Contact noise in existing buildings

Recommendation 70
Measures around floors and walls

Chapter (theme)
Architectural spaces (sound)

Because of
sensory issues, weak powers of imagination, Central coherence

In order to
lessen noise and related problems.

Elaboration
It’s more likely one will renovate one’s home to meet the sensitivities of an autistic child than build a new one. However, there are many similarities between this recommendation and the one about contact sound in new homes. There is more to be found about contact sound.
Very drastic renovations can of course come close to construction, so the previous recommendation may be more applicable. We assume this not to be the case.

Renovations are the competence of the architect who takes the local situation into account and is informed about the latest techniques and materials. For these reasons our recommendations are modest and should be taken as no more than suggestions.
These suggestions are to lessen noise transmitted through walls and floors by:

  • Placing false walls with rockwool in between
  • Replacement of wall anchors, if possible, by other structures
  • Increasing the mass of the floor.

Autistic children don’t only suffer from the loudness of sounds, but also get confused when sounds are mixed and when they come suddenly. This is probably due to weak Central coherence by which one’s attention is drawn to details separated from their context. From the perspective of the autistic child it’s very hard to differentiate between the kinds of noise we distinguish here: contact noisereverberation, interior noise, external noise and sounds of living. Since none of these sounds can be silenced completely, it’s an important parental task to explain the origin and nature of sounds, and so reduce the confusion.

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