[GSBN] bale wall sound transmission

Jim Carfrae jim.carfrae at plymouth.ac.uk
Thu Oct 15 03:29:53 CDT 2015

Some research into the acoustic properties of SB walls was done at Plymouth University, and published in the Journal of Building Appraisal.
This is the reference:

Deverell, R., Goodhew, S., Griffiths, R. and de Wilde, P. 2009. The noise

insulation properties of non-food-crop walling for schools and colleges: A case

study. Journal of Building Appraisal, 5, (1) 29-40.

I can't supply a copy of the article, but here is the abstract, which gives the figures achieved during the tests:

ABSTRACT: The use of sustainable materials in building design and renovation has been driven by government initiatives such as the Code for Sustainable Homes, BREEAM and other assessment techniques. This paper presents the results from in situ measurements of insulation against unwanted sound (noise) for a sustainable walling system that has much anecdotal commentary concerning its good sound-insulating qualities: straw bale walls. The case study building in which the measurements were conducted is the Genesis Centre, an educational facility in Somerset. Schools need to be acoustically effective buildings, as pupils and students need to concentrate to take part in the education process. Sound insulation measurements were undertaken according to ISO 140: 4 – 1998 and Approved Document E (ADE) procedure, or as close to these standards as possible given the ‘as built’ nature of the case study buildings. With due regard for the limitations that an in situ measurement case provides, the acoustical data collected from these tests suggests that it is possible for straw bale walls to achieve the minimum requirements of Part E with a range of values of 48–50 dB DnT,w+Ctr. These results are also compared with guidelines related to acoustics in schools and robust details.Journal of Building Appraisal (2009) 5, 29–40. doi:10.1057/jba.2009.11

Hope this helps – I don't know how you translate the 48 – 50 dB figure into a sound transmission coefficient! I do know that terraces of houses with sb party walls have been built in England



Dr Jim Carfrae
Environmental Building Group
Room 302 Roland Levinsky Building
School of Architecture, Design and the Environment
Plymouth University
Drake Circus PL4 8AA

From: Bob Theis <bob at bobtheis.net<mailto:bob at bobtheis.net>>
Reply-To: Global Straw Building Network <gsbn at sustainablesources.com<mailto:gsbn at sustainablesources.com>>
Date: Tuesday, 13 October 2015 21:41
To: Global Straw Building Network <gsbn at sustainablesources.com<mailto:gsbn at sustainablesources.com>>
Subject: [GSBN] bale wall sound transmission

Hello All,

I am wading through the Code requirements for four small row houses with straw bale walls between them.  We have the required fire rating tests in hand, but lack a test demonstrating the walls have an averaged  minimum sound transmission coefficient ( STC )  of 50.

Arkin/Tilt sponsored a test for a project of theirs, and were surprised when the test wall didn't quite meet the minimum STC.

Who'd'a thought a bale wall would not be isolative enough??

Does anyone know of other tests we can submit?


Bob Theis
Gsbn mailing list
Gsbn at sustainablesources.com<mailto:Gsbn at sustainablesources.com>


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