We have all, at some time, been lucky enough to stay a night at the dreaded “Highway Motel” where the constant noise from the passing cars and trucks has left you about 39 shy of the required 40 winks. So why is this lucky? Well because for many Queenslanders who live in houses or units that have been designed without acoustic consideration, this problem is a regular night-to-night battle.
With the introduction of the Queensland Development Code MP 4.4 “Buildings in a Transport Noise Corridors” in 2010, there was a big push towards improving the construction and renovation of residential buildings when they are located within a transport noise corridor. The code stipulates four noise categories, each with particular acoustic treatment requirements and it is now up to the building certifier to ensure all Class 1, 2, 3 and 4 buildings are designed and constructed in compliance with this code.
To verify whether your building’s footprint will fall within a transport noise corridor, you can conduct a property search online using the Queensland Government run service, NAPMap. This mapping system will help you determine an appropriate location for your residential building. It is important to remember that a building can be located within two or more categories, and this can result in complex design requirements to ensure compliance with each category is achieved.
Constructing a new residential building, or even renovating an existing building within a transport noise corridor, can cost your development tens of thousands of dollars on top of your normal construction costs…”
While multiple categories may seem difficult, do not despair! Schedule 3 of the code details how to conduct site-specific noise assessments and Acoustic Reports to determine the accurate noise environment at your site. The report, however, must be conducted by a qualified professional and in accordance with the code. These Acoustic Reports are common practice in new residential subdivisions and often result in the construction of acoustic barriers or the implementation of other acoustic treatment requirements to help reduce design and construction costs.
Constructing a new residential building, or even renovating an existing building within a transport noise corridor, can cost your development tens of thousands of dollars on top of your normal construction costs. Making sure you are aware of acoustic treatment requirements at the initial design stage is imperative to a cost effective development.
To find out about the other issues that you should be considering at the design stage, you can check out out previous article: THIS SIMPLE CHECKLIST COULD SAVE YOU THOUSANDS.