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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:55 pm 
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Location: Uk
Hello everyone!
Firstly a bit of background on the studio. It is an old victorian dye-house which had been long neglected. Water was coming out of pretty much every wall in some way and a lot of the brickwork was crumbling away because of it. Consequently the rent is very cheap and was a perfect starting point for project on a very low budget. The project is entirely self funded from my job and I have carried out all of the work myself which has been a great chance to learn a lot of new skills.

This is day one:
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Framing going up:
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100 packs of rockwool:
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We have a 1989 Amek TAC Magnum. Its the long frame 36 channel version. Not too many of these around
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Rockwool going in:
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Then there is a bit of a gap in the photos. I managed to pick up some windows which were coming out of a bank. 25mm laminated glass 190cm x 175cm for £40 each. I know ideally they want to be different thicknesses but there is a 30cm gap between the two panes and the original budget I planned out was for 10 and 12mm glass so I am sure this will be sufficient.

Here is the studio as it stands currently:
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:01 pm 
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Location: Uk
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:38 pm 
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Location: Santiago, Chile
Hi "gafro". Please read the forum rules for posting (click here). You seem to be missing a couple of things! :)

Also, did you have a question for the experts here, about how your studio should be laid out and built? Did you want us to look it over as you proceed, and show you where you are going wrong and how to fix it? Or did you just want to document what you already did, hoping that you did it right?

I'll assume you came here to ask for comments on what you did, so you can go back and fix all the things you did wrong, since that's the reason most people come to the forum.

So, first of all, I'm seriously wondering how you managed to pass your framing inspection, given how badly it is done!! There are no headers above the openings to provide structural support for the wall and ceiling above, no triple studs on the sides of the openings (there should be a king and two jacks with their cripples, or two kings and one jack with its cripple, on each side), no double-top plates, no sheer members, the studs are notched and don't line up with the top plates, and the ceiling joists are entirely inadequate for that span with that load, as well as running in the wrong direction (spanning the length, not the width). And why are you using non-standard spacing for the framing?

I'm rather shocked that a building inspector would have passed that! You really should get a structural engineer in there to check it out, before something bad goes wrong, regardless of what the building inspector said. It is structurally unsound. It is not safe.

Then there's the acoustic aspects: the inner-leaf does not appear to be decoupled at all! The inner leaf framing appears to be attached to the outer leaf, and in addition the outer leaf does not appear to be sealed. It's clear that you don't need isolation for this studio, so I'm wondering why you would even bother building inner-leaf walls at all?

Quote:
I know ideally they want to be different thicknesses
That's a myth, actually. It CAN help under certain circumstances, to prevent the coincidence dip being in the same place on both inner-leaf and outer-leaf, but if the window is properly designed and the MSM resonance and isolation systems are correctly tuned, then the coincidence dip would not be a problem anyway.

Quote:
25mm laminated glass
Acoustic PVB, or normal PVB?

Quote:
so I am sure this will be sufficient.
Sufficient for what? What is your isolation goal, in decibels? What is your MSM resonant frequency? How much mass do you have on each leaf? What is the distance between the leaf surfaces, across the cavity? How did you handle the fire-stops?

Quote:
Here is the studio as it stands currently:
I see a huge, massive, hole chopped through your inner-leaf! There are also many electrical outlets all over the walls, and from some of the other photos it's clear that they are not isolated at all, and there are multiple cable penetrations... So clearly, you don't actually need any isolation at all, and the glass is just for show? It does not make much sense to go to all that trouble and expense, with two-leaf construction, when it's obvious that you don't need any isolation at all for this studio.

And apart from all that, it looks like you are building 3-leaf walls, so it seems that you actually want to AMPLIFY the low frequency sounds that get through between the two rooms... ? Is that the plan? You want the sounds from the live room to be even louder in the control room, after being amplified by the walls? It's a strange plan, and I don't know why you would want to do that, but that's what it looks like from the photos...


Next, the console is too far forward in that photo, so I'm assuming that's not the final location? It just happens to be there right now, temporarily, until you can get it located correctly?

And there's carpet on the control room floor! :shock: I imagine that is also just temporary, just during the construction, and that you will soon take it out and throw it away, so that the room can have usable acoustics?

