Impact noise in Condo: Interview with an acoustic consultant (part 2 of 3)

Julie Leduc

Friday, 25 May 2018

What would be your main tips when renovating floors?

 Generally, during a new installation of wood flooring membrane, the co-owner must prove either the achievement of an sound insulation performance "X" to the condo boards by an impact test, or a facility in accordance with a master quote. In the long run, this practice is very expensive for the co-owners of the building. Even worse, sometimes the required acoustic performance is not achievable. Given this reality, it would be much simpler and at the same time much more economical to have some acoustic tests done in the building by a professional, to find the best installations and to make these choices for the whole building. Thus, the hired professional can analyze the assembly of the building and test some solutions and then offer 1, 2 or 3 solutions to co-owners via a master quote. The latter will have to include the acoustic specifications as well as clarify the methods of preparation and installation of the selected materials. It is up to the condo boards to specify the level of guarantee required (type of follow-up, certified contractor, internal or external inspection, final performance test, etc.). Finally, it is cheaper and more efficient to ask each co-owner to undertake the entire process individually.

It is a shame to see condo unions allowing acoustic membranes that display a high level of sound insulation IIC without taking into consideration the errors and pitfalls mentioned above. This practice can cause disappointments, frustrations and complaints, even legal action against the union and / or devalue the value of the co-ownership. In my experience, the proportion of condominiums that have a master quote is about 30% and the quote is not always complete or detailed depending on the building. About another 30% rather requires a performance to achieve, but no tag, which makes the co-owner fully responsible for the entire process. Again, a clear master quote with tested and validated solution choices is better than asking for only a specific soundproofing value by a final test for each installation. Value that may not be achieved and resulting in the potential obligation to tear the new floor. Finally, there are about 30% of condominiums that do not have a regulation at all. This opens the way "at all and anything", since the "National Building Code" does not produce an obligation (only recommendations) for impact noise.

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