Lakeshore Multi-Family Development – Case Study

Lakeshore Multifamily Development

The Lakeshore Apartments in Colorado was a redevelopment project in which an existing commercial building was turned into eight individual apartment units. The largest challenge of this renovation was achieving the IBC building code 1207.1 requirement of an STC of 50 for demising walls.

Not meeting building codes can make for unsatisfied residents, annoyed management, and even mean legal repercussions. Therefore, it was very important for Lakeshore Apartments to meet this code as quickly and low-cost as possible.

The original construction had six demising walls separating each space built of 2×6 studs, 16” oc with 1 layer of drywall on each side, for an STC of 45. This STC rating was acceptable when the property only held commercial tenants, but needed a cost-effective solution to bring it up to code as a residential space.

Commercial Acoustics used state-of-the-art sound modeling to predict the STC improvement various construction methods would create. Soundproofing treatments, such as adding resilient channels, were initially considered but not viable as it would remove too much livable space. Instead, the developer decided to add a layer of Wall Blokker Pro sound membrane on top of the existing drywall with another layer of 5/8” drywall as the finished layer.

The installation of Wall Blokker Pro effectively helped them to raise their STC from 45 to 50, meeting the necessary building code. It also limited their construction schedule and cost while allowing for more livable space in the units.

To learn more about how Commercial Acoustics has assisted other multi-family developments in soundproofing, read here.

I Love Kickboxing – Case Study

Kickboxing studio

I Love Kickboxing, a kickboxing studio in Alpharetta, Georgia, builds out their gyms in existing retail spaces with other neighboring businesses. They came to Commercial Acoustics with the task of keeping loud music and workout noise from entering neighboring spaces, as well as keeping construction costs down in the building of a new studio space.

The solution? Using our Wall Blokker Pro over the existing layer of drywall and a finish layer of 5/8” drywall to achieve an STC of 55 in their demising walls. Wall Blokker Pro can be installed below the exposed surface of the wall during the construction phase of new projects to reduce noise by up to 75%.

Using the Wall Blokker Pro over the exsiting drywall kept I Love Kickboxing from having demolition costs and from having to build a second wall, allowing them to keep more workout space available for clients. It will also prevent noise complaints, keeping both management and neighbors more satisfied and productive.

If you are interested in learning about the sound treatment of workout spaces, refer to this case study for more information.

Do you have a question about acoustical treatments for gyms? Please contact us here.

Sound Blocking the Quality Distribution Inc. Headquarters – Case Study

QDI case study truck

When Quality Distribution Inc. decided to move its headquarters and 250 employees to a newly renovated 45,000-square-foot office space in downtown Tampa, creating the optimal work environment was a priority. A study by Gensler found that only one in four U.S. employees are currently in optimal workplace environments, leaving the rest to struggle with decreased productivity, less innovation, and low workplace morale. QDI wanted to avoid this problem by decreasing noise disturbances in their new headquarters.

Along with a hyper-customized interior buildout which included shipping container offices, a 25’ high exposed concrete deck and a blend of modern and industrial furniture, acoustical treatments were implemented throughout. QDI is a trucking company which relies on customer service and sales team members making calls within an open bullpen area. A sound masking system was already installed throughout the two bullpen spaces to increase privacy and speech intelligibility, necessary to maintain a high-performance environment.

Because of the tall deck height and visible piping and HVAC system, Commercial Acoustics installed pipe lagging throughout the space to limit the disturbance of rushing water sound. Pipe lagging can be installed over existent pipes to reduce the distracting, rattling noise they make.

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To learn more about pipe lagging, read this case study about how Commercial Acoustics decreased noise disturbances in a residential setting.

Soundproofing for Multi-Family Development in Wisconsin – Case Study

multi-family development soundproofing

Noise complaints in multi-family developments are a very common problem, according to this study. Recently, Little Creek Construction in Wisconsin, already familiar with the installation and performance of our Floor Blokker membrane, came back to Commercial Acoustics for soundproofing of their new installation of Luxury Vinyl Planking.

The underlayment was adhered down to the floor beneath the LVT with a Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive that provides sufficient contact without over-applying, which can reduce the performance of underlayments. Additional fastening methods, such as nailing down hardwood floors, reduces the performance of underlayments.

