Anyone who has lived in a multi-unit building with noisy neighbours can appreciate the effects of sound transmission.
Since the 1990’s the International Building Code has included requirements for sound performance, to help guide architects and contractors in building better sound attenuation performance into their constructions.
This evaluation is done on two distinct types of sound: Impact sound (Impact Insulation class), which evaluates things like footfall and dropped objects, and airborne sound (Sound Transmission Class), which evaluates sound that travels through the air, like voices, stereo systems and t.v. sounds. Measures for these sounds can either be taken in laboratory conditions or directly on site. Sound performance is rated using decibel measurements.
One of the common misconceptions about sound performance is that each element of a building can be evaluated separately. Rather, the evaluation is based on complete systems, such as a flooring system for example. Floor and subfloor, joists, strongbacks and gypsum board, all are evaluated as a unit. Furthermore, because individual elements in a floor system can vary, sound performance results can differ.
Here’s another misconception: that Open joist Triforce floor systems allow easier transmission of sound because of the amount of open space they provide. In fact, because they are part of high-quality engineered floor system, the fact that they are open (providing a lot of freedom to the various trades that need to work with them) has no incidence in the final acoustic performance. It is worth noting that sometimes, adding elements to a floor system without consulting the manufacturer’s guidelines, such as an extra layer of gypsum board can actually help amplify sound and lower your sound performance rating.
The Triforce floor system was developed with acoustic performance in mind, ensuring each element contributes to the sound performance of the whole.
Be sure to check out our Specifier Guide guide in which we detail how to maximize acoustical performance of a floor.