The Shock of Kickboxing Studios in Mixed-Use Developments
Author: Indi Savitala
Vol. 114 | May 30, 2017
Kickboxing studios in mixed-use developments are creating problems for owners and developers. The low frequency vibration created from hitting a free-standing bag propagates through structural connections and can be felt in dwelling units. This leads to a decrease in quality of life for those unfortunate enough to live in the same building.
Kickboxing classes include a warmup period (light jogging and stretching), punching period (jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts), kicking period (front kick, side kick, and roundhouse kick), combination punching and kicking period, partner training, and cool down period. During a typical 50-minute class, there will be about 10 minutes that involves kicking the bag. The greatest amount of vibration is felt during this 10-minute period.
The installation of a vibration isolation flooring solution (commonly called a “floating floor”) can reduce enough low frequency vibration so that it is not disturbing to adjacent dwelling units. This type of solution goes beyond the standard gym mats that all owners are required to provide. A proper vibration isolation flooring solution should include a product that is at least 2 inches thick with one or two layers of plywood or cement board on top (to assist with compressing the product). Owners should explore products that have been laboratory tested and include Impact Isolation Class (IIC) ratings along with one-third octave band frequency data.
Be aware that there are lots of products on the market and they are not all the same. Material composition, density, and thickness are just a few factors that can affect product performance. Additionally, each product reacts differently to the floor structure and low frequency vibration, so reviewing the laboratory test results is extremely important.
The installation of a proper vibration isolation flooring solution is a must for kickboxing studios and dwelling units to coincide harmoniously in mixed-use developments.
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