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.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Ireland’s Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, announced a new funding stream to support Local Authorities (LAs) to purchase vacant buildings that could be converted and developed for community use.
Eleven pubs across England have been recognised for their historic or unusual interiors, as they have been listed, upgraded or relisted.
The Heritage Sector Resilience Plan, developed by the Historic Environment Forum (HEF) with the support of Historic England, has been launched.
An ‘All-Island’ commitment to Ireland’s vernacular heritage has been established with the signing of the North South Agreement on Vernacular Heritage, supporting traditional buildings etc.
Canons House, a landmark building on Bristol Harbourside, has been awarded Grade II (GII) listed status having been built as a regional headquarters for Lloyds Bank between 1988 and 1991 (Arup)
The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has announced a new project with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to improve and modernise the home energy rating scheme used to measure the energy and environmental performance of UK homes.
Sector lead the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) has recognised the IHBC’s professional accreditation and support (CPD etc.) in awarding its PQP (Professionally Qualified Person) cards.
Work to repair a fire-hit medieval hotel in Gloucester is underway as crews have started work to strip back some of the modern trappings and reveal the historic framework.
The Secretariat to the European Heritage Heads Forum has has coordinated its declaration of solidarity and support for Ukraine’s cultural heritage institutions.
2022 will see the IHBC mark a quarter of a century since our incorporation as a professional body supporting and accrediting built and historic environment conservation specialists. We’re kick-starting it by inviting your ideas on how to mark this special year!