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post #91 of 422 Old 03-03-2016, 11:11 AM
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Yeah they are picky. He didn't make me ground any of my metal boxes on the garage wall. But anyways.. none of it was a big deal or pricey or anything.
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post #92 of 422 Old 03-03-2016, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Yay! I finally found the right code section regarding "Fireblocking" and "Draftstopping." It is listed under Section 718, "Concealed Spaces" (how intuitive is that??? No wonder I couldn't find it earlier). LOL.

I've attached my 'cheat sheet' for building code Section 718 to this post as a Word doc.

I have to correct myself on a few of my previous statements:
  1. With regards to fire blocking, OSB/Plywood needs to be .719" or thicker to be used as a fire stop.
  2. The code specifically mentions 'unfaced fiberglass insulation' as fire blocking material, but that is mentioned in sub-section title only. Elsewhere, it simply reads, "fiberglass insulation." Thus the controversy.
  3. The code specifically mentions fiberglass insulation with regards to double stud walls.

Also, an important point I neglected to mention earlier is that whatever approved fire blocking material one chooses, it must be held in place. That's a potential sticking point for insulation, so one must be careful to ensure it won't move.

Draft stopping has slightly less stringent requirements.

Section 718.2.1 does not mention fiberglass insulation directly but reads in part, "or other approved materials." Fiberglass insulation is mentioned elsewhere in the building code, relative to 'approved materials.' Besides, if it wasn't approved to be inside a wall then all of our homes wouldn't have it. And in 718.2.1.2, fiberglass insulation is mentioned specifically even though it is absent from Section 718.2.1. Weird, I know. Well, that is the IBC codes for you.

Here are the most relevant sections for TL;DR people (2012 IBC ICC):


718.1 General.
Fireblocking and draftstopping shall be installed in combustible concealed locations in accordance with this section.... Draftstopping in floor/ceiling spaces and attic spaces shall comply....

718.2 Fireblocking.
In combustible construction, fireblocking shall be installed to cut off concealed draft openings (both vertical and horizontal) and shall form an effective barrier between floors, between a top story and a roof or atticspace. Fireblocking shall be installed in the locations specified in Sections 718.2.2 through 718.2.7.

718.2.1 Fireblocking materials.
Fireblocking shall consist of the following materials:
1. Two-inch (51 mm) nominal lumber.
2. Two thicknesses of 1-inch (25 mm) nominal lumber with broken lap joints.
3. One thickness of 0.719-inch (18.3 mm) wood structural panels with joints backed by 0.719-inch (18.3 mm) wood structural panels.
4. One thickness of 0.75-inch (19.1 mm) particleboard with joints backed by 0.75-inch (19 mm) particleboard.
5. One-half-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board.
6. One-fourth-inch (6.4 mm) cement-based millboard.
7. Batts or blankets of mineral wool, mineral fiber or other approved materials installed in such a manner as to be securely retained in place.
8. Cellulose insulation installed as tested for the specific application.

718.2.1.1 Batts or blankets of mineral wool or mineral fiber.

Batts or blankets of mineral wool or mineral fiber or other approved nonrigid materials shall be permitted for compliance with the 10-foot (3048 mm) horizontal fireblocking in walls constructed using parallel rows of studs or staggered studs

718.2.1.2 Unfaced fiberglass.
Unfaced fiberglass batt insulation used as fireblocking shall fill the entire cross section of the wall cavity to a minimum height of 16 inches (406 mm) measured vertically. When piping, conduit or similar obstructions are encountered, the insulation shall be packed tightly around the obstruction.

718.2.1.3 Loose-fill insulation material.
Loose-fill insulation material, insulating foam sealants and caulk materials shall not be used as a fireblock unless specifically tested in the form and manner intended for use to demonstrate its ability to remain in place and to ****** [Edit: mitigate; the AVS forum free-speech editor keeps blocking the real word in the Code] the spread of fire and hot gases.

718.2.1.5 Double stud walls.
Batts or blankets of mineral or glass fiber or other approved nonrigid materials shall be allowed as fireblocking in walls constructed using parallel rows of studs or staggered studs.

718.2.2 Concealed wall spaces.
Fireblocking shall be provided in concealed spaces of stud walls and partitions, including furred spaces, and parallel rows of studs or staggered studs, as follows:
1. Vertically at the ceiling and floor levels.
2. Horizontally at intervals not exceeding 10 feet (3048 mm).

718.2.3 Connections between horizontal and vertical spaces.
Fireblocking shall be provided at interconnections between concealed vertical stud wall or partition spaces and concealed horizontal spaces created by an assembly of floor joists or trusses, and between concealed vertical and horizontal spaces such as occur at soffits, drop ceilings, cove ceilings and similar locations.

