Measuring Footfall Noise

Tapping Machine

Measuring Footfall Noise

Ever wonder how we assess impact sound isolation in floor/ceiling assemblies? Well, for starters, we don’t send one acoustician upstairs to stomp on the floor while the other takes measurements in the suite below. Rather, we follow globally recognized ISO and ASTM standards, developed through careful research and consultation with experts from all over the world. By applying our expertise and adhering to these best practices, we can offer the highest quality acoustical consulting services possible. So you can rest assured, our analysis doesn’t depend on whether the upstairs acoustician is wearing their loud shoes.

At BKL, we’ve invested in a DeltaOhm HD2040, one of the latest normalized impact noise generators available. Also known as a tapping machine, this instrument is essential to conducting accurate standardized field measurements of noise transmission across floor/ceiling assemblies.

Tapping Machine Benefits

The HD2040 is lightweight and highly portable. It has a remote control and operates on either AC power or its onboard lithium-ion battery pack, which provides up to 80 hours of continuous runtime.

With our building acoustics expertise, we can take precise field measurements with less set-up time and more mobility than ever before. Furthermore, our team of acousticians is highly adept at interpreting that data, providing thoughtful analysis that accounts for the specific constraints of each project.

Solutions for Footfall Noise

If you live in an apartment, condo, or townhouse, there’s a good chance you’ve heard your neighbours. Everyone interprets noise differently, but most people can agree that noise from an upstairs neighbour has potential to annoy and disrupt, possibly leading to resentment, an awkward confrontation, or even long-term health effects. The good news is that recent updates to the BC building code include new criteria for measuring noise transmission between units. Because the new guidelines do a better job of accounting for real-world acoustics, new multi-family buildings will offer better acoustics and improved peace and quiet for occupants going forward.

The bad news, however, is that the code remains silent on footfall impact noise, so those suffering from footfall noise are still required to take legal action under nuisance law to force change.

If you want to learn more about footfall noise, our tapping machine, international standards, or even the new BC building code, get in touch. We have been solving acoustics problems for over fifty years, and our acousticians understand how to assess and control noise in multi-family residences.

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