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High-Performance Floating Floors

Increasing populations density and urbanization is making the standard for low noise and vibration ever more stringent. This is causing an increase in demand for high-quality and efficient noise and vibration isolation systems following the need to build faster, lighter, and with bigger spans.

These trends pose new challenges to the design of high-performance floating floor systems aimed at mitigating vibration, and reducing impact and airborne noise. Stiffening the structure to change its dynamic performance is a suitable but costly measure.

Today, floating floor systems are part of state-of-the-art building technology. They are a cost-effective and efficient option to improve the acoustical performance of our buildings and are commonly part of box-in-box systems installed in high-performance spaces. Floating floors are usually made of poured-in-place concrete or of lightweight panel systems, supported by resilient elements that transfer the loads from the floating floor to the subfloor.

A floating floor system can have three functions, or a combination thereof, depending on the final objective in the building design:

  • Airborne Noise Isolation: an increase of the airborne isolation properties of the floor structure. E.g.: floors of mechanical equipment rooms, musical/rehearsal spaces, recording studios, bowling alleys, etc.
  • Vibration Isolation: an increase of vibration isolation properties of the structural floor, supporting vibration generating machines. E.g.: floors underneath generators, air-handling units, transformers, pumps, and other building service equipment.
  • Impact Noise Isolation: an increase of the impact noise isolation properties of the floor structure. E.g.: floors of rooftop bars, ballrooms, classrooms, hallways, etc.

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