731 St Charles Ave. is a $40 million condominium development currently under construction in the heart of the CBD in New Orleans. The site was renovated to replace a historic concrete building from 1965 that threw several the city’s earliest Mardi Gras balls.
Luxury Condo Soundproofing in New Orleans
The five-story development boasts luxury units that range in various sizes. Due to its luxury branding, the architect for 731 St Charles was insistent on designing for very high STC ratings (Sound Transmission Classification) for the separation walls between units – essential in maintaining high-end privacy and ambiance.
Even with the construction documents in place, the soundproof design that had consisted of three layers of drywall on each side of the wall was value engineered down to just two layers each side. While the gypsum layers are more than adequate to achieve the required fire rating, the assembly was not adequate in achieving the target STC rating by nearly 10 points.
Faced with pressure from the owner / developer to maintain sound isolation between the luxury units, the architect reached out to Commercial Acoustics for a solution that had to not only be good, but fast.
Upon meeting with the architect about this challenging issue, we discussed clever design solutions that involved installing one layer of soundproof membrane (Wall Blokker Lite) in lieu of the two layers of cumbersome drywall that had been taken out.
The one-layer of membrane for two-layers of drywall swap saved the project time and materials, while still achieving the original design STC rating (63-65). Furthermore, Commercial Acoustics was able to build up a sound model using our INSUL software to determine that the 0.6psf Wall Blokker Lite was the correct solution – one of our most cost effective and easy-to-install membranes.
Commercial Acoustics was able to release and deliver nearly 10,000 square feet of material to the job site on a one-day transit, which was essential in keeping the project’s critical path intact. Our New Orleans based engineer was on site the next business day to review the installation procedure with the subcontractor and to assist with any questions or unique conditions.