Articles | Technical

Multi-Storey Acoustic Solutions

Wednesday, 29 July 2020
By Hamish Ewan

Many people engaged in the design and construction of lightweight terrace homes will have seen the shift to central barrier type intertenancy walls over recent years. The advantages that the central barrier type walls bring to the table are undeniable.

These advantages include:

01. High levels of FRR and STC performance;

02. The ability to penetrate wall linings with electrical and plumbing services (within certain limitations) without the need to fire seal those penetratrions;

03. Wall linings can terminate at ceiling level.


GIB Noise Control® Systems include several central barrier type wall specifications that are suitable for lightweight terrace home designs.

But what about large-scale apartment buildings? These types of designs typically utilise a primary structure made from steel and/or reinforced concrete, which  then have non-load bearing partitions added to form the external and internal walls. Do the designers and builders of these large-scale apartment buildings have any viable central barrier type intertenancy wall options? The answer is yes, they do.

The traditional framing material utilise for non-load bearing partitions in largescale apartment buildings is light gauge steel. This is driven by cost and framing depth considerations. A narrower partition wall results in more usable floor area. Common framing arrangements for intertenancy partition walls include double C-section steel frame and single GIB® Rondo® Quiet Stud® steel frame. A relatively new option is the connected central barrier type wall constructed from a double C-section steel  frame. Examples of each of these three types of non-load bearing intertenancy wall specifications are shown in the table above. They, along with  numerous other specifications, all appear in the GIB Noise Control® Systems Manual.

Whilst the FRR and STC performance of these three wall  specifications are the same or similar, the construction of each one is very different. This can be seen by looking at the 3D views below. What can’t be seen however are the inherent advantages that come with connected central barrier specification GBSAB 60e. Not only can it stretch to a maximum wall height of 4000mm when constructed from standard 64 x 34 x 0.50mm steel framing, it can also accommodate unprotected electrical and plumbing  penetrations through the wall linings (within certain limitations). This advantage over the other wall types can translate into a welcome reduction in the passive fire protection budget for the project. Having that uninterrupted central barrier also provides an additional level of confidence that the final  installation will achieve the claimed levels of FRR and STC performance.