The effects of acoustical ceiling panel type and penetrations for services on vertical sound isolation inside buildings



Attenuation of sound transmitting between rooms oriented over one another inside buildings is studied. Transmission loss and sound transmission class were measured by an independent, accredited, acoustics laboratory with and without a variety of modular acoustic ceilings suspended under a baseline concrete floor structure. Ceiling panel material types include stone wool, fiberglass and mineral fiber. Ceilings were tested with and without the presence of service penetrations for supply air diffusers, return air grilles and light fixtures. Some ceilings were also scanned with a sound intensity probe and the resulting color sound maps are used as a supplemental method of evaluating both isolation and absorption performance of the individual components of the ceiling systems. Results show that while the effects of ceiling panel type on absorption performance, and thus room acoustics, is substantial, the material type and weight of the ceiling panels do not substantially affect the overall isolation performance of the floor-ceiling assembly.