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Old 20th December 2010
  #1
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Practice Space Build

I've been looking around this site and others for a few months and learning and I'm ready to start my practice space build. I have a few questions and would not mind a few overviews on my build plan. No recording happening here, at least that is not its purpose. I intend to build a 10x12 room within a room in my detached garage for the purpose of sound isolation. Down to specifics:
  • Garage is concrete slab with cinder block walls
  • Garage dimensions are 11x30x8
  • Closest neighbor is about 100 feet away
  • Room within a room construction, 10x12 staggered stud walls (2x6 top/bottom)
  • Ceiling floating on new walls that have been anchored to slab
  • Using guitars, bass and drums
Now to the questions. I am working on a limited budget and the goal here is sound isolation. I had planned on building this room in a manner so I can add to it if the need arises. I planned for staggered stud walls with a single layer of drywall on the inside and outside.

Would I be better suited filling the walls with insulation or by adding additional layers of drywall?

How much benefit can I see by adding additional layers of drywall?

The Cocoon GreenFiber is something I'm looking at for insulation but I'm curious if anyone has used it yet in a build and what the results were. Here is a link to a Google Search that will give you a PDF of their STC ratings.

If the GreenFiber is no good what are my options for insulation?
Loose fill insulation would be ideal.. I can just press the stuff in before I close up my walls.


Old 20th December 2010
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomix78 View Post
Now to the questions. I am working on a limited budget and the goal here is sound isolation. I had planned on building this room in a manner so I can add to it if the need arises. I planned for staggered stud walls with a single layer of drywall on the inside and outside.
A staggered stud wall does not offer good isolation with a ceiling coupling the whole structure. You would be better off with isolated stud walls and place the interior ceiling on the interior wall.

How much isolation, in decibels, do you need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomix78 View Post
Would I be better suited filling the walls with insulation or by adding additional layers of drywall?
Insulation adds damping to the cavity (air space) between isolating walls. Insulation in the cavity improves the transmission loss by lowering the MAM resonance. Insulation does not improve the STL by it's own mass, but as a byproduct of it's damping the cavity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomix78 View Post
How much benefit can I see by adding additional layers of drywall?
A lot. See attached walls drawing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomix78 View Post
The Cocoon GreenFiber is something I'm looking at for insulation but I'm curious if anyone has used it yet in a build and what the results were. Here is a link to a Google Search that will give you a PDF of their STC ratings.
If they are quoting STC ratings - that's just weird. They should be able to quote NRC ratings (absorption coefficients) but Cellulose fiber is not sound blocking material. FYI, cellulose fiber is fine for cavity fills but is not as effective as fiberglass building insulation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomix78 View Post
If the GreenFiber is no good what are my options for insulation?
Loose fill insulation would be ideal.. I can just press the stuff in before I close up my walls.
R-19 (depending on stud width) with frk (paper backing) is easily put up before drywall. All you need is a staple gun. Cellulose fiber, however, must be 'blown in' or put in by hand (it gets real messy). And you have to tack plastic or netting over the frame leaving an opening at the top for filling. One problem with cellulose fiber is that is settles leaving a gap at the top after as little as a year. This fiber is also quite heavy and can couple isolated walls - especially if it gets damp.

Cheers,
John
Attached Thumbnails
Practice Space Build-walls.gif  

Last edited by jhbrandt; 20th December 2010 at 02:45 PM.. Reason: forgot attachment
Old 21st December 2010
  #3
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Thank you very much for your reply John, it was very informative. In regards to the attached image, what do you think the stc rating would be for the "Remove Two Plasterboards" method without using any insulation. As insulation is the most expensive material I would be working with I'd love to spend a little bit more and add more mass.

I could switch to 2x4 walls with the inside wall with one layer of drywall on the inside and on the outside wall with one layer on the outside. I have the room, the only thing I'm really short on is cash.

I could conceivably build two separate structures within the garage space. Basically two boxes, two doors. It would shrink my space but I could use more of the length of the garage than I am now.
Old 21st December 2010
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomix78 View Post
. In regards to the attached image, what do you think the stc rating would be for the "Remove Two Plasterboards" method without using any insulation. As insulation is the most expensive material I would be working with I'd love to spend a little bit more and add more mass.
Insulation is the cheapest way to increase the tound isolation provided by a lightweight structure. Insulation can increase the STC up to 10-12 points. The insualtion used is normal wall insulation. Amazing value per dollar.

