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D4COST Software

  Curved Acoustical Decking Provides “Two-In-One” Performance

When the San Diego-based architectural firm of Martinez & Cutri Corp. set out to plan a series of athletic facilities for the Sweetwater Unified High School District (SUHSD), their challenge was multi-faceted. They needed to create a prototype design that would combine athletic usage with auxiliary usage, aesthetics with function, and tight budget constraints with fast-track construction. In designing the focal point of each facility - a multi-purpose gymnasium - the architects found an innovative way to meet all of these criteria: They specified curved acoustical decking panels that provide economical "two-in-one" performance, functioning both as a roof deck and an acoustical ceiling.

Curved acoustical decking panels by Verco Manufacturing and crimp-curved by Curveline, Inc.’s proprietary curving process provided an economical “two-in-one” performance, as a roof deck and an acoustical ceiling in the athletic facilities for the SUHSD."Our original design called for the use of acoustical wall and ceiling panels, but that approach would have added significant cost since it would have required an additional metal deck," comments Lisa Castagnola, architect at Martinez & Cutri who designed the gyms. "We had previously used acoustical steel decking panels on an outdoor dining pavilion with good results and thought about trying the same approach here. However, on this project we wanted to use a curved roof and deck to add to the aesthetic value of the space. Upon contacting the decking manufacturer, Verco Manufacturing, we learned that they offered an acoustical product that could be crimp-curved using Curveline, Inc.'s proprietary curving process. It appeared to be an attractive and cost-effective solution."

Martinez & Cutri specified Verco acoustical "B" deck for the four gyms, which are located at San Ysidro High School, San Ysidro, Calif.; Sweetwater High School, National City, Calif.; Mar Vista High School, Imperial Beach, Calif.; and High School #11 Otay Ranch, Chula Vista, Calif. Each facility required just over 20,600 square feet of the 20-gauge, 1-1/2-inch deep panels in varying lengths up to 24-ft. 9-inch, all shaped by Curveline into a 164-ft. 6-inch radius. The decking panels were installed to span from beam to beam and were topped with rigid insulation and standing seam metal roofing. 

Each facility required just over 20,600 square feet of the decking panels. (Below) The acoustical decks were left exposed on the underside and painted in school colors. The acoustical decks were left exposed on the underside and then post-painted, along with beams and overhead ductwork, into "school colors" appropriate to each location. Colors ranged from contrasting white and dark green hues at Mar Vista H.S. to vibrant red at Sweetwater H.S., home of the Red Devils. The gym design also utilizes concrete block exterior walls and metal stud interior framing.

Each project is 46,110 square feet and incorporates a gymnasium flanked by a wrestling room, weight room, dance room, lobby, rest rooms, and locker rooms. Since two of the four facilities were built on existing campuses, rapid construction with minimal disruption was important. Construction took about 18 months: The first two facilities were completed in fall 2002, the others by year-end. 

General contractor for the projects was Rudolph & Sletten (San Diego); the acoustical decking installer was The McIntyre Company (Pomona, CA). According to the McIntyre Company, installed cost of the acoustical decking averaged from $2.25 - $2.50 per sq. ft., and the decks have a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 80, which well exceeds requirements for gymnasia.

Castagnola reports: "Our clients were very pleased with the size and volume of the space, and with how we met the overall project criteria." Speaking of the curved decking, she notes that this type of design "can be a fine solution for gyms, dining pavilions, shopping malls, airports and similar projects". Castagnola suggests that in some facilities, depending on the type of wall construction and the required end-uses (such as performing arts spaces), acoustical wall paneling might be incorporated for additional sound absorption. 

Curveline president Terry Holman says that Curveline's Ontario, Calif. service center can curve perforated steel decking panels in 22 to 18 gauge and depths of 1-1/2 inches to 3 inches, without fracturing the panel surface or altering the acoustical performance of the panel. In fact, curved ceiling designs (such as a series of arches) may even enhance the sound-absorbing qualities of the space.

"The curved metal panels form a self-supporting deck that is extremely strong and brings construction economies. By using crimp-curved decking installed 'against the grain' instead of straight panels applied 'with the grain', you can often achieve 15-20 percent longer spans, for reduced framing costs," Holman says. "And because curving increases the strength of the panel, it's often possible to go with a lighter and more economical panel - for example, 20-gauge instead of 18-gauge."

For further information, contact: Curveline, Inc., 1745 E. Monticello Court, Ontario, CA 91761; phone (888) 998-0311 or (909) 947-6022; fax (909) 947-1510; e-mail curveline@curveline.com; Web www.met-tile.com/curveline.

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