718.2.5 Ceiling and floor openings.
Where required by Section 712.1.7, Exception 1 of Section 714.4.1.2 or Section 714.4.2, fireblocking of the annular space around vents, pipes, ducts, chimneys and fireplaces at ceilings and floor levels shall be installed with a material specifically tested in the form and manner intended for use to demonstrate its ability to remain in place and resist the free passage of flame and the products of combustion.


718.3 Draftstopping in floors.
In combustible construction, draftstopping shall be installed to subdivide floor/ceiling assemblies in the locations prescribed in Sections 718.3.2 through 718.3.3.

718.3.1 Draftstopping materials.
Draftstopping materials shall not be less than 1/2-inch (12.7 mm) gypsum board, 3/8-inch (9.5 mm) wood structural panel, 3/8-inch (9.5 mm) particleboard, 1-inch (25-mm) nominal lumber, cement fiberboard, batts or blankets of mineral wool or glass fiber, or other approved materials adequately supported. The integrity of draftstops shall be maintained.

718.3.2 Groups R-1, R-2, R-3 and R-4.
Draftstopping shall be provided in floor/ceiling spaces in Group R-1 buildings....

Exceptions:
1. Draftstopping is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.

718.4 Draftstopping in attics.
In combustible construction, draftstopping shall be installed to subdivide attic spaces and concealed roof spaces....

718.4.1 Draftstopping materials.
Materials utilized for draftstopping of attic spaces shall comply with Section 718.3.1.

718.4.2 Groups R-1 and R-2.
Draftstopping shall be provided in attics, mansards, overhangs... and in all Group R-1 buildings. Draftstopping shall be installed above, and in line with, sleeping unit and dwelling unit separation walls that do not extend to the underside of the roof sheathing above.

Exceptions:
1. Where corridor walls provide a sleeping unit or dwelling unit separation, draftstopping shall only be required above one of the corridor walls.
2. Draftstopping is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.
3. ....
4. Draftstopping is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.2, provided that automatic sprinklers are also installed in the combustible concealed space where the draftstopping is being omitted.

718.4.3 Other groups.
Draftstopping shall be installed in attics and concealed roof spaces, such that any horizontal area does not exceed 3,000 square feet (279 m2).

Exception: Draftstopping is not required in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.

718.5 Combustible materials in concealed spaces in Type I or II construction.
Combustible materials shall not be permitted in concealed spaces of buildings of Type I or II construction.

Exceptions:
1. ....
2. ....
3. Class A interior finish materials classified in accordance with Section 803.
4. Combustible piping within partitions or shaft enclosures....
5. Combustible piping within concealed ceiling spaces....
6. Combustible insulation and covering on pipe and tubing, installed in concealed spaces other than plenums,....
Attached Files
File Type: doc Fire Blocking - ICC IBC 2012 - Section 718.doc (54.5 KB, 68 views)
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post #93 of 422 Old 03-03-2016, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdy2179 View Post
Yeah they are picky. He didn't make me ground any of my metal boxes on the garage wall.
That's bad. The reason for grounding the box is so that you are not electrocuted if you touch the box and one of the live wires is loose inside.
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post #94 of 422 Old 03-03-2016, 11:55 AM
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That's bad. The reason for grounding the box is so that you are not electrocuted if you touch the box and one of the live wires is loose inside.
I hired an electrician by the hour to do the work. Maybe he grounded it and I never noticed. It was a crazy time. I worked every evening and weekend running Alarm, speaker wire, dealing with contractors, staining floors, painting etc making changes and doing framing after the framer left and working full time.,,ohh and I built a home theater during that time too..

But in your situation I see no reason You can't build the way you want. I say full steam ahead!
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post #95 of 422 Old 03-03-2016, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cdy2179 View Post
I hired an electrician by the hour to do the work. Maybe he grounded it and I never noticed.
I would bet that is the case.

Quote:
It was a crazy time. I worked every evening and weekend running Alarm, speaker wire, dealing with contractors, staining floors, painting etc making changes and doing framing after the framer left and working full time.,,ohh and I built a home theater during that time too..

But in your situation I see no reason You can't build the way you want. I say full steam ahead!
I can imagine. Exactly why mine is going so slowly (minus the contractors part - so far at least).

It is a labor of love as the saying goes. I'm finding that I spend more time identifying issues and figuring out the best way to handle them, versus actually doing the physical work. 80% planning and 20% doing. Sometimes it's frustrating to spend free time in the planning stage when I wish I was 'doing!'
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post #96 of 422 Old 03-04-2016, 05:01 AM
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I just read your paste of the code book, Well it looks like you're good to go. I mean with a staggered stud wall you want to install fiber glass anyways or rockwool in it anyway so there's you're fire block. Having gone through this like 4 months ago, there's nothing that should alter your construction plans.
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post #97 of 422 Old 03-04-2016, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HT Geek View Post
I would bet that is the case.



I can imagine. Exactly why mine is going so slowly (minus the contractors part - so far at least).