Because of the use of a thicker LVT with a sufficient wear layer and base layer, a floating application of the Floor Blokker was acceptable in this case. This configuration has been lab-tested on concrete and wood subfloors, and means that neither the underlayment nor LVT are adhered down, increasing soundproofing ability. If a floating application is not possible, a single-glue (where just the underlayment is adhered down) or a double-glue (where both the underlayment and LVT are adhered down) configuration are also options, though less effective as every additional layer of adhesive reduces soundproofing.

This floating application of Floor Blokker membrane means that tenants in this multi-family development in Wisconsin will have a quieter, peaceful living experience.

Are you interested in knowing the IIC rating of underlayments for a project you are working on? Learn how here.


ULI Awarded Developer – Case Study

chicago acoustical testing

A large, ULI awarded developer in Chicago, IL was considering a switch to panelized light gauge framing for developments between five and thirteen stories high. Before making this change, the developer wanted to run some acoustical tests.

The developer looked to Commercial Acoustics to facilitate the testing. Commercial Acoustics’ expert technicians performed a total of eight tests on wall assemblies with 6-inch studs, 24-inch O.C, two layers of 5/8-inch drywall and a single layer of Wall Blokker Pro.

The test results showed an improvement in STC by a delta of +5 points in 12 ga, 14 ga, 16 ga and 18 ga when the Wall Blokker Pro was in place. The developer was pleased with the Wall Blokker Pro’s ability to improve STC ratings.

Case Study – Naples Flatbread

commercial acoustics absorption panels naples flatbread

Naples Flatbread, a modern restaurant serving up artisanal flatbreads, recently discovered they were suffering from a sound problem. In addition to their restaurant services, the trendy location is equipped with a stage and offers live music to guests as they dine. Nearly all restaurants experience some type of soundproofing or acoustics problem, and hosting live music only adds to the need for expert sound treatment. Naples Flatbread found their sound solution with Commercial Acoustics.

Commercial Acoustics sent their acoustic experts to consult with the owners of Naples Flatbread. A clear height of 30′ combined with the number of sealed surfaces that restaurants require was causing something of an acoustic nightmare for the restaurant. The technicians analyzed the restaurant, considered its layout, and calculated the exact amount of absorption necessary for the space

Our acoustic experts determined that 75 acoustic panels would considerably improve the acoustics in the restaurant, effectively solving their sound problem. Commercial Acoustics manufactured all 75 panels, each measuring 2x4x2″. The experts then developed the ideal layout for the panels, installing 50 to the restaurant’s walls and the remaining 25 to its ceiling.

Commercial Acoustics was able to fully remedy the acoustic problem Naples Flatbread was experiencing. The restaurant is now the ideal location for guests to enjoy both their flatbreads and their live music events, without the burden of a noise problem.

Hotel Soundproofing – Hyatt Clearwater

Commercial Acoustics Hyatt Condo Soundproofing

The Hyatt Condo in Clearwater, Florida needed help soundproofing their ceiling on the penthouse floor. Directly above, dozens of patrons used the rooftop bar at night and during the weekends. While the penthouse suite affords the best views in the hotel, it is also the closest to the nightlife noise, and therefore often in need of additional soundproofing.

As we’ve discussed in the past, there is little regulation in STC and IIC ratings for soundproofing hotels. However, most of them have a brand standard that ranges from 55-60 points, and can be above 60 for luxury suites. By setting aggressive STCs and monitoring proper installation techniques, hotel management can expect to reduce customer noise complaints considerably.

The Hyatt Clearwater ceiling used a double-rack design with soffits to hide unsightly pipes and electrical, but this did not improve the sound attenuation rating of the assembly. Furthermore, treating the floor above was not an option, since the deck was already and completed, and beyond the waterproof limit of the hotel.

In order to achieve acceptable sound ratings, the client turned to Commercial Acoustics to provide soundproofing membranes that could be installed on the ceiling above. By implementing a heavy-duty soundproofing membrane along the ceiling, known as the Wall Blokker PRO, the team was able to provide significant decoupling of the ceiling while also adding additional mass to reduce airborne transmission.

hyatt soundproofing commercial acoustics

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Ultimately, soundproofing installation on ceilings is the most difficult and took a team of four almost one week to cover the nearly five thousand square feet. For best results, Commercial Acoustics recommends applying ceiling-bound membranes to the backside of drywall to expedite installation.

Commercial Acoustics Hotel Soundproofing Ceiling

Check here for more hotel and hospitality soundproofing case studies.

