Acoustics Expertise

Shaw is invested in acoustical research and development

We partner with you to to provide sound solutions through:

  • • Independent laboratory testing
  • • Product innovation
  • • Consultative services
  • • Construction industry collaboration

Making Noise

Acoustics can make or break the effectiveness of a building. Noise is the third most frequent complaint in multifamily buildings and twenty percent of residents say they would move if they have noisy neighbors. That can add up to a lot of revenue lost to turnovers.


Hear what property managers and residents have to say about sound and how it can affect both lifestyle and business.

Sound Advisor™

Hearing is believing

The Sound Advisor™ Website allows you to hear the IIC test for various floor assembly and flooring combinations. Log in to hear it for yourself.
Launch Sound Advisor

Measuring Sound to Better Understand and Control It

Our soundscapes are composed of three main types of sounds.

Impact sound is caused by contact with a barrier and is measured with an IIC (Impact Insulation Class) rating. Flooring has the largest effect on impact sound as opposed to in-room sound and airborne sound. Impact sound is a major concern in multifamily communities.

How is impact sound measured?

Impact Insulation Class, IIC

To measure impact sound, a standardized machine taps on the floor repetitively with metal hammers. A receiving device is placed in the room below to measure the sound in decibels and across a range of frequencies. The resulting score is the Impact Insulation Class rating, or IIC.

IIC ratings can range from as low as 25 up to 110. The higher the score, the more impact sound is reduced. The International Building Code requires a minimum IIC of 50, however, most people can still hear sounds through a barrier until we reach a score of 65.

Flooring and IIC

Flooring Types and IIC

The cost of impact sound mitigation

Choosing the correct flooring construction and products can have a major influence on sound in multifamily communities. Considering acoustics from the beginning of a project can save time and money.
Learn about real situations in multifamily communities and what it cost to mitigate impact sound after initial construction.


What can you do to improve sound ratings?

Explore acoustical products to see how you can increase your flooring IIC.

What can you do to improve sound ratings?

Explore acoustical products to see how you can increase your flooring IIC.