It is important for condo owners to be aware that by building a separating wall or floor that meets the Building Code minimum requirement, the developer has not necessarily provided a “good” or “high” level of sound insulation between dwellings. Consequently, the level of sound insulation experienced by owners may not be commensurate with their expectations, especially if they bought their condominiums in the belief that they were buying into a high-end or luxury development. Neither will building a separating wall or floor that meets the Building Code minimum requirement protect an owner from noise transmission resulting from a floor layout that positions a noisy room of one suite (i.e. living room) next to a quiet room of the adjacent suite (bedroom).
The Building Code relates only to the control of airborne sound transmission. However, noise disturbance can also be experienced through the process of “structure-borne” noise transmission. This occurs where the fabric of the building is struck by an impact, such as a plate dropped on hardwood floor or furniture dragged across a floor, or where mechanical or electrical equipment such as pumps, air-handling equipment, transformers or elevators impart continuous vibration into the structure.