Noise Litigation is on the Rise for Multi-Family Developments and Builders Should be Losing Sleep

BOSTON, April 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Condo owners in noisy buildings are suing developers and a hard truth is coming to light: some long accepted construction methods simply do not meet code.

Class action litigation is sparking acoustic field testing of new wood-framed projects and revealing that the reliance on Resilient Channel and other products, long believed to be barriers to noise transmission, are just not doing the job.

“With noise litigation rising it’s imperative that architects reimagine their design philosophy around sound attenuation,” says Micah Logan, CEO of HushFrame. Mid-rise wood-framed buildings that were traditionally rented as apartments are now being sold as high-end condominiums and patience is wearing thin on the lack of code mandated acoustic privacy. Targeted developers are being required to relocate buyers to hotels, store their possessions, dismantle walls, ceilings, and mechanical systems, install effective soundproofing, and then put it back together. All in addition to compensation for the occupants and their attorneys. A nightmare scenario. How did it come to this?

“There have been many misleading performance claims for widely deployed building assembly designs and products,” says Alan Case, HushFrame CIO.

Case added: “many academic text and reference materials reflect acoustic performance data based on testing from 50 to 60 years ago. For starters, today’s fast-growth framing lumber and the composition of current drywall panels test much differently.”

According to HushFrame’s research, one of the biggest violators of code compliance is the widespread reliance on Resilient Channel (RC). US Gypsum Corp, the inventor of RC has published their own findings that at least 80% of installed RC fails, negating the UL fire resistance rating of the assembly and rendering it acoustically useless.

By contrast, HushFrame has developed a simple, inexpensive decoupling technology, that when installed inside walls and floor/ceilings, kills noise transmission and elevates the acoustic performance beyond what the building code mandates.

Alan Case again: “These lightly framed wooden buildings are notoriously difficult to sound isolate, and the days of turning a deaf ear to occupant complaints are ending. The smart strategy going forward is to educate the building designer with current testing data and insist on a comprehensive acoustic approach such as is done for thermal and moisture performance. After all, it’s what the code requires.”

Developers cannot afford to be complacent about the importance of acoustical privacy in their buildings. There is huge downside risk. Suzanne Case, COO of HushFrame: “It is often difficult to quantify reputational risk in dollar terms. You model loss of future business, legal fees and make educated guesses. But you can quantify the cost to take a building back to its studs and rebuild it with increasingly costly materials. That could be an existential scenario for many firms.” 

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Media contact: To schedule a media interview please contact Alan Case at 1-781-803-3382.

CONTACT: Alan Case
PHONE: 1-781-803-3382

SOURCE HushFrame

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