Soundproofing a Community Theatre

Soundproofing a Community Theatre

Striking the Balance Between a Limited Budget and Limiting Noise

Architects, building owners, and developers are more conscious than ever of the need for appropriate soundproofing, and they are motivated to improve acoustic performance in theatres, schools, healthcare, and government facilities at a modest cost.

Dr. Yutong Samuel Cai, a London epidemiologist, undertook research of 365,000 people and discovered that traffic noise has an impact on the cardiovascular system and can raise the incidence of heart attacks. A comparable increase in type 2 diabetes cases was discovered in another investigation at the London School of Medicine. There have been many studies that sight the adverse effects of poor acoustics on classroom and other learning and teaching environments.  

Community theatres, university lecture theatres, and auditoriums typically have huge, open spaces that may hold many hundreds or even thousands of people at once. Great acoustics in large spaces help improve the audience’s audible experience for the patron, lower employee errors, and eliminate conversational distractions, all of which contribute to a positive experience.

AMBICO has long been at the forefront of acoustic engineering advancements. The company employs a large number of engineers and technicians that pool their collective knowledge and expertise to tackle architectural, environmental, and industrial noise concerns for organizations and applications of all types.

Engineered Acoustic Red Steel Door

Acoustic Installation and the Trade-off between acoustic performance and opening function (security or access control)

When we talk about addressing and enhancing acoustics, one needs to first understand the acoustic concerns of the client. This can help to find the right compromise between acoustic performance levels and the desired functionality of the opening. 

In addition to the acoustic requirement, the opening must also satisfy fire ratings, security, and access control along with the necessary functional requirements. 

It is critical that the architect delves deep into their clients’ acoustic requirements and compares those with other life safety, security, and accessibility needs. In many instances, compromise may be necessary in one or more areas. Not to mention that careful coordination is also required to ensure that an optimal solution is determined and that this solution also falls within budget. 

To accomplish this, Architects and acoustic engineers should also rely on hardware consultants and acoustic door manufacturers to assist them in coordinating the delicate balance in satisfying the life safety, security, accessibility, and functioning challenges, as well as to guarantee that the acoustic and aesthetic criteria are met. 

AMBICO strives to be an active partner in finding the best acoustic solution while considering other important attributes that can affect the client’s choice of product.  We aim to identify the optimal tradeoff between the desired acoustic performance and function of the opening from an occupancy, security, and fire rating standpoint and balance this with budget demands.  Therefore, our involvement early in the design and specification phase can prove critical to the success of the acoustic openings and the overall acoustic quality of any project.

Architectural Dilemma: Budget or Noise Reduction

The acoustics make it easier for people to hear and understand each other, whether in an open-plan office, classroom, lecture hall, hospitals, or government buildings. Finishes and other aspects of a door appearance can be compromised more easily than performance attributes, as the right doors can make a huge impact in any facility. When it comes to providing the greatest acoustic solution for a client, budget is undoubtedly a factor to consider. Pricing changes when different attributes are taken into account. Typical single and paired door size, STC rating, and material type will affect the price. 

AMBICO recognizes that every client has unique challenges with a specific budget. In some situations, the client is unable to afford the type of assembly being recommended to them based on their budget. This kind of dilemma is not uncommon in the industry. However, rather than letting the sale fall through, AMBICO believes in building a long-lasting relationship with the customer by focusing on helping them overcome their challenges as much as possible.

A few years ago, AMBICO got the opportunity to help a local drama school that host about 50-60 children between the ages of 8-18 in a central room connected to 3 studios. Because the children were frequently loud and noisy, the classes in the connected studios were constantly interrupted. 

AMBICO was approached for an acoustic solution, and we suggested an STC 48 or STC 50 doors for the studio rooms. However, the costs involved were higher than what the school could afford at the time. Although AMBICO believed an STC 48 or 50 would have been the right fit, we recommended an STC 45 which had a closer price point to the school’s budget. 

We successfully supplied and installed three pairs of STC 45 in the facility and there was a significant drop in the noise level between the central room and the studios. Based on this simple solution, the school experienced an increased revenue that led to the expansion of their business, and they were able to open a fourth studio. 

Despite the dilemma of Budget vs Noise reduction, AMBICO was able to work with the school to provide an alternate solution that fits within their budget and consequently solved their problem as well as contributed to their business growth.

The AMBICO Solution

Acoustic steel doors performance center

Every project at AMBICO is an opportunity to achieve excellence. The global benchmark for sound transmission loss is established by our adherence to ASTM standards and is set by our extensive array of soundproof STC-rated wood doors, acoustic steel doors and window products.  We embrace the opportunity to assist designers and spec writers with appropriate product solutions that will align with their client’s acoustic performance and operational requirements.


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