Focusing on implementing green initiatives for your building might not resonate for your current or prospective tenants, but there is a type of pollution that tenants care greatly about: noise pollution.
Complaints can come pouring in when tenants have to listen to cars or trains buzzing by their bedroom windows. Many tenants have endured sleepless nights caused by movement from their upstairs neighbors.
How can a problem like this be tied into green or eco-friendly units? It has to do with the pollution of a unit by noise and the detrimental effect it has on tenants. Noise pollution solutions also lead to several energy-efficient measures that lead to savings in the long run and satisfied tenants in the short term.
How to Reduce Noise Pollution
The California Building Code (Title 24, Appendix Chapter 12) explains the code requirements for multifamily housing. But to embrace a green building that reduces noise pollution, you should aim to exceed code by 5 to 10 Sound Transmission Class (STC) points.
What steps can you take to reduce noise pollution in your building? Well, when your contractor begins your renovation project they must consider these three potential problems and their remedies:
1. Exterior Noise
Title 24 requires that you reduce noise that originates outside the units from both cars and trains. This can be accomplished through sound-rated exterior noise reduction windows and walls or sound proof doors that meet the STC rating. Sound-rated windows will also be a persuasive selling point for tenants because of the ascetic attractiveness. As an added bonus, installing new windows tends to increase overall energy efficiency.
2. Single-Event Noise
Unfortunately single-noise events, such as loud motorcycles and diesel trucks, cannot be controlled. Ask any resident and they will point to this noise as the single most common cause of sleep disturbance. Industry standard is that noise sources not exceed 50 dBA in a bedroom and 55 dBA in other living spaces. The noise pollution solutions here are similar to that of exterior noise, focusing on installing windows and doors that meet STC ratings.
3. Structure-related Noise
Structure related noise is remedied by the small things that lead to sound leaks such as outlet boxes that are not sealed, partition separations that have not been caulked and doors not sealed with gaskets. Double studded walls are also a remedy for structure related noises. When considering a renovation, adding double studded walls with several layers of gypsum board and batt insulations will greatly reduce inter-unit noise pollution.
Going Green: Worth It?
There are many elements to consider in pursuing a green building, that is why we are writing this series to help you see the bigger picture. But, as any property manager or maintenance supervisor knows, the end game is always dollars and cents! Noise pollution remedies are actually very inexpensive for the return that is seen in units being occupied.
The average Orange County tenant is looking for privacy, peace and quiet in their units. Nothing sells a unit better than sound-rated windows and doors, as well as noise controlled units that provide the peace and quiet from the outside world and neighboring tenants.
Going green in an area with potential noise pollution is worth it. It is an initial investment that leads to happy tenants for years to come.
If you would like to know how Regal Commercial Services can help you buffer your tenants from noise pollution, or help with your next commercial renovation, please call us at 714.744.1106. Or email us through the Contact Us button in the top right corner of this page.