“Very proactive and extremely helpful, especially with technical queries. I would not hesitate to recommend and will certainly be using them again in the future.”

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AP

Under CDM2015 regs we have found CASS ALLEN to exercise a level of professionalism and due diligence which is second to none. We would therefore definitely recommend CASS ALLEN as our preferred acoustic consultant, for all of our projects.’

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SF - Taylor Wimpey South Thames

“I was very pleased with their technical knowledge and professional approach when dealing with a very awkward purchaser as well as the local authority.”

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JH, Telford Homes

“Cass Allen went above and beyond to help with the Acoustic planning performance and conditions regarding the Greenwich Creekside project…”

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LM, Capita plc

“Good comprehensive reports and advice at all design stages. Very flexible and professional, provided attendance at acoustic cladding tests at short notice.”

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DF, Berkeley Homes

“Cass Allen have assisted us on a number of our projects. I’ve been impressed with their thorough and professional approach.”

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MT, Lark Energy

Screening Rooms in Mixed Use Developments

ScreeningRoom

It is becoming increasingly common for ‘screening rooms’ to be incorporated into developments to maximise their appeal.  With the recent debacle at this year’s Oscars, we thought it would be an appropriate time to offer some pointers on how to avoid other cinema-based blunders.

We have recently assessed the design of screening rooms in a range of developments including:

  • Residential led mixed-use
  • Hotels
  • Care homes

In all of the above there are a number of common issues that should be considered as early as possible in the design stages to minimise the noise impact of the screening room on surrounding residents:

Location

Clearly, the further the screening room can be placed from residential rooms (or other potentially noise sensitive areas) the better. Ideally, there should be a ‘buffer’ of at least one non-habitable room between the screening room and any nearby residential room.

Partition Design

Where it is not possible to have buffer rooms then the next consideration will be to ensure that the partitions separating the two uses provide an adequate level of sound insulation.

It is typical for screening rooms to have loud sound systems installed.  Whilst that is great for the people watching the film, controlling noise (particularly low-frequency music or dramatic rumbles) is challenging in areas with limited space.

In general, the following design features should be adopted for all partitions separating screening rooms from adjacent apartments:

  • Independent internal linings – wherever practical, the ceilings, floors and walls of the screening room should be completely independent or ‘acoustically isolated’ from the surrounding structure in order to avoid direct sound paths into adjacent residences.
  • Deeper cavities and fibrous insulation – where cavities are formed in walls, floors and ceilings these should be made as wide/deep as possible. The deeper the cavity the more effective that partition will be at controlling low-frequency noise. There should also be at least 50mm of fibrous insulation in any cavity to further improve the acoustic performance.
  • High mass layers – the partitions should be constructed from the heaviest materials practicable (i.e. multiple layers of dense plasterboard or dense concrete blockwork).

Where screening rooms are located close to residential areas, very high-performance partitions will be required and these can have significant implications on layouts, the structure and cost.

Hours of Use

Even with careful physical design and placement of the screening room, it will generally be necessary to limit the hours that the room can be used. Unlimited use of the screening room can quickly lead to complaints from residents, particularly at night when general background noise is lowest and people are more sensitive to noise.

Noise Limiters

It is possible to install noise level limiting equipment into screening room sound systems. This will stop users from turning the volume up beyond a pre-determined level, which will depend on the design and location of the room. This level should be set once all partitions and sound systems have been installed, and permanently adhered to thereafter.

Given the multiple issues involved in installing a screening room in a residential development, we would recommend seeking advice at an early stage from an acoustician with relevant experience.

Please get in touch if you would like any further information or have an upcoming project that you require specific guidance for – Sam Bryant, Senior Consultant 01234 834 846 sambryant@cassallen.co.uk

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Get in touch

We hope you’ve enjoyed browsing our website but if you have any questions feel free to call us to talk through any acoustic issues you may be facing on your projects. The best person who can help with specific queries can be found here.