• Virginia

John Marshall Courtroom


The John Marshall Courtroom in downtown Richmond, Virginia recently went through an architectural renovation. The finished space looked great, but no one had considered the sound problems that would arise from the renovation.

Application Introduction:

A holding cell was built out adjacent to the courtroom during renovation. Every time someone in the cell flushed the toilet, those in the courtroom could hear the noise. As one might imagine, the flushing sounds were very distracting to the judge and the officers of the court. After state officials consulted with an acoustical engineer, they brought in Acoustical Solutions to “flush” out the noise.

Treatment Provided:

The first thing Acoustical Solutions did was decouple the stainless steel toilet from the wall structure connected to the courtroom. This reduced the structure borne sound that was transmitting through the walls. To do this, Acoustical Solutions first recommended that a plumber be brought in to pull the toilets. After that, Acoustical Solutions installed Isolation Washer Bushings between the toilets and the threaded mounts. Acoustical Solutions also recommended applying Antivibe® DL-10 Metal Damping Compound onto the back of the inside wall of the toilets to reduce the “ringing” sound reverberating through the toilet structure itself.

Next, Acoustical Solutions addressed the airborne noise by installing Audioseal® Sound Barrier, a mass loaded vinyl weighing one pound per square foot, inside the shared wall separating the courtroom from the holding cell.

Acoustic Door Seal Kits were then added to the holding cell door to reduce the sound leaking out from around it.  A 1% opening can let through 50% of the noise, so a tight seal is essential. Sonex® Contour Ceiling Tiles were also added to the cell to lower the reverberant noise.

Finally, Acoustical Solutions installed AlphaSorb® Acoustic Panels from floor to ceiling inside the courtroom to absorb sound energy and lower ambient noise within the larger space.


The noise is gone and the judge is back in business – without the distracting background sound effects.