Design Tips for Sound Sensitive Applications

Q: How do you design the HVAC system for a recording studio?

Recording studios – and projects with low sound requirements – don’t come up every day. But when they do, it’s nice to have a list of design tips handy to keep yourself out of trouble. 

Here is that list:

  • Avoid installing the rooftop or air handler directly over the sound sensitive space. Instead, install the equipment over an adjacent space that doesn’t have the same sound requirements. 
  • If you’re installing a rooftop unit, install alternating layers of Sheetrock and insulation to fill the curb space beneath the unit. Only cut the roof large enough for supply and return ducts, leaving the roof intact beneath the RTU to support the alternating layers of Sheetrock and insulation.
  • Install flex connectors below roof deck to supply and return ducts
  • All duct should be lined with 1″ duct liner
  • Design RTU or split for 360 cfm per ton, but size the duct for 400 cfm/ton at .06″ pressure drop per 100′ on your ductulator (bigger is better!)
  • No diffusers in the space
  • Minimum (2) 90 degree elbows in supply and return before any duct opening in space. No straight line of sight path between any opening and return or supply air drop from unit.
  • Ideally separate systems for each studio and control space.

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Brad Telker
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