The material shortages faced by UK construction are going to be with us for some time. This is due to a whole host of reasons from the recent ‘pingdemic’ to unprecedented market demand. Many of these are out of the building product manufacturers’ control, explains Hush…
That’s why Hush has a focus on doing everything possible to navigate the choppy waters and ensure acoustic specifications don’t need to be watered down or revised to apply more costly or unproven approaches that could have a sting in the tail.
Virtually every product or raw material is affected and the severity varies by the day, week and month. At the time of writing this, concrete is the latest product to be in short supply as Construction Enquirer reports. Should that mean we need to stop building with concrete temporarily? Definitely not!
It is understandable that architects, specifiers and building contractors may look to alternative products and systems if they know their preferred choice is in short supply or subject to extended lead times. After all, projects still need to be delivered on time to clients and contract terms honoured.
However, in regards to acoustic insulation products, avoid knee-jerk reactions, as there is often a similar product available, an innovative way to combine the products that are available or a different way to apply products.
All of these options can be discussed with Hush Acoustics’ technical team, who have industry-leading sound insulation expertise to offer.
Some customers have reported instances of where the architectural specification for acoustics is totally different to what they would expect in order to avoid the use of timber. This is not a surprise given how timber shortages have been hitting the headlines for months.
Therefore, adopting a plan B may be seen as the way to deliver a project more efficiently.
However, every acoustic treatment or system will require timber in one shape or form. So, whilst it might seem sensible to choose one to avoid the need for chipboard, for example – one of the hardest hit materials – the chosen systems may still feature timber battens, for which there could also be an issue. And there is certainly no guarantee that a system which utilises metals, plastics or composite materials is not going to be affected by supply issues for one or more of its constituent parts.
Acoustic systems based largely on timber, like those from Hush Acoustics, still represent the most economical choice in terms of providing effective insulation against airborne and impact noise in separating floors/ceilings and walls.
This is despite the significant global inflation in timber costs across the board since the start of the pandemic.
Hush works constantly to mitigate the supply problems by liaising closely with our supply partners and ensuring it secures stock of timber and other materials when every opportunity arises.
This is helped by the excellent working relationships the company has with many of its suppliers. They understand the enormous difficulties that contractors and sub-contractors are facing right along the construction supply chain.
Hush recommends all its customers, if they are concerned about material shortages or product availability, to talk to them.
Customers should give themselves more time, so they can build in longer lead times where necessary. Therefore, all concerned can minimise the likelihood of unexpected project delays.
Also, be open to the idea of using a different combination of materials. Hush can guide you to a solution that will meet the minimum performance requirements of the UK Building Regulations. This includes Approved Document E (England and Wales), despite the proposed materials and methodology being slightly unfamiliar. And if that needs a new skillset for installers, we can help train them too.
To discuss any acoustic solution for your latest building project, contact Hush online or call 0151 268 0525.
44 Canal Street,
Phone: 0151 933 2026
Fax: 0151 944 1146
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