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10-06-2019, 13:45   #1
DirkVoodoo
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Party Wall - Sound Transmission

We have just moved into a new build semi-detached house at White Pines in Rathfarnham.

Initial impressions have been very positive, but some neighbours moved in a month ago and we have noticed a large amount of sound transmission across the party wall.

Doors being closed, radio/tv in kitchen, a woman's voice singing. At times it sounds like footsteps are right above us, or a voice is coming from our house.

From consulting with a friend who frequents this forum, I am led to believe that such things should be nigh on impossible in a modern house with the TGD E regulations.

Of course, that assumes the builder has complied with the regulations.

The noise does not seem to be coming directly through the walls. So I guess that other sources are through the floors or perhaps reverberation through the ducting? We have not covered the stairs yet (both stairs are built up against the party wall) but the sound does not seem to be coming solely through the stairs, however if I place my head against the flat area where the stairs turns at 90 degrees away from the party wall, I can hear everything next door.

We also have an issue with the vent axia extraction in the attic reverberating throughout the bedroom and sitting room (located at 1st floor and ground floor directly below the unit). The builder has said this is just the fan speeds, but I have lowered all settings and the fan is whisper quiet in the attic, but the reverberation is almost shaking the master bedroom apart.

Anyway, I'm really looking for next steps here:
- Should I engage an acoustic engineer?
- Are there recommended ones that won't cost a fortune?
- If there is a compliance issue, have we any grounds for remedy or is it a case of you have bought a lemon so just get used to it? (I'm quite sensitive to sound and this has been causing me a lot of stress...I know that sounds ridiculous but I feel like I can't relax in my own home and I'm constantly wondering where the sound is getting in and how I can stop it).
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10-06-2019, 15:12   #2
sydthebeat
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have you vents in the walls?
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10-06-2019, 15:48   #3
kceire
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Timber frame construction?
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10-06-2019, 16:17   #4
DirkVoodoo
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Vents, but not in the party wall, there is only one pair of vents that are in close proximity: Our spare bedroom and their upstairs bathroom are probably about a meter apart (I'd need to check this measurement).

The house itself is concrete on grade, the walls are 425mm cavity wall, I don't know if this extends to the party wall but it's a pretty solid wall and the sound doesn't seem to come directly through the wall. But the sound that does travel is extremely audible.

I think the fact that sometimes the sounds appear to becoming from above rather than to the side make me think it's a flanking noise problem.

I'd go direct to the builder but I wanted to know what my options are. When asking him about the attic extract for the MVHR he was fobbing me off that it couldn't possible be an installation issue.
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10-06-2019, 16:24   #5
sydthebeat
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it would be an idea to take a photo of the from and rear of your house... and post here, or pm me if you dont want to do that.

sometimes after a lot of investigating its found that wall vents in close proximity are the reason that noise travels from one dwelling to another.
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