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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 9:47 pm 
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Thanks for all the help till this point. Measuring etc. is a lot more clear now. It's time to start doing a few things.

1. Remove some tiles and dig --> to see at what point we will encounter ground water. Ideally we want to go 30 cm down, so our final room will be around 2.3m high;
2. Remove the windows and sliding door and replace this with brickwork (mason) --> so the outer walls are airtight and all stone/cement

I'll keep you posted and I'm sure I will be back with more updates en questions...


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2019 1:08 am 
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Sounds like a good plan to get started! But do make sure you have your entire design complete BEFORE you start any actual building... :)

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 10:26 pm 
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I have removed quit a lot of stones and began digging. At a few points it's around 35 cm deep. The sand is black en a little damp, but not real wet. I will wait a few days to see if there will appear ground water...

Another questions: We're going to dig 30/40 cm everywhere --> and then pour concrete for the floor (we will do this when the plan is 100% worked out). On the complete outside of the concrete flour, there will come the inside walls. What to do with the small space between de concrete and the outside walls? if we also pour concrete there, there is no floating floor... But if we do nothing, it will be very moisty --> what to do? Waterproof canvas or something?


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 7:12 am 
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kingrat wrote:
I have removed quit a lot of stones and began digging. At a few points it's around 35 cm deep. The sand is black en a little damp, but not real wet. I will wait a few days to see if there will appear ground water...

Another questions: We're going to dig 30/40 cm everywhere --> and then pour concrete for the floor (we will do this when the plan is 100% worked out). On the complete outside of the concrete flour, there will come the inside walls. What to do with the small space between de concrete and the outside walls? if we also pour concrete there, there is no floating floor... But if we do nothing, it will be very moisty --> what to do? Waterproof canvas or something?


Hi kingrat,

Is unlikely you will need to have a floating floor. Floating floors cost thousands to do right (thick reinforced concrete pad with resilient springs etc.).
A concrete slab damped by the earth will isolate 70dB before flanking becomes a problem.
If you're not building 65 to 70dB of isolation in your walls, ceiling, HVAC, windows and doors, don't float your floor :D.

Follow your local building regulations on how to build a solid concrete floor. Eg. Do you require a damp proof membrane, do you need to add thermal insulation, do you need expansion joints, do you need to "tie" it to the original foundation by drilling and installing re-bar. The building regs should tell you about controlling moisture in buildings in your climate.

Once you know the regulations, then build that and you're golden :D

Dan

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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 4:24 am 
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Thanks for your answer Dan!

Quote:
Follow your local building regulations on how to build a solid concrete floor. Eg. Do you require a damp proof membrane, do you need to add thermal insulation, do you need expansion joints, do you need to "tie" it to the original foundation by drilling and installing re-bar. The building regs should tell you about controlling moisture in buildings in your climate.


I will try this!

Quote:
Is unlikely you will need to have a floating floor...


But if the inner and outer walls touch the same floor you get contact sound, right? Doesn't that reduce the effect of the room-within-a-room? If you lay a moisture resistant canvas, or something like that, on the sand (attach to outer wall) -> poor concrete, but leave a gap on each side --> you shouldn't have too much trouble with moisture and you do have a floating wall. Or do I completely overlook something?


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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 6:49 am 
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Quote:
But if the inner and outer walls touch the same floor you get contact sound, right? Doesn't that reduce the effect of the room-within-a-room?
If they are both on an un-damped resilient floor, flexible floor, then yes. But if they are both on a very well damped, massive, rigid floor, then no. A properly-built slab-on-grade foundation rests on good old mother earth. The entire planet is your damping system. It's hard to beat that! 6" of solid reinforced concrete on a good gravel/sand base is a huge chunk of very solid, rigid, massive floor. Yes, you will need a waterproof barrier under the slab, yes you might also need foundation insulation, depending on local conditions, but even with all that, it's still a hell of a foundation.

The basic question here is: how much isolation do you need? With a good slab-on-grade in an independent building that doesn't touch any other building, you can get upwards of 70 dB of isolation, if you build everything else properly. That's very, very good. That's about ten thousand times better than a typical house wall, in the sense that it blocks about ten thousand times as much sound as a normal stud wall with drywall on both sides. Do you need MORE than that? If so, then you are going to need to do some major design here, and it's going to get very, very expensive. If that is, indeed, the situation, and you do need more than 70 dB of isolation (highly unlikely, but just assuming....), it would still be better to do a slab-on-grade foundation and simply float the entire studio on top of that, on another slab.... properly decoupled with suitable isolation springs, carefully calculated. But to get to that level, we are basically talking about one concrete bunker floated inside another concrete bunker, and a budget with lots of zeroes on the end.

