are 3 times sounder resistant than a typical wood-framed wall,” added Rector. “The high mass of our wall system with the concrete in place provides an excellent sound transmission class (STC) of 50 or greater with the total wall assembly.” A Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating is a measure of how much sound travels from one side of the wall to the other and is measured in decibels. In comparison to ICFs, insulated 2x4 wood frame walls have an STC rating of about 38.
This benefit is not going unnoticed by homeowners who live in ICF built homes. According to the ICF Magazine, those who live in ICF homes list sound dampening as one of the most appreciated benefits. In fact, more than 60% of ICF homeowners surveyed mentioned the quietness of their homes, versus only 2% of their wood frame counterparts.
The benefits of sound dampening your home are widespread. Aside from the privacy and comfort that sound control offers, it enhances our cognitive functioning and as a result of our productivity by ensuring a serene, quiet ambiance to concentrate and be creative.
The NUDURA building system is not only an effective soundproofing solution according to Rector, but it is also regarded worldwide by builders, architects and discerning homeowners as the premium choice for construction delivering building efficiencies, superior strength and durability, insulation, conservation, and unmatched energy efficiency.
“EPS has great insulating capacity. Because of this and because of the thermal mass of concrete, the building insulation step is already done, which reduces the cost over traditional construction methods,” he explains.
In fact, homeowners of ICF built homes can benefit from 60 percent reductions in heating and cooling bills and a more comfortable, healthy indoor environment. By keeping air and moisture out, ICFs lower the potential for allergens and mold meaning that homes are safer and healthier. Due to their superior durability and strength, ICF built homes also provide peace of mind for families as they’re disaster-resistant, able to withstand winds of up 250 +MPH/hr, and fire for up to four hours.
For more information on how ICFs can add long-term value to your next custom home construction, contact us!
We’re committed to supporting homeowners and design professionals who are interested in or use our products. We’re always happy to help and provide more information.