Residential Buildings

Making Quiet and Privacy Right at Home

Noisy neighbors. They’re a problem for managers, for condominium owners, for apartment tenants, and for anyone who rightfully expects peace and privacy at home. Too often, noise isn’t considered in design until it’s a problem.

Multi-family residential units, like apartments and condominiums, can’t depend on the same privacy measures as single-family homes, such as being setback from the street and using thicker walls. Instead, privacy and sound control needs to be achieved with partitions and floors that block noise as effectively as they block vision.

Codes and standards for construction generally require partitions and floors to be built to STC-50, a Sound Transmission Classification rating that means the wall or floor lower the sound transmission by 50 decibels – more than enough for privacy and comfort. However, even partitions that go beyond those standards can’t prevent noise complaints if there are sound flanking paths, which are gaps or holes in the wall that allow sound to penetrate. In addition, fashionable hard surface floors made of polished concrete, stone, tile and wood cause footfall noise complaints to increase.

STC makes several products that help meet the code requirements in practice and maintain privacy in residential buildings – leading to peace, quiet, and freedom for tenants, owners and managers alike.