What you are proposing is a to have one set of foundations for the outer-leaf walls and ceiling, then a separate, isolate slab for the inner leaf walls and ceiling. That can work too, but it's not going to be as good as a fully floated room tuned with a very low MSM frequency, and it does have the drawback you already noticed: How to keep the two foundations decoupled, but still water-tight and air-tight? It is possible, but whatever method you use for that is not going to be perfect, and will flank a small amount of vibration between the two, no matter what you do. It's also rather expensive to do that: Isolated slab can work, but is seldom needed, unless you have very high isolation needs.

So this all boils down the basic question: How much isolation do you need? What is your goal, in decibels? Once you have that figure defined, THEN you can look at construction methods and materials that will get you there.


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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 7:33 pm 
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Thanks Stuart!

If we achieve 70 dB isolation, I would be euphoric!! So: that's enough for sure. But I don't think we'll get there, because the air gap and walls can't take too much space --> then the studio will be to small. But we can get close. If we replace the wood and windows with brickwork. Unfortunately I can't find a calculator or something else to measure the isolation of a stone wall (and of course the roof isn't from stone). So, if you say, the semi-decoupled floor (as a proposed) won't do too much, I guess we need to make a concrete slab, build the stone walls and then measure what the isolation of these structure is. Then we can decide how much isolation we need from the inner structure.

Is this the right way to do it, you think?


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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 11:17 pm 
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You can calculate the isolation you can expect from your walls/roof with this calculator:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=21770.
If the material you want to use is not listed then just add a custom kg/m2 for your material.

You need to design the wall as a system. Don't build one leaf then decide on the inner leaf afterwards, as you may have to have different cavity wall ventilation requirements based on material used.

Just use the calculator to get an idea of what you can expect (in theory) and lower the value a bit for the real world throwing a spanner in the works.

You could get 70dB from your walls yes, but I can almost guarantee you won't get that unless you have a huuuge budget for doors and HVAC. The walls are almost never the problem when building for isolation; it's all the bits you have to cut into them!

You would need large air cavities between your doors (think of an entrance way) with triple (or more) magnetic and drop seals on steel/lead lined doors.

Windows with two panes of 1" glass and a 2' cavity.

You would need massive silencer boxes, with 5 or 6 baffles in each, all made of multiple layer thick mdf/steel. You would need to have your electrical entry point in conduit within the concrete slab and then sealed (possibly needing silencer boxes on each end).

Walls are the easy part! :lol:

In the end though, it's unlikely you need 70dB of isolation at low frequencies anyway. :)

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Stay up at night reading books on acoustics and studio design, learn Sketchup, bang your head against a wall, redesign your studio 15 times, curse the gods of HVAC silencers and door seals .... or hire a studio designer.


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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 7:29 pm 
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Quote:
You can calculate the isolation you can expect from your walls/roof with this calculator:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=21770.
If the material you want to use is not listed then just add a custom kg/m2 for your material.


Ah, all right. That's the way to calculate materials that are not listed. Let's see if I can find out how to fill this in exactly. I am familiar with this calculator, via here I did all the calculations, but not with the custom kg/m2

Quote:
You need to design the wall as a system. Don't build one leaf then decide on the inner leaf afterwards, as you may have to have different cavity wall ventilation requirements based on material used.


Yes, you're absolutely right. I will start to build the outer walls when I know where ventilation comes in/out and where power comes in.

Quote:
In the end though, it's unlikely you need 70dB of isolation at low frequencies anyway. :)


True, I don't need 70 dB isolation. And there is not an exact number I'm trying to achieve. I have a small space + not too much money (around 6000) --> so I will try to get the best out of this. And I also see this as an experiment. In the future I would like to build a bigger studio. Even if I could just play/record electric guitar and sometimes drums and bass (when it's not busy here, and that's very often the case), I would be happy. But of course, it would be very nice, if we can reach a comfortable isolation level.

I'm still waiting for the rain, so I can see if there comes water in the holes I dug.

Then the next steps will be:

- Drawing a concrete plan, for inner walls + ventilation + doors + power etc.
- Remove the whole current floor and dig, step for step


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 10:02 am 
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kingrat wrote:
I have a small space + not too much money (around 6000)


I think you will need a bigger budget I'm afraid. Some things take huge chunks, for example: the best AC installation quote I could get was £1400.
You also need to factor in little things that add up, like caulk, I've spent over £200 on caulk alone. I've had 5 boxes of the stuff.

My budget had been £12000 and it's getting tight toward the end.

Dan

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Stay up at night reading books on acoustics and studio design, learn Sketchup, bang your head against a wall, redesign your studio 15 times, curse the gods of HVAC silencers and door seals .... or hire a studio designer.


