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Q about soundproofing

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Anonymous
May 9, 2004 6:54:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Hi - I don't know if this is the right forum for my question, but I thought I'd
take a shot at it here:

We are very serious about buying an old loft in an urban area, and we've put a
bid in on it. The one nagging question is about the noise levels. There is a
nightclub one floor below us, with a live band that plays until 2 or 3 AM. We
visited the space late on a Saturday night just to check out the noise level,
and right now it's not tolerable. Not loud, but not what we want to hear every
night.

Right now, the loft space is an empty shell - it's one whole floor in a brick
building built in 1915. There are 2 "chases" for the electrical/ductwork which
are not currently enclosed, so the sound is coming right up through the open
airspace. The low frequencies (i.e. bass) is also vibrating through the floor,
which appears to be concrete or something similar.

The realtors selling the loft have told us that once we have installed a floor
with a sound barrier (they suggested a cork layer under the flooring), and
insulated/enclosed the chases, the sound will be greatly reduced. Of course, no
one can tell us by how much.

I've been looking online for information about sound barriers, and I found two
products:
<A
HREF="http://www.acousticalsolutions.com/products/blocking/so...
sp">AudioSeal(TM) Sound Barrier - Acoustical Solutions Inc.</A>
<A
HREF="http://www.acousticalsolutions.com/products/blocking/co....
asp">AudioSeal(TM) Absorber Blankets AQFA-10 - Acoustical Solutions Inc.</A>
but I don't really know anything about them and whether they will seriously
reduce the problem.

The loft is in a busy "entertainment" district of the city, and one end of it
overlooks an alley with a variety of nightclubs. But the neighboring nightclubs
aren't really the problem - the owner has already installed heavy duty
commercial grade windows - the same kind they use in airports - and the noise
from the street is very tolerable. It's the nightclub downstairs that's the
problem, and of course the windows don't do anything about that because it's in
the same building. I'm not looking for pristine quiet - I wouldn't be buying a
loft in the city if that were the case - but I don't want to hear the bar band
downstairs every night either. Occasional sirens, motorcycles and other city
noise are to be expected, and I realize that.

I am worried that getting this loft to be inhabitable is going to be a very
expensive proposition, maybe even a unsolvable nightmare. Can anyone shed some
light on my predicament, or recommend some solutions? Should I hire an
acoustician to come to the loft and see (hear) what can be done about it? I
love the space, but I don't want make an expensive decision I'm going to regret.

More about : soundproofing

May 9, 2004 7:04:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In article <20040509105444.09204.00000164@mb-m17.aol.com>,
smartakus@aol.comnospam says...
>
>
> We are very serious about buying an old loft in an urban area, and we've put a
> bid in on it. The one nagging question is about the noise levels. There is a
> nightclub one floor below us, with a live band that plays until 2 or 3 AM. We
> visited the space late on a Saturday night just to check out the noise level,
> and right now it's not tolerable. Not loud, but not what we want to hear every
> night.
>
> I am worried that getting this loft to be inhabitable is going to be a very
> expensive proposition, maybe even a unsolvable nightmare.

You're right.

> Should I hire an
> acoustician to come to the loft and see (hear) what can be done about it?

No, what you want is a structural engineer that is versed in
acoustical issues, specifically sound transmission thru
structural elements.

You're in for a Very expensive fix.

--
Mark

The truth as I perceive it to be.
Your perception may be different.

Triple Z is spam control.
Anonymous
May 9, 2004 7:37:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In <20040509105444.09204.00000164@mb-m17.aol.com>, on 05/09/04
at 02:54 PM, smartakus@aol.comnospam (Smartakus) said:

[ ... ]

>I am worried that getting this loft to be inhabitable is going to be a
>very expensive proposition, maybe even a unsolvable nightmare. Can
>anyone shed some light on my predicament, or recommend some solutions?
>Should I hire an acoustician to come to the loft and see (hear) what
>can be done about it? I love the space, but I don't want make an
>expensive decision I'm going to regret.

Essentially, you must build a shell inside your space. This new shell
cannot touch the existing building. Obviously, the new shell must sit
on the old floor, but this must be done through isolation pads.

You should hire an acoustical consultant who is familiar with this type
of project. You will have some difficulty finding contractors who will
follow through with the necessary details. Attention to detail is
critical. "Cheating" on one small, unseen detail will ruin the results.
A good consultant will make some measurements before and after
construction and manage the construction details. These measurements
can be used to develop a proof of performance clause in the contract.
Beware, however, that an unscrupulous consultant could develop a
specification that, while being easy to meet, will not satisfy you over
the long term. It would be best if you could travel to and listen to a
space (with a similar problem) that meets the proposed specification.

Many acoustical consultants do not like to become involved in
residential projects because the expense is usually outside of comfort
zone of the owner, who will push to minimize the expense, which
encourages "shortcuts" (perhaps unknown to the consultant), which
diminishes the isolation, which disappoints the owner, which makes
collecting the final payment difficult for the consultant.

What happens when you add the cost of the acoustic treatment to the
cost of the project? Could you then afford a quieter neighborhood?

---

There are some moderately effective techniques that are not too
expensive -- such as building a new wall that does not touch the old
wall (use insulation behind the new wall) and a double layer of drywall
(stagger the seams). Definitely use two walls to isolate those air
shafts. You must be careful how you breach those new walls with
necessities such as electrical outlets, airconditioning ducts, and
plumbing. Unfortunately, none of this wall detail will help with noise
that is conducted through the floor, ceiling, windows, or doors. (doors
require special seals, and double doors are best for really good
isolation.)

-----------------------------------------------------------
spam: uce@ftc.gov
wordgame:123(abc):<14 9 20 5 2 9 18 4 at 22 15 9 3 5 14 5 20 dot 3 15
13> (Barry Mann)
[sorry about the puzzle, spammers are ruining my mailbox]
-----------------------------------------------------------
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Anonymous
May 10, 2004 2:02:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

<< You're in for a Very expensive fix. >>




Thanks Mark and Barry for your responses. I was afraid of just this very thing.
I appreciate your help; I wanted to avoid making a very expensive mistake, and
short of the building owner agreeing to let the nightclub's lease expire and
promising to put a nice quiet cafe below, I think we will pass. The loft is not
cheap as is.
Anonymous
May 11, 2004 12:28:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On 09 May 2004 14:54:44 GMT, smartakus@aol.comnospam (Smartakus)
wrote:
>We are very serious about buying an old loft in an urban area, and we've put a
>bid in on it. The one nagging question is about the noise levels. There is a
>nightclub one floor below us, with a live band that plays until 2 or 3 AM. We
>visited the space late on a Saturday night just to check out the noise level,
>and right now it's not tolerable.

The only thing that stops low frequency sound, i.e. bass guitar, and
drums, is mass. Lots of mass. Perferably lots of mass that is
suspended or isolated from the structure of the part of the building
making the noise.

Think poured concrete floors over isolation, with lots of design
work and oversight of the controactor, as others have said.

I would suggest you try to fall in love with another loft.
Or buy out the nightclub.

It is going to cost a ton of money.

Pat http://www.pfarrell.com/prc/
!