It is a labor of love as the saying goes. I'm finding that I spend more time identifying issues and figuring out the best way to handle them, versus actually doing the physical work. 80% planning and 20% doing. Sometimes it's frustrating to spend free time in the planning stage when I wish I was 'doing!'
Ha.. Yea, man I worked until 9pm every night. Lots of times you just have to make decisions quick and keep moving forward. I started and finished the HT in about 2 weeks though.. but I had it all planned out in my head and on paper.. and in reality it's simple. You just have to get in the zone and not let off the gas.
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post #98 of 422 Old 03-18-2016, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Updating for passage of time (and some work!)

0. Insulation nearly complete. Left temporary openings in the walls and ceiling for electrical and HVAC adjustments that I need to make. Had issues stapling the Kraft paper to the ceiling joists until I figured out the pressure from the air compressor was the issue (set way too high from my framing nailer). Also had an issue with one set of joists where either they are slightly too far apart (>23") or there was an anomaly with the insulation batt width. I suspect the former. Some Gorille Black Tape seems to be holding it temporarily until the OSB goes up.

On the walls, I decided to rip the paper off the batts that had it on them. Since I had started trying to staple them first, they were an even bigger pain than the ceiling batts. I gave up after battling the issue a bit, and the un-faced insulation seems to be staying up just fine.

1. I have a full roll of rubber mat (3/8") left over from the floating sub-floor. I was originally going to keep it and sell it later if I didn't need it. Then I thought of possibly using it to cut 1 1/2" rubber strips that I could place between the ceiling joists and OSB/Drywall. Well, I was preparing to do so - in spite of it being a big PITA - and then before beginning the process of cutting up the strips, I decided I might as well do a quick scan of AVS for this topic.

I wasn't trying to emulate RC or RSIC clips in effect - after all, I have a huge attic above - but I figured a little bit of attenuation wouldn't hurt either. Long story short, I did not find any relevant info on AVs, but stumbled upon the ol' reliable NRC-CNRC report from 1995 (IRC-IR-693) that discusses various gypsum wall sound proofing concepts, and amongst them is the use of soft rubber pucks. 1 STC is the TL gain. Sheesh. For that, it's definitely not worth bothering. I would have thought it would make a greater difference, but no. I'm thankful this type of esoteric information exists.

One would think solid rubber strips the length of the joists would work a bit better, but starting from a net gain of only 1 STC for rubber 'pucks' does not instill a great deal of confidence that rubber strips would fare much better (in fact, perhaps it could be worse given the fact the pucks leave an air gap across most of the joist whereas my idea would not). Either way, the evidence is contrary to my gut instinct (which seems to be wrong on this one). So, scratch that idea.

2. Starting to run 3x 20-amp wires from where the A/V rack will be to the breaker box. The plan is 1 wire for lighting, wall plugs, and any accessories in the room. If I use dim-able LED can lights, it should also be able to handle my teenage son and his buddies plugging in multiple laptops/PC's and other gadgets. 2 wires for the A/V rack (total capacity 40 amps @ 120v). I doubt I'll need more than 1 20-amp circuit now, but I want to future-proof and/or make things as easy as possible to access and replace just in case I live in this house more than another 5 years. There are always new electronic toys being developed!

3. Next up will be pre-fitting the HVAC equipment. I've already got the run drafted on paper. Using 2 existing 7" supply runs that branch from a 9" flex-duct coming off the supply plenum. Returns will consist of an 8" vent in the room, a 6" vent from the A/V rack, and a 4" vent near the projector. All the return ducts will combine into a 9" flex-duct that feeds into an auxiliary return plenum with 14" pipe to the main return plenum. The room has a 1:1 supply:return duct size ratio and CFM ratio. I think that should be good after I split the room off as its own zone.

HVAC will be a significant part of the project in the near future. Still need to order dampers, though I have the zone system (currently in a box). Also need to order a 24V transformer, and before that I have to figure out the total load so that I size the transformer appropriately. I'm leaning toward installing in-line duct fans just in case (one each in supply and return ducts). I'm concerned that even with 1:1 air flow and the HVAC fan all the time and A/C cranking as needed that it may not be enough to keep up with having 7-8 people in the room and all the equipment going. I've matched a couple of candidate models, but have not pulled the trigger on purchase yet. The good ones are around $250+ each. Yikes. Still, no one likes a stuffy or hot HT room.

I'm thinking that I'll wire the in-line fans to the zone system. This seems like the best route to me. The issue is that if the room is zoned and the in-line fans are operated when the zone is closed, I'm betting their motors will burn out, and therefore a method is required to only allow the in-line fans to activate when the zone is active and its damper(s) are open. If I can get the zone system to treat them as spring-operated dampers (i.e. hold voltage when the "damper" is open to the room), that should work. Or more specifically, the zone system would hold voltage (active) to a relay for each fan, and the relay would allow 120v to pass to the fan motor, thereby turning it on. Thus the zone system would act as a switch in conjunction with the relay. I've seen HVAC specific relays that would seem ideal for the job since they are rated for both 24v and 120v-230v.

