The New Zealand housing market seems to be constantly in the news with the government and the Reserve Bank putting measures in place to try and curb hot Auckland property prices. But, with the current housing shortage, demand doesn’t look like slowing any time soon. And with land prices continuing to climb in central areas developers are looking at fringe locations - such as land near motorways, airports, railway lines and industrial areas - for new housing developments. A new housing development at Pokeno, 50kms south of Auckland, is one such example, with high background noise (HBN) from nearby SH1 a key consideration for the construction of residential dwellings. “We have a number of houses in the new housing development that have been built and there are more at various stages of planning and construction,” explains Michelle Costello, franchise owner from Jennian Homes Pukekohe. “Due to the proximity of SH1 we need to ensure that our houses comply with building codes in relation to the level of noise that will affect residents.” Treena Christian, Branch Manager for Compass Homes, Franklin explains that they also have houses under construction and in the pipeline. “Each individual home is looked at on a case-by-case basis and takes into account the proximity of the motorway, the orientation of the house in relation to the HBN, and where bedrooms and living areas are situated in the house. To achieve direction on what requirements must be factored in for construction we commission an engineer to produce an acoustics report which identifies areas of the home that require additional sound proofing.” Included in the list of additional improvements residential home builders can include in their house plans are increased sound insulation, wall-board alternatives, replacement of aluminum doors, additional glazing and mechanical ventilation systems if, for example, windows cannot be left open due to noise levels. “The acceptable decibel level set by the Waikato District Council for after 10pm and before 7am is 35dbA for bedrooms and 45dbA for living areas,” explains Kim Williams, Business Development Manager for Simx and SmartVent. “If the HBN is over the acoustic domestic level, and can’t be remedied with alteration to glazing etc, then a mechanical ventilation system is required.” “Every house design is a bit different,” says Michelle. “We obtain an acoustic report, for houses that are in the zone, which is required by the Waikato District Council. We pass the house plans with the report to SmartVent (Simx) who review the report and produce a PS1 (Producer Statement), which recommends the best SmartVent ventilation system for the situation. This PS1 assists with signing off the Building Consent. Sometimes the plan alterations are quite small but the customer often chooses to have a SmartVent system installed anyway. Due to the proximity of the motorway a lot of houses require systems.” “We have sent about 20 sets of plans and reports to Simx in the last 12 months and from our perspective it’s just easy,” adds Treena. “We get a report back from them with a suggested system to ensure the correct airflow rate is achieved, and then Simx works with our electrician to ensure it is installed correctly to obtain sign off from Council. We have tried other solutions but Simx are great to deal with, they are professional and helpful. The other thing is the SmartVent systems are highly rated which means we know that our customers are getting a really good product. We don’t really want to work with anyone else.” “Simx did a lot of work with the Council to ensure their systems were recognised as acceptable for use and as Simx is a trusted and preferred supplier of ours we have no hesitation in recommending the use of the SmartVent systems to our customers,” adds Michelle. For more information about this topic or information on the SmartVent home ventilation systems from Simx contact us at via email or on 0800 140 150. For the full range of SmartVent systems visit our website. .