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Using Gypsum Wallboard for Acoustic Control by Ashwin L. Himat All images courtesy CertainTeed WITH GROWING ACCEPTANCE OF ACOUSTIC CONTROL AS A KEY CONTRIBUTOR TO INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, BUILDING PROJECT TEAMS ARE LOOKING FOR PRACTICAL, NEW WAYS FOR REDUCING AMBIENT NOISE TO ENHANCE OCCUPANT COMFORT AND CONCENTRATION. As the largest continuous surface of a room, ceilings are often the first target of noise reduction strategies, but wall assemblies also play an important role in creating good acoustics. With the right blend of building materials, they can be effective sound- dampeners and barriers against the transmission of noise between rooms. Unfortunately, many traditional acoustic control design techniques for wall assemblies have gained a reputation over the years for being either too expensive or problematic to install. In many cases, even minor installation errors can compromise the entire wall assembly’s acoustical performance. Thanks to the emergence of new technology and innovation, however, building product manufacturers are introducing more practical options—such as laminated noise-reducing gypsum board— for accomplishing the same objective. Before looking at wall assembly materials, though, it is helpful to build a good knowledge of the science fundamentals associated with sound, how important acoustic control is to commercial and institutional 62 the construction specifier | february 2014 CS_February_2014.indd 62 1/14/2014 3:47 PM