Insulation on the walls. It's amazing how much a double-stud wall with 2 layers of R13 insulation deadens sound behind it. I now cannot hear the TV or talking at all in the adjacent bedroom. Even conversation from the downstairs kitchen area is heavily muffled, in spite of still having an open doorway. And it's eerie how much quieter/deader the HT room is, even at this early phase of construction.


Fire/Draft stopping around the windows before they are covered up:
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post #99 of 422 Old 03-18-2016, 12:13 PM
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I dropped 2- 7" supply vents into my HT. One in the front and one in the back opposite the entrance so air is pulled across the seats. I built oversized boxes with larger vents to keep velocity down. I planned on adding a return if needed. It's stays as cool as I want. I often use my phone or Harmony remote to turn my AC fan to on (the room is upstairs) to keep air circulating if we're watching a movie or will be up there a while. I have no issues at all and it has a completely silent operation. We never shut the door to the entrance so a return isn't needed.. if I kept it shut I'd probably add one.

The heat load is really no more than most of our living rooms.. plus a projector but it's not a big deal IMO. I did the same in my last HT .. with 2 vents and it would easily freeze you outta there.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdy2179 View Post
I dropped 2- 7" supply vents into my HT
Cool. Exactly what I have, and my recollection is we have similar sized rooms.

Quote:
One in the front and one in the back opposite the entrance so air is pulled across the seats. I built oversized boxes with larger vents to keep velocity down.
Good idea. I'm contemplating using Nailor diffuser vents, though the cost may be prohibitive. We'll see. For now, I just want/need to position the ducts so that I can put the walls/ceiling up.

Right now my supply vents are above one side wall. I'm debating moving them to the front as you did, but not sure it's worth the trouble as it's going to be air travelling from one side of the room to the other no matter what.

Quote:
I planned on adding a return if needed. It's stays as cool as I want. I often use my phone or Harmony remote to turn my AC fan to on (the room is upstairs) to keep air circulating if we're watching a movie or will be up there a while. I have no issues at all and it has a completely silent operation. We never shut the door to the entrance so a return isn't needed.. if I kept it shut I'd probably add one.
GTK. I already have an existing return of equal size, and the door will be shut 99% of the time, so sounds like it ought to work well as is.

If I don't install in-line fans to the HT room, I'll add a relay to turn on the A/C fan and open the damper to that zone while the equipment is powered on.

Quote:
The heat load is really no more than most of our living rooms.. plus a projector but it's not a big deal IMO. I did the same in my last HT .. with 2 vents and it would easily freeze you outta there.
What's the max # of people you've had in the HT at one time for an extended period of time?

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post #101 of 422 Old 03-18-2016, 12:52 PM
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Yeah my room is 21'6"x16'x10'4" with an attached entrance that's probably 18x10. The air is pulled through the entrance so I don't need a supply in there.

I used something like this (spray painted black) .. each about 7x14.



I would only move the vents if the air won't flow through the seating area. it will be blown into the room of course and towards the return.

I have 8 people in there often.
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post #102 of 422 Old 03-21-2016, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I used something like this (spray painted black) .. each about 7x14.
Just stumbled upon this old post by Dennis Erskine where he recommends Nailor Linear Bar Grille series 4900. Ironically, they look very similar to your grilles!




The updated link to Nailor's site is here.
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post #103 of 422 Old 03-21-2016, 07:27 PM
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these are a lot cheaper than Nailor, I stopped using Nailor based on a really crappy job they did for a client.

http://www.hvacquick.com/products/re...Linear-Grilles
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these are a lot cheaper than Nailor, I stopped using Nailor based on a really crappy job they did for a client.

http://www.hvacquick.com/products/re...Linear-Grilles
Big,

Thanks. I should have mentioned that I'd found those Dayus grilles as well, thanks to some of your other posts re: HVACQuick.com.

Have you used the Dayus concealed install grilles? What do the screws attach to? Do they simply screw into the register boot flange?

Speaking of which, I am having a difficult time finding quality register boxes/boots. I looked at the insulated boxes at Home Depot today and they seemed poorly made. At least 50% were bent, the insulation protruded into the round hole area, and they also looked like they had sloppily installed rivets on them. I shone a pen light around one and it had leaks all over the place. I would have had to practically wrap the whole thing with duct tape. Terrible.

Any suggestions, other than calling a local HVAC supply shop??

