The Gypsum Association's flagship publication, GA-600 Fire Resistance and Sound Control Design Manual, is revised every three years by a committee of industry experts on the proper specification, installation and use of gypsum panel products in systems tested for fire and sound mitigation. Technical expertise is drawn from across the Gypsum Association's membership. All GA member companies, and most active gypsum board (panel) manufacturers in the U.S. and Canada, contribute to the significant effort of revising the manual to reflect the latest technical specifications for gypsum systems. Members of the Association calcine gypsum and manufacture gypsum board under the provisions of ASTM Standard C 1396 and CAN/CSA-A82.27-M91.

Scheduled for release in the fall of this year, GA-600-2018 will be the 22nd edition of the Manual. For more than 40 years, GA-600 has been referenced by the model building codes as a source of fire-resistive design. The scope of the GA's flagship publication has steadily broadened to address additional factors of interest and concern for designers, builders, code officials and the public. The next edition will be no exception. Although sound control has been included in the publication's scope for many years, the new edition will feature expanded acoustical information including a section of terminology specific to sound control as well as a set of General Explanatory Notes specific to sound control design.  Moreover, sound data tables for all generic systems will be available in the electronic edition of GA-600-2018.

In addition, the book will be reformatted to more clearly distinguish design differences between the fire-tested assembly and the sound-tested assembly, ensuring that the Fire Resistance and Sound Control Design Manual remains among the best organized and easiest to use of the design reference manuals. Sound data for systems with a Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating below 40 will no longer be shown as these assemblies no longer comply with International Building Code (IBC) criteria for sound. However, it is important to note that some older generic systems will continue to list sound control information, including many plaster systems that are important reference designs for historic restoration.

"Although providing tested assemblies for passive fire resistance remains a core component of GA-600, the need for more precise design data on sound control is clear," says Technical Services Director Michael Schmeida, MSc, LEED AP. "The Gypsum Association and its member companies are committed to providing the A/E/C community with increasing levels of information related to acoustics."

Read more about the basics of sound control.