John J. Van Houten
David L. Wiel
J. J. Van Houten and Assoc., Inc., Irvine, CA 92714
Defects in multifamily construction have plagued the building industry in recent years. These defects are elements of the completed building which do not meet building code standards and/or may not conform to the architectural details or specifications. Additionally, defects in construction may involve contractual considerations and the homeowner complaint history. The identification of acoustical defects in multifamily construction requires a comprehensive review of the project documentation and field tests of a representative number of the floor--ceiling and/or party wall separations. The noise level of air handling equipment, elevator systems, and plumbing installations are also obtained. The findings of these tests are compared to noise insulation standards, established guidelines, and in some cases, home buyer expectations. Marketing information and disclosures conveyed at the time of sale are factors which may influence the evaluation of defects. Additional investigation usually involves destructive inspections of the actual assemblies, plumbing and equipment installations. These inspections are vital to the identification of recommended repairs. The various defects observed in multifamily construction within California will be indicated and the conflicting interests of homeowners, builders, and subcontractors will be discussed.