Acoustic Construction

HSM designs, installs, and maintains acoustic construction systems in a wide variety of commercial locations.

Acoustic construction significantly improve office privacy, employee comfort and satisfaction, and quality of life.

What is Acoustic Construction?


Acoustic construction involves the design and building of structures or spaces to control sound. This can include soundproofing to prevent sound from entering or leaving a space, as well as acoustic treatment to improve the sound quality within a space. Here are the key elements and techniques involved in acoustic construction:

Key Elements of Acoustic Construction

  1. Soundproofing:
    • Mass: Adding dense materials to walls, floors, and ceilings to block sound transmission.
    • Damping: Using materials that absorb sound vibrations and reduce sound energy.
    • Decoupling: Creating separation between building elements to prevent sound vibrations from passing through.
    • Sealing: Ensuring all gaps, cracks, and openings are sealed to prevent sound leakage.
  2. Acoustic Treatment:
    • Absorption: Using materials that absorb sound energy, such as acoustic panels, foam, and carpets, to reduce reflections and reverberations.
    • Diffusion: Using diffusers to scatter sound waves evenly throughout a space to avoid hotspots and dead zones.
    • Reflection: Designing surfaces to reflect sound in a controlled manner, enhancing the acoustic characteristics of the space.

Techniques and Materials

  1. Walls:
    • Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV): A heavy, flexible material used to add mass and block sound transmission.
    • Double Stud Walls: Two separate stud walls with a gap in between, reducing sound transfer.
    • Staggered Stud Walls: Studs are staggered on each side of the wall, so they do not touch both surfaces, reducing sound bridging.
    • Acoustic Insulation: Materials like fiberglass or rock wool are placed within walls to absorb sound.
  2. Floors and Ceilings:
    • Floating Floors: Floors built on a resilient layer to decouple them from the structure, reducing sound transmission.
    • Acoustic Underlayment: Placed under flooring to dampen sound.
    • Dropped Ceilings: Ceilings with acoustic tiles to absorb sound and reduce noise from above.
    • Resilient Channels: Metal channels that separate drywall from framing, reducing sound transmission.
  3. Doors and Windows:
    • Solid-Core Doors: Thicker, heavier doors that block more sound than hollow-core doors.
    • Acoustic Seals: Seals around the edges of doors and windows to prevent sound leakage.
    • Double or Triple Glazing: Windows with multiple layers of glass with air gaps in between, improving sound insulation.
  4. Acoustic Panels and Treatments:
    • Wall Panels: Acoustic panels made of foam, fabric, or wood to absorb sound and reduce reflections.
    • Ceiling Clouds: Suspended acoustic panels that absorb sound from above.
    • Bass Traps: Placed in corners to absorb low-frequency sound waves.
    • Diffusers: Panels with irregular surfaces that scatter sound waves.

Application Areas

  1. Recording Studios:
    • High levels of soundproofing to prevent external noise.
    • Acoustic treatment to create a balanced sound environment.
  2. Home Theaters:
    • Soundproofing to prevent sound leakage to other areas of the house.
    • Acoustic treatment to enhance audio quality.
  3. Office Spaces:
    • Acoustic panels to reduce noise and improve speech intelligibility.
    • Sound masking systems to create a more comfortable auditory environment.
  4. Educational Facilities:
    • Soundproofing to create quiet classrooms and study areas.
    • Acoustic treatment in auditoriums and lecture halls for clear speech.
  5. Commercial Buildings:
    • Soundproofing and acoustic treatment in meeting rooms, restaurants, and retail spaces to enhance customer experience.


Acoustic construction is essential for creating environments where sound quality and noise control are critical. By using a combination of soundproofing and acoustic treatment techniques, it is possible to achieve the desired acoustic performance in various types of spaces.


How do we Install Acoustic Systems?


Installing acoustic construction involves a series of steps to ensure effective soundproofing and sound quality enhancement within a space. Here’s a detailed guide on how acoustic construction is typically installed:

1. Planning and Design


  • Evaluate the space to determine the sources of noise and the desired acoustic characteristics.
  • Identify the areas that require soundproofing and those that need acoustic treatment.


  • Develop a comprehensive plan that includes the types of materials and techniques to be used.
  • Ensure the design complies with relevant building codes and acoustic standards.

2. Material Selection

Soundproofing Materials:

  • Mass-loaded vinyl (MLV)
  • Acoustic insulation (fiberglass, rock wool)
  • Resilient channels
  • Acoustic seals

Acoustic Treatment Materials:

  • Acoustic panels (foam, fabric, wood)
  • Bass traps
  • Diffusers
  • Acoustic ceiling tiles

3. Site Preparation

Clear the Area:

  • Remove existing fixtures, furniture, and any obstructions.
  • Ensure the site is clean and free of debris.

Inspect the Structure:

  • Check for any structural issues that need to be addressed before installation.

4. Soundproofing Installation


  • Frame Construction: Build double or staggered stud walls to create a gap that reduces sound transmission.
  • Install Insulation: Place acoustic insulation within the wall cavities to absorb sound.
  • Apply Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV): Attach MLV to the studs or existing walls to add mass and block sound.
  • Drywall Installation: Use multiple layers of drywall with Green Glue or other damping compounds between layers to further reduce sound transmission.
  • Seal Gaps: Use acoustic caulk to seal all gaps, cracks, and openings around the edges of walls, electrical outlets, and other penetrations.


