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Sound Transmission through Massive Walls or Floors

Sound attenuation in building elements like massive concrete walls or floors

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The sound transmission through a massive wall or floor depends primarily on the mass of the construction.

Mean attenuation through a massive construction is indicated in the diagram below:

Sound attenuation - massive walls floors

Note! - more mass - more attenuation!

The attenuation for a specific frequency can be calculated by adding the value in the table below to the mean value indicated in the chart above.

Attenuation Correction
-13 -9 -5 -1 3 7 11 15

Note! - higher frequency - more attenuation!

Example - A Concrete Floor and Sound Attenuation

Sound transmission massive floors

The mass m of a concrete floor with density 2300 kg/m3 and thickness 0.2 m can be calculated as

m = (2300 kg/m3) (0.2 m)

    = 460 kg/m2

From the chart above the mean sound attenuation for the floor can be estimated to

52 db

The attenuation dL at 250 Hz can be calculated as

dL = (52 db) + (- 5 dB)

    = 47 dB

The attenuation at 2000 Hz can be calculated as

dL = (52 db) + (7 dB)

    = 59 dB

Sound Transmission Loss - or Attenuation - for some typical Building Elements

Building ElementSound Transmission Loss
230 mm brickwork, plastered both sides 55
230 mm brickwork, plastered one side 48
115 mm brickwork, plastered both sides 47
100 mm timber studs, plasterboard both sides, quilt in cavity 46
6 mm double glazing, 100 mm air gap 44
75 mm clinker concrete block, plastered both sides 44
115 mm brickwork, plastered one side 43
75 mm timber suds, plasterboard both sides 36
6 mm single glazing 29
one layer plasterboard 25
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  • Engineering ToolBox, (2008). Sound Transmission through Massive Walls or Floors . [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

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