The doors are clearly also not completed yet: there's only one thin door on that wall into the CR, with no seals on it, gaps all around it, and a large hole drilled through it, apparently meant for a handle or lockset. I imagine that must be a temporary door, which will soon be replaced with the real one? And I imagine it looks like that at present because you have not yet built the other leaf? There's only one leaf visible in that photo. If that's the inner leaf, then the door is opening to the wrong side, as well: it should open INTO the room, not out of it. Once again, I'm assuming that is temporary?

What are your plans there, for completing the door?

Also, why did you angle the glass in the windows? Did you know that it is not necessary to do that for acoustic purposes? That's also a myth. Did you know that angling the glass reduces isolation?


My biggest concern overall is for the framing: It is totally unsafe, and sooner or later something bad is going to happen. You really should get a structural engineer to take a look at that, and you should also get the money back for your inspection fee! The inspector must have been drunk, or high, or in a coma, to pass that.

My most basic advice here would be to take all the drywall off, fix the framing so that it is at least safe, structurally, and hopefully also good acoustically, then put the drywall back up again. And while you are doing that, fix the problems with the penetrations through the drywall, such as that huge hole on the left CR wall, and all the electrical penetrations.: There can be NO penetrations in isolation walls.

Personally, I would not want to ever go inside those rooms, after seeing how the are built. That's a disaster waiting to happen. I'd be worried all the time that something was about to collapse on my head.


- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:08 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:57 am
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Location: Uk
Stuart,
Thank you for your in-depth reply. Please bare in mind that the studio is not finished and has a lot of work still be completed. I realise there are things which I havent included in the first post which are not clear from the photos. The non standard stud spacing leaves a cavity the dimensions of the rockwool slabs. I will also point out that the pictures of the framing were taken before its completion and much of it was reinforced.

The electric outlets are surface mounted not recessed so there is only a very small hole in the plasterboard for the cable to come through which was sealed with acoustic caulk when fitted. The hole in the side of the control room wall gives access to the fuse panel and how has a door made with the same rockwool and 2 layers of 15mm plasterboard construction as the walls.

The console is just positioned in the room to be out of the way for the time being as it had to come through the window frame. I chose to angle the glass only due to the reflections of the lights due to the ceiling being sloped. You are also correct in assuming that the doors are not complete.

Gus


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:26 pm 
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Quote:
Please bare in mind that the studio is not finished and has a lot of work still be completed.
That's what I figured from the photos. But I'm still concerned about that framing! I mean, seriously concerned. It does not meet any building codes that I have seen, and I've seen quite a few.

Quote:
The non standard stud spacing leaves a cavity the dimensions of the rockwool slabs.
Then there's something wrong. Framing is either 400mm OC or 600 mm OC, and insulation batts are sized accordingly. Yours does not look to be either of those. Also, if it is 400mm OC, then you should be using 2x4 framing (89mmx38mm usually, or something around there), and if it is 600 mm OC then you should be using 2x6 framing (140mm x 38mm roughly). And if your ceilings are more than 12' high (3.65m), then you should be using 2x6 anyway, regardless of spacing. Your framing appears to not be either of those, and seems to have a square section, although I can't be sure from just looking at the photos. Maybe it's an optical illusion...

However, this is not an optical illusion:
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The colored ellipses indicate just some of the many serious framing problems.

BLUE: The stud in the upper section does NOT align with any stud in the lower section, and therefore all of the weight is resting mid-span on the SINGLE top plate, which is never allowed in framing. Structural (load-bearing) top plates should ALWAYS be double. You are therefore placing a severe point load over an unsupported member that is not able to carry that load safely. Best case, it will just bend more and more over time, causing the drywall to nails to pop, and the drywall to come loose. Where I live, that alone would be immediate cause for the framing inspector to reject the framing.

ORANGE: You only have one single king stud on each side of your window, but normal practice is to have at lest two, even for a normal house, and three or more for a studio, since the weights, forces, stresses, strains, and tensions are much higher.

GREEN: The sill is inadequate for supporting the amount of mass you are loading it with.