  • Floating Floors: Install a resilient underlayment before adding the finished flooring to decouple the floor from the structure.
  • Carpeting and Padding: Use thick carpets and padding to absorb sound.


  • Resilient Channels: Attach resilient channels to the ceiling joists to decouple the ceiling from the structure.
  • Acoustic Insulation: Install insulation between ceiling joists.
  • Dropped Ceilings: Add acoustic ceiling tiles or panels to absorb sound and reduce noise from above.

Doors and Windows:

  • Solid-Core Doors: Install heavy, solid-core doors for better soundproofing.
  • Acoustic Seals: Add seals around the edges of doors and windows to prevent sound leakage.
  • Double or Triple Glazing: Use double or triple glazed windows to improve sound insulation.

5. Acoustic Treatment Installation

Wall Panels:

  • Placement: Install acoustic panels on walls where sound reflections are most problematic, such as behind speakers or on opposite walls.
  • Mounting: Use appropriate mounting hardware to securely attach panels to the walls.

Ceiling Treatments:

  • Ceiling Clouds: Suspend acoustic panels or clouds from the ceiling to absorb sound from above.
  • Acoustic Tiles: Install acoustic ceiling tiles in dropped ceilings to reduce noise.

Corner Treatments:

  • Bass Traps: Place bass traps in the corners of the room to absorb low-frequency sound waves.


  • Placement: Install diffusers on walls and ceilings to scatter sound waves evenly throughout the space.
  • Mounting: Ensure diffusers are mounted securely and in locations that optimize their effectiveness.

6. Final Inspection and Testing


  • Inspect all installations to ensure they meet design specifications and are securely installed.
  • Check for any remaining gaps or areas that might allow sound leakage.


  • Perform acoustic tests to evaluate the effectiveness of the soundproofing and acoustic treatments.
  • Make any necessary adjustments based on the test results.

7. Maintenance

Regular Checks:

  • Periodically inspect acoustic materials for wear and tear.
  • Replace or repair any damaged components.


  • Clean acoustic panels and other materials according to manufacturer recommendations to maintain their effectiveness.


Installing acoustic construction involves careful planning, material selection, and precise execution to ensure effective soundproofing and sound quality enhancement. By following these steps, you can create a space with optimal acoustic performance tailored to your specific needs.


How much does Acoustic Construction Cost?

The cost of acoustic construction can vary widely depending on the specific requirements of the project, the materials used, and the size and complexity of the space. Here’s a breakdown of the key cost components and some typical price ranges:

Cost Components

  1. Assessment and Design
    • Professional acoustic assessment and design services: $500 – $5,000, depending on the complexity of the project.
  2. Materials

Soundproofing Materials:

  • Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV): $2 – $5 per square foot
  • Acoustic Insulation (fiberglass, rock wool): $0.50 – $2 per square foot
  • Resilient Channels: $1 – $2 per linear foot
  • Acoustic Seals: $10 – $50 per door/window

Acoustic Treatment Materials:

  • Acoustic Panels: $20 – $100 per panel
  • Bass Traps: $50 – $200 each
  • Diffusers: $50 – $300 each
  • Acoustic Ceiling Tiles: $2 – $10 per square foot
  1. Installation

Labor Costs:

  • $50 – $150 per hour, depending on local rates and the complexity of the installation.

Total Installation Costs:

  • Small room (e.g., home studio, office): $1,000 – $5,000
  • Medium-sized space (e.g., conference room, classroom): $5,000 – $15,000
  • Large space (e.g., auditorium, large office): $15,000 – $50,000+

Typical Total Costs

  1. Small Room (e.g., Home Studio, Office):
    • Assessment and Design: $500 – $1,000
    • Materials: $1,000 – $3,000
    • Installation: $1,000 – $3,000
    • Total Cost: $2,500 – $7,000
  2. Medium-Sized Space (e.g., Conference Room, Classroom):
    • Assessment and Design: $1,000 – $3,000
    • Materials: $3,000 – $8,000
    • Installation: $2,000 – $5,000
    • Total Cost: $6,000 – $16,000
  3. Large Space (e.g., Auditorium, Large Office):
    • Assessment and Design: $2,000 – $5,000
    • Materials: $8,000 – $20,000
    • Installation: $5,000 – $15,000
    • Total Cost: $15,000 – $40,000+
  4. Very Large Space (e.g., Concert Hall, Multi-Story Office Building):
    • Assessment and Design: $3,000 – $10,000+
    • Materials: $20,000 – $50,000+
    • Installation: $10,000 – $30,000+
    • Total Cost: $33,000 – $90,000+

Factors Affecting Cost

  1. Size of the Space:
    • Larger spaces require more materials and labor, increasing the overall cost.
  2. Type of Materials:
    • High-end acoustic materials and advanced soundproofing solutions are more expensive.
  3. Complexity of Installation:
    • Intricate designs and challenging installations, such as those requiring extensive structural modifications, can increase labor costs.
  4. Location:
    • Labor rates vary by region, affecting the overall installation cost.
  5. Scope of the Project:
    • Projects involving both soundproofing and acoustic treatment will be more expensive than those focusing on one aspect.


Acoustic construction costs can range from a few thousand dollars for small projects to tens of thousands for larger, more complex installations.