I'm leaning toward the route that cdy2179 went, in part because with a linear bar diffuser or grille you also need a suitable plenum. The linear plenums seem to be more difficult to come by and ensure a proper fit versus the standard register boots and bar grille vents.
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post #105 of 422 Old 03-21-2016, 08:25 PM
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no experience with the concealed install version

You can make your own register boxes/boots, out of MDF/ Plywood etc, lined with Lianacoustic, seams caulked tight. Generally the off the shelf boots aren't big enough to handle the expansion required to achieve an air speed at the face of the grills to 250 ft per minute. Sometimes I just partition off a section of the soffit and call it a pressurized plenum. Cut a hole in the bottom. pop in the grill and Bam, done
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post #106 of 422 Old 03-21-2016, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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... Generally the off the shelf boots aren't big enough to handle the expansion required to achieve an air speed at the face of the grills to 250 ft per minute. Sometimes I just partition off a section of the soffit and call it a pressurized plenum. Cut a hole in the bottom. pop in the grill and Bam, done
I thought the idea was to keep FPM below 250, no? I've read several of Dennis' posts on that subject. I've been considering something like a set of 14x6 or 14x7 grilles. I have 2 existing supply vents that are ~150 CFM each and a single return vent at a matching 300 CFM. The supplies are currently quiet (wide open with no grille). The return is quiet now but the builder's 12x12 grille was very slightly audible in a quiet room before demo. Therefore, I'm planning to up the ante on the return grille to a 18x18 or 24x24 and call it a day. Based on my understanding, bigger is OK on a return grille but can backfire on a supply run.

I want the supply runs (2) to be quiet but still push some air out. So far, 125-150 CFM thru a 14x6 grille seems to me a good compromise, but I am open to suggestions.

Thanks for the idea regarding DIY plenums.
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post #107 of 422 Old 03-22-2016, 12:00 PM
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I just built mine out of mdf, lined with ductboard (703) and put a duct collar on it. The AC guys were impressed as they said they just use the ductboard and aluminium tape to build such boxes... like they do their returns, I should have done that too. My back one I made like 3' long and put 2 vents so there's no way I'll hear it at the seats. One vent is really enough as the front one is a single vent and silent too.
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post #108 of 422 Old 03-28-2016, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Side Facing Supply/Return HVAC???

So, here's my latest conundrum: my HVAC supply vent feeds (2) are on the 'left' side of the room (when screen facing). The consensus on AVS seems to be supply vents up front and return vents rearward. My plan for return vents is 1 or 2 along the right side wall, and vents just behind the projector and at the top of the A/V rack.

I've done some back-of-the-envelope calculations on CFM, pipe size, etc. So I feel pretty confident about that. My plan is to restrict the flow from the A/V rack and projector a bit, and open the throttle more on the room return grille area. The system right now is evenly split at 300 CFM in and 300 CFM out (return) capacity. I'll oversize the return grilles and ducts to slow things down a bit and to provide room for future growth. Supply vents will likely now be linear bar diffusers + custom supply plenum inside the soffit.

For returns, I'm considering either some of TruAire's collared and perforated square grilles, hidden behind fabric panels on the ceiling; or potentially matching linear bar diffusers.

Now to my issue/question....

The current plan is to place the supply vents where the flex ducts are now (left wall ceiling) and install 2'-3' long bar diffusers. One would be up front and the other would be on the left side as well, and spaced about 6' apart from the front supply bar diffuser. They would all be inside the soffit. The return grille would be on the right side of the room in the soffit, and would be supplemented by air drawn from the A/V rack and projector.

What I'm looking for are thoughts on whether or not this side-to-side flow of air will be "OK" or not. I *could* move all the supply air to the front of the room, but it would entail a rather long addition to the existing flex duct. That said, if it's a big deal then I can do it.

Currently, one vent will already be towards the front. So, I suppose the question is whether or not to move the "rearward" left side vent over to to the front-right side of the room. Right now it would be more or less left of the rear seats or left of in between front & rear seats. Basically, is it OK to have all the incoming supply air on one side of the room or is that a big deal/big no-no???
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post #109 of 422 Old 03-29-2016, 06:30 AM
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sorry for my earlier typo when I implied 250 ft per min, I meant no more than 250 ft per min. As for forward to back or side to side air flow in a theater as I understand human physiology we prefer the wind in our faces rather than on the backs of our necks so that is why that originated. I've been in two theaters with mini-splits that had the units on the back wall. I didn't sit directly under them but further ahead and I had no issue. I think if the supply mixes well in the room and doesn't create a direct draft on a particular seat, side to side should be fine.
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post #110 of 422 Old 03-29-2016, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
sorry for my earlier typo when I implied 250 ft per min, I meant no more than 250 ft per min
Jeff,

I understood, based on reading about this elsewhere on AVS, but thanks for clarifying.

Quote:
I think if the supply mixes well in the room and doesn't create a direct draft on a particular seat, side to side should be fine.
Cool. That would save some hassle.

Next question is where to place the main return duct. My plan is to have 3 or 4 returns: A/V rack vent, Projector vent, and 1 or 2 room return vents.

