500 Kirkham Street Acoustical Services

One of CSDA’s latest mixed-use/multifamily acoustical design projects, 500 Kirkham, was recently approved by the Oakland Planning Commission. Panoramic Interests plans to break ground on the first building in 2020, with the two additional buildings starting construction at a later date. The site near West Oakland BART station will also include 35,000 square feet of retail space.

CSDA was retained to perform acoustical consulting services for Phase I of the project. Our Phase I services address Building One and Two with a total of 610 units. Our services also include an environmental noise study, schematic design input, design development acoustical review, and construction documents input. Additionally, we will provide construction administration support in the later phases of the project.

Catch the Next Wave in Noise Control Engineering 2019 Conference

Randy Waldeck, Principal of Acoustics, and Indi Savitala, Director of Acoustics attended the 2019 National Conference on Noise Control Engineering (Noise-Con 2019). The event was co-hosted by the Institute of Noise Control Engineering USA and the Transportation Research Board Committee on Transportation-Related Noise and Vibration in San Diego, CA. Randy presented a paper about aviation noise and Indi presented a paper on high-impact fitness centers. Learn more about the conference here:

Hayward High School STEAM Building’s HONORABLE MENTION Award

CSDA’s Hayward High School STEAM Building projects received an Honorable Mention Award in the Learning by Design Spring Educational Facilities Design Awards Showcase.

This “Celebration of Contemporary Learning Environments” recognized the nation’s leading architectural, engineering and design firms for outstanding pre-K to 12 and college/university projects.

A select jury of architects and educational facility planners noted that “CSDA’s design demonstrates great visible learning and collaboration opportunities”.

Link to our project portfolio page can be found at

Kick out the noise – Punch in the fun!

Kickboxing studios in multi-family housing, commercial buildings, and mixed-use developments are creating noise problems for tenants, owners, and developers. The low frequency vibration created from kicking a free-standing bag propagates through structural connections and can be felt in adjacent dwelling units.

Kickboxing classes include a warmup period (light jogging and stretching), punching period (jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts), kicking period (front kick, side kick, and roundhouse kick), combination punching and kicking period, partner training, and cool down period. During a typical 50-minute class, there will be about 10 minutes that involves kicking the bag. The greatest amount of vibration is felt during this 10-minute period.

The installation of a vibration isolation flooring solution (commonly called a “floating floor”) can reduce enough low frequency vibration so that it is not disturbing to adjacent dwelling units. This type of solution goes beyond the standard gym mats that all owners are required to provide. A proper vibration isolated flooring solution should include a product that is at least 2 inches thick with one or two layers of plywood or cement board on top (to assist with compressing the product). Owners should explore products that have been laboratory tested and include Impact Isolation Class (IIC) ratings along with one-third octave band frequency data.

There are a lot of products on the market and they are not all the same. Material composition, density, and thickness are just a few factors that can affect product performance. Additionally, each product reacts differently to the floor structure vibration, so reviewing the laboratory test results is extremely important. Key aspects that acoustical consultants review include: IIC, Delta IIC, one-third octave band transmission loss, and the natural frequency response.

To assess the efficacy of a product, the structural engineer should confirm the frequency response of the structure (known as the resonant frequency). If this cannot be determined, an acoustical consultant can conduct in-field vibration measurements. Once the resonant frequency has been determined, an acoustical consultant will compare the frequency response of the structure and isolated flooring product. Both products should not resonant at the same frequency. The idea is that placing the product on top of the structure will create a dissimilar resonance that will allow for greater damping.

Lastly, the intersection of an isolated flooring solution and surrounding walls is another area where vibration can travel through the structure. An acoustical consultant can evaluate the project details and provide comments on ways to support the construction and retain the isolation.

The installation of a proper vibration isolated flooring solution is a must for kickboxing studios and residences/tenants to coincide harmoniously.

Roosevelt Middle School‘s “Chill Out” cafeteria

CSDA has completed the design of comprehensive modernizations at Roosevelt Middle School for the San Francisco Unified School District. The original 1920’s modernist structure was designed by renowned local architect Timothy Pflueger. CSDA worked closely with SFUSD and school administrators to identify 21st century learning facilities needs and fit them seamlessly into the nearly 100 year old structure highlighted by copper framed windows and chiseled brickwork.

Roosevelt was the first the San Francisco Unified School District school to renovate its cafeteria using input from more than 1,300 students, parents, nutrition staff, principals, teachers and administrators. In addition to new seating options, which include a lounge area labeled “Chill Out”, students now have three places to acquire food and two screen displays with current menus.