Commercial Renovation Contractor Provides Sound Walls

By Scott Hamele

commercial renovation contractor

Reduce Acoustic Problems in Office Spaces

By Scott Hamele, DBIA President and founder of Construction DesignWorks, LLC and Nationwide Commercial Inspections, LLC

A commercial renovation contractor, like Construction DesignWorks, LLC (CDW) knows how to reduce acoustic problems in office spaces. They can provide sound proof walls in a number of ways based on the requirements of the user. Most commercial construction contractors and architects don’t understand what gives you the most bang for the buck when dealing with acoustics and sound reduction in office walls. Below is valuable information on how to reduce noise and improve acoustics in your office.

The superlative way to determine effectiveness is to conduct reliable, scientific tests. Sound Transmission Class (STC) is a laboratory measurement used to study the resistance of a wall, ceiling or floor to the passage of sound. The higher the STC number, the more sound is deadened. The table below gives examples of STC ratings.

SOUND TRANSMISSION CLASS (STC) RATINGS

Loud speech understood fairly well – 30
Loud speech audible but unintelligible – 35
Loud speech audible as a murmur – 42
Must strain to hear loud speech – 45
Some loud speech barely audible – 48
Loud speech not audible – 50

RULES OF THUMB – Changes in STC/changes in apparent loudness

Almost imperceptible +/- 1
Just perceptible +/- 3
Clearly noticeable +/- 5
Twice (or half) as loud +/- 10

COMPARISON OF STC REDUCTION RATINGS

  1. Adding 1 layer of 5/8″ gyp to an existing wall – 4
  2. Adding R13 insulation in wall cavity – 4
  3. Empty Walls [3-5/8″ metal stud w/ 5/8″ gyp on both sides] – 40
  4. Wall filled w/ blown-in insulation – 41.5
  5. Wall filled with fiberglass R13 insulation – 43
  6. Wall filled with cellulose – 46
  7. Wall w/ 2 layers of gyp board on both sides w/ Green Glue between layers, no wall insulation – 55
  8. Wall w/ RSI clips on one side attached 2 layers of gyp (no wall insulation) – 56
  9. Wall w/ 2 layers of gyp board on both sides w/ Green Glue between layers, w/ R13 wall insulation – 59
  10. Wall w/ RSI clips on one side attached 2 layers of gyp (w/ R13 insulation) – 60

In our opinion Option 10 above offers the most value.

Pictures below are of the sound clips and hat channels installed prior to 2nd layer of gyp board.

Noise Reduction Tips From a Commercial Renovation Contractor

  1. A wall must extend to the structural deck in order to achieve optimal isolation. Walls extending only to a dropped ceiling will result in inadequate isolation.
  2. Sound will travel through the weakest structural elements. Many times these are doors, windows or electrical outlets.
  3. When the mass of a barrier is doubled, the isolation quality (or STC rating) increases by approximately 5 dB, which is clearly noticeable.
  4. Installing insulation above a ceiling will improve the STC rating by about 4-6 dB.
  5. Often times, specialty insulation does not perform any better than standard batt insulation.
  6. Metal studs perform better than wood studs. Staggering the studs or using dual studs can provide a substantial increase in isolation.
  7. Increasing air space in a wall or window assembly will improve noise reduction.

The bottom line is to choose a commercial renovation contractor that can offer you the most value.

About Construction DesignWorks, LLC

Construction DesignWorks, LLC uses its hands-on approach and design expertise to create and develop a winning design-build team that is specialized for each customer. Their complete turnkey solutions align with the unique business needs of various types of real estate. CDW is located at 6657 Woodland Drive in Shawnee, Kansas. If you are looking for a building contractor or for more information about interior design-build, call (913) 745-4727 or visit their website http://constructiondesignworks.net.

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