Disco Dreaming: Sound Insulation Between Bar and Hotel

Laurel Smith , Dan Griffin

New Zealand Acoustics, 18(2), pp.25- 30 . (2005).

This paper presents an increasingly common sound insulation problem in which an existing conference space, situated beneath noise sensitive hotel rooms has been converted into a bar and nightclub. The lack of sound insulation to hotel rooms had proven to be a problem in the past when amplified music was played in the conference space. Noise reduction measurements between the conference space and overhead hotel rooms were carried out before and after the renovations. It was considered that the concrete slab, common to the hotel rooms and the conference space, was the primary medium for sound transmission between the two areas. As such, an acoustic ceiling was designed to control the level of sound energy affecting the concrete slab. The design required an understanding of what noise levels could be expected inside the new bar/night club facility and what are acceptable noise levels inside hotel rooms at night. Several design challenges were addressed including buildRability issues, ventilation requirements and potential building element resonance conflicts. The sound insulation design was expected to deliver a 60 80% improvement on the existing situation. With this improvement it was anticipated that a small number of sensitive guests would find the noise level in hotel rooms unacceptable. The bar/night club has now been operating successfully for several months. As predicted, occasional complaints are received by the hotel from guests staying in the most affected rooms above the bar. However the overall result is such that the acoustic ceiling design is considered to be successful.