Chicago — In designing and constructing modern buildings, sound control is vital in ensuring acoustical comfort and productivity for occupants. A new resource, "Facts for Steel Buildings #4: Sound Isolation and Noise Control," available as a free download from AISC, provides building owners and designers with a basic understanding of these issues and useful tools for addressing them efficiently and economically.

This 25-page document, written by Benjamin Markham and Eric Ungar, P.E., Sc.D., both with Acentech, Cambridge, Mass., provides relevant considerations to take into account beginning early in the design process and references for pursuing their proper implementation. The information presented is applicable to buildings of all structural types, but the focus regarding some details is on steel structures. It is important to note that it is not the material types and the framing systems that establish the acoustical performance of a building, but how the relevant building elements are selected and assembled. Thus, the desired acoustical performance of a building can be achieved by appropriate design while framing and materials can be chosen on the basis of the usual considerations, such as structural efficiency, design flexibility, cost, schedule and environmental impacts.

AISC's "Facts for Steel Buildings" series provides a look at the background and philosophy on various topics without delving into heavy technical details. More detailed information and specific design guidance can be found in AISC's Design Guide 30: Sound Isolation and Noise Control in Steel Buildings. The previous three installments in the Facts series are: Fire Facts; Blast and Progressive Collapse; and Earthquakes and Seismic Design.

All four installments in the series are available for free at