Modern urban planning creates tax incentives (and zoning variances) for high-density housing adjacent to major traffic thoroughfares such as highways and rail lines. The reason is simple: urban sprawl and highway congestion are minimized and recreational space is maximized. The unintended consequence of the tax and land-use plan is that urban and suburban growth is now concentrated in high-noise traffic corridors in high-density living situations. Unfortunately, the types of housing built along these transportation corridors is often tract-home quality; attention to noise isolation is minimal.
In multi-family situations, neighbors and traffic pose major noise problems. As many builders already know, multiple-unit dwellings increasingly turn customers into litigious homeowners when they constantly hear their neighbors or highway noise. Some insurance companies now refuse to issue policies to high-density (condo) builders because of the high incidence and cost of litigation.
The issue is leaky party walls and party ceilings. Standard construction produces STC of 34-38, whereas desired separation is usually STC 50-65. Homeowner Associations are under pressure from their members to solve this problem.
Achieving high STC ratings for walls and ceilings has traditionally been too costly and risky – until now. Serious Energy offers multi-family construction professionals a complete line of high-performance products to soundproof walls and ceilings. The installation can be easily done either at time of new construction or as a rehab project. “No demolition” soundproofing is an attractive benefit of QuietRock. The homeowner or GC can simply install QuietRock using standard techniques (screw, tape, paint) on top of existing walls and ceilings.
The most effective way to mitigate condo and apartment noise is to (i) identify and measure the noise source, both internal and external; (ii) set a dB goal for the desired level of quiet, and translate that goal into the appropriate Sound Transmission Class using the formula “dB in noisy area minus dB desired in quiet area = required STC”; (iii) select and specify the appropriate soundproofing system materials for your project.
Use the player below to listen to noise-comparison studies taken directly from the lab; hear the difference QuietRock can make on your walls.
Please set your speakers to a low volume before beginning.