Silence has never sounded so good

Acoustic insulation is becoming a more important consideration in the commercial arena. In the UK, we are faced with greater population densities in our towns and increasing noise pollution from roads, rail and air.

Two colleagues in office with digital tablet and computer. Indoor, office, acoustics, people, working,

Poor acoustics impact hugely on the overall environment of our offices. We all recognise that excessive noise can be a major nuisance. But, even at lower levels, it can compromise our attention spans, raise stress levels and adversely affect our lifestyles and our well-being.

The online advice group,, run by experienced environmental health professionals and acoustic consultants, states that “noise pollution is a serious issue for hundreds of thousands of people living in the UK every year. For the sufferer it can cause disruption, interference and irritation and, in some cases, lead to the development of stress and loss of sleep.”

Effective sound insulation can make a significant impact in reducing noise in commercial environments. It can be applied to dampen sound reverberation, prevent noise affecting other rooms or buildings, reduce the noise from outside, including wind, rain, hail, traffic, and, minimise noise pollution from heating, ventilation and air conditioning and other equipment.


Products in Practice

Kier Group is a leading property, residential, construction and services group, which invests in, builds, maintains and renews buildings operating across many sectors, including housing, defence, education, power, transport and utilities.

Kier has a long-standing relationship with the Cambridgeshire area, having worked on 23 projects with the University of Cambridge, so it was no surprise when they decided to build their brand new three-storey headquarters in the Cambridge Research Park.

Although handling both the design and delivery process themselves, Kier worked directly with Cottenham-based roofing contractor, Voland Roofing on this project. With a flat roof forming part of the design, both companies conferred that it required a roofing material that would provide exceptional acoustic management, good thermal insulation and a high quality finish that needed minimal maintenance.

The primary challenge faced during this project was Kier’s stipulation that the new roof delivers high levels of acoustic performance. Kier wanted the roof to not only insulate against airborne sound, but also to reduce noise from the impact of raindrops on the roof. This meant that Voland Roofing had to achieve Rw 41 dB airborne sound reduction and Rw 52dB LiA rain impact noise. Alongside this, it was important that the roof provides long term thermal performance to keep the building warm and reduce heating costs.

Voland Roofing was responsible for installing ROCKWOOL HARDROCK® Multi-Fix (DD) and HARDROCK® Multi-Fix (DD) Underlay, with the ROCKWOOL Acoustic Membrane to cover the flat roof. Wayne Armstrong of Voland Roofing commented, “Having worked with these products previously, we knew that they would meet the brief for this project. These systems are quick and easy to install, which allowed us to turn around the project in good time.”

HARDROCK® Multi-Fix (DD) was installed with a mechanically fixed, single ply system. This reduced the complexity of the installation, cutting time and cost on single and dual layer, mechanically fixed and fully bonded roof projects. The vast roof space on Kier’s new building is on two different levels. The ROCKWOOL solution had to be flexible enough to accommodate the change in level, and be installed smoothly and tightly around all the corners and edges. Thanks to the ease of installation of these products, this didn’t cause a problem for Voland Roofing.

Approximately 1100m² of the 60mm HARDROCK® Multi-Fix (DD) and 1100m² of the 150mm HARDROCK® Multi-Fix Underlay were laid across the roof, and then covered with 1100m² of 5kgm² ROCKWOOL Acoustic Membrane, supplied by SIG Insulation.

The ROCKWOOL products have provided the new Kier Construction offices with a complete roofing solution that more than satisfies the brief which Voland Roofing was set. They significantly reduce the airborne and impact noise and effectively insulate the building, which also helps to lower costs for Kier. “Our client is pleased with the end result, as we delivered a system that has fulfilled their brief”, concludes Wayne.

Kier Construction Head Quarters required the new roof to deliver high levels of acoustic performance. Kier wanted the roof to not only insulate against airborne sound, but also to reduce noise from the impact of raindrops on the roof.
Here is how it was achieved