A Case Study in Acoustical Engineering Success

Urban living is all about convenience. With easy access to retail, dining, boutique facilities, and so much more, it’s the perfect way for urban dwellers to have it all. It’s a win for local establishments and franchises as well…when construction goes right.

The challenge with mixed-use buildings

Mixed-use buildings common in urban areas are designed to meet the needs of numerous tenants and residents. Smart planning and creative engineering are needed to accommodate multiple uses and goals, especially when a tenant like a gym moves in.

Recently our team at Seacoast Construction was called in to complete a design-build construction for a gym’s franchise location in Downtown Dadeland’s retail development. The franchise, Hard Exercise Works, was located above the garage level, below condo units, and adjacent to other retail tenants, including a tenant whose shared wall was lined with cabinets full of high-end liquor (read: very breakable glass bottles).

Needless to say, repeated slamming of heavy weights on the floor could quickly put those cabinets and their contents in peril. Not to mention, condo tenants overhead would likely not appreciate the loud sounds and frequent vibrations coming from the gym below either.

How to isolate vibrations and sound

As part of the design-build project, we partnered with an acoustical engineer to create a vibration-proof space, which entailed creating an entirely new wall and floor system.

To accomplish these goals, we built an elevated floor with panels and a spring system to eliminate the transfer of vibrations and sounds. We also created an open space just below the ceiling that moves up and down slightly on springs. When sound travels, it sets the springs in motion to catch the sound and not allow it to hit the ceiling and transfer those sounds to the units above. On the walls, we added extra insulation, acoustical board, and drywall so that the liquor store wouldn’t be affected by sound vibrations.

To evaluate our work, a sound engineer completed before and after tests on the sound decibels and found that we were able to cut down noise by 70 percent overall. Total vibration was down to just five percent.

While mixed-use building can pose unique challenges for tenants, some creative planning and engineering can result in a seamless build and successful business operation. If you’re looking for a team that pays as much attention to the details as it does the big picture, then get in touch with us today at Seacoast Construction.

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