Creative development of lightweight façade constructions in modular housing : The struggle to shut out the noise of the world
Abstract: Modular construction of housing is an industry on the rise. The prefabrication of construction modules gives a greater control over material consumption, promotes standardization, and lessens the disturbance during the construction time in the field. Lindbäcks Bygg AB prefabricates housing modules in their factory at Haraholmen, Piteå. The modules are then transported to construction sites all over the country and assembled. Lindbäcks Bygg AB has made the design choice to focus on lightweight wooden constructions for their modules, which comes with its own set of challenges. The urban densification of our city regions has led to more and more residential building being planned and constructed in areas that are submitted to high noise levels from surrounding traffic. This puts a great strain on the sound reduction of the building’s façade wall construction, something that has proven to be a problem with lightweight wooden walls. The aim of this master thesis project has been to test different solutions for lightweight façade wall constructions, and to ultimately find one or more solution that meet the requirements of the Swedish standards and regulations, as well as the needs of the tenants, and that can be implemented by Lindbäcks Bygg AB for manufacturing and assembly. The project has therefore been carried out in two parts, one theoretical and one practical. The theoretical part has verified the problem with traffic noise levels in residential buildings and identified the critical areas of the current façade construction. The theoretical work led to a list of defining factors for the sound reduction, which in turn worked as a basis for the ideation process. As a result, the theoretical part led to a number of different construction concepts for façade walls. The concepts were first tested theoretically through modelling and calculation, and verified with the acousticians at Tyréns Sverige AB and the engineers of Lindbäcks Bygg AB. The most promising concepts were sent on to be manufactured. The practical part of this master thesis project was carried out mainly as acoustical measurements and the subsequent analysis, where the manufactured façade wall constructions were mounted on a free-standing module. The result of the practical part, and of the master thesis project, were four different façade wall constructions that met the requirements for noise reduction, which were presented to Lindbäcks Bygg AB and Tyréns Sverige AB. The construction most easily implemented is a construction with an airgap between the wall panels, and this construction will now have to be structurally verified and adapted for the factory, before being utilized in future building projects.
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