What Are The Acoustic Considerations When Designing Gyms In Mixed-Use Developments?

what are the acoustic considerations when designing gyms in mixed-use developments

Mixed use developments often contain a gym and flats or residential houses, or a gym alongside other commercial properties, or both. Whenever there is mixed use, there is a requirement to insulate other buildings or rooms from the gym, so that vibration and noise from the gym does not affect other habitable areas.

Acoustic considerations for mixed use developments include:

  • Sound
  • Vibration
  • Reverberation

All these need to be controlled to ensure the gym does not have an adverse impact on people who live or work in buildings close to the gym.

Gym location

Gym location and development type will determine what measures need to be put in place to reduce noise and vibration transfer.

For adjoining dwellings, high-performance wall and floor separation will be needed to reduce transfer. One technique is to build a plywood gym floor away from the wall so that it cannot transmit vibration to the walls.

Gyms located close to other properties will need wall, floor and door insulation. When thick enough, this will create soundproofing.

Acoustic and vibration targets

Acoustic targets will form the backbone of your acoustic design. You ideally want your gym to be quiet from the outside. It should be inaudible.

When gyms are joined to other buildings, the main issue is not noise but vibration and reverberation. This can be felt rather than heard. You want your gym to absorb vibration so that people in other dwellings do not know it’s there.

This will require gym flooring that’s purpose-designed. We recommend a two-layer membrane at a minimum. This will consist of an underlay and topper. The rubber underlay will give the rubber top something soft to compress into under load.

Control of impact sound transmission

The control of impact sound transmission is most relevant to gyms that are adjoined to other buildings. Impact sound and vibration transmits through solid objects easily if it isn’t stopped. This is the main cause of noise complaints.

There are a few ways to control impact sound transmission:

  • Treadmill zones – treadmills should be placed on treadmill mats
  • Machine zones – machines should be placed as far away from walls as possible
  • Free weight zones – should have a spring floor with a minimum 2-layer system

Small changes like this can make a big difference.

If you have any questions or would like to talk about your next gym flooring project, give us a call on (0)1706 260 220 for a chat.