The Solution to Minimizing Impact Sound Transmission
Multi-residential living is becoming ever popular in Western Australia, with an increasing demand for dwellings in or close to the city. For many, it's a lifestyle choice fuelled by the desire to live near work, recreational facilities and social hubs. The convenience of a centralized location often means living in multi-residential dwellings such as apartments or adjoining town houses.
Apartment living offers many appealing advantages, however one of the most important considerations when contemplating this lifestyle is acoustics. Impact generated sound transmission between adjoining properties can seriously affect occupants' enjoyment levels. Each property owner has a responsibility to ensure that the level of noise transmission between dwellings does not violate the Building Code of Australia (BCA). The same obligations apply to owners of multi-storey commercial buildings such as office towers and hotels.
The current trend towards hard floor coverings such as timber, bamboo and ceramics presents greater challenges for property owners. The impact sound from these hard surfaces is significantly greater than from carpet or vinyl. To counteract this problem, it's necessary to ensure that hard floor coverings are installed over a suitable acoustic underlay, capable of absorbing enough impact sound to comply with the BCA. In new constructions, if the impact sound rating does not conform at the point of handover, it means the whole building isn't code compliant and contractually, the flooring installer can be held responsible.
Likewise, if a private property owner fails to take adequate measures to limit sound transmission between neighbouring properties, they can find themselves on the receiving end of complaints. In this situation, they can be forced to rectify the problem by lifting existing flooring to install BCA compliant underlay. Retrofitting suitable underlay costs thousands more than an initial investment in quality acoustic underlay, prior to flooring installation.