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Published on Apr 16, 2012
Sound Proofing My Condominium
by: Terry Hunefeld
In our condominium located on Coronado Island, San Diego, California we experienced a significant amount of low frequency noise from structural floor deflection when upstairs occupants moved around normally in their everyday lives. When the condominium Home Owner's Association elected not to pursue the matter with the developer, we took matters into our own hands and performed an effective sound proofing project under the guidance of Acoustical Engineer, Dr. Marshall Long.
We totally sound proofed our condominium home in early 2012. Here's how we did it: In his paper The Acoustics of Floors in Condominiums, Acoustics Today, January 2007, Dr. Long describes a common problem in floor/ceiling assemblies of condominiums, termed structural deflection, where energy from normal footfall in the unit above transmits through the floor and into the ceiling of the unit below, causing a booming effect as the drywall of the lower unit ceiling vibrates. The section entitled "Structural Deflection" describes the sound experienced in the second floor units like those in the Village in Coronado. http://mlacoustics.com/PDF/Condo.pdf
Marshall details the three mechanisms available to improve structural deflection problems: 1) increase the stiffness of the floor system, 2) increase the structural damping, and 3) increase the vibrational decoupling between the floor and the ceiling. All three methods were used in our unit.
The work was performed by general contractor Jason Hollingsworth, 1533 Luke Lane, El Cajon, CA 92021. Ph: (619) 715 8197; CA LIC.# B949486. Mr. Hollingsworth was selected for his past experience on sound attenuation projects in Southern California. His crews proved to be diligent, hard-working, and extremely competent. I highly recommend him for sound mitigation work in Southern California. He and his crew worked under the guidance and advice of Marshall Long, consulting in person and by telephone throughout the process.