Design-Build Team Project
The Bowling Alley
Mitigating sound when there’s a bowling alley in your basement
The design-build request from the homeowner was simple enough – ‘we’d like a bowling alley in the basement. And because I like to run upstairs and check on what I’m cooking for my family and guests, let’s put the bowling alley directly underneath the kitchen. Oh, can you make sure we don’t hear any noise from the bowling alley in the kitchen?’
Teaming up to find a solution for the homeowner is Arnie Surdyk of Double Diamond Property & Construction, a fixture in luxury residential building in Breckenridge, Colorado and board member for the Summit County Builders Association. From the technology side of the fence are Dusty Gorski and Ben Larkin of Denver’s ListenUp, one of consumer technology’s most decorated integration and retail firms and also a member of the Summit County Builders Association.
Technology Designer Arnie, give us a little background about Double Diamond and how you keep abreast of the latest in residential design-build technology.
Arnie Surdyk We build custom homes only and we try to do high-end, high-performance homes. We want each home to be unique. So that means we want to integrate the latest technologies that will make the home stand out. I try to come up with unique ideas and that’s where my technology consultant comes into the picture and makes great suggestions.
So if I see something cool in a magazine or a client mentions a feature they’ve seen and like, I pick up the phone and call Dusty and start asking questions.
TD Dusty, it sounds like you are part educator, part collaborator.
Dusty You know, that’s actually a pretty good description of how we view our role as it pertains to the design-build community. Technology and innovation move at the speed of light and one of our responsibilities is to relay the latest tech as it relates to any given discipline. If our design-build partners are kept up to speed on technological advances, we have a good starting point or a reference point where we all come from as we work together to design new solutions.
TD Tell us about this bowling alley and how you were able to meet client expectations.
AS When I heard what the homeowner wanted us to accomplish, particularly about not having any sound from the bowling alley go through the ceiling and into the kitchen, I asked a couple of integrators I had worked with previously if they had any ideas. When they drew a blank, the homeowner introduced me to Ben over at ListenUp. LU had already worked on their primary residence in Denver, and they had complete confidence they would be able to come up with a solution.
TD Ben, I think this is where you come in!
Ben Larkin As Arnie mentioned, the client was an LU client and had spent a lot of money with us. What began as a noise mitigation concern regarding the bowling alley, it actually morphed into two specific acoustic projects.
The first was the two-lane Brunswick bowling alley under the kitchen. We consulted with Keith Yates Design Group and had several dozen phone calls where we discussed every dimension regarding the project. Noise mitigation, performance and room aesthetics.
The second noise mitigation concern was the ultra-performance theater, which entailed hanging subwoofers from the ceiling with airline cables!
We ended up isolating the entire ceiling in the basement. 3,000 square feet of floating acoustic ceiling. Several hundred acoustic isolators with various spring densities were installed. The whole ceiling is covered with stretched fabric and everything is hidden without any ceiling clutter.
Since the client was investing in an expensive theater, we wanted it designed for the highest level of performance. Acoustic performance versus acoustic mitigation was our design challenge, as well as the ultimate room aesthetics.
There was a tremendous amount of collaboration with Arnie and sub-contractors. We taught the subs about our world and how their work impacts technology. We do a lot of education when we are on jobs, especially with sub-contractors.
TD Thanks for that run down. The project turned out perfectly and the homeowners are thrilled. Final thoughts on being a part of a design-build team working in the luxury market in Breck?
DG I find there are very few builders as open and willing to allow technology to play a role in defining and making a custom home over-the-top as Double Diamond. Arnie lets us talk to clients early on in the process, which is critical to success.
AS When I first talk to homeowners about budgets, AV isn’t important to them. Once they meet with ListenUp, they come to realize how important tech is. I couldn’t imagine working with any other firm than ListenUp; they are knowledgeable and back up their work with amazing customer service.
We like when we have a solid relationship and co-market and the commitments you make are long lasting. Find a good technology partner and create a win-win relationship, not a one-and-done. Create the bond. Those are the most valuable and the hardest to come by.