I have already calculated total CFM in/out of the room to try and balance the system. I'll summarize:

The room's net is 300 CFM supply air and 300 CFM return air. 1:1 ratio. 200 CFM capacity using 8" round duct from room vent(s), and 100 CFM combined from A/V and projector vents via 6" flex duct. All that will feed into an existing 9" flex duct that dumps the air into one of the existing sub-return plenums.

I'll use a wye with a 10" 'mouth' facing the sub-plenum (w/reducer to 9") for now in case I decide to replace the 9" return flex duct in the future with a 10", should I determine it's advantageous to put in-line fans in the supply and return routes and need wider ducts to handle the velocity and keep it quiet (I hope not... but I am endeavoring to plan ahead for a few 'just in case' scenarios and this is one of them).

My plan for the in-room return duct is either 20" x 20" perforated (1 grille) or 12" x 12" (2 grilles).

A picture goes a long way to explain what I'm referring to....



Near the top are linear slot diffuser shapes (horizontal lines). Ignore their placement for now; it's just a rough idea of location in the room. I'm thinking of using those or the slotted grilles discussed above. The duct work is mostly left and bottom of the diagram. Circles spread around the diagram are potential ceiling light locations in the soffits. Screen would be on the right side.

Also ignore the blue "column" rectangles at the top. I was guesstimating where they might end up relative to the can lights in the soffits... think of this picture as a canvas for the moment. Nothing on it is set in stone yet except for the room dimensions and perimeter.

The blue duct shape (duct shapes have diagonal lines inside them) is the 9" duct that leads to the existing sub-plenum. The orange are 6" ducts. The green is 8" duct. The yellow "R" is where the return grille could be placed. The orange ducts lead to the projector box and A/V rack.

I'm planning to keep the 6" and 8" duct lengths the same, in an effort to keep the pressure balanced. At least that is my theory.

Comments welcomed!
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post #111 of 422 Old 04-03-2016, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quick update.

Finally had a reasonable amount of time this weekend to work on my "project."

Got the HVAC flex ducts re-oriented per my plan. What a PITA. In retrospect, I now realize I could have made my life easier by ordering a sub-plenum box kit and simply feeding all the HVAC. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that.

Instead, I used galvanized metal wye's to join the branches together. 4" line to back of where the projector hushbox wlll go, 5" to A/V rack, and 6" for the room.

Since my last update, I ran 3 new branch wiring circuits. All part of laying the foundation for osb/drywall.

Hoping to start on the ceiling OSB layer this week.
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post #112 of 422 Old 06-19-2016, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I haven't posted in over 2 months, and figured it was time to post an update. At the beginning of this project, I fully intended to make detailed posts frequently. However, life has been busy and at times it's difficult to sit down and compose what feels largely like me rambling to myself here. LOL.

At any rate, recently I've been working on the soffits (will post pics when I can get my phone connected to the PC). I had a revelation today that I am likely focusing way too much on the detail and being nit-picky trying to get the whole soffit at the exact same height around the room. Now, when I say "exact" I mean that in the truest sense of the word. It was bugging me that I have 1/8" variance from some parts to the others. And I only have about 75% of the framing up.

At any rate, it dawned on me that I've been too concerned with what is likely a minutia detail. My plan is to use 1/2" MDF covered with 5/8" Type X drywall. So, it dawned on me today (finally) that the drywall layer will allow me to smooth out any height transitions that bother me.

That said, some lessons I've learned:

1. Now I understand by BigMouthinDC is a proponent of metal U-channel on the ceiling and hanging vertical wood posts from it for the support that sticks out from the wall. I've been doing a modified ladder style with 2x4's and boy has it been a pain to keep them straight and a uniform distance from the wall. Now, I'm aware that my walls may not be perfectly flat and straight on their vertical axis for their entire length, but regardless... this step was a big pain and I had to 're-do' one 8' section because I did not feel comfortable with the angle of the wood. I painstakingly hand-picked 2x4's as straight as I could find them. However, it's one thing to be in the lumber yard and another to be in your future HT room and using a tape measure and laser level that tell you the wood is not in fact straight!

2. Mixed feelings about doing the soffit post-drywall (what I did) versus pre-drywall. It would have been much easier to build the soffit pre-drywall, especially since my ceiling is not de-coupled and I'm using 2x4's as its frame (i.e. heavy relative to 2x2's or 2x3's). OTOH, it's not clear to me if I would have had to essentially drywall the inside anyway to meet fire codes or if it would have counted as a concealed space (though that would mean it had its own set of requirements - just not as stringent as a living space). Since I want the soffits to perform multiple functions (e.g. hiding wires, installing can lights, etc.), knowing they are inside the fire-resistant room "shell" per se is comforting.

I'm looking forward to finding the time to get the soffit over-and-done-with. I'll likely move on to the riser next, as I can't sort out the entry door until that happens.

