Achieving Better Acoustics and Fire Resistance for Multifamily Buildings with Magnesium Oxide (MgO) Floor and Wall Panels

A streamlined approach to achieve better acoustics and fire resistance
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Webinar On-Demand
Sponsored by EXACORTM MgO Board
Presented by Scott Johnston

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the physical characteristics of magnesium oxide (MgO) panels in terms of their makeup and basic performance attributes for use in floor and wall assemblies in multifamily projects.
  2. Investigate the fire-resistance capabilities and testing standards that demonstrate the ability for MgO panels to provide fire-rated assemblies in buildings.
  3. Assess the acoustical capabilities of MgO panels in terms of meeting or exceeding code requirements for multifamily buildings and providing for the welfare of occupants.
  4. Compare and contrast the use of MgO structural panels with other floor underlayment options, particularly wet-laid gypsum, to specify MgO panels appropriately in multifamily floor assemblies.


AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour
MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA.
This course can be self-reported to the NSAA
NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
OAA 1 Learning Hour
SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.
This course is approved as a Structured Course
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
Approved for structured learning
Approved for Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA
Course may qualify for Learning Hours with NWTAA
Course eligible for OAA Learning Hours
This course is approved as a core course
This course can be self-reported for Learning Units to the Architectural Institute of British Columbia
This test is no longer available for credit

All multifamily buildings must meet code requirements for fire resistance between dwelling units and meet requirements for acoustical performance. This course looks more closely at designing and constructing with MgO panels. We begin with a description of the material and its properties and its code compliance characteristics related to fire resistance. The sound attenuation capabilities are also reviewed. Its installation, particularly compared to wet-laid gypsum underlayment, is presented. Overall, using MgO panels is an option for specifications and design of multifamily projects around the country.

Acoustics Fire Resistance

Photo courtesy of Huber Engineered Woods


Scott Johnston, is a Business Development Manager for Huber Engineered Woods, the makers of AdvanTech® flooring and ZIP System® roof and wall sheathing, innovative products that provide customers with outstanding performance and greater strength in single family, multifamily and light commercial products. Scott Johnston, who has over 25 years of experience in sales and business development in the building materials industry, is responsible for developing market position for Huber products across the North East Region. He specializes in air, water and moisture management in building envelopes and new technologies for energy efficient designs.


EXACOR<sup>TM</sup> MgO Board Made of magnesium oxide (MgO) and an integrated mesh core, EXACOR panels are non-combustible and structural, making them a streamlined single-layer solution for a smooth, structural base for floor coverings that can eliminate the need for wet-laid gypsum underlayment.


Originally published in July 2021