Andre
Old 21st December 2010
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
Insulation is the cheapest way to increase the tound isolation provided by a lightweight structure. Insulation can increase the STC up to 10-12 points. The insualtion used is normal wall insulation. Amazing value per dollar.
Hmm, maybe I'm missing something then. Where are some good places around Philadelphia PA to price the insulation out at? I looked at one of the chain home improvement stores and looks like the going rate for R19 is $30 between each set of studs... that could be an extra $300 a wall. Does the really cheap insulation do anything?
Old 21st December 2010
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomix78 View Post
Hmm, maybe I'm missing something then. Where are some good places around Philadelphia PA to price the insulation out at? I looked at one of the chain home improvement stores and looks like the going rate for R19 is $30 between each set of studs... that could be an extra $300 a wall. Does the really cheap insulation do anything?
Really cheap insulation is the best material for in wall isolation improvement. You can get the more expensive stuff, but it will do less. Especially for music isolation. For suppliers check out the usual local home construction suspects for starters. Home Depot, Lowes, etc. If there is an SPI, them also.

Good luck!

Andre
Old 21st December 2010
  #7
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Thanks Andre, I would not have guessed that. Would this R13 stuff work for my purposes?

If so I guess my new plan would be two create my structure as like a 10x14 with the inside covered in drywall and the outside covered in insulation. My second structure would be 11x15 with the insulation on the inside and my drywall on the outside. With this I should be able to reach near STC 57 numbers which I think would be more than adequate.

Should I create 2 ceilings or will one suffice?
Old 21st December 2010
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomix78 View Post
Thanks Andre, I would not have guessed that. Would this R13 stuff work for my purposes?

If so I guess my new plan would be two create my structure as like a 10x14 with the inside covered in drywall and the outside covered in insulation. My second structure would be 11x15 with the insulation on the inside and my drywall on the outside. With this I should be able to reach near STC 57 numbers which I think would be more than adequate.

Should I create 2 ceilings or will one suffice?
R13 will work, R19 will be better. They are the same insulation materail, only R19 is thicker.

The wall structure sounds fine.

Definitely 2 leafs to the ceiling/roof. This is not so much for your neighbors, but isolation from thunder and rain noise. Rain noise particularly as that is many bullets/pellets/rimshots against the roof.

John:

Any revisions? I think I have picked up all the relevant points.

Enjoy!

Andre
Old 22nd December 2010
  #9
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Can I use the existing walls as my first leaf? This could lower my cost considerably but I'm uncertain of the impact. I have included an image (please excuse the rough mockup, top down view) to demonstrate what I'm thinking. The black walls are the existing cinderblock walls. I could attach 2x4 studs to the existing wall and line with R13 insulation. Then box off the space with a new wall. Then I could create my room inside using drywall for the interior and R13 for exterior. Space between could be roughly 6 inches. The interior room would have a ceiling built in the same manner. Would this work well enough for a practice space? I'm trying to keep this in the $600-$700 range otherwise I might be better suited finding a monthly rental. This build would work with my budget. Thanks!


Old 22nd December 2010
  #10
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That sould work great. Especially with the outer leaf being cinder block.

Andre
Old 22nd December 2010
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
That sould work great. Especially with the outer leaf being cinder block.

Andre
Great! I got my build priced and finalized then. I'll create a build thread when I start. Thanks again!
Old 22nd December 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomix78 View Post
Can I use the existing walls as my first leaf? This could lower my cost considerably but I'm uncertain of the impact. I have included an image (please excuse the rough mockup, top down view) to demonstrate what I'm thinking. The black walls are the existing cinderblock walls. I could attach 2x4 studs to the existing wall and line with R13 insulation. Then box off the space with a new wall. Then I could create my room inside using drywall for the interior and R13 for exterior. Space between could be roughly 6 inches. The interior room would have a ceiling built in the same manner. Would this work well enough for a practice space? I'm trying to keep this in the $600-$700 range otherwise I might be better suited finding a monthly rental. This build would work with my budget. Thanks!



Why you need to put studs on the cinder blocks? If you want to support the insulation you can create a fence with chicken-wire and support the fence with big screws on the cinder blocks.

Have a look on this chart too

STC Chart

Nikolas
Old 22nd December 2010
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not sure if even that would be necessary. move the inner leaf walls outward... no insulation at all on the cinders. more cubic volume for the interior. The only outer leaf wall I would create would be the one that divides the structure.

i've been wrong before, so since Andre didn't mention this already, I assume this is going to be another case.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johndykstra View Post
not sure if even that would be necessary. move the inner leaf walls outward... no insulation at all on the cinders. more cubic volume for the interior. The only outer leaf wall I would create would be the one that divides the structure.

i've been wrong before, so since Andre didn't mention this already, I assume this is going to be another case.
Not wrong, just another perspective on what could be done. A good one at that. The ideal is to fill the space with the insulation just touching, or a small gap between it and the cinderblock.

