The NCC already has provisions for attenuating noise that is generated internally in residential buildings, but has no provisions for attenuating external noise entering through the building shell. However, a number of councils and State Governments have become aware of complaints about external noise intruding into buildings, particularly into residential buildings.
In 2007, the ABCB instigated a project to investigate the feasibility of the NCC having provisions for attenuating externally generated road and rail noise. During the development of the scope of the provisions some stakeholders expressed their concern with noise intruding into other residences such as houses, hotels, aged care units, and other noise sensitive buildings such as hospital wards, libraries and places of worship. The project was informed by a report titled External Noise into Residential Apartment Buildings – Scoping Study Report. A Working Group was established that included State building control and planning officials and industry acoustic experts. The ABCB subsequently developed a Consultation RIS based on the application of the provisions to the wider range of residential buildings. However, stakeholder comments received on the Consultation RIS resulted in the scope of the proposal being reduced to sole-occupancy units of Class 2 buildings which is where the majority of concern originated. This scope is also consistent with a number of States which have already regulated the attenuation of external noise into Class 2 buildings.