Using Acoustic Ceilings to Mitigate Sound

Most office spaces are crowded with people. Any layout, from cubicles, to open floor plans, will be bringing a group of people together within a finite space. As workers make calls, write reports, type emails, walk on floors above, meet clients and print letters, space becomes animated and at times, noisy.  That’s where acoustic ceilings come in.

How Do Acoustic Ceilings Work?

In commercial construction, acoustic ceilings are used to dampen sound. Sounds can come from workspaces, but can also come from HVAC and pipes run between the floor above and the acoustical ceiling. Properly installed acoustic ceilings can absorb and attenuate sounds coming from adjacent spaces. That means that a conversation in a conference room is less likely to carry over to an office located next to it.

The ceilings do this by limiting the ability of the sound waves to travel through the ceiling to other spaces. The sound will bounce off surfaces until it either dissipates or finds a route to a new location. Acoustic ceilings limit this process by absorbing sound waves, causing them to dissipate faster and giving them less opportunity to reflect off of flat surfaces like walls and glass.

Think of a racquetball court. 3 solid walls and 1 glass wall cause the sound waves of the ball to reverberate until they dissipate, and the glass provides no insulation to the noise. This allows the echoes to not only bounce around the original court but also the surrounding courts and hallways. If one of those walls was made of an acoustic material then the sound wouldn’t reverberate to the same degree and would dissipate quicker, preventing the auditory pollution from affecting the rest of the area.

In order to accomplish their dampening duties, the tiles in acoustic ceilings are usually made of mineral fiber.  However, other materials, like fiberglass, are often available as well. Each material will have a specified level of dampening capability. These levels are designated by the Ceiling Attenuation Class or CAC of the ceiling panel. The higher the CAC the better the material is at dampening sound. Mineral fiber has one of the highest CACs and is cost-effective, which is why it is such a common material for acoustic ceilings.

How to Know What Type of Acoustic Ceiling is Right for Your Job

Understanding where to put an acoustic ceiling, what type of tiles to use, or how best to hang the tiles is not an easy task. Our project managers are able to work with you to help you understand all your options and to ensure that you know exactly what will work best for you and your needs.

Contact United Builders Services for a quote on your building retrofit or new construction at 303.466.7200

The Importance of Corporate Involvement in the Community and Giving Back

At UBS we live with the belief that it is our responsibility to use our expertise and experience to give back to our Colorado community. We do this, not just because we can, but because we understand just how important it is to contribute to our community, and for corporate responsibility to be present in our day to day lives.

Giving Back is About More Than Feeling Good

One of our largest social contributions was assisting the victims of the 2013 flooding through restoring and renovating homes. The flooding, which swept through Colorado, destroying, roads, businesses, and homes, left many people without their livelihood and in need of help. We were happy to step in and work with the city of Boulder to help with rebuilding efforts.

While this was a powerful experience, and one which we were glad to be a part of, it was also a teaching moment. We were given the opportunity first hand to see how important it is for corporate entities to give back to the communities they call home. We have been a part of the Colorado community for over 2 decades, and providing the aid needed during this time of chaos and confusion was an essential part of giving back to the community.

Why Should Corporate Entities Give Back?

Many corporations have a philanthropic division, creating partnerships to provide financial and volunteer opportunities. Doing so is an essential part of many companies’ outreach to the public. Companies can often feel monolithic, but through service to the community, they can provide the same care that nonprofits, churches and community members can for one another.

There are also internal benefits for companies to give back. Investors like seeing a company with a community outreach mindset because it shows a dedication to their employees and their customers. While investors want to see a return on their investment they also want to know that their money is being used responsibly and that it creates a benefit to society.

Additionally, good social policy can help employee engagement, creativity, and personal growth, which can lead to a better work output and happiness. Employees like to feel good about their jobs. Providing them with the opportunity to give back allows them to feel good about themselves and their work place, which can directly impact their creative and collaborative skills.

How to Give Back.

Every company will give back in their own way. We found that using our expertise in construction was the right skill at the right time to help people reestablish their lives. We encourage everyone to consider ways that your organization can provide community outreach and support that comes from your skill and position in the market.  Giving back can empower both a successful work environment and a great social image.

How To Tell If A Metal Stud Framer Will Be Right For Your Job

Because of its importance to a construction project, picking a reliable company or subcontractor to handle the installation of metal stud framing is essential. However, understanding how to pick a provider can be difficult. Knowing what to look for in a contractor will smooth the way for a successful project.

Warning Signs

Every installer should have a portfolio of projects they’ve worked on. Being able to look at that portfolio can help a team leader, designer, or architect learn what the applicants’ previous work has looked like. It can also help with seeing if there have been problems with previous projects. Did the walls on a project buckle, break, or bend? That installer may have missed placing interior studs into the frame. Did the drywall break down after a flood? They may not have properly measured and placed the frames, resulting in greater flood damage. Were there repeated problems with electrical or communications wiring? They may have been using materials with sharp edges that damaged the wiring. Did doors or windows not fit in the framing as the blueprint said they should? The installer might have neglected to properly measure the studs before installation.

