The following two news items were announced by the Gypsum Association (Silver Spring, MD) in December of 2018.

Gypsum Association releases twenty-second edition of GA-600 Fire Resistance and Sound Control Design Manual

The Gypsum Association (GA) December 19, 2018 announced the release of GA-600-2018 Fire Resistance and Sound Control Design Manual. Revised on a three year cycle, GA-600 has been referenced by the model building codes as a source of fire-resistive designs for more than 40 years.  Now almost 400 pages, the 2018 Manual contains more than 140 new systems that supplement existing designs for walls and partitions, floor-ceiling systems, area separation firewalls and many other assemblies.

Always considered among the best organized and easiest to use of the fire design reference manuals, the new edition features an improved layout that clearly distinguishes between fire and sound systems and makes for easier identification of components and layers in system descriptions. Each hardcopy of the Manual includes access to a basic e-reader counterpart that allows users to print specific pages for reference.  An enhanced digital version of GA-600-2018 also is available. This “Premium” digital edition provides a more robust search function. Just one example: Systems within a specific Sound Transmission Class (STC) range and/or Fire Resistance Rating are quickly identified via search. Users of the Premium digital GA-600-2018 can download, print, and copy or paste individual system descriptions and their corresponding graphics into construction documents.

The building codes and the A/E/C community are placing increased emphasis on acoustics. In response, the Manual’s introductory section on sound control has been significantly expanded to include terminology, explanatory notes, and general information. Up-to-date sound test data for many generic systems are available in the Premium edition of GA-600-2018, allowing designers to make better informed decisions when selecting systems for specific sound control requirements, such as speech privacy.

GA-600 is currently referenced by the International Building Code, the National Fire Protection Association Codes (NFPA 703 and NFPA 5000), as well as many state and local jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada as a source document for fire-resistance and sound-control rated designs that incorporate gypsum board in a variety of building systems. Order GA-600 Fire Resistance and Sound Control Design Manual and explore other GA documents through the Gypsum Association’s online bookstore at


Updated code referenced specification guides design and installation of gypsum panels

As a code referenced document, GA-216 Application and Finishing of Gypsum Panel Products is revised every three years. Beginning in 2018, GA-216 will be revised and released to coincide with the 2021 code revision cycle and to better align with the Association’s other code-referenced documents, namely GA-600 Fire Resistance and Sound Control Design Manual and GA-253 Application of Gypsum Sheathing. GA-216 is referenced in the International Building Code (and other “I-Codes”) as well as NFPA 5000 as a standard for the application and installation of gypsum panels.

Architects and specifiers consult and reference GA-216 in construction documents to guide installation of gypsum panels over appropriately spaced and installed wood or steel framing and to determine when, and if, control joints should be used. Specialty contractors rely on GA-216 to ensure proper handling and storage of gypsum panels on the jobsite and appropriate installation and finishing methods. Application and Finishing of Gypsum Panel Products dictates the layout of gypsum panel products, including proper placement of joints around window and door openings, and selection of fastener types and fastener spacing. GA-216 also serves as a guidance document for building inspectors.

The 2018 specification provides appropriate installation methods for the various types of gypsum panels—from the more common ½-inch and type X wallboards to specialized performance gypsum panels such as glass mat water-resistant gypsum panels and abuse-resistant and impact-resistant gypsum panels. New to the 2018 specification is clarification of language on steel studs and abuse-resistant and impact resistance panel products and updated criteria for panel installation over concrete. Direct adhesion to concrete is no longer acceptable; panels must be installed on framing. Also, GA-223 has been added to the appendix as a reference to ASTM standards and additional GA publications that provide additional information and specifications.

All GA publications, including approximately thirty free technical documents, are available in the Association’s bookstore. Technical documents, publications, and answers to common questions can be found at The Gypsum Association is in its 88th year of service as the technical, promotion, and information center of the gypsum industry. Representing companies located throughout the United States and Canada, the Association is based in Silver Spring, MD.


For more information on the Gypsum Association, please visit their website at