Materials & Applications

Interview with Ir K.K. Iu, Vice President of Macao Institute of Acoustics

"I believe that cork-based materials are one of the best materials in helping people to improve their quality of life."

In this interview, Mr. Ir K.K. Iu, an expert in acoustics, explains the growing importance of noise control in residential and commercial buildings and evaluate the possible contribution of the cork in this field.

You are an Acoustics expert. Can you define Impact Noise Reduction?

Impact noise reduction can refer to the improvement of impact sound insulation by means of a floor covering, according to ISO 10140-5. It is defined as the reduction of the impact sound pressure levels, measured in the receiving room, after the installation of a floor covering on a 140 mm thick reinforced concrete slab.

“Recent research has proven how sound insulation deeply correlates with productivity and concentration.”

Ir K.K. Iu

What are the main causes of structure-borne noise? Can you identify some examples?

Structure-borne noise is caused by vibration. Typical examples in a residential building are human footsteps, children’s playing and jumping, water pumps and lift machine vibrations. While in commercial buildings, chiller and pump vibrations are the main causes.

“Indoor acoustic performance is a very essential factor for the quality of life. I believe that cork-based materials are one of the best materials in helping people to improve their quality of life.”

Ir K.K. Iu

What is the impact of sound insulation on people’s daily lives?

Recent research has proven how sound insulation deeply correlates with productivity and concentration. Poor acoustical environments affect health and will increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

What are the current main concerns in terms of building acoustics?

The current main concerns are how to reduce airborne and structure-borne sound transmission in designing buildings that require a reasonable degree of acoustic comfort and privacy.

Are there any concerns that are specific to Hong Kong or do you believe the problem is global?

Most of the countries and cities have their own laws and regulations on the requirements of structure-borne noise insulation. Concern specifically to Hong Kong is that there is no building regulation about indoor noise insulation.

What are the key features of the materials used to resolve the aforementioned problems? Which of these are linked to cork-based materials?

To reduce structure-borne noise, vibration isolation is the most effective measure. Cork-based material is a resilient material that can be used to provide vibration isolation with good damping effect

Indoor acoustic performance is a very essential factor for the quality of life. I believe that cork-based materials are one of the best materials in helping people to improve their quality of life.

“The challenge in the building acoustics market is how to introduce cork-based material to architects and consultants, who would put it in their building design to reduce impact noise.”

Ir K.K. Iu

How do you see the evolution of materials and systems in this specific market (N&V)?

Cork-based materials have been used in many other industries for centuries. The challenge in the building acoustics market is how to introduce cork-based material to architects and consultants, who would put it in their building design to reduce impact noise.

Is the environmental impact of construction and the sustainability of materials important? Why?

Yes. Shortage of natural resources, global warming and environmental pollutions are our main concerns for sustainable development. Promotion of green products is very essential in achieving this world mission.

Sobre Ir K.K. Iu

Com formação em engenharia pela Universidade de Hong Kong, Ir K.K. Iu tem mais de 35 anos de experiência nas áreas da acústica e do controlo de ruído. Foi presidente do Instituto de Acústica de Hong Kong (Hong Kong Institute of Acoustics) e atualmente vice-presidente do Instituto de Acústica de Macau (Macau Institute of Acoustics).

Atualmente, é diretor técnico e executivo da NAP Acoustics, empresa sediada em Hong Kong, especializada no design, criação e instalação de soluções de acústica e em produtos destinados ao controlo de ruído e vibrações.

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