{Case Study} The Slate in Omaha, Nebraska

Founded in 1988, the NuStyle Development Corporation (NDC) has undoubtedly transformed and revamped the Omaha, Neb. built environment. Today, just over a quarter century later, the NDC is fully owned and operated by Todd Heistand and his wife, Mary. The NDC is most recognized for its impressive refurbishing of seemingly dilapidated properties in downtown Omaha. Throughout the years, Hesitand and their developers have compiled quite the portfolio of renovated buildings, restoring the historic value of the city and attracting commercial attention to the area.

The efforts of the NDC have not gone unnoticed by the city of Omaha. In 2013, Heistand’s company was awarded the Omaha by Design’s Laurels Award, which is presented annually to “the organization or business that has made significant contributions to the creation of great public spaces in the metro.”

Amongst the many remarkable buildings restored by the NDC is The Slate on N. 19th Street, featuring 117 units and costing developers $13,035,115 to renovate. In addition to the building’s aesthetically pleasing and rustic living spaces, The Slate also provides its tenants with several amenities, including a rooftop deck, a community area, and a fitness center.

NuStyle developers approached ECORE International, a company that transforms reclaimed waste into unique performance surfacing, to suggest flooring
options for the fitness center in The Slate. They wanted a flooring system that would prevent weight room noise from traveling to rooms below the fitness area. Choosing to start with a more conservative approach, the developers decided to use approximately 1,300 square-feet of 5-millimeter (mm) QT Sound Control Underlayment (scu), ECORE’s original recycled rubber underlayment, in The Slate’s fitness center. The floor system features a loosely bound shoe thread mat with 8-mm of Everlast Fitness Flooring, also manufactured by ECORE, on top.

Unfortunately, the developers noticed there was continued sound transmission to the apartments downstairs, despite the QT installation. “While the decimaldrop between the weight area and the floor below performed above apartment standards (achieving FIIC 67 where code requirements are FIIC 45), we needed something a bit more insulating for the weight rooms,” said Greg Rothermel, the Development Director of NDC. NuStyle Developers again approached ECORE technicians, asking for further suggestions to eliminate sound transmission caused by the treadmills and free weights.

ECORE responded to the challenge, hiring a third party acoustical consultant, the Sextant Group, to conduct field tests of the space. These tests included standard IIC tapping machines tests, treadmill tests, and 50 pound dumbbell drop tests. Based on the results of those tests, ECORE recommended 2.5-inch Everlast UltraTile® with Regrind* for a 14 dBA Leq (the a-weighted equivalent continuous sound level) reduction in the free weight areas and QTscu 4012 to place under the treadmills. QTscu is a patented, flat, resilient, underlayment used directly under floor finishes, yielding exceptional results under hard surface flooring and over concrete and wood joist construction.

Everlast UltraTile with Regrind can withstand the constant dropping of weights and pounding of equipment without showing wear and tear. The unique Shock Block fastening system offers the ability to quickly move or replace tiles as desired with minimal adhesive required. In addition, UltraTile surpasses the noise and shock absorption qualities of any other fitness floor.

Rothermel and his team of developers were so pleased with the results of field tests that they decided to install Everlast UltraTile in the fitness areas of two others apartment buildings in the NuStyle Development: The Bank and TipTop. The Bank property features approximately 800-square-feet of the 2.5-inch UltraTile Regrind under the weight area. Additionally, the TipTop property features the standard 1-inch UltraTile, which proved to significantly reduce treadmill and weight drop noise to surrounding rooms.

Thanks to ECORE’s willingness to come up with a solution to the sound transmission problem, the NuStyle Developers were able to successfully insulate weight rooms in three of their properties. “We’d definitely use the UltraTile again,” Rothermel stated.

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