Wednesday 18 August 2010

BaleHaus @ Bath – Modcell Acoustic Testing

The BaleHaus @ Bath University
MACH Acoustics has recently conducted sound insulation testing at the BaleHaus at the University of Bath. The BaleHaus project is research program being coordinated by the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering. 

The BaleHaus is constructed from Modcell. The ModCell system utilises the excellent thermal insulation qualities of straw bale construction to form prefabricated panels constructed locally to reduce energy requirements for transportation.

As a supporter of low-energy, sustainable design, this project was of great interest to MACH Acoustics. We were thrilled when be asked to be involved in the ongoing research into the properties of this ‘carbon-negative’ construction material.
The acoustic testing was conducted according to ISO 140-5:1998. The presence of building management system controlled window within the test room required careful consideration when planning for the test. To avoid the effects of sound transmission through this element, the entire window frame was sealed using the two layers of 15mm Soundbloc fixed to a partially de-coupled frame. Testing was also conducted with the window frame unsealed for comparison purposes. 
Testing in progress
The results of the testing found that Modcell is a suitable facade material for all but the most challenging noise environments. The analysis found that the internal noise level was governed almost entirely by the noise transfer through the window.

More information about the BaleHaus and Modcell can be found by going to

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