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Acoustic Glossary

  • Decoupling:
    This cost effective solution inhibits the movement of sound from one side of the wall to the other through mechanical paths such as studs. The vibration must then pass through an air cavity and absorbing material in the wall. The use of sound isolation clips and hat channels or resilient channels are readily available and relatively inexpensive. Ordinary drywall is screwed to the channel that is “floated” by the isolation clips. This will substantially increase the sound transmission class of the wall.

     

  • Mass:
    It is harder for sound to move through heavier materials than light materials. However, to make a large difference you need a lot of mass. Adding mass to all surfaces after sound isolation will easily block most of mid and high frequencies. Again this low cost solution is available by adding just one more layer of drywall.

 

  • Absorption:
    Insulation in the wall or ceiling cavities will increase your isolation by controlling the cavity resonances between the wall panels. This is very beneficial when used with the decoupling technique. Standard common fiberglass used in construction is effective.

 

  • Resonance :
    Structural resonances can degrade the effectiveness of the three items above and vibrate walls, ceilings and even floors. If a train passes, even decoupled walls with insulation will vibrate and radiate sound. The easiest solution is to use visco-elastic damping compounds or predamped drywall and flooring.

     

  • Conduction:
    Noise that travels from one room to another by indirect paths must be eliminated. Some simple solutions are not to place your electrical outlets back to back in the wall, but spread them out with studs in between. Also, reduce the number of wall penetrations and make sure they are well sealed. Have a hard lid above the ceiling so light fixtures do not allow sound to transmit.

Design Considerations

  • Lighting
  • Furniture
  • Cables
  • Projector
  • A/V Equipment
  • HVAC
  • Drywall
  • Walls
  • Flooring
  • Stage


Acoustical performance of the following is important:

  • Doors
  • Acoustical
  • Panels
  • Acoustical Sealant
  • Floors
  • Batt Insulation
  • Mechanical Pipe
  • Insulation Ductwork
  • Insulation Ductwork Penetrations
  • HVAC

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