[GSBN] Sound transmission through s/able walls

ejgeorge at riseup.net ejgeorge at riseup.net
Tue Oct 20 21:39:38 CDT 2015

ch 8 of Bruce King (et al)'s Design of Straw Bale Buildings (with Rene' 
Dalmeijer) covers acoustics and references several tests from  1995-2003 
suggesting very good but not soundproof performance:

Straw bale wall with ~ 1 inch of plaster per side rated a Sound 
Transmission Class of ~ 55;
an STC of 50 is listed as some very loud sounds can be faintly heard and 
STC of 60 or higher is considered essentially soundproof.

I think most people find them pretty quiet - have they visited/stayed in 
any to get an idea?

One question is
Are they looking to build with strawbale for the primary purpose of 
having it provide a soundproof/nearly soundproof house? In which case 
other building methods might provide equivalent or better acoustic 
control, possibly more affordably.
Are they looking to build with strawbale for primarily other reasons and 
are worried that it won't quite be up to their ideal level of acoustics 
as well? In which case they might consult with an acoustical engineer on 
ways to improve in any room(s) they feel it is particularly crucial.

Good luck!


On 2015-10-20 21:05, Graeme North wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> I have a client with extreme hearing sensitivity, who is very
> concerned about the possibility of hearing sound coming through
> strawbale walls.
> Does anyone know of any sound attenuation tests that have been done on
> s/bale walls please, and what the results are?
> (and I hope that you are all planning on coming to New Zealand for the
> ISBC16 next March so that we can meet in person)
> Thanks
> Graeme
> Graeme North Architects
> 49 Matthew Road
> RD1
> Warkworth 0981
> New Zealand
> www.ecodesign.co.nz
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