Sam McKechnie
Building Solutions Specialist
Studco Australia, Melbourne

As complaints about creaking noises inside tall buildings continue to grow, builders and designers of tall buildings are struggling to find the root cause. Buildings across the globe are reaching new heights with more slender shapes, smaller footprints and highly complex façade designs, but reports from occupants and guests vary from loss of amenities to unlivable conditions, all due to loud, irritating creaking noises.

The internal, non-structural elements of tall buildings have remained virtually unchanged for the last 50 years. Basic walls and ceilings are the essential building elements that divide up everyday living spaces, but they are designed and constructed using 50-year-old technologies and methodologies that research shows are outdated for use in the modern skyscraper.

The challenge facing the tall building industry is not just solving the costly, immediate issues rectifying creaking buildings but future-proofing building systems to ensure they remain effective for subsequent generations that will occupy the buildings being constructed today. Preliminary research on this subject was presented at the CTBUH 2017 International Conference. Now, the four-year study into creaking buildings in Australia, USA, UK and the Dubai has been completed and is believed to be the most comprehensive research conducted on the subject to date. Different treatment options used in actual buildings from 2018 to 2019, a recent case study on creaking tall buildings in London, and a detailed case study about the outcomes of anti-creaking treatment applied to Australia’s tallest skyscraper provide substantial new findings, and conclusive outcomes.