From Horse Barn to Wellness Center, Part 9: Considerations for Sound-Proofing Materials

Photos by Adam D. Bearup

Following the journey to remodel a horse barn into a commercial wellness center on a Midwestern property zoned for agriculture. This multi-part series recounts the considerations, pitfalls and ultimate successes of a green-building project with an ambitious scope to bring a defunct farm building new life as a natural health destination.

The Township meeting to change the zoning for ground-mounted solar arrays was a few months away (see the previous installment for how we overcame solar power barriers). Our focus switched back to the physical work needed to change the horse barn into a wellness center.

Our plan was to re-side the entire structure after we finished framing the additions onto the barn. The structural engineer required us to remove the existing pole barn’s steel siding and nail up ½-inch-thick oriented standard board (OSB) sheathing in its place. We added the sheathing to strengthen the exterior wall framing of the barn, because according to the engineer, the metal pole barn siding screwed to purlins did not provide the required strength for a commercial building.

We feared taking all of the steel off at once and having the barn basically shift to one side and collapse. To avoid this, we removed only a few pieces of the existing steel siding at a time and added the wall sheathing to make sure that the existing structure would not collapse. We continued this process of removing only enough of the existing steel siding to get up our next pieces of wall sheathing installed until all sides of the barn, including the walls that would now become interior walls, were re-sided. The wall sheathing on the existing barn walls continued over onto the new addition walls. Finally, we installed house wrap and taped all of the seams.