I'll just add that I modified my plans slightly to accommodate what seems like a reasonable soffit concept. First, I reduced it's height to ~10 1/2 inches versus the original planned 12+ inches high. I also settled on a 22" width. It's convenient (2'x4' sheets of MDF and drywall will cover the underside), and it seems sufficient for can lighting without protruding too much into the room.
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post #113 of 422 Old 06-19-2016, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Atmos Pre-Planning Gone Wrong

While I'm posting updates, I want to add one regarding Atmos ceiling speakers.

I had great plans for 6 Atmos ceiling speakers as part of my system. Then I scaled it back to 4 after I started working on the backer boxes (I built them rather large at 20"x20" since at the time I had no idea what speakers I'd use).

Well, after working on the soffits and thinking carefully about my best-guess of where the seats will end up in their final position in the room, I've concluded that my original estimates of seating locations were off. Then end result relative to Atmos is that my Atmos backer boxes that I placed in the ceiling prior to layering it with OSB and Drywall are now off. They are too far forward (towards the future screen location). Not just a little off. I'd say about 2 feet off (along the axis perpendicular to the screen or in other words forward/backwards within the room).

Well, now 2 layers of the ceiling are up and my soffits are nearly finished. I'm not about to move the backer boxes. It would really be a logistical challenge in part due to the fact I left a portion of the original ceiling framing in place that is a raised portion of the original room. I left in place because it adds to the structural integrity of the room and roof in this portion of the house. Yes, it could have been removed - and doing so would have allowed me to increase the height of the ceiling in the center of the room. However, at the end-of-the-day I decided it was not worth the effort for a small gain in ceiling height. Another factor is it would have forced me to add a minimum of 3 feet to the area occupied by the rear soffit. In other words it would have forced the position of the raised ceiling portion (inside the soffit areas) to be of measurements and in a location that I didn't want. By sacrificing maximum ceiling height, I've allowed myself the option of choosing all the details such as soffit width in every part of the room. Time will tell if I'm satisfied with my decisions or not.

At any rate, point is that now I have 3 choices for Atmos:
  1. Live with the speaker locations as-is (sub-optimal)
  2. Make the effort to re-locate or add new backer boxes in the right positions
  3. Or just cover the box openings with drywall and have no Atmos speakers (though could be added later)

The silver-lining in all this is that I've already run the speaker wire to those backer boxes (and there's plenty of slack in the wire). So, I could add Atmos in the future - even in a different location of the ceiling - albeit not too far from the existing (now defunct) backer boxes.

Chalk one up to experience.

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post #114 of 422 Old 06-20-2016, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quiet Glue Issues

Why I won't be purchasing any more Quiet Glue in the future:



I've been a big proponent on this forum of not favoring any particular viscoelastic compound simply due to who is pumping the marketing of any particular product, or a forum member's history/reputation, etc. Because the real issue is whether or not a particular product performs as-designed.

I've poured over the lab tests for both Green Glue and Quiet Glue, along with a few other esoteric options in the same genre. There ARE some very SLIGHT advantages or disadvantages for one product versus the other, and GG and QG are the top 2 performers. However, the disparities are small and from an audio performance perspective, one would have to be highly concerned with specific frequencies to make a buying/use decision solely based upon performance characteristics and lab test results.

However, after using both Green Glue and Quiet Glue, I've discovered a completely different issue related to the application of these products. Quiet Glue bleeds like crazy on vertical surfaces (i.e. walls). I applied QG over a month ago on the wall where the photo above was taken. There are at least half-a-dozen other (smaller) bleeds like this along that wall. The worst area is a window where I have had to jerry-rig a method of catching the goop that was falling onto my drywall and window sill below. Terrible PITA.

Now, let's compare that to a sample of Green Glue.



It's difficult to see unless you're looking at the photo in large format, but there's a blob of GG up in there. It solidified enough to stay put. No mess.

And in case someone thinks this occurred because I didn't use enough screws to adhere the drywall to the wall well, that's not the case. I went back and doubled up the screws along the bottom of the drywall piece in one case, and doubled up ALL the screws on another piece of drywall. The result has been the same. The wall section in this photo is the worst. It's a small section of drywall beneath a window opening.

I used 1 tube per drywall sheet, and fractional tubes on smaller wall sections as needed - such as the area described above.

I'm terribly disappointed. GG will be getting my money from now on.
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post #115 of 422 Old 06-20-2016, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Soffit Pics

I went with @BIGmouthinDC 's advice on the screws for the soffit. You can see the 4" can light above that I'll be installing when the time comes.



I decided to go with 2x4 lumber and a modified ladder style approach. I checked out the 2x2 and 2x3 lumber at Home Depot, Lowes, and a lumber yard. In each case, I think I would have spent the better part of a day finding straight 2x2's so I wrote that off. The 2x3 would have worked by I decided at that point might as well use 2x4's to allow more surface area for attaching MDF and drywall to the soffit frame.