Restaurant Acoustics – Sarasota, Florida

restaurant acoustics commercial acoustics speaks

Determining the Restaurant Acoustics

Speaks Clam Bar in Sarasota, Florida opened 2 months ago, and with the high-end marble finish and tile floor, noted that they were experiencing sound issues. Specifically, they had excessive reverberation in their restaurant that made it difficult for patrons to converse easily. Losing what we call “Speech Intelligibility“.

This is a very common issue Restaurants and other entertainment venues encounter when they have many flat, reflective surfaces and large, open spaces.

By performing a basic reverberation assessment, and modeling, it’s easy to determine the exact issue in the space.

Acoustic Treatment for the Restaurant

After performing an initial site visit, Commercial Acoustics manufactured and installed custom acoustic panels per the client’s needs, and the reverberation time in the space decreased from 1.6 seconds to below 1 second. This is an ideal reverb time for restaurants that are looking for a lively, but intimate setting.

Sofwerx – Tampa Bay, FL

commercial acoustics sofwerx absorption

Sofwerx was a Joint Venture between the Department of Defense and a local non-profit known as the Doolittle Institute. The focus is to develop a training and strategy group that could provide counter-UAV support for our troops.

The team was faced with an extremely aggressive task of converting an old, 33,000 square foot warehouse into an operational site in less than two months. While the architect and design team was busy planning layouts and aesthetics, they realized that there was one challenging element that had not yet been considered: acoustics!

The site had a number of unique elements:

  1. A large auditorium where drones and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) would fly and pilots practice. This was to be converted from the previous “sanctuary” – a large, open space that already suffered from substandard reverberation. To make matters worse, the team needed to remove all of the plush furniture which was helping absorb some of the current echo.
  2. An open office area where pilots, technicians, operators, and management could meet to discuss new counter-drone tactics. None of the office walls went to deck, and most of them did not even have ACT tiles. Furthermore, 90% of the staff were to work collaboratively on large tables out in the open “bullpen”.
  3. A machine shop was directly adjacent to a presentation room. While the machine shop was necessary to quickly manufacture replacement parts, it was to be used simultaneously to the rest of the space. With grinding and milling operations around 110dB, this threatened to make it very difficult to hold meetings immediately next door.

Ultimately, Sofwerx reached out to Commercial Acoustics to provide support in all 3 areas.

  1. Absorption panels were manufactured in-house and delivered to the site within weeks. Commercial Acoustics determined the amount of panels necessary for each space and designed the panel layout for optimal effectiveness.  Furthermore, the design team loved the concept of acoustic “teepees” or wings, hanging over 6-person desk spaces. These were uniquely designed, built, delivered, and installed within 30 days.
  2. A sound-masking system was installed and tuned in the main open office area to provide additional speech privacy. Where none of the office walls went to deck or had ACT, the masking system was the only sound solution that would be effective in that space; raising the background dB level and preventing confidential conversations from bleeding into the adjacent spaces.
  3. Finally, soundproofing membrane material was used in the machine shop, to attenuate unwanted noise prior to it reaching the presentation area. We also recommended that the high-NC machinery was moved to the exterior walls and a high-STC solid core door was installed, to avoid an untreated flanking path.

For these varying sound issues, none have a blanket solution and each environment and sound concern needs to be analyzed in order to find the appropriate solution. Our team was on hand to collaborate with the architects, interior designers and clients to ensure that the sound quality, code compliance, aesthetics, and time frame were met. By implementing a holistic approach, the client received great results, and on an extremely tight timeline.

If you found anything in common in this case study with your projects, let us know here and one of our acoustical specialists will reach out to you shortly.

MidFlorida Credit Union Call Center – Case Study

call center sound masking acoustics

MidFlorida Credit Union employees found themselves struggling with voice carryover in their headquarters’ call center. With calls being placed continuously by the many employees in the center, background noise built up and became a real problem for workers who were unable to hear over the noise created by their coworker’s calls.

The excessive background noise was distracting workers and creating a difficult environment for them to focus in. The difficulties and frustration created by this type of noise problem can lead to decreased productivity and harm performance.

This Credit Union employed the help of Commercial Acoustics in the hopes of resolving the situation before it became even more problematic. One of our soundproofing specialists assessed the building and recommended the installation of several carefully spaced speakers throughout the center. Once in place, the sound masking speakers play a white noise designed to eliminate background noise in critical listening environments.

The background noise was effectively masked by the equipment we installed, solving the call center’s problem and improving the overall quality of the workplace. The newfound quiet will allow for greater concentration among employees and likely lead to an increase in productivity.

The Commercial Acoustics Team is happy to have played a significant role in the bettering of this credit union’s call center.