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An old art deco building on a busy avenue in Paris was subjected to a major rehabilitation. The diagnosis showed that while the sound insulation DnTw between floors was a comfortable 51 dB, it was no more than 36 dB at the last floor. More to the point, the structure was typical of the time, with a steel frame clad with stonework and floors made of a steel structure with a wooden floor on top and a plaster ceiling underneath.

The acoustic targets that would be required for a new construction were reached through a combination of resiliently suspended ceilings and plasterboard partitions. The main difficulty was to find space for the insertion of ducts and pipes, which was solved through the abandonment of floor space close to the stairwell.

Rehabilitation Turned Sour

The new owner of an old flat in France decided on a major rehabilitation. This included the replacement of the old carpet on a wooden floor by a new marble finished floor on a floating screed, with a structural concrete floor underneath. The kitchen was also moved and relocated closer to the dining room.

Right after commissioning, the neighbors complained about impact noise and quickly called for an expert to the court. It was found that the acoustic performance of the refurbished dwelling actually complied with the targets required for new construction. However, the expert stated that the impact sound was higher than before, and the relocation of the kitchen led to more noise transmitted than before to the neighbor’s bedrooms.

As this was deemed to constitute a degradation of the initial acoustic performances, the owner was ordered to reconstruct his dwelling to the original scheme.

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