Peace and quiet for a building’s occupants generally means no noise from neighbours or from external sources such as traffic.
But it also means having no disruption from internal noise from the water pipe system or rattling water pipes. This is particularly important for those in co-living spaces, like apartment blocks, where plumbing systems are in use at various times during the day and night, leading to potential disruption and irritation for multiple residents.
With the number of new homes and apartments being built in Ireland beginning to show improvement, more occupiers will be looking to ensure that not only can they have a home that looks good but also one that does not develop any irritating noise and that includes the plumbing.
Best-of-class fittings and insulation
According to CSO figures in 2022 there were 9,166 apartments built, a 78.7% increase on the previous year and more than the 2020 and 2021 totals combined. With more occupants now moving into apartments, standards in these apartments need to be improved and require best-in-class fittings and insulation.
Upon launching the latest design standards for new apartments in December 2020, housing minister Darragh O’Brien, said: “Apartment development has a key role to play in the future sustainable growth of our urban areas, and in particular our cities. Greater availability and choice of well-located apartment development, together with enhanced affordability, will assist in encouraging a move towards apartment living.”
Noisy pipes are a real nuisance and a common occurrence, especially in older homes and apartments. They also conjure up costly repairs and create excessive noise pollution.
Part E of the Second Schedule to the Building Regulations in Ireland details reasonable levels of sound insulation from noise coming from either an adjoining building or parts of the same building.
When it comes to performance, Regulation E1 should be satisfied by achieving airborne sound insulation of 53dB for walls and floors (section 220.127.116.11) and recommends setting target sound insulation values of 4dB better than the minimum values to allow for any risk of poor workmanship (Appendix B.3).
Part E (Section 18.104.22.168), describes how a higher standard of sound insulation may be required between spaces used for normal domestic purposes, stating that 'specialist advice' may be needed to achieve a reasonable resistance to sound.
When it comes to selecting pipework in buildings which require higher standards of noise protection, it important to look more widely at global standards and practice.
For example, DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, is the independent platform for National Standards in Germany and worldwide.
DIN 4109 'Sound insulation in building construction' contains more ambitious minimum requirements for sound insulation for all new buildings, which is vitally important for health and wellbeing, particularly when it comes to achieving a good night’s sleep and for being undisturbed by unwanted noise.
DIN 4109 requires a minimum noise level in a room of 30 dB(A), reducing to 25 dB(A) in protected rooms, such as living rooms and bedrooms, which exceeds the requirement for Building Regulations in Ireland.
This is why specifiers are taking an interest in this standard, where particular attention needs to be given for sound insulation such as in hospitals, hotels, nursing homes, office buildings, or single/multi-occupancy residential properties.
Wavin can go further by modelling the performance of a particular room using the 'Soundcheck' tool, which simulates and calculates the system acoustics of an installation based on different room parameters, such as wall construction, room dimensions, shaft type and choice of drainage system.
The tool enables designers to test the effect of making changes to these different parameters on a designer’s target acoustic dB(A) rating for the room. Targets which significantly exceed the Building Regulations in Ireland and even DIN 4109, can be achieved, for instance by selecting Wavin AS+ among other measures.
Wavin AS+, an ideal solution for tackling noise pollution in multi-occupancy developments, not only in apartments but also in hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, libraries and offices. It is manufactured using mineral reinforced polypropylene material and is available in diameters 110mm,160mm and 200mm respectively. The low-noise/acoustic pipes and fittings have thicker walls and are made from dense materials which prevent noise from escaping.
Wavin is well known as the world leader in plastic pipe systems for residential, non-residential and civil engineering projects. Its innovative Wavin AS+ and bracket system provides a comprehensive solution for controlling noise levels. It offers some of the most impressive reductions in wastewater noise available in the market.
The high-quality nature of the material and specially developed sound-absorbing brackets are perfect for small and large installations. This premium low-noise drainage system ticks all the boxes of noise reduction.
The Wavin BIM Revit package for Wavin AS+ (FREE to download) with integrated intelligence, facilitates fast and efficient design, providing 100% accurate representation of the way the piping system will be installed, along with a fully integrated bill of materials for accurate costing and minimising wastage.
Combining the new innovation of Wavin AS+, with a considered approach to the layout of the whole system, means that specifiers ensure that projects are able to meet current acoustic regulations and client requirements from the outset.
For more information about Wavin AS+, visit wavin.ie/as-plus or contact firstname.lastname@example.org