Acoustic Design / Sound Isolation between buildings / Stage 1. Footings

It’s a pleasure to be able to construct a audio facility from the ground up. It allows me to construct a building limited only by land size and dimensions. As a builder with a love of music, I have constructed many recording studios over the years for clients, both commercial and residential, but have never had the opportunity to build one from the ground up of my own design.

The major acoustic consideration during construction is the sound isolation between the building structures. To address the transfer of sound, the development has been designed to include a large host building (envelope) containing 3 individual sound isolated buildings. The project when complete will provide a large recording studio, a large shared tracking room and several smaller production suites.

Sound isolation between buildings is addressed by separating the structural footings of the individual buildings from each other and the host structure. It also requires separation from surrounding structures. This is best achieved through the use of concrete pier and beam footings and 40mm thick polystyrene sheets. The sheets are laid between the concrete footings and adjacent structures prior to the concrete being placed.

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Concrete pier and beam footings require the excavation of support piers topped with a concrete beam. The concrete beam supports the walls directly and is not attached to the floor. The ground floor slab is therefore not a structural component of the building and can be effectively isolated from sound and vibration from the host structure.

The ground floor slab will be laid in sections to allow for the isolation of sound between the internal buildings. This will be explained in detail in a later post.

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Concrete Pier and Beam Footings Showing Polystyrene Isolation Sheets. The protruding steel bars are to attach the concrete walls to.

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When the concrete is dry, the formwork is removed and the area is back filled with clean topsoil.

The next post will deal with the construction of the walls.

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