February 2020

Reduce Noise With New SoundBook™ 2.0

By Thad Goodman and Alan Zeedyk

Life is getting louder, and quiet space has never been more in demand. Your clients are concerned about reducing sound transmission, and our latest resource is your complimentary go-to problem solver. The SoundBook™ 2.0 is the industry’s most comprehensive resource for technical information and detailed architectural drawings of sound-rated assemblies for architects seeking to achieve required Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings on their projects.

SoundBook 2.0 includes sound-rated assemblies for both steel and wood stud construction, as well as for floor-ceiling applications. The book also features acoustical terms, concepts and proper installation methods for optimal sound control.

According to Sam Halverson, Manager - Construction Services for National Gypsum, he and his 1-800-NATIONAL® coworkers field about 30 questions a day about sound issues – and that’s a lot.

Most Frequently Asked Sound Questions

1-800-NATIONAL frequently receives the following questions pertaining to sound, and with the SoundBook 2.0 the answers are available at your fingertips.

Q: What is the STC of an assembly?

  • A: Each assembly in the SoundBook 2.0 is tested and the STC of the assembly is indicated.

Q: Do I have to use acoustical sealant at the perimeter of the wall to achieve the STC of an assembly?

  • A: Yes. Acoustical sealant is necessary to prevent flanking paths for sound around the tested assembly.

Q: What is the sound rating of SoundBreak® XP®?

  • A: Individual components do not have STC ratings. Only assemblies have STC ratings.

Q: If I’m using SoundBreak XP, do I still need to insulate?

  • A: Yes. All SoundBreak XP assemblies are tested with insulation in the cavity. To achieve the listed STC of the assembly, the insulation is necessary.

SoundBook™ 2.0 – Bigger and Better
Like our original SoundBook™, this handy guide is designed with you in mind. SoundBook 2.0 is organized in a way that makes sense (based on framing type and spacing) and has more designs architects and contractors, like you, have requested.

SoundBook 2.0 has 310 designs – nearly twice as many as our first version (165). There are new products we feature and they are in new assemblies – including Gold Bond® BRAND High Strength Fire-Shield 60™, Gold Bond® BRAND ¾” Ultra-Shield FS® Gypsum Board, Gold Bond® BRAND SoundBreak XP Retrofit® Board, Gold Bond® BRAND SoundBreak XP Ceiling™ Board and DEXcell® Roof Board. The shaftwall section has expanded from six to 12 pages, chase walls from one to five pages and floor-ceiling assemblies from two to six pages. What was once a 72-page resource is now 116 pages – chock full of illustrations for each design as well as technical information you’ll return to often.

Designs Featuring New Products

More Tested Data and Real-World Assemblies
New SoundBook 2.0 addresses more of your questions – with tested answers. More tested data equates to better estimates if you need answers about an assembly we don’t have. SoundBook 2.0 contains real-world designs that you specify every day, including assemblies with 16” o.c. framing and heavier gauge studs.

We know your time is precious, so you can skip sections and find precisely what you need, when you need it – we’ve organized sound assemblies by applications to make it easier to use.

Get Your Copy!
We think you’ll appreciate this updated tool. To get your printed copy, please contact your Construction Design Manager. SoundBook 2.0 is also available to download on our Design Center. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. As always, we’re quietly here to help you design and build better.

"National Gypsum continues to partner with our customers by giving them better resources to help get the job done and make their jobs easier. The new SoundBook™ 2.0 is the latest updated resource to help our customers see the progress being made on different sound assemblies. One of our recent products, added last year, is Gold Bond® BRAND SoundBreak XP Ceiling™ Board (¾”) – ceiling board for specific floor-ceiling assemblies that provides both Sound Transmission Class (STC) and Impact Insulation Class (IIC) ratings above 60."
- Alan Zeedyk

"Sound-project needs continue to evolve with privacy law enactments and enforcement. The SoundBook™ has been a great go-to resource. The SoundBook™ 2.0 is full of additional designs requested by our architectural partners."
- Thad Goodman

Product Overview

More Solutions. Less Sound.

Our Gold Bond® BRAND SoundBreak XP family of products will keep noise levels low.

Reducing noise is a top priority, and you can count on Gold Bond® BRAND SoundBreak XP to deliver solutions. There’s a product to match all your project requirements and meet strict code standards for any setting, including medical offices and hospitals, businesses and residences, and hotels and schools.

If you need to keep noise down between floors, SoundBreak XP Ceiling™ Board (3/4”) does an outstanding job. This new ceiling board features STC and IIC ratings above 60. Use SoundBreak XP Retrofit® Board to improve the acoustical performance of an existing wall assembly and achieve a higher STC rating for existing interior gypsum board walls where sound transmission has become a concern.

You can integrate SoundBreak XP as a single-layer application or as a component of multi-layered assemblies. This board will make all the difference when you need to ramp up sound damping between rooms or dwelling units. For details about how SoundBreak XP can enhance your projects, talk with your Construction Design Manager.

Project Profile

New Hill East Development

Project: Architect: General Contractor: Hill East, Washington, D.C.
GTM Architects, Bethesda, Maryland

Donatelli Development, Bethesda, Maryland

This new 68-acre Hill East District waterfront neighborhood features two mixed-use buildings on the north and south edges of C Street. With 340-plus residential units and more than 30,000 SF of retail space, this project is revitalizing the area around the metro station at C and 19th streets. Residential amenities include communal spaces with interior courtyards, a business and fitness center and rooftop party rooms. Hill East incorporates National Gypsum products. (Click the link below to find out which ones.)

Read More About The Project

Continuing Education

Kick-start 2020 by fulfilling your CEUs with these continuing education courses:

Acoustically Enhanced Gypsum Board Designed For High STC Wall Assemblies
1 hour/AIA LU | HSW
Understanding the UL Fire Resistant Directory 101
1 hour/AIA LU | HSW

Clemson’s College of Business is Innovative to the Core!

Clemson University’s new 176,000-square-foot College of Business is innovative to the core with National Gypsum’s PURPLE® gypsum board used throughout. During construction, DPR Construction completed a time study comparing National Gypsum’s Gold Bond® BRAND GridMarX® installation guide marks and the MaX 12™ fastener pattern to the installation of traditional drywall. PURPLE gypsum board provided a 29.8 percent increase in completion time over standard drywall.

Watch Video


Amy Hockett
National Marketing Manager, Architectural Services & Sustainability

Pat Grotlisch

Frank Fuller

Alan Zeedyk
Gulf / Southeast

Thad Goodman
Central / Midwest

Scott Hughes
Northeast / Atlantic

Trang Schwartz
Architectural Specialist