One of these issues alone is not a reason to doubt the capabilities of an installer, but a history of repeated issues is a cause for concern. Checking the contractor’s history is a critical step in determining if an installer will be a good fit for a project.

Other Things You Can Do

It is also important to check what materials an installer plans to use. Each manufacturer has their own warranty, and you should review the materials specifications and warranty when evaluating the installer. Understanding the installer’s process and their choice in materials is important to making sure that their work will be completed correctly and will stand the test of time.

You should also check how your installers hire subcontractors or workmen, and how they handle managing their teams, to ensure that they will work well within the ecosystem of your project. If a team has poor management or brings on unqualified labor, it can be detrimental to not only the framing installation, but also to the installation of wiring, heating, plumbing, and flooring.  Like a machine, if one component is out of place, then the rest can quickly be brought to a grinding halt.

For more info on our services, our history, and our expertise, or to see our commitment to the completion of each job, contact us today.

Safety in Metal Stud Framing

Every construction site has the potential to be a dangerous work space. The myriad of tools and hazards require that people ensure their safety. Working with metal stud framing has its own unique challenges, which can require that the worker remains extra diligent, not only to ensure the safety of themselves and those around them, but also to complete the job in a timely and accurate manner.

Read more “Safety in Metal Stud Framing”

What Is Metal Stud Framing?

Metal stud framing is the skeleton of a building. It provides the framework for interior layout, ensures proper spacing of interior areas, is one of the first steps to any refurbishing or reconstruction project, and is essential to creating a space that is not only functional, but appealing as well.

WHAT IS IT?

Metal stud framing is the framework that lays out where partitions within a structure will sit. These partitions define rooms, cubicles, and open spaces, and where items like doors or windows will be positioned.

Read more “What Is Metal Stud Framing?”

Leadership in Construction

At United Builders Services, leadership is one of our core values. We believe that leadership isn’t just about how many projects we complete.  It’s about how we complete them. This is demonstrated in our company philosophy: To complete every project – big or small – to the highest value of global construction services and technical expertise on time, and within budget.

In a world where construction is sometimes completed for the lowest cost as possible, the project is often negatively impacted.  We believe in providing the best quality materials and service while still keeping efficiency in mind for every project.  This is why we take the time needed to work with each customer to ensure that their project is built to their specifications. Read more “Leadership in Construction”

Safety When Using Drywall

Drywall installation is a field where workplace safety remains an important concern. While it may seem like drywall can be installed relatively easily, it is important to be able to spot when a contractor is performing an installation within the expected safety parameters in order to protect the contractors and the site itself.

HOW IS THE JOB SET UP?

Because of how sensitive drywall is to the elements, how much of it is used in jobs, and how difficult it can be to maneuver, dry wall should be delivered as close to the job site as possible. However, because drywall takes up a large storage space, it also needs to be placed in a way that it is not a hazard within the work environment.

Read more “Safety When Using Drywall”

Acoustical Ceilings for your Office or Commercial Interior

ACOUSTICAL CEILINGS: WHAT ARE THEY?

An acoustical ceiling may conjure up a picture of the roof of an opera house in your mind’s eye, designed to enhance the sound within.  However, acoustical ceilings are actually quite common in commercial real estate and office buildings. They serve as a sound dampener and to conceal HVAC and other building systems. These ceilings are designed to provide a quiet work space where employees can concentrate distraction free. They are sometimes called lay-in ceilings, are versatile, durable, and cost effective, and are popular in many commercial buildings.

Read more “Acoustical Ceilings for your Office or Commercial Interior”

Leading Construction from the Ground Up

WHAT SETS A BUILDER APART WHEN IT COMES TO MANAGING LARGE-SCALE CONSTRUCTION TEAMS? 

When working with large groups of contractors and subcontractors, if details are allowed to slip through the cracks a project can easily get out of hand. Managing numerous people and companies, who all have their own goals and needs, can result in confusion and frustration.

Over the past four decades, United Builders Service has become a leader in metal stud framing and drywall installation in the Denver region.  Throughout this journey, we have worked with numerous subcontractors and contractors.  Our success has come from an unwavering focus on ensuring that each person we bring to a site is not only skilled in their job, but also has the track record to prove it. Through these interactions, we have learned how to work with, lead, and motivate large groups of diverse people to meet GC’s highest expectations for professionalism.

Read more “Leading Construction from the Ground Up”

UBS: Your Drywall Experts

TECHNIQUES AND SKILLS

Too often, drywall is looked at as the last step in the construction process, and as a simple task that should be completed as quickly and cheaply as possible. The truth of the matter is that without a proper technique, planning, and an understanding of how dry wall fits into the construction process, an otherwise well planned and executed construction project can end up with significant aesthetic and functional issues.

WHAT DRY WALL DOES

Dry wall isn’t just a covering for the frame of a structure. It serves as the base for paint, spackle, or other material that will decorate a room. It protects electrical wiring and piping. It essentially works to provide an aesthetic base and protective layer. This is why understanding the process of putting up dry wall is so important. If done incorrectly, it can compromise both the design and the functionality of a room.

Read more “UBS: Your Drywall Experts”