As posted earlier, the studs on the cinderblock are not necesary acoustically. They provide physical support for the insulation.

For an idea of what (great) isolation can be acheived with the studs attached to the cinder block wall, have a look at fig 4 in IR 586.

Congratulations on researching before building. It has paid for itself immensely!

Enjoy!

Andre
Old 22nd December 2010
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
Not wrong, just another perspective on what could be done. A good one at that. The ideal is to fill the space with the insulation just touching, or a small gap between it and the cinderblock.
This would be an even less expensive setup if I am understanding and would give me more space. What if I built a wall 1" off the cinderblock wall and filled it with insulation and then drywalled the inside wall?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomix78 View Post
This would be an even less expensive setup if I am understanding and would give me more space. What if I built a wall 1" off the cinderblock wall and filled it with insulation and then drywalled the inside wall?
What if? It would be better than the lower right chart in fig 4 of IR 586. The question is DO YOU NEED BETTER than the lower right chart in fig 4. That partition's TL is very impressive. Especially in the low frequency range, which is the most difficult part of music isolation. The STC number is misleading in that the partition is much better than implied by the STC classification it has.

Note that the partition uses 75 mm (3") metal studs, not wood.

Have fun!

Andre
Old 23rd December 2010
  #17
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This may or may not be of help to you.

I have a rehearsal space in a residential basement. It is a cinderblock foundation. The rehearsal space does not take up the entire basement. The two walls that are close to the foundation (side walls) are standard 2x4 stud, filled with rockwool (not ideal), and sheathed on inside only with 5/8" particle, and 1/2" drywall.

The walls that divide the basement into portions is a 2x6 staggered stud 24"oc per side (front and back walls). It completely seals one half of the basement, meaning it does not simply connect to the 2x4 walls and stop, rather it continues all the way to the foundation walls, and is sealed to it. THere is a second version of the same wall that creates a small booth area, that we have never finished... but regardless there are two of these wall types. THese walls are sheathed on both sides by 5/8" particle, and on the inside only by 1/2" drywall... oh, and again filled with rockwool.

We created a ceiling by simply stuffing the cavity with rockwool, and attaching a layer of particle and drywall.

The side walls (2x4) do very little, as they have holes in them that lead out to glass block windows on the foundation walls. We beefed up the window sill as much as possible, but frankly it doesn't matter, as there is clearly a weak link in the shell... that being nothing between us and the outside world but a glass block window (four actually).

Standing outside the house, with a 5 piece rock band at full volume, you can hear it within say... 10' of the house, though the volume drops off quickly. Right next to the house, you could sing along... at 10' you can "detect that there is something". Neighbors have said they have no idea when we are practicing, except for the fact that we all come outside and smoke cigarettes. Keep in mind, neighbors here are no more than 20' between houses... if that. The sound of what you can hear is very "pingy". That's to say, you can definately tell that what you are hearing is coming through the glass block. Sounds like the glass does when you knock on it.

Inside the house is another story altogether. We are quite audible, on the first floor especially. More so even than in the adjacent basement space. Second floor is ok. we were able to use a bedroom as a control room and get a good amount of isolation.


Sorry these results don't contain more science and numbers in terms of isolation or reduction. Just real world observations. I built this room before I met any of the good folks here. I would have done a few things differently, saved a lot of money, probably ended up with a bit more isolation and physical head room. Having said all of that, the room is a success. Not a single noise complaint in 5+ years of practice.



If your closest neighbor is 100' away, and you are not worried about who will hear you in your own house, I would simply build a single, floating interior shell... with the additional leaf for separating the garage. You may want to insulate the roof line of the garage and beef up that leaf as well.


If there is a sleeping baby in the house, and you guys play death metal, a more robust approach may be a good idea. Though I just saw this is a detached garage... hmmm....
Old 26th December 2010
  #18
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Sorry guys, I have been offline. Internet problems.
Good info John. Yeah, glass block offers poor sound isolation.

Atomix,

You have been given some very good advice here.

How much isolation do you really need?

Actually, Andre's example is for 75mm 'Z' channel or resilient channel. - not steel studs. (see attached) - Isolation clips on 2 X 2s with hat channel would further improve the STL. Fill the cavities with fluffy stuff. Owens/Corning R-13 would be adequate here and very inexpensive. Use 24" spacing between vertical 2 X 2s for lower MAM resonance (better LF isolation).

Cheers,
John
Attached Thumbnails
Practice Space Build-block-resilient-channel.jpg  
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