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How To Soundproof Common Walls

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Apartment and duplex dwellers need no longer put up with party walls that are ineffective as barriers to the noises their neighbours make.

This is according to Pyrotek, who point out that its Soundguard range of soundproofing materials, backed by a little free advice from its technical support team, makes it easy to meet the new demands of the recent Building Code of Australia.

These demands apply not only to all new buildings (including boarding houses, hostels, guest houses, hotels, motels, apartments, flats, aged care buildings, townhouses, terrace and other attached houses), but also to new building work in existing buildings and change of use of existing buildings.

As illustrated, extensive printed advice from Pyrotek includes how to insulate both a brick party wall and a stud party wall to exceed Rw50, a rating commonly required by the Code.

The trick, however, lies in making the right choice of acoustic barrier, say Pyrotek, claiming that many suppliers cannot offer evidence of performance that is the equal of their Wavebar product, which was developed for the purpose.

Pyrotek warns that other’s claims that their products achieve good soundproofing are too woolly to ensure that one will meet the Code (and that one or one’s customers really will enjoy a quiet home life) unless accompanied by test result data, testifying to the material’s sound transmission loss or insertion loss.

With the benefit of tests by independent authorities such as National Acoustic Laboratories, any supplier should be able to confidently warranty that an installation done to recommendations will meet Code, according to Pyrotek.

This has a secondary benefit. Because many are not equipped to measure if soundproofing standards have been met post-installation, the BCA includes a Deemed-to-Satisfy clause, which obliges specifiers to be able to show they have made their selection of acoustic material based on test results, signed by an independent test authority, that prove it is capable of the required performance in that application.

To help with the right choice of soundproofing, Pyrotek provides a handy DIY product selector on-line at its soundguard website, where one clicks on the application in a drop-down list and get instant recommendations; although it recommends checking one’s choice with a Soundguard expert before committing to it.

The printed how-to material from Pyrotek, which also describes how to deal with noise between floors and the noise of gurgling pipes, can be downloaded from its soundguard website.

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