Ash deafening, or 'pugging' (occasionally mistakenly referred to as ‘deadening’) was traditionally used in the construction of buildings in Scotland to provide sound insulation in timber separating floors (floors designed to restrict the passage of sound between the spaces above and below the floor). It is commonly found in Georgian, Victorian, traditional tenement and four-in-a-block dwellings built before 1919. After 1930 separating floor constructions tended to become lighter, using ‘quilt’ insulating materials such as mineral wool instead.
Deafening generally comprises 70mm of ash and small stones from builder’s rubble. This usually rests on timber boards referred to as ‘deafening boards’ above a suspended ceiling. Two common configurations are illustrated below.
Problems or poor performance of deafening can be caused by lack of cover between joists and walls, or where deafening has been removed or moved during alterations to buildings. Water leaks can also wash deafening into the ceiling or wall constructions, and can damage plaster.
Ash deafening can now be difficult to source, and alternatives such as graded stone chips, dry sand or other crushed dense materials may be used instead. If sand or other fine particles are used, a lining sheet may be required to prevent particles falling between the deafening boards. Ash deafening typically has a mass of around 70 to 80 kg/m2, and so a structural engineer should be consulted before insertion.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building acoustics.
- Flanking sound.
- Floor insulation.
- Flooring defects.
- Impact sound.
- Separating floor.
- Sound absorption.
- Sound insulation in buildings
- Sound v noise.
- Structure-borne sound.
- Suspended ceiling.
 External references
- Housing and sound insulation, Improving existing attached dwellings and designing for conversions. Crown Copyright 2006. http://www.gov.scot/resource/doc/217736/0099123.pdf
London blogger The Gentle Author has been photographing the changing face of London, focusing on what is known as ‘facadism’, the practice of destroying everything apart from the front wall and constructing a new building behind it.
Urgent repairs have been ordered to save one of the country’s most endangered buildings from dilapidation while Great Yarmouth Borough Council seeks an investor.
SNH has published new guidance on how best to fit pollinators into urban design and construction with a series of easy steps to suit all project budgets and sizes.
Applications are invited for the Sustainability Scholarship 2020, with successful applicants to receive £3000, support and mentoring from experts, and closing 29 November.
It was hoped the 1.4 mile (2.3km) Victorian Queensbury Tunnel could be used by cyclists travelling between Bradford and Halifax, but plans have been threatened.
Completing works that widened public access to the hidden architectural spaces and collections of Durham Cathedral showcases exceptional project management.
This month HSE is carrying out its latest construction inspection initiative with a focus in particular on measures in place to protect workers from occupational lung disease caused by asbestos, silica, wood and other dusts when carrying out common construction tasks.
Peterborough and Birmingham are the latest places to benefit from the Government Hubs programme to regenerate city centre sites.
Graffiti by Banksy has been taken off a bridge in Hull as the Grade II (GII) listed Scott Street bridge itself faces dismantling.
Liverpool landmark the Everton Library, a Grade II (GII) listed building that has been the focus of calls to restore it to its former glory continues to lie leaking, vandalised and derelict, when £5m could renovate the building, reports The Liverpool Echo.
A landmark on a list of the UK’s most endangered buildings, Shotton steelworks’ Grade II-listed general office and clock tower, is to be brought back to life in Flintshire.