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jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
reply to cFern

Re: Neighbor Noise through Vent Return

I would think there would be a building requirement for a cinderblock firewall between adjoining living space, separating the units. This does not appear to be the case based on your photo, especially considering the fact you can easily hear "conversation" and whatnot from the other side.

If the builder is simply shrugging it off, I would call the city building inspector to get an opinion.
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cFern

@comcast.net

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I've asked the other neighbors of the other 7 units and none of them have complained about any type of noise issues.

I've attached a few more images.


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
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reply to jack b

said by jack b:

I would think there would be a building requirement for a cinderblock firewall between adjoining living space, separating the units. This does not appear to be the case based on your photo, especially considering the fact you can easily hear "conversation" and whatnot from the other side.

If the builder is simply shrugging it off, I would call the city building inspector to get an opinion.

Check with local authorities on firewall specifications.

In highrises where I have worked, built in the 1970s, the units had two layers of 5/8 sheetrock on the metal studwalls separating them from the adjacent units. So that's four sheets of 5/8 sheetrock, 2.5 inches, plus an insulated stud cavity between units. However there were receptacles and phone jacks in these walls, albeit in metal boxes, but not caulked or sealed. I believe now such receptacles in firewalls must be firestopped, firecaulked, whatever. But requirements for low-rise buildings are probably less stringent.

Also I'm curious whether the neighbor's return air would be directly on the other side of the wall that says "PAN", or in adjacent stud cavities in the same linear plane. If it's in the adjacent cavities, that means you have 64 linear inches of studwall that are not sound insulated. What is the wall that says "PAN" made of?
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robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to cFern

said by cFern :

I've attached a few more images.

What happens at the top on the right end of the first pic? Almost looks like a gap there.


cFern

@comcast.net

There is a bit of a gap there, behind the stud b/t it and the sheetrock. It appears as though, with a little inspection, there isn't any insulation above the opening either.

Assuming the returns are adjacent to each other, would shifting the top half of the return to the right help? Is having a bend or corners in a return such as this even permissible? At the very least moving them away from each other may... help, no?

Apologies if I appear to be grasping. I'm doing my best to come up with a solution, easy, hard or in between.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

I don't see how you can shift anything as studs are in the way. That return goes down how far -- is this first or second floor? Where is the HVAC? And why is there a gap in your return air duct? Something is not right here.



cFern

@comcast.net

Its the third floor and the HVAC is in the basement, though the return doesn't appear to be lined up on any of the floors – not sure that they should be or you were asking.

The gap looks more like general laziness than anything else, as if they didn't want to cut the cardboard bit to fit around the stud. I don't really know much beyond that, sorry. Hopefully someone still has some thoughts or suggestions.


MaynardKrebs
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reply to cFern

Go to Home Depot and 'rent' one of these Milwaukee snake cameras
»www.milwaukeetool.com/instrument···/2311-21

Then punch a few holes in the cardboard duct pan material (top and sides) and stick the camera through the holes and take some pictures - also looking down too. Then consult with the local building inspector if what you see doesn't meet code (ie. insulation, etc...). Then arrange for a meeting at your premises with the builder & the inspector....and maybe your lawyer.

It isn't uncommon for inspectors to NOT inspect all homes in a development. They look at a random sample, and if they're ok then they assume that the rest will be as well. Because insulators are often separate subcontractors from drywallers, missing insulation isn't flagged by drywallers because they get paid either by the job or Sq. ft. & time is money - so they don't want to wait for anything to get fixed that would slow them down.