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Old 02-27-2012, 10:07 AM
 
939 posts, read 1,892,513 times
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Not sure if this is a question Real Estate can answer, but there doesn't appear to be a construction forum and I'm hoping some agents with familiarity of high rise construction can chime in.

Is there a standard for construction in high rises? I know that once you get above 4-5 stories, it pretty much has to be steel frame construction with concrete floors. What I'm interested in finding out about is residential unit separation. I live in a 10 story building that is steel frame and concrete floors, but it seems like it's just Sheetrock and studs between the individual units. I make this assumption based upon noise transference between adjacent units. I'm in the process of looking at condos in other high rises, and I'd like to be able to know how to determine what is in between units.

For example, are there instances where they use concrete or cinderblock between units, or just fireproof sheetrock? Are there telltale signs to figure this out? One of the main reasons I'm considering high rise construction is so I don't have to hear my neighbors, but I'd like to know if I can determine this without researching the building's history.

Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Needham, MA
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Building codes vary A LOT from place to place. I would suggest if you're focused on one particular town/city that you go down to the building department and quiz them about what the local requirements are.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:39 PM
 
939 posts, read 1,892,513 times
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While building codes may vary, I had assumed there were only a few accepted ways of building substantial buildings and perhaps some real estate professionals could give me a quick rundown.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Mokelumne Hill, CA & El Pescadero, BCS MX.
6,957 posts, read 22,303,611 times
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Every architect (well actually the structural engineer) focuses on weight of buildings. The less weight aloft, the less structure has to be designed in. Typically, there will be demising walls of steel studs with S/R which are probably insulated. If I were concerned about noise in a building, I'd probably give up another 4 inches of interior space and build a foam insulated, interior wall.

But that's just because I know how to do that.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Manhattan
1,871 posts, read 4,265,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GustavoFring View Post
Not sure if this is a question Real Estate can answer, but there doesn't appear to be a construction forum and I'm hoping some agents with familiarity of high rise construction can chime in.

Is there a standard for construction in high rises? I know that once you get above 4-5 stories, it pretty much has to be steel frame construction with concrete floors. What I'm interested in finding out about is residential unit separation. I live in a 10 story building that is steel frame and concrete floors, but it seems like it's just Sheetrock and studs between the individual units. I make this assumption based upon noise transference between adjacent units. I'm in the process of looking at condos in other high rises, and I'd like to be able to know how to determine what is in between units.

For example, are there instances where they use concrete or cinderblock between units, or just fireproof sheetrock? Are there telltale signs to figure this out? One of the main reasons I'm considering high rise construction is so I don't have to hear my neighbors, but I'd like to know if I can determine this without researching the building's history.

Thanks!
I saw a 21 story apartment building go up across the street from me and they did NOT use steel frame. It was *all* concrete and rebar and it actually concerned me a little. They used metal studs between the walls, sheetrock with a little insulation in between--and for that you get charged $2,800 a month for a one bedroom there now. However, that's code here in NYC but I'm sure it varies from place to place.

Personally, I think the first moderate earthquake we have in NYC is going to be a whole lot of hurt for all of us.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Needham, MA
8,547 posts, read 14,015,219 times
Reputation: 7929
Quote:
Originally Posted by GustavoFring View Post
While building codes may vary, I had assumed there were only a few accepted ways of building substantial buildings and perhaps some real estate professionals could give me a quick rundown.
Different environments require different building codes. For instance, here in the northeast earthquakes are not a big concern so building codes are not geared toward earthquake proofing a structure as they are in say California. Here a larger concern is the weight of snow on the roof and proper drainage of water off the roof and away from the house.

Not only do building codes vary from place to place but you also have to remember that building codes are a minimum. Some builders will do more than the minimum and some will do only what is required. If this is a major concern for you, talk to the local building department and find out what at least the minimums are.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:21 AM
 
939 posts, read 1,892,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikePRU View Post
Different environments require different building codes. For instance, here in the northeast earthquakes are not a big concern so building codes are not geared toward earthquake proofing a structure as they are in say California. Here a larger concern is the weight of snow on the roof and proper drainage of water off the roof and away from the house.

Not only do building codes vary from place to place but you also have to remember that building codes are a minimum. Some builders will do more than the minimum and some will do only what is required. If this is a major concern for you, talk to the local building department and find out what at least the minimums are.
Sounds like a good idea. I live in the NoVa/DC area, and while Earthquakes haven't ever been a concern, the one last Summer has proved that they could be a risk. As for the story above about a 21 story building just being concrete... that is something I would expect in China but can't believe it would be allowed here...

Thanks for the input, Repped!
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