June 2016

Are You Looking At The Big Picture?

Frank Fuller and Thad Goodman

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get. – Warren Buffett

Take another look at The Big Picture of your projects. You can specify certain products to cut the cost of assembly without compromising performance. And when you use these products, you can even add value.

Today, we are referring to 5/8 in. (15.9 mm) Gold Bond® brand SoundBreak® XP®. A contractor who uses double-stud walls with conventional gypsum board can instead use standard framing with SoundBreak® XP® and not diminish acoustical performance. Imagine how much time you would save. It hangs and finishes like regular gypsum board, and you can achieve a Sound Transmission Class (STC) of 60 with either double-stud walls or a single-stud wall utilizing SoundBreak XP. Standard, single steel-stud wall framing with 5/8 in. (15.9 mm) gypsum board on both faces will have an STC of around 47; using 5/8 in. (15.9 mm) SoundBreak XP will increase that STC to 54. So now the price of admission includes extra perks.

Eliminating the second stud wall also adds several inches of floor area to your project’s living space. This increases your project’s real estate, delighting your client. With no loss of performance, you can substitute two layers of 5/8 in. gypsum board with one layer of SoundBreak XP. This can translate to big savings in areas with high labor rates. You can also use SoundBreak XP as an additional layer in UL fire-rated assemblies, adding margins to the STC rating without compromising the fire rating.

So what is holding you back from specifying a product that offers so much value? If you would like more information about SoundBreak XP, contact your construction design manager today. He or she will even talk with your contractors about why it works so well. As always, we’re here to help you design and build better.

"When considering SoundBreak as your 50-plus STC solution, don't focus just on the material cost. Take a look at the cost of the whole assembly. You will find that what it saves in labor, material, space and ease of installation will make a compelling reason to overcome an attempt to value engineer the sound-damping panel system that you have designed."
- Frank Fuller

"SoundBreak is thin wall technology for a higher STC need in tight spaces. In addition to saving space, add in the material and labor savings of hanging two sheets of gypsum board instead of the four needed to reach the mid-50s STC sound assemblies, and you have a solid reason to consider a sound-damping panel system."
- Thad Goodman

Product Overview

Higher Sound Transmission Class With Less Assembly Required

Gold Bond® brand SoundBreak® XP® Gypsum Board offers superior sound damping with a cost-efficient material that finishes and decorates as easily as standard gypsum board. It also:

  • Provides extra protection against mold and mildew, with the best possible scores for ASTM G21 and ASTM D3273.
  • Features a fire-resistant Type X core and is UL Classified for specific fire-rated designs.
  • Installs like traditional gypsum board, saving time and money.
  • Works well for single- and multi-layer assemblies.
  • Increases usable floor space with thinner, high-rated STC walls.

Project Profile

Building Continues At Apple Campus II

Apple Campus II
Foster + Partners
Under construction and expected to build to LEED environmentally friendly

Under construction and projected to open in 2017, the Apple Campus II building in Cupertino, California, will have huge walls of glass that allow employees to look out from both sides of the ‘spaceship’ ring. In an interview with Architectural Record, Norman Foster, Foster + Partners founder and chairman, explains that in the original plans, there was no circular ‘spaceship’ structure. “It didn’t start as a circular building, it really grew into that. So the idea of one building with a great park was really borne out of a very intensive process,” he says. And in keeping with Apple products, Steve Jobs wanted no seam, gap or paintbrush stroke showing.

Read More About The Project

Continuing Education

With 2016 at the halfway mark, don’t forget to make time for your continuing education. This month we recommend:

Finishing Gypsum Board: Appearance and Indoor Air Quality
Acoustically Enhanced Gypsum Board Designed for High STC Wall Assemblies


Will This Board Pass The Fire Test For
ASTM E119?

Watch what happens as our gypsum board sample endures 1550°F temperatures and more.

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