Multi-occupancy Buildings:

The Solution to Minimizing Impact Sound Transmission

369HayStMulti-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.

Variables that have a great bearing on the results, particularly in older buildings, include:

1.   Thickness of the slabs

2.   Ceiling type

The type of adhesive used can also influence acoustic rating results. Regupol® recommend Morgan's Premium Adhesive "Resinflex", as it contains integral beneficial properties to boost acoustic ratings.  Flooring contractors have a responsibility to consider these factors when tendering on projects.


The necessity to use a product with proven acoustic performance and adequate sound absorption has never been more important.  Dealing with professionals who understand the acoustic performance of their product (and the variable factors that can influence outcomes) will help to ensure private and commercial properties achieve code compliance.

Regupol® Acoustic Underlays have undergone laboratory and field testing and have been proven to comply with standards as set out by the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

Regupol® Acoustic Underlays are:

  • BCA Part F.5 Compliant
  • Tested to ISO 140.6-1998
  • BCA Part F.2 Compliant
  • Rated to AS/NZ 717.2-2004

Read more about these standards.

For assurance that your flooring system doesn't contravene the Building Code of Australia, make sure you select a top quality product such as Regupol® Acoustic Underlay.  Years of testing, development and proven acoustic performance are some of the reasons why Regupol® is deployed in buildings across the world. The brand is supported by experts in acoustic underlay at Regupol® Australia (NSW) and ABS West (Western Australia). To find out more about the different grades of Regupol® Acoustic Underlay and their appropriate applications, please contact ABS West