A party wall partitions two adjoining buildings shared by a business or residents. It aims to act as a protective partition to reduce sound transmission and slow the spread of fire. The wall is strategically placed in the two buildings’ borderline so that each half lies on either side. Legal ownership could belong to the two parties or either one of them. Party wall standards and regulations differ from state to state. The building codes give party wall improvement freedom if it’s about enhancing fire protection or dampening the sound.
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There is a rise in residential buildings, demanding the appropriate installation of safe party walls and fireproof. The Compliance to Fire Code act states that the party wall should comply with its fire codes. This is checked using the ‘an hour rating’ that indicates the average time fire would take to cross over from one side of the wall to another. One hour of fire party wall is the required standard in most states. Materials used such as caulking, drywall, taping compound, and insulation have to be fire rated.
Simple ways of installing a party firewall
Installing a party wall should be a well thought out plan because it can lead to unnecessarily expensive costs. It’s not only about the cost of material, but also non-compliance in construction can result in costly damage. Before starting the construction;
Select the Design
List out the different design considerations that are relevant to your project and argue about your options. The design gets chosen about the land title, class, and style
Check the Build Ability
Check the design model and integrate the process of thought to see how doable the project is. This includes checking the perspective of the constructors and suppliers of the materials.
Check the Compliance Rules
You need to comply with the state regulations and requirements of a party wall construction.
- Using Steel’ Framed Structures
You can use steel-framed building structures to construct a simple fire and party wall. This design is solely limited to Class 1a buildings where a fire-rated wall separates each residence.
- Using Plasterboard Lined Walls
In medium and high rise building structures, you can use plasterboard lined walls that have to be fire-rated and some steel-framed structures. This is installed between floor slabs.
- Using New Technology Laminated Timber
You can create a party wall using medium-rise Cross-laminated timber structures. The disadvantage is that fire safety measures will have to be installed separately.
- Using Timber-Framed Structures
Timber-framed structures limit this type of party wall to three stored building. It also gives an additional requirement of fire-rated plaster boards and a timber char effect to provide extra fire safety for the ceiling and the walls.
- Brick and Block Walls
Brick walls are NCC approved, and the minimum thickness required is 90mm. Bricks are cost-effective because they provide fire resistance on their own without requiring exterior cladding with other fire-resistant materials.
- Shear Wall
A shear wall is a solid wall, and it is braced to create resistance to factors such as the earthquake and strong wind. For you to construct a shear wall, use materials such as plywood or strand boards connected to studs. This type of wall is fire resistant with an extra five-10 minutes fire rating.
Besides the fireproofing, party walls should ensure that there is a soundproof aspect. Proper insulation is vital between neighboring dwellings. Its importance is to prevent loss of occupant amenities. This is especially important for a manufacturing plant or a building with consistent use of noisy equipment.
Your construction planning phase must involve an expert or specialist of party walls to prevent avoidable but common non-compliance mistakes. An adjoining neighbor can file a case against you if you do not involve them before starting your construction or giving notice. In return, the adjoining owner should give a response to the notice within 14 days or sign consent. If not, and an additional ten days pass, the building owner appoints a surveyor as a representative.
The compliance ACT also states that the owner of the building should not cause any unnecessary inconvenience. Each part of the adjoining owner can appoint a party wall surveyor to offer consultancy advice and guide them during construction stages.
About The Author:
Jim Pulman has extensive knowledge and experience in Home Building, Construction, and Design. He writes articles in his free time and partners with content creators to share his expertise with the online community