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We have recently passed a new flooring by-law where owners can now put hard flooring down in all areas except bedrooms. This by-law Also has a limitation that the new flooring can not exceed 45 Lnt1w. Once the new floor is down the owner has to have the floor tested to make sure it complies.
We are looking at getting an acoustic test report of the building to have on file for owners benefit (as recommended by the ONC) but I am finding it hard to get a company to do this.
Can anyone recommend some companies?
We have as a OC used, and a number of residents in our complex have used, all succesfully, SLR consulting.
We require (in our by-laws) that the accoustic consultants testing and report be done by a member of the Association of Australian Acoustical Consultants – http://www.aaac.org.au/nsw They are the peak association for these types of consultants and companies. While there are other associations apart from the AAAC, I have heard they are not quite as stringent on their members and the fly by nighters are more likely to either belong to no associations or a less well respected organisation then the AAAC.
We require a report prior to approval for installation, with the consultant assessing the likely impact of the selected underlay and flooring on our types of slabs, then a noise test on site, and then a final report. By keeping to this strict process, we have had no noise complaint issues on floors installed since this was put in place (floors put down before this was put in place have had noise complaints in relation to them in the past few years).
I agree with Happy Strata.
Our scheme requires a pre-installation test to guide choice in the type of materials suitable to reach LnTw set in by-law (40 in our case) and then a post-installation test to confirm correct installation.
After 12 months of following this criteria we now have data from about 15 units – each with varying base (concrete slab) readings. Two units had base readings were so high (70+) that the engineers advised no hope of achieving a satisfactory outcome no matter the materials used.
Those that had more moderate readings (<70) have had fabulous outcomes.
Puddn – It is very interesting, but also slightly disturbing, that the slab readings vary so much in your building!
A few interesting dilemmas are raised in your comment….
I am just wondering whether the unfortunate owners of the two apartments with ‘sub standard’ slab readings are receiving some assistance from the OC to ‘correct’ the problems with the common property slabs beneath their apartments. Or does the OC have an attitude of “too bad so sad” i.e. the OC doesn’t care.
The OC is responsible for the slabs. Is it also the responsibility of the OC to ensure that the slabs throughout the building have equal readings? After all, this is not something that would have shown up on the owner’s pre-purchase due diligence.
Are the two owners with the sub standard slab readings to be forever denied the ability to lay down a timber flooring? Are they OK with that situation, or are they concerned about it? Is there absolutely no other alternative for these two owners?
If little can be done about ‘beefing up’ the slab and the acoustic underlay of the flooring, can something instead be done about ‘beefing up’ the common property ceiling of the lower apartment that is attached to the common property slab?
Lady Penelope – good questions. The two lots that decided not to go ahead with installing timber flooring did so mainly because they were concerned about future noise complaints and the fuss and bother that causes. Their applications were not rejected outright, rather the acoustic products ‘not recommended’.
One lot owner did not test a range of more expensive products and were reluctant to pay for a second acoustic test.
One apartment did not have a ‘suspended’ ceiling below, the other did – that affects acoustic quality as well.
Neither lot owner has indicated they wish to take their particular issues any further at this stage. However, I expect they may explore other products as time goes on and new products come to market.
I can say, that to date, OC has not been asked to do anything about the slabs – although one owner did ask another to ‘beef’ up her ceiling – which was declined.
I doubt it is the responsibility of OC to ensure ‘equality’ of the slabs but if it was that would make for interesting debate. As far as I understand, our scheme was built with the intention of carpet only.
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