Sond proofing the server room suggestions needed

Posted on 2011-04-26
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hey guys,

I need your help. We recently expanded the server room size and also installed APC InRown ACRD200 cooling. Unfortunately, general contractor did not sound proof the room in the way that it should`ve been done. The room is approximately 260"D x 100"W x 105" H, there is also a drop ceiling with 16" tiles. Above the drop ceiling there is another 3 maybe 4 feet of space.
We have 3 or 4 plenum vents in the ceiling also. Above the drop ceiling of the server room there is no drywall surrounding the server room perimeter at all. So the noise travels above the ceiling, as well as through those plenum vents (that are not being used) and around the door as well.
 I spoke to a one of the vendors, they recommended that I first seal around the door then cover the ceiling with sound proof material (or tiles for that matter). Their cost was a bit high and I was wondering if somebody could recommend a brand of tile or material that I could buy myself and install it.
Ultimately, I may need to install the walls above the sever room ceiling surrounding the entire server room perimeter, however if I was to get contractors that have already screwed up a couple of times, I might as well do the basic work myself and save the 3-4 grand... Any suggestions on materials ?
Question by:zanderkid
    LVL 20

    Accepted Solution


    Author Comment

    Thank you viki200, I'm checking these out now. I was looking at other companies that did not seem as pomising....
    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    When you say that the G.C. "did not sound proof the room in the way that it should`ve been done", what do you mean?  What was in the contract or plans/drawings for dealing with the sound?

    If there are plans there, you shouldn't need to find DIY remedies...just follow the plans.

    If you have drop ceilings, then the space above is used for venting into a common plenum return.  Closing that up with drywall would require that you cut in vents...which means you're back to having sound bounce through, although not as bad if you redirect it horizontally through duct.   But, then you're calling in your HVAC contractor to design and build ductwork for exhausting the room.

    Anything you put in the plenum (wiring, panels, insulation)  must be safe for plenum use.  A lot of the eggcrate foam stuff is flammable and makes toxic fumes, so can't be used.

    The best way to kill the sound is to replace the drop ceiling in that room with drywall on studs, preferably with acoustical sealing between the stud and drywall.  It looks like thick black caulk.  You can top that with another sheet of drywall, laminated with more acoustical sealant and short drywall screws.  Putting a hard lid on the room leaves the plenum untouched...putting walls up to the deck would obstruct that plenum space, and might require re-routing wiring, plumbing, or some complicated cuts to build around all of that.

    Then vent your HVAC with closed ductwork, and exhaust horizontally into the plenum space.  Exhausting vertically lets sound bounce off the hard deck above and down into adjacent rooms.  It's amazing how much sound is killed by a 90-degree turn.  For a demonstration, take a short length (12-18") of flex hose and attach it to the exhaust port of your Shop-Vac.  The sound is reduced by half because the fan noise hits the new direct path to your ear.

    That's also why Honda has quiet cars.  The airbox is carefully designed to contain the noise.  Remove it, and you get loud buzzing annoying cars...they don't go faster, they just make more noise.


    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you guys, I appreciate the help.

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