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Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

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Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby paulsmusic » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:41 pm

Hi all,

I posted a couple of months ago about a studio build project in the grounds of a youth centre. After showing you photos of the garage I'd been offered to use, the general consensus was that it would be better to knock the garage down and start again.

I've been looking into the possibility of a straw bale build, but after doing some research, it is a much more costly and time consuming process than I'd originally thought. So I'm reverting to Plan B, and will be replacing the garage with a timber frame building.

The design will incorporate a floating floor / walls and roof system, probably similar to one supplied by a company called the Soundproofing Store:

https://www.soundproofingstore.co.uk/st ... ndproofing

I want to include air-conditioning, one acoustic window, and 2 heavy duty doors to create a sound-lock, and I wondered if anybody has recommendations for these items? I've got a total budget of around £15k, £5k for the timber frame, £5k for the soundproofing, and £5k for the air-con, doors and window, plus acoustic treatment.
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby James Perrett » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:18 pm

It might be worth pointing out this line from the web page you link to...

Just to explain first of all, a timber structure is not the most ideal place to start.

A timber building may well be worse than what you have now. You really need to start with a block built building (or brick if you can afford it) with a substantial roof.

The rest of that website looks reasonably sensible although I went for multiple plasterboard layers of different thicknesses as described on the Gyproc site rather than a single layer and used Green Glue rather than resilient channel (which is what I assume they mean by Reducto clips).
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby paulsmusic » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:44 pm

James Perrett wrote:A timber building may well be worse than what you have now. You really need to start with a block built building (or brick if you can afford it) with a substantial roof.

Thanks for your reply James. I had a meeting with a builder yesterday, and anything is going to be better than the current building. It has a corrugated roof, and lightweight breezeblocks that won't support the soundproofing, or reinforcements to the roof.

I don't have the budget to rebuild with bricks and concrete (a local tradesperson can supply a timber frame relatively cheaply). I found this article about somebody who successfully soundproofed a timber shed using the same method that I want to, and I think it will provide enough soundproofing for my purposes:

https://www.pro-tools-expert.com/produc ... ing-studio
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:30 pm

A quick google led me to this site https://www.self-build.co.uk/cost-guide-walls-and-insulation/ which suggests that block construction is cheaper for materials but labour costs are a higher compared to timber frame. IIRC when you were considering straw bales you were hoping to involve the students in the construction work. With blockwork that's probably not practical but is their a college locally that might be persuaded to help out on the project by their students involved in the construction?
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby MOF » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:31 pm

Have you thought about this type of construction?
https://www.self-build.co.uk/insulated- ... -formwork/
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby paulsmusic » Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:17 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:A quick google led me to this site https://www.self-build.co.uk/cost-guide-walls-and-insulation/ which suggests that block construction is cheaper for materials but labour costs are a higher compared to timber frame. IIRC when you were considering straw bales you were hoping to involve the students in the construction work. With blockwork that's probably not practical but is their a college locally that might be persuaded to help out on the project by their students involved in the construction?

That's a great idea Sam. I will look into it...
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby paulsmusic » Tue Nov 24, 2020 5:19 pm

MOF wrote:Have you thought about this type of construction?
https://www.self-build.co.uk/insulated- ... -formwork/

Looks interesting, although I think it would still be much more expensive than a timber frame, which I can get installed for around £5k
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby James Perrett » Tue Nov 24, 2020 11:44 pm

I just had a look at the Protools expert link. Right at the bottom the comment about impact noise tells me that it isn't very soundproof. They wasted a whole load of money on that project - more than I spent on my whole building - for inferior results. The total budget for my place came to around £20k although that was 10 years ago and, if a drummer is playing in there you can't hear anything from outside unless you are directly next to the door or one of the windows.
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby paulsmusic » Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:31 am

When I first posted about the studio, Matt Houghton mentioned that he had a drummer friend who had built a studio from a timber frame, which he said worked really well. It would be interesting to learn more about out how this had been built...any chance of finding out, if your listening Matt?!
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby blas » Fri Nov 27, 2020 3:48 am

Regarding the AC unit, may I suggest what we have done here, is get a self contained unit that is inside as a all season usable system. We are located in St. Louis, Mo. which has some very cold winter weather, which would make a conventional central air not able to function once the exterior temp is below say 35 degrees. The unit here is a 'Movin' Air' unit only ports the exhaust to the exterior, while circulating the interior conditioned air, back thru itself. We cannot operate the unit while having any open mic's for recording, but we do cool the control room & studio down, between takes or breaks. These units are designed for office operations that need additional cooling help, The thing looks like that 'Lost in Space' robot that always warned 'Will'....luckily it's located in a utility room that clients don't go into!!
Going this route may be a big money saver. Also, make sure your air feed designs incorporates box areas in the system to reduce the air current flow. Best that it isn't forced but allowed to bleed into each room (C.R. & Tracking Room). Lastly, offset the doors going into the studio, with the air gap & door alignment by at least several inches.
Hope that helps!
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby paulsmusic » Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:26 am

Thanks for the air-con suggestion, I will check it out.
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby MOF » Fri Dec 04, 2020 5:49 pm

Looks interesting, although I think it would still be much more expensive than a timber frame, which I can get installed for around £5k

I did a bit of research on a Self Build site and they said it was 5% more overall.
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby Wonks » Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:08 pm

As you are knocking down a garage and putting up a studio, I'd imagine that you'd need some sort of planning permission because of change of use. Has this been looked into? You don't want to spend a lot of money, only to have to knock it down.
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby paulsmusic » Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:26 pm

So there's been a change of plan since I last posted, and the garage will be remaining, with a new cabin being built for my studio in the garden of the youth centre (to a size that will comply with permitted development).

I appreciate your thoughts / suggestions about whether a concrete structure would be better, but I was mainly wanting some advice about where to source windows / doors, and air-con.

I'm not too keen on concrete for aesthetic and environmental reasons, and the youth centre is fortunate to have nice neighbours who would welcome some music floating from the garden. So although I will be soundproofing the cabin, it doesn't need to be perfect.
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Re: Suggestions for Studio Air-Con and Acoustic doors/ Windows

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:30 pm

paulsmusic wrote:I'm not too keen on concrete for aesthetic and environmental reasons, and the youth centre is fortunate to have nice neighbours who would welcome some music floating from the garden. So although I will be soundproofing the cabin, it doesn't need to be perfect.

Bear in mind that even nice neighbours will have a tolerance level that could well be exceeded by a few hours of HipHop or school age grunge bands. And at some point they will move and you will find yourself with new neighbours.

That aside, thanks for the update and good luck with the project :thumbup:
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