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New Mix room - production room UK
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Scardanelli
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#1
11th March 2013
Old 11th March 2013
  #1
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New Mix room - production room UK

Hello all,

After 2 years in leased premises with a small live room and mix room I've decided it's time to work from home as most of my work seems to be mixing and mastering, as well as my writing own music. I don't need a live room often and can hire a live room as needed.

The plot I intend to build on at the top of my garden measures about 5.20 metres wide by 4. The previous owners had laid a slab over this whole space and put up a small garden shed. Don't know why the whole area was slabbed, but anyway the slab is not in great condition so I'm having it broken up, and levelled before building a new slab exactly to size over the top.

As there is very poor access to the garden, and budget is very tight, I've gone for an innovative build approach, thanks to a good friend who happens to be an architect and musician.

Bricks, breeze blocks etc would be simply out of the question cost wise and size wise to get sufficient isolation, and as I said access is very tricky meaning we had to come up with a simple solution. No machinery can get onto the site - no concrete mixers etc, and the path up the side between the houses is steep and narrow.

So here's what we've come up with.

3" concrete walls, air gap, 100mm rock wool, stud wall, corrugated iron.

Concrete walls can be obtained off the shelf from sectional garage panels, 3" thick, 7'6" high, and 18" wide. These cost £35 each.

Not going to go for planning permission as I suspect my neighbours would object, and anyway it will take too long. So I'm sticking to the height restriction of 2.5 metres, which doesn't need permission. Hence the concrete panels at 7'6" (2.286 metres) - I'd like it higher really but I've produced, mixed and mastered several albums at my current studio which has a ceiling height of only 6'6" (2 metre) that have achieved national BBC radio airplay, so I'm sure I can make it work for me.

So my absolute height inside will be 7'6".

Roof will be the same concrete panels, supported by steel RSJs.

I'll post more info on the build later, but here are a few pix of the site.

Of course this means I'll have a concrete bunker inside, so will need to think carefully about how to treat the inside. Bottom line is though I don't think I'd get the amount of sound insulation for the same cost as using these concrete panels.

Attaching a pdf of the detail.

Comments, suggestions etc warmly welcome! Old shed just removed today so will post pix tomorrow (or when the snow clears) of the cleared site.

Just tried uploading jpegs but without success - is there a trick I don't know about? I'm using Safari
Simon
#2
11th March 2013
Old 11th March 2013
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Any chance of digging down a few feet to get more height? I think it's worth the effort.
Scardanelli
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11th March 2013
Old 11th March 2013
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Not practical really, nowhere to get rid of the soil etc, and it would have to be done by hand, after removing the old slab.....I did think about this, but also there's the fact that this site is halfway up a steep hill/embankment. There's a lot of water that comes down the hill, we have moss growing on all the steps up to the garden from the house. So the though of being below the soil line doesn't really appeal, even with proper tanking. Good suggestion though.
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#4
11th March 2013
Old 11th March 2013
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OK I think I worked out how to upload the pix - they were too big image size before I think, so here are three, the last picture is taken from the second floor landing of the house, you can see the garden tightly squeezed in between two adjoining gardens.
Attached Thumbnails
New Mix room - production room UK-img_3085.jpg   New Mix room - production room UK-img_3086.jpg   New Mix room - production room UK-img_3096.jpg  
Scardanelli
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11th March 2013
Old 11th March 2013
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and here's the drawing of the build detail
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New Mix room - production room UK-screen-shot-2013-03-11-20.18.16.jpg  
#6
11th March 2013
Old 11th March 2013
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I'm not really understanding why you'd have the rockwool on the outside of the concrete slabs. What's your thinking?
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Scardanelli
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11th March 2013
Old 11th March 2013
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because the prefab concrete panels cannot be the outside - they're rainproof but once airtight they'd have damp problems. When I first thought about using them I spoke to the manufacturer and they advised against using them in the way that one would intuitively think, ie, insulate the inside. Thus my good architect made a leap of imagination and suggested we use them as the inside skin. Also at 7'6" maximum length panel, if we insulate these then I'll loose a great deal of height. Thus an inside out build using available cheapish materials. Hope it'll work - any thoughts as to why it wouldn't?
Cheers - love the look of your place btw - was in Birmingham for 10 years until 2010 -
Simon
#8
11th March 2013
Old 11th March 2013
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Thanks man. My concern would be that you are going to need significant insulation inside to control the acoustics in addition so you are still reducing the internal dimensions as well as the external ones. In some context I have about a metre of insulation in the back wall of my control room (inside the bunker). I can't see what the rockwool on the outside is doing for you except costing you a lot of money. Couldn't you just sheet the concrete with your wriggly tin?
Scardanelli
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11th March 2013
Old 11th March 2013
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Well that's a very good point. I guess because the concrete panels are a finite size made us think that this way we'll get the largest space inside. The rockwool is for soundproofing so I'm hoping that it will do exactly that combined with the concrete. As to the inside, I haven't yet got to the treatment yet - my priority was to get a relatively soundproof room in a very small space for a sensible cost. You may well have made an important observation that will be worth investigating! If it is possible to put the skin directly outside the concrete, and that gives an extra few inches inside then perhaps it would be better to skin the inside with rockwool and panel. The ceiling I'd want as high as possible so may have to compromise on that.

Do you think that 100mm of RW 3 on the inside would be a significant start to the treatment? Obviously bass trapping corners etc. I had planned something simple such as absorbent panels inside, but maybe I'm being optimistic in thinking these would dampen enough.

Going to e mail my architect with these comments now. Thanks for bringing your experience along!
Simon
#10
11th March 2013
Old 11th March 2013
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Those pictures made me think of machetes, mattocks, chain saws and hard work ahead. You'll love it. Even if I have to bend space-time, the next time I build back in the garden, it will be tall. (I'm trying to psyched myself up here...)

I'd also try to make it work with the rock wool inside. If it's in a condensation zone, that's not the best news as rock wool is best left dry. I suspect some inside condensation if inside the cement is inevitable, but possibly more easily dealt with.
#11
12th March 2013
Old 12th March 2013
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Yeah I think you should definitely go back to the drawing board. Rockwool on the outside wont significantly add to the soundproofing. airtight mass is what will do that. And do yourself a favour. Get an acoustician who knows what they are doing on your project. The best thing I ever did was get Thomas onboard.
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