Acoustic and Vibration Isolation for Fitness and Entertainment StudiosSep 12 2018 · 0 comments · Nishkian Chamberlain, Noise Control and Vibration Isolation ·0
As Fitness Centers and Entertainment studios expand their locations, the challenges to acoustically isolate noise and vibrations from adjacent tenants increase.
While entertainment studios need to have internal noise levels carefully controlled, acoustic isolation is important to minimize external noise from say emergency vehicles or aircraft and internal noise from one area to another.
Sound and vibrations produced in the fitness center venues (by a sound system or exercise equipment for example) travelling to other tenants in the same building or outside the building can also have an effect on irate neighbors and in the extreme create legal dilemmas.
Nishkian Chamberlain has worked with many fitness centers and entertainment clients in providing successful acoustic and vibration isolation systems for these types of projects. Although each project is uniquely different and poses its own challenges, a typical venue will require that the floors, ceilings and walls be isolated from the main building structure.
Previous blog posts focused on the base building structure and floating floors. This blog post will focus on the “box in box” construction often found in these types of conditions.
‘Box in Box’ Construction
‘Box in Box’ construction is typically recommended by the acoustical consultant for optimum noise and vibration control. A Box in Box structure is essentially an independent structure (box) isolated from the main building structure using resilient mountings.
A Box in Box structure is comprised of 3 main elements:
To avoid flanking noise transmission through common building structure the most important component of any sound isolation system is the flooring and to achieve isolation the floors are generally floated. Typically, the floors are constructed of concrete and are supported on elastomeric isolators (or spring) which also introduce an all-important air gap.
The most effective construction method is the ‘Jack-Up’ floating floor system. This system eliminates the need for permanent formwork and is quick and easy to install thus greatly reducing site time and cost. In fitness centers, wooden floating floors are typically utilized for cardio and workout rooms. The floating floor does require restraint from lateral loads and is achieve with the use of restraint angles or sturdy fixed concrete or masonry walls.
Once the flooring has been constructed and jacked to the required level, the walls may be constructed directly onto these floors. This then achieves the next element of ‘box in box’.
When the internal isolated walls need to be supported to the external building structure, sway braces and acoustic wall ties may be utilized as available. However, a completely isolated wall system will span vertically from the base to the ceiling. In this condition the ceiling structure is required to be designed similar to a floor or roof diaphragm that distributes lateral forces to supporting perpendicular walls. The walls in turn are designed to support lateral forces and are subject to code requirements for shearwalls. The wall sheathing type will be dependent upon the local jurisdiction fire code requirements.
Finally, to complete the Box in Box structure, an acoustic ceiling (or lid) is required. Acoustic ceilings can be suspended on drop rods on acoustic hangers from the structure above. For a completely isolated system ceiling joists span between and are supported by the side walls.
The box in a box construction discussed above provides the optimum noise and vibration control. We work collaboratively with architectural and acoustical consultants to meet the individual requirements of any project. If you have a question, are interested in learning more about any of our projects please feel free to contact Craig Chamberlain at (310) 853-7180 or email NCInfo@nishkian.com.