Table of STC Ratings & Noise Reduction (C) J Wiley & Sons Best Practices Steven  Bliss Sound Transmission Class - STC & Sound Reduction Index - SRI & OITC

  • SOUND TRANSMISSION CLASS RATINGS - CONTENTS: What is the definition of STC Sound Transmission Class? How is SRI or Sound Reduction Index defined? Table of Sound Transmission Class Ratings - (STC ratings) for various building wall & floor designs
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about noise & sound transmission through building walls - sound transmission pathways and how to control noise or sound in buildings

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STC: Sound Transmission Classes:

Building Noise & Sound Transmission Levels & Sound Isolation or Insulation Measurements.

This article discusses methods for controlling sound transmission through building walls. Here we define STC - sound transmission class and we provide a table of design details that show STC rating for various building wall framing designs. Sound transmission reduction wall designs are given for both single stud and staggered double stud structural and partition walls. We include soundproofing suggestions for high noise level areas such as music rooms as well as areas where privacy is a concern such as in counseling and psychotherapy offices.

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Sound Transmission Class: What are STC Ratings

Table of STC Ratings & Noise Reduction (C) J Wiley & Sons Best Practices Steven  Bliss

This article series discusses noise and sound control in buildings, and includes excerpts or adaptations from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss, courtesy of Wiley & Sons.

How effectively a wall or floor reduces airborne sound is measured by STC ratings (sound transmission class). Roughly speaking, the STC rating equals the reduction in decibel levels across the partition. (see Table 5-15).

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Definition of STC, Definition of SRI , Definition of OITC

Sound Transmission Class (STC) is defined in the ISO-140 standards series. Sound Reduction Index (SRI) is defined in ISO-140 (2012).

Sound Transmission Class (or STC) is an integer rating of how well a building partition attenuates airborne sound. In the USA, it is widely used to rate interior partitions, ceilings/floors, doors, windows and exterior wall configurations (see ASTM International Classification E413 and E90).

Outside the USA, the Sound Reduction Index (SRI) ISO index or its related indices are used. These are currently (2012) defined in the ISO - 140 series of standards (under revision). The STC rating figure very roughly reflects the decibel reduction in noise that a partition can provide - Wikipedia 10/21/2013 [3]

STC or sound transmission class is defined as the level of reduction of sound transmission from outside noise sources to the building interior. Higher STC numbers mean higher resistance to sound transmission to the building interior, or as acousticians would describe it, higher STC means greater sound transmission loss between outdoors and the building interior. Typical STC values for metal buildings are STC=20 to STC=55.

OITC or Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class describes the sound transmission loss properties of building exterior components like windows and walls against noise from traffic, trains, or low flying aircraft. - General Steel Corporation [4]

So, for example, a 50 dB noise on the other side of an STC 35 wall will sound like a 15 dB noise to the average listener (see our Table of STC ratings and noise reduction left).

Walls and floors in the field often measure lower than in laboratory ratings due to variations in workmanship as well as leaks and bypasses.

The higher the STC rating, the more likely it is to be compromised by site conditions. For that reason, it is best to select a building assembly rated at least 5 points above the design goal.

Sound Control Design & Materials for Sound Transmission Through Building Walls

This topic has been moved to SOUND CONTROL for WALLS

-- Adapted with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.

Our building sound control articles begin at SOUND CONTROL in buildings. Other noise and sound diagnosis and control articles are found at NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE.

Reader Question: definitions of Sound Transmission Class vs Sound Reduction Index

(Sept 22, 2014) M.A.Rahman said:
What is the relation between Sound Transmission Class & Sound Reduction Index?


M.A. offers nice definitions of the term Sound Reduction Index:

Definition of Sound Reduction Index: R : the measured quantity which characterises the sound insulating properties of a material or building element in a stated frequency band - laboratory measurement.

R = L1 - L2 + 10 lg S/A (dB)


L1: average Sound Pressure Level in the source room
L2: average sound pressure level in the receiving room
S: area of the test specimen (m2)
A: Equivalent Sound Absorption area of the receiving room

In comparison

Definition of Sound Transmission Class or STC as author Steve Bliss uses it here, is a American term providing a single number rating of a partition's isolation value based on laboratory measurement.

STC Results may not be compatible with Rw (the weighted "apparent" sound reduction index) as a different range of frequencies is used.


Continue reading at SOUNDPROOFING MATERIAL PROPERTIES or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.



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