This month Archicentre Australia provides information about identifying constructional defects in buildings, complemented by sound advice that home owners or buyers should be aware of in order to ensure that the integrity of the home they live in or are buying is secure.

Quality design can reduce the impact of noise

Few distractions can be more annoying when enjoying a relaxing time at home or trying to sleep, than noise and this is an even bigger issue for those living in apartments, particularly when there is inadequate noise abatement.

One of the unfortunate consequences of the ‘build them fast and get them in quick’ trend that has become more prevalent in the ‘throwaway society’ of the new millennium, according to Archicentre Australia, has been the lack of attention to detail in new homes and apartments.

“This disappointing trend includes lack of design quality and the use of inferior building materials that do not do the intended job effectively,” says Archicentre Australia director Peter Georgiev.

“It doesn’t matter whether the noise is emanating from outside sources such as transport or industry, or from neighbours, it will be an issue if the design is ineffective or inadequate soundproofing materials have been used.

“When you have a block of apartments, poor noise abatement and lack of privacy is exacerbated owing to the high density of this style of development and the closeness of other residents,” he says. “Noise can come through windows, walls, floors or ceilings.

“A noisy neighbour can wreak havoc on your quality of life at home. Crying kids, constant chatter, yelling, screaming and loud music coming from your neighbour’s apartment is distracting.

“Quality design principles implemented by qualified architects not only ensure a comfortable lifestyle for residents of standalone homes or apartments,” Peter Georgiev says, “but they also help achieve maximum energy efficiency and minimal disturbance from neighbours.

Archicentre Australia, the national architect’s advisory service, says double glazing and soundproofing should be minimal requirements in all new builds and property additions, and the materials used should be quality, not low-cost and ineffective.

Peter Georgiev says, “Increases in population density across Australian cities and suburbs mean that people are living closer together and this has put a premium on designing or buying properties with healthy environments.

“This not only applies to apartments in inner city areas but also increasingly in suburban areas where older homes are demolished and replaced with medium density developments.

“People are becoming more conscious of the need for their homes to provide a healthy environment and smart design has become extremely important to delivering healthy lifestyle outcomes.”

“Noise must be a key consideration for homebuyers and renovators who want to ensure peace within their home environment by cutting out neighbourhood noise.

“For people moving into high density environments such as apartment towers in inner city areas, the added issue of ‘city noise’ is a major consideration in design, including matters such as the location of noise sensitive rooms, including living areas and bedrooms, and the location of private open space.”

Archicentre Australia promotes consideration of quality design incorporating appropriate measures in any new build, addition or renovation through its design and assessment services carried out by expert, independent architects. As well as implementing sound abatement design and construction principles, the organisation’s member architects can also recommend sound absorption methods – by engaging acoustic engineers in their design consideration.

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This media release has been written and distributed by:

Archicentre Australia

Peter Georgiev, Director

Level 1, 9 Strathalbyn Street,

Kew East, VICTORIA, 3102

Phone: 1300 13 45 13 | 03 9859 9950