Here's the side-wall support, with the bottom ~9.5" below the ceiling:



My plan is to use a 2-point system where there is one support on the wall and one support from the ceiling. All using the 2x4's.

Here's a photo showing the drywall lift being used to suspend the upper ladder portion that was attached to the ceiling. I attached the vertical supports to the long 2x4 cross member and then hoisted them up. I was able to line up enough screws into the joists that all of them should hold. As an added measure of protection, I also screwed each section on the ceiling into the neighboring sections and/or walls. I used acoustic caulk between the joints just to make sure there are no vibration noise issues, though I would imagine there wouldn't be, but it's a simple addition at this point in the project.

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post #116 of 422 Old 06-20-2016, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
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While I'm posting pictures... wish I had learned earlier in the project that most commercial drywall suppliers will DELIVER!

It was so much easier to get 3 guys to carry this up the stairs for me, for free. Got it up here much faster. The only downside was their placement means I won't be able to complete the drywall on the ceiling (center) until after I've moved all the piles... which will mean when I get around to using all the other product. I tried, but could not get the drywall lift to stay on top of a 4x8 pile of drywall without the wheels slipping off.

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post #117 of 422 Old 06-21-2016, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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More Soffit Meanderings

Last night - as I was beginning to work on the rear soffit frame - I decided my plan of about a 5' rear soffit width was too narrow. Naturally, this occurred just after I'd cut all the pieces to size for a 5' span. And as luck would have it, I didn't have any spare 2x4's to re-cut; plus it would have felt very wasteful.

Anyhow, I've now decided on a 6' width in the rear. It will make the transition on the side wall where the entry doorway is look more natural (I think). With just a 5' rear soffit, that corner would have only been about 6" wide unless I did a triangular shape transition from rear to side soffit. However, considering there are no plans for any other triangle shapes atm in the room, the thought didn't sit well with me. I'm big on symmetry. I'd say I'm an engineer at heart. Wish I had taken my career that route, but that's another story.

I need to try and finish the remaining soffit frame today - except for the front - which I'm waiting until I get the stage position finalized. Then I can put the inner layer of 1/2" MDF up and see if I still like it (fingers crossed).

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post #118 of 422 Old 06-21-2016, 07:36 PM
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Keep applying the sealant or glue or whatever between your joints and where objects meet! I went stupid crazy overboard with screws and glue on my entire build and can crank my subs over 140db with very few rattles that I can spot treat.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovideoholic View Post
Keep applying the sealant or glue or whatever between your joints and where objects meet! I went stupid crazy overboard with screws and glue on my entire build and can crank my subs over 140db with very few rattles that I can spot treat.
Thanks for the tip. I'll admit that when I began attaching the soffit ladders I didn't think it was necessary to use glue or sealant. The thought occurred to me when I was on perhaps the 5th or 6th section. Hopefully, it won't matter. I've made a mental note to use acoustical sealant when I get to the stage of applying the facade to the soffits. And I did leave a small gap between most joints, so that I can retro-actively apply acoustical sealant there.

We'll see. As you pointed out, I want to avoid rattles!

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post #120 of 422 Old 07-17-2016, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Update on My Progress

So, I have totally been slacking with regards to updating this thread. Partly 'cause I've had a number of points where I got stuck due to either running out of wood, wrong parts, or just figuring out how to solve a problem. And partly 'cause of family vacation and lightning strike on house while we were gone (that I'm still dealing with). Thankful all the HT equip was not connected yet as it blew out one TV, all my surge protectors, all my UPS units, my network equip, PC's... you name it. Not fun.

Finally got the circuit breakers tackled a couple of weeks ago.

Unfortunately, due to the box configuration and the type of breakers installed, the existing breakers had to be re-arranged so everything would fit (the box is now almost full). That means I now need to re-label most of them as they're no longer all lined up with the correct labels. The issue was these new AFCI/GFCI combo breakers are BIG inside the box, compared to regular breakers.

Upside is it saves me from feeling like I MUST have GFCI outlets in the room. My outlets in the HT room will be behind a pull-out network rack, and will be difficult to access for GFCI-push-button-reset purposes. I'll probably still use one for the electrical outlets in columns and rear seats though, just in case someone does something foolish involving liquids and electricity.

Fun Fun Fun!!!



The wires in the top left of the breaker box are the new ones. There are 3 new circuits going into the HT room. 2x 10-gauge wire (orange) and 1x 12-gauge wire (yellow). I only wanted this done one time (since it's such a P.I.T.A. and I now have holes in the drywall all over my garage). All circuits are 20-amp, but the 2x 10-gauge wires could be converted to 30-amp, though I can't imagine any reason for ever doing that (but never say never, right)?
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