The Better Apartment Design Standards were introduced by the Victorian State Government into the Victorian Planning Provisions on 13 April 2017.
Clause 55.07 and Clause 58 have been added to the Planning Provisions and apply to most applications for new or renovated apartment projects in Victoria. The new Clauses include Design Standards relating to common noise issues in apartment buildings.
Previous compulsory acoustic standards, such as those in the National Construction Code, only applied to intertenancy noise. These new Design Standards include requirements relating to noise intrusion from internal noise sources, but also include Victoria's first compulsory requirements for dwellings relating to environmental noise. Environmental noise is noise arising from sources outside the building.
Noise Design Standards
The Noise Design Standards include:
- Noise sources associated with the new apartment building should not be located near bedrooms of adjacent existing dwellings
- The layout of the new apartment buildings should locate noise-sensitive spaces to minimise noise intrusion from internal noise sources such as lifts and mechanical services, and from noise-generating spaces such as lobbies and car-parks
Noise Influence Areas
With regard to environmental noise criteria, the Design Standards define a noise influence area within which the criteria must be applied. This is an area where dwellings that are not screened from road, rail and industrial noise sources are likely to be affected by environmental noise.
If your apartment project is within a noise influence area, it must be designed to achieve:
- An average of 35 dB during the night in bedrooms
- An average of 40 dB during the day in living areas
There is a risk with designing an apartment facade with average noise levels which may be of the order of 10 dB lower than the hourly peak noise level, and may cause occupant dissatisfaction.
Contact us for assistance
With over 30 years experience providing acoustic design advice for residential developments, Marshall Day Acoustics has the expertise to advise on satisfying the Better Apartments Design Standards and other associated acoustic issues, such as:
- Industrial and residential noise legislation
- Minimising impacts and insulating against noise from building services
- Building facade design
- Compliant design and commissioning testing in accordance with the National Construction Code
Contact Lachlan Deen for more information on the Better Apartment Design Standards or how we can assist with your apartment development.