Acoustic Performance in Buildings: Meeting the Standards

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Sponsored by ROCKFON

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe how noise impacts occupant health and well-being in a variety of building types
  2. Compare and contrast some of the building standards, guidelines and rating systems that include acoustics requirements, along with those that are specific to certain building types
  3. Describe how meeting acoustic standards can translate into financial savings over the course of a building’s life
  4. Describe the four major components of acoustic performance described in most standards
  5. Explain how stone wool ceiling panels, baffles and islands, and metal and wood ceilings can help comply with the acoustic requirements in standards, guidelines and rating systems.


AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
AANB 1 Hour of Core Learning
AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour
MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
NLAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
NSAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
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
Approved for structured learning
Approved for Core Learning
This course is approved as a Core Course
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

Noise can impact the health and well-being of building occupants, and acoustic performance is a critical component of overall indoor environmental quality. In addition, investing in acoustic performance can yield long-term, measurable financial benefits, from improved performance and productivity to a better occupant experience. More and more building standards, guidelines and rating systems require high sound absorption to reduce reverberation and control noise, providing speech intelligibility in assembly spaces, privacy in individual spaces and comfort all over. However, there is at times a disconnect between these industry standards and best practices and what is implemented in actual buildings.

This course will introduce the reader to some of the standards, guidelines and rating systems applicable to acoustic performance, including those specific to educational, healthcare, and office spaces. It will also review the four aspects of acoustics referenced in these standards: Absorption, interior isolation, mechanical noise, and exterior isolation. Finally, we will look at some of the disparities between what the standards recommend and what actually happens in the field. While the focus will be on interior absorption and isolation, the course will cover general recommendations for exterior noise transmission into the building and background sound levels that will help specifiers meet most standards and contribute to productive and comfortable spaces. Case studies will be used to help illustrate points.

Acoustic Performance

Photo courtesy of Corgan

Pioneer Natural Resources Headquarters, Irving, TX


ROCKFON Rockfon provides customers with a complete ceiling system offering, combining stone wool ceiling panels with suspension grid systems, metal ceiling solutions, and now wood ceilings. Our products help create beautiful, comfortable spaces. Easy to install and durable, they protect people from noise and the spread of fire while making a constructive contribution toward a sustainable future.


By Juliet Grable
Originally published in April 2021