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Cold-Formed Steel Design for Acoustic Code Compliance

The North American steel industry has completed a research program to develop the necessary tools to meet code requirements for acoustic separation in cold-formed steel frame construction.

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(Photo Credit: National Research Council Canada)

In an article from Construction Canada, Steven R. Fox, Canadian Sheet Steel Building Institute (CSSBI), provided information on a jointly funded study to support the transition of construction industry practice from using apparent sound transmission class (ASTC) ratings – rather than existing sound transmission class (STC) ratings – for sound control objectives in the National Building Code of Canada (NBC).

In addition to supporting code compliance, the study report also facilitates design for enhanced levels of sound insulation in applications where desired, and should be generally applicable to construction with cold-formed steel (CFS) framed assemblies in both Canada and the United States.

Thanks to this research, architects and designers will be able to use the NRC’s soundPATHS prediction tool for the calculation of direct and flanking sound transmission between adjacent rooms. This web application incorporates data from this research to help builders accurately predict ASTC performance. For more complex environments, the NRC report titled “Apparent sound insulation in cold-formed steel-framed buildings” outlines the steps of the process and standard measurement data required for the calculations necessary to translate the normal calculation procedure of ISO 15712-1 to ASTC in compliance with 2015 NBC requirements.

In addition, BuildSteel recently developed information to explain how to engineer subfloors and CFS  flooring joists to meet the demands of a building’s occupants – How to Engineer Subfloors and Cold-Formed Steel Floor Joists for a Little Peace and Quiet.

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