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.

Hayward High School STEAM Building Fall 2019

In November of 2014, the City of Hayward passed Measure L, which provided $229 million for Hayward Unified School District improvements including the design and construction of new STEAM buildings on three high school campuses: Hayward High School, Tennyson High School & Mt. Eden High School. STEAM, which is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, art and math, supports an interdisciplinary project-based curriculum, which these new buildings will house.

The project was designed based on the following guiding principles:

• The building is a teaching tool where the interconnectivity of curriculum is reflected in the design – systems are exposed and celebrated, rather than concealed, art is found in the materials
and systems rather than applied.
• The building supports student ownership, is a social hub and promotes stewardship.
• The building provides a creative, interactive, hands-on environment.
• The building encourages collaboration and connectivity.
• The building is flexible with transformer-type spaces that support (rather than limit) learning with a STEAM infrastructure and customizable spaces that allow for flexibility and change over time to accommodate curriculum changes and unknown or emerging programs.
• The building provides a new, forward identity for the District.
• The building prototype is adapted to the individual identity of each high school campus.

The STEAM buildings provide eight Learning Spaces and two Science Labs organized around the double height Maker Space and Demonstration Lobby where projects are tested, realized and presented to the cohort. The classrooms are designed to be flexible allowing for a variety of learning styles and teaching methodologies. Breakout rooms and alcoves provide spaces for small group collaboration and self-directed learning. Outdoor learning areas include a maker space patio, orchard, garden and areas for group work and individual contemplation. The building will be LEED Gold and Net-Zero ready.

CSDA Design Group Announces its Accreditation with the National Council for Acoustical Consultants (NCAC)

National Council for Acoustical Consultants

CSDA Design Group (CSDA) has recently completed its Accreditation with the National Council of Acoustical Consultants (NCAC). Through this Accreditation, CSDA meets the highest standard of business practices, technical consulting and client service per the NCAC “Canon of Ethics”. Our acoustical staff’s expertise and client focus is evident by our repeat clients, successful projects, and now this Accreditation. We take pride in knowing that we are now part of an extraordinary pool of acoustical consulting experts.

Please read more about NCAC here; if you need acoustical consulting services, please send our team an email at



CSDA Design Group’s Principal of Acoustics Leads Panel of Experts in Multi-City Discussion on Acoustics & Energy Performance

Designing for Occupant Comfort: Acoustics and Energy Performance in Multi-Family and Mixed-Use Buildings

We are pleased to announce that Randy Waldeck, CSDA’s Principal of Acoustics, will be leading a panel of experts for the WoodWorks Wood Products Council in multiple cities throughout California starting tomorrow March 6th in San Diego; continuing up to Los Angeles on March 7th and concluding in Oakland on March 8th, 2018. Below are the scheduled program locations with all pertinent details including links for this week’s discussions or you can visit the WoodWorks website here for more information.

Please note that attendees will qualify for 3 AIA/CES HSW LUs, 3 PDH credits or 0.3 ICC credits. Professional Development Certificates (AIA/CES and ICC) will be available on site.






San Diego

When: Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
Time: 8:30 am – 1:00 pm
Cost: $30 (includes lunch)
Where: Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station
2816 Historic Decatur Rd #116
San Diego, CA 92106
Parking Info: Free Parking
Map & Directions: Here

Los Angeles

When: Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
Time: 8:30 am – 1:00 pm
Cost: $30 (includes lunch)
Where: Westside Conference Center
6100 Center Drive, Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Parking Info: Parking available for a reduced rate of $5 per car with validation
Map & Directions: Here


When: Thursday, March 8th, 2018
Time: 8:30 am – 1:00 pm
Cost: $30 (includes lunch)
Where: AIA East Bay
1405 Clay St
Oakland, CA 94612
Parking Info & Map/Directions: Here