PURPLE: On the already-built wall at the back, the tiny little header comes to an end just beyond the edge of the jack stud that is suporting it, and there are no king studs at all!

YELLOW: There is no header above the window, on either this rough framing or on the completed framing beyond, that already has the window in place. All you have is the single top plate (which in addition is not supported by jack studs nor cripple studs), with what seems to be another thin member nailed BELOW it with no support at all. That concoction is then supposedly supporting all the mass of the entire wall section and ceiling above it. It is unsafe, since it is not capable of doing what you are asking it to do. This is what CORRECT framing around a studio window looks like:

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You can see the proper header above the window, built up from a horizontal 2x4 resting on jack studs below, with a pair of 2x6s on edge above that, back to back, and a 1/2" ply panel between them, with cripples above that, up to the double top plate. You can also see the extra king studs on the outside of all of that. This is the inner-leaf wall, and you can see similar construction in the outer-leaf wall behind it, that has already been built. Compare that to your framing, and you'll start to understand why yours is just not up to the task you are asking it to do. Not even close. You have no headers, and no way to add them later, so I'm finding it hard to believe your statement that you fixed all of this later, after those photos were taken: There is no way to fix that without taking down the framing ad starting again.

Here's another example, from a different studio, in a different country (the one above is USA, this one here is Australia: it's done the same way all around the world, even in the UK):
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OK, that's just one photo: Another one:

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ORANGE: Only one single king stud on each side of the door opening. This is how a studio doorway rough opening should be built:

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You can clearly see the jack studs on each side plus two king studs on each side, with the header built up in much the same way as the window framing. You can also see the extra noggins on each side, to help support the massive stresses that form on that framing when the door is opened. That's how a studio doorway should be framed.

Another example:

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YELLOW: Once again, no door header.

PURPLE: Once again, there's only a single top plate, and studs above do not line up with studs below

BLUE: The ceiling joists are BELOW the top plate! I just can't believe that... Joists ALWAYS go ON TOP of the top plates! That's what they are there for: to provide structural support for the ceiling.

GREEN: The joists seem to be flat! Never, never, never put in structural members flat: The ALWAYS go on edge: Floor joists, ceiling joists, roof trusses, everything that must carry a heavy vertical load across a span must ALWAYS be placed on edge.

Etc.

I could go on, but I think you starting to get the picture.

That framing is unsafe, structurally unsound, and should never have passed inspection. You do NOT dimension framing to fit your insulation! You dimension it to carry the loads that it has to carry, and THEN you find insulation to fit that.

Quote:
I will also point out that the pictures of the framing were taken before its completion and much of it was reinforced.
Sorry, but I don't see how that is possible. How could you add in a second full-length top plate where it is missing? How could you add window headers when the window is already in place and the drywall is on? How could you flip the ceiling joists on edge when they are already in place? How could you fix the issues where studs do not line up if you did the spacing in order to fit the insulation? None of that is possible. I do not believe that your framing is safe.

One simple question: Did you get this framing inspected and approved by your local building inspector, with his signature and stamp on the framing inspection papers, stating that it fully passed inspection?


- Stuart -


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:51 am 
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It's been four days since I posted the above, and I'm surprised that you have not responded, Angus. I hope it's not because you are ignoring the problem, trying to pretend that you don't actually have a problem! Ignoring it won't make it go away. Yes, I understand that it's sad and maybe even humiliating to admit that you screwed up, and very disappointing and frustrating that the only solution is to take it all down and re-build it, when you were so far advanced already, but that's the only safe, smart, intelligent thing to do. I'm sure you already realize that, and I'm hoping that the reason for your lack of response is because you are busy doing that right now! Taking it down, carefully....

- Stuart -

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:18 am 
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It has now been more than a month since I posted the above series of warnings about the gravely dangerous and likely illegal structural issues with this build, and I'm really concerned. This is a disaster waiting to happen. There's no sign it has been fixed, nor even acknowledgement of the situation.

If there are any forum members from the West Yorkshire region of the UK reading this thread, I'd appreciate your help on if/how to get the local authorities involved. I have the name and address of the owners of this building, and I'm wondering how to pass that on to the relevant authorities. Please PM me if you have any suggestions.

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