Q. Why is this important?A. A normal voice conversation can easily be heard through a typical drywall. This causes problems when the people using the room may require a level of confidentiality e.g. someone coming for counseling will not feel safe if they believe that anyone sitting in the waiting room will hear everything they share, in a management meeting confidential financial matters may need to be discussed, the function room next door may need to watch a video presentation or listen to music or have a video conference, an office worker will be less productive if they are constantly being disturbed by noises from people nearby etc.
Q. Is it difficult to install a soundproof drywall?
A. Any decent contractor can install a soundproof drywall by following the design and using the materials supplied by Genesis Acoustics
Q. Is it expensive to install?
A. Sure you will spend more than a typical hollow drywall but its far more expensive to install a cheap drywall, that results in a space that can’t be properly used because of the nuisance of sound getting in and out of the room. A soundproof drywall will thus be an investment into the building, making sure it can fulfill the purposes for which it was designed.
Q. Can't I just put up a normal drywall and then see if its ok? If it's a problem can’t I just add the soundproofing materials afterwards?
A. Not all soundproofing problems can be solved as easily after the fact, drywalls are a case in point. Once the room is being used and you discover the inevitable truth that the drywalls do not offer sufficient soundproofing, it is far more difficult to do the necessary work. The office furniture/equipement in the room must all be moved to another space to avoid getting dirty or damaged, this means that the space cannot be used resulting in a loss of productivity. The drywall also cannot be soundproofed in the optimum way as the drywall cap prohibits the removing of the drywall to gain access to the cavity. It actually turns out to be more expensive to soundproof drywalls afterwards than during construction phase.
Q. How much soundproofing is enough?
A. It depends what the venue is being used for. For your ease of reference please see the attached diagrams. If there will only be normal voice conversations then soundproofing comparable to a single brick wall is required. If there may be music on one side of the drywall or if a superior level of privacy/confidentiality is required then soundproofing comparable to a double brick wall is required. The system is the same but Flexible Noise Barrier (FNB) is included to increase the mass of the wall and to decouple the drywall skin from the structure which aids in superior sound transmission loss. The FNB can be used on only one side or on both sides for optimum results.
These are the practical numbers which bear me out:
A typical drywall structure offers about 31 - 34 dB of soundproofing
A voice conversation can range between 60 - 80 dB
This means that between 29 - 56 dB of sound transmission will go through such a drywall, which means that a voice conversation can easily be heard or even fully understood in the next room.
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Tips and tricks:
> Link to short video showing the installation of the acoustic sealant http://www.genesisacoustics.co.za/productdetails.php?id=100053
> Be sure to leave a 3mm gap under the drywall boards, where they meet in the vertical corners and between board and the underside of the slab/ceiling as the acoustic caulk must fill these joints in order to properly caulk them.
> Always take the drywall to the height of the concrete soffit above or the underside of the floor structure. Stopping the drywall at ceiling heights create a common void above multiple rooms, the sound in the this common area can lead to sound problem where you don’t want it.
> Also plan for doors with soundproofing properties, it would not be beneficial to have a soundproof drywall with a hollow door that lets out all the sound and compromises the soundproofing of the whole room. Be aware that aluminum doors have hollow frames which offer little resistance to sound.
> The above point also applies to windows e.g. the window into a passage, between mothers room and auditorium, a recording studios control room & live room etc.