Gypsum manufacturer PABCO Gypsum announced the latest edition of “The Sound Design Guide,” which was introduced at INTEX EXPO ‘22. The most comprehensive, transparent resource for sound and fire information in the industry has been enhanced with new designs, a new section on 2x6 wood stud framing, updated tests and much more.


New wall designs have been added throughout the 2022 edition to provide more assembly options for construction professionals. The 74 new designs bring the guide’s total to 177 sound and fire tested assemblies on different steel and wood-framed partitions, using various stud thicknesses, configurations and materials. “You will find assemblies in our guide that use combinations of traditional gypsum wallboard and our QuietRock sound-reducing drywall. We test both fire and sound on the same design, so you don’t have to guess the STC performance when you build to the fire-rated designs,” said Mike Amaral, manager of architectural sales, PABCO Gypsum.


The new designs include an additional section on 2x6 wood stud framing assemblies, useful for residential construction. Low-frequency STL (Sound Transmission Loss) data tables have also been added to assemblies that feature QuietRock 545. “When designing walls for low-frequency transmission loss, STC results do not provide enough data,” said Ben Shafer, technical services manager, Acoustic Systems for PABCO Gypsum.


The new edition also features an enhanced layout of the assemblies which now includes a side-by-side comparison of results for studs spaced 16 o.c. vs. 24 inches o.c. This allows the reader to easily see the effect that stud spacing alone can have on the STC performance of a wall.


STC results can further be affected by mil thickness of the steel frame design. This led to the guide’s further emphasis on mil thickness rather than gauge.


“We found that the specification of steel gauge can be problematic for accurate sound isolation design in buildings,” said Shafer. “Steel framing may be listed as 20 gauge; however, 20-ga steel can range from 19-mil thick up to 33-mil thick. Our testing has indicated that there is a very large difference in STC rating and STL performance for this large range of steel thickness. Steel gauge is, therefore, not an accurate, nor useful specification when it comes to sound isolation design.”


As the number of designs continues to increase in “The Sound Design Guide,” it is important that the numbering system be easy to follow. That led to the development of a new set of numbers for the designs which makes it easier for construction professionals to find the design they need. “We’ve developed a numbering system that provides more insight into the design. You will be able to identify the stud type, configuration and spacing, just from the number,” said Amaral.


Other enhancements include updated tests on current assemblies and an enhanced educational section with additional sound and fire information.


The 2022 Edition of “The Sound Design Guide” is being launched at INTEX Expo. You can pick up a copy at the PABCO Gypsum Booth #319 or download it online during the convention.