Author Topic: Sound proofing Barratt ground floor flat ceiling/floor not built as certified  (Read 442 times)

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kateandsteve

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My girlfriend bought a Barratt ground floor massionette from new. She has lived in the property for two and half years. During this time she has experienced transfer of noise from the upstairs massionette such as: footsteps as if stomping, things being dropped on the floor, door hinges creaking, tumble driers/washing machines, electrical sockets being plugged into and switched, water running through pipes, a toddler throughout he day crying and waking/stirring/screaming through the night at random leading her to sleep with earplugs every night.

My girlfriend was under the impression that above the plasterboard ceiling an acoustic layer of insulation was installed on build. So I took out a down-lighter in the living room to check. I found that there was no insulation but a void and then pre-cast slab.

We contacted Barratt after sales to question what they have on record for the property. They quoted a robust detail e-fc-14. We contacted robust details and they also had on file e-fc-14.
We also looked through the paper files handed over when the property was moved in to and found two copies of robust details compliance certificates signed by the project manager and senior site supervisor stating the ceiling/floor void is installed to e-fc-14.

We sent pictures of the ceiling void to Robust details and they said that the ceiling void is missing the acoustic insulation and rubber grommets where the metal framed ceiling is attached to the slab. And strictly speaking a sound test should have been conducted as they have not complied with the robust detail registered.

Barratt just keep replying saying it's built to building regs for passage of sound. But the builder has clearly not fitted the ceiling as per the certificates issued.

Should there be a specification for the build stating the ceiling/floor between the massionette? And do we have a right to request/see this?

Any help on what to do next or where to turn would be hugely appreciated.

Kate and Steve


New Home Expert

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Robust Details are standard details that should meet the required performance standards to meet building regulations. negating the need for performance testing of each home.  In other words they are a housebuilders 'Get out of Jail free' card.

But........ there is no guarantee or independent inspection requirement to ensure the building has been built exactly, with no defects to comply with the specifics of a robust detail. All that is required is the site manager to sign off each home as complying with the particular robust details. It means nothing and he may not even know what to look for.

The Robust Detail you quoted e-fc-14 is shown below.  It is critically important that the surface of the floor above is separated from the underlining building structure ie the PCC floor planks and the block walls. Furthermore, there should be no gaps in the structure that could allow the passage of sound and more importantly, the spread of smoke and fire.

It might be a case that around the down-lighters the insulation is kept away to avoid the lights overheating. But as Robust Details said your pictures show no acoustic insulation and that the ceiling is not isolated from the floor with rubber mountings it is clear the detail has not been followed and Barratt and the NHBC should put this right.

The next phase of your complaint will normally involve attempts at no action being required with sound transmittance testing being used to demonstrate a "pass". If it fails, then Barratt/NHBC will claim that it is impact sound, or flanking sound, possibly then claiming that this not covered by the Building Regulations Part E. In my opinion it is. Sound insulation means all sound.

The worst thing is the property is over 2 years old and is not now covered by the builders part of the NHBC warranty. I very much doubt the NHBC will do anything UNLESS the issue was raised with them and/or Barratt during the first two years.

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kateandsteve

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Thank you for your reply New Home Expert,

I have attached two screen-shots of the video which was sent to Barratt and Robust details. This ceiling void is above the kitchen and living area. I have no means of looking above the bedrooms and hallway but Im pretty sure the insulation is missing throughout the property.

We have very little confidence in the wall insulation detail also as sound seems to travel through the cavity walls.

We have contacted our local authority building control board to see if they signed off the build. But it seems Barratt have used NHBC or a third party.

My partner has played email ping pong with Barratt as they just keep replying saying it is built to building regulations?


kateandsteve

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Update:
It seems that Isosonic cleats with pads HAVE been used. See pic.

WOULD THE CEILING/FLOOR TYPE BE LISTED OR SPECIFIED ON ANY PRE-BUILD/PRE-PURCHASE DOCUMENTATION?

And I guess its very unlikely that Barratt would supply this information.

New Home Expert

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The fact is, the Robust Details have not been complied with and your property has been falsely certified as being constructed to the specific requirements of the detail.

It does not matter if the specification you were shown at reservation for the type was different as whateverit is, it must meet the requirements of the building regulations, by law!

The NHBC are most likely to have been used by Barratt for building control as well and warranty inspections. It is much better if the actual Local Authority undertake building regulation compliance inspections. Note this is NOT the same as LABC warranty building control inspections.
It is clear that the insulation under the floor is missing.  From what you have aid it is also highly likely that the perimeter isolation of the floor above has not been installed or badly executed.

Quiet how this could be judged as meeting and complying with Part E Building Regulations I don't know.
Perhaps you should write top Barratt CEO Dave Thomas Email is david.thomas@barrattplc.co.uk and ask him why his supposed 5 star rated company is fobbing you off?

You can also complain about building control non-compliance with your local authority who have powers to enforce compliance remedial works.  Failing that, you can complain about this to http://cic.org.uk/services/complaints.php


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kateandsteve

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Wow, thank you New Home Expert. Your advice is hugely appreciated. We will contact the links you've supplied.

Thanks again  :)