New Design Guide Addresses Sound Control in Steel Buildings

Building designers have a valuable resource for achieving acoustical conditions suitable for planned occupancies with AISC’s new Design Guide 30: Sound Isolation and Noise Control in Steel Buildings. The publication provides detailed guidance on how to achieve appropriate acoustical performance for steel-framed buildings, covering topics ranging from estimating noise levels to detailing specific sound-isolating assemblies.

“Design Guide 30 outlines a process for achieving appropriate sound isolation and noise control in buildings,” said Benjamin Markham, director of architectural acoustics with ACENTECH and the lead author of the guide. “Issues such as speech privacy, footfall noise, background noise criteria and airborne sound isolation are discussed in detail, with references to industry standards, building codes and other important guidelines.”

Whether for an office building, a residential tower, a school or a courthouse, the guide is aimed to provide the building design team with a roadmap to developing building details that accomplish appropriate sound isolation and noise control efficiently and economically, beginning early in the design process.

“The principles described in the guide largely apply to all buildings, but the focus of Design Guide 30 is on steel structures,” added Markham. “It may be surprising to some that a well-designed floor/ceiling assembly in a steel building can achieve equal or better sound isolation performance than a comparatively heavier concrete structure, depending on the components and how they are assembled.”

This new design guide is available as a free PDF download to AISC members—$60 for nonmembers—at A printed copy is also available via that link or by calling 800.644.2400 (product code: AISC 830-15); the cost of the printed copy is $40 for members and $80 for nonmembers.