Reducing embodied carbon in construction without reducing acoustic performance

At InstaGroup we don’t just want to save energy and reduce sound impact in buildings: we also want to reduce the environmental impact of construction.

For the past 25 years we’ve installed our acoustic cradle and batten flooring on traditional in-situ concrete slabs. But with the drive to reduce embodied carbon in construction projects, we’re now frequently seeing hollow core slabs being used to decrease the overall cement content of the slab.

Making savings with hollow core slabs

Hollow core slabs are pre-cast, pre-stressed slabs which have reduced cement content due to hollowed out centres. The weight saving versus a traditional in-situ mass concrete slab is around 35-50%. This saves a huge amount of concrete, and therefore lowers the quantity of embodied carbon over a project.

Additionally, hollow core slabs are manufactured off-site, which reduces on-site time and de-risks and shortens the programme.

Testing for acoustic performance

A major client approached InstaGroup to ask if switching from traditional in-situ concrete slabs to hollow core would affect the acoustic performance of our cradle and batten flooring.

We were asked to run a series of tests using our acoustic flooring on hollow core slabs.

Acoustic tests were carried out in June 2022 by Sound Research Laboratories (SRL), an independent UKAS accredited Laboratory.
The lab test results were: 62Rw ( C; Ctr ) and 44 Ln,w ( Ci )

A step forward in reducing environmental impact

This marks an important achievement in construction, as tests prove our flooring can still deliver results well above building regulation acoustic levels when used on hollow core.

James Wilson, InstaGroup Business Development Manager, said, “By using hollow core slabs you can greatly reduce the embodied carbon and weight in a structure, while its off-site manufacture reduces the time on-site. When used with our cradle and batten system you gain all these benefits while meeting the acoustic requirements of the building.”

Cutting carbon in construction

Our clients are already aware that installing InstaGroup’s cradle and batten floor system means no need for screed, and therefore less embodied carbon in the construction.

Now a really significant reduction of embodied carbon in the construction of residential buildings can be achieved while maintaining the same high acoustic performance.

Please get in touch if you’d like to know more, or to discuss your project.