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 8:27 pm 
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My studio will be far from professional, so I think I will economize on the HVAC-part... Of course I want fresh air, but I'm not 100% sure I will be implementing a heating and airco system. I live in the Netherlands, where the winters are quite soft and the summers not too hot;) I realize a HVAC is important, but my budget is tight and I won't be sitting there whole day. Just playing, recording & jamming a few hours per week and a bit longer in the weekends.

About calculating materials that aren't listed in de MSM calculator. Can someone explain me how I do this? I can't really figure it out...


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 9:07 am 
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kingrat wrote:
I'm not 100% sure I will be implementing a heating and airco system


I was thinking the same as you at first. In the UK the weather has no real extremes. Outdoor temperatures are cooler than indoors 11 months of the years on average.
Think of it like this though. Have you ever been in an air tight room? You will probably answer no unless it's a recording studio. Have you ever been in a "stuffy" room? The problem is not about cooling the room because of outdoor temperatures, it's about getting rid of the heat and humidity you and your equipment produce.

In a house you have passive ventilation and hard reflective walls, you might open a window, or a door to another room. In your studio you have none of those. You are surrounded in cubic metres of thick fibreglass/mineral wool (an excellent thermal insulator). The ventilation for oxygen is not going to remove this heat and vapour sufficiently, on hot humid days especially it'll feel like a steamy bathroom.
Also AC provides heat too. What are your plans for the winter?

If you try it out without designing for aircon and then find you need it, you'll have to break into your nice finished walls to install AC pipework bending inside the cavity, they can't just go straight through one side to the other.

Of all the things to save money on, I wouldn't save it by not fitting AC. Maybe go with cheap laminate flooring and lighting, not fitting a window (this would save hundreds possibly), learning how to fit the wiring yourself, so you don't need to pay an electrician as much.

You live in a country that doesn't regularly fit AC to residential buildings, its the same here, I know literally one person who has aircon in their house. I'm still fitting AC to my studio. I recommend you do everything you can to do the same, it will be worth it.

Dan

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Stay up at night reading books on acoustics and studio design, learn Sketchup, bang your head against a wall, redesign your studio 15 times, curse the gods of HVAC silencers and door seals .... or hire a studio designer.


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 5:18 pm 
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Thanks for your advise Dan. I will look into the possibilities of a budget HVAC system. And I have indeed, I think, not been in an airtight room before...

I know this sounds bush-league, but I'm a pragmatist: what if I would open the doors for a few minutes every hour (when I'm busy)? And put a small electric heater in there, for cold times. And of course I am planning to have fresh air coming in and out and maybe I can install a blower/pump, so the air circulates and the studio get's vented --> if you do all this, would that be all right?


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 7:23 am 
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kingrat wrote:
Thanks for your advise Dan. I will look into the possibilities of a budget HVAC system. And I have indeed, I think, not been in an airtight room before...

I know this sounds bush-league, but I'm a pragmatist: what if I would open the doors for a few minutes every hour (when I'm busy)? And put a small electric heater in there, for cold times. And of course I am planning to have fresh air coming in and out and maybe I can install a blower/pump, so the air circulates and the studio get's vented --> if you do all this, would that be all right?


If you're installing ventilation for oxygen (which you definitely need) then opening a door won't provide additional benefits on top of that. The ventilation needs to be active (with a high volume fan), at least 6 compete air changes per hour and this will provide slight dehumidification, but only if outdoors is less humid than indoors. In wet summers there won't be anywhere to dump the vapour in the air, and it might even bring additional moisture into the room.

In the end there isn't really an alternative to Air conditioning, in the same way there isn't really an alternative to a fridge. A cooler box will keep the food OK for a while, but it'll be soggy and luke warm after a little while. You might be OK without AC for a while relying on ventilation, but it could get humid and horrible in the room and you regret it. :?

I went for the cheapest setup for HVAC that preserved my sound isolation.

I have an extractor fan for ventilation, providing over 6 air changes per hour, and a mini-split AC to control humidity and temperature. The AC has a heat pump to warm in the depths of winter too.

The bare bones cheapest option for AC, requires an adjacent small cupboard room to the studio, used as a mechanical room.
In this little room you fit a standard "window" AC unit through a hole in the wall, then you have a fan and ducting passing the treated air through the isolated wall into the studio. These ducts still require the usual silencer boxes.

Dan

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Stay up at night reading books on acoustics and studio design, learn Sketchup, bang your head against a wall, redesign your studio 15 times, curse the gods of HVAC silencers and door seals .... or hire a studio designer.


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 11:11 am 
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In the end there isn't really an alternative to Air conditioning,...

+1
What he said!

:)


- Stuart -

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