SA – HENDRY building surveyors advise that the South Australian Government has introduced a specification – Minister’s Specification SA 78B – ‘Construction Requirements for the Control of External Sound’ which came into effect on 1 March 2013. This must be used in conjunction with the Building Code of Australia. This policy will attempt to regulate excessive noise at the building façade to protect the occupants of sensitive habitable rooms, such as living and bedrooms and provide them with quiet internal spaces under the building regulations.

Planning policy allows Council to regulate through Noise and Air Emissions Overlay maps. These maps will spatially designate sources of noise, such as major road, rail and mixed land use zones. The overlay maps (as applicable) will be part of each Council Development Plan, in a similar way as, for example, bushfire maps.

A development application for a class 1, 2, 3, 4 or 9c aged care building, within or close proximity to a designated noise source may then trigger the building requirements under the Minister’s Specification SA 78B.

Applicants will have to determine the sound exposure category and level of building treatment required to mitigate the noise. These categories are from Category 1 (lowest requirements) to Category 5. Deemed-to-satisfy provisions will apply up to Category 4 (provided in Part C of the Specification), Category 5 exposure will require an acoustic report to comply (acoustic consultant to formulate an alternative solution).

The deemed-to-satisfy provisions in Part C of the Minister’s Specification lists standard building treatments which satisfy the performance criteria of the internal sound levels required under the Specification. (Window glazing, solid doors and seals, wall and ceiling insulation and alternative ventilation systems if necessary).

Ventilation systems in order to meet the requirements for adequate fresh air and ventilation, noise categories 4 and 5 will require alternative ventilation systems which will provide fresh air to occupants without the need to open windows and doors.

Note:  A document called ‘design guidelines (Reducing noise and air impacts from road, rail and mixed land use)’ has been produced by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. www.sa.gov.au/planning/planningpolicies… (more)