Furring channels

Our careful planning of the ventilation system begins to pay off. We sacrificed nine to 12 inches of the ten-foot room height in the less-public rooms. That gave us the space for drop ceilings, which accommodate the ERV ductwork.

Although we would like to preserve the full ten-foot ceiling height in the more public rooms, we have to accommodate the low profile utilities such as the insulated PEX runs and forthcoming electrical conduits.

Because the depth of the insulated PEX is only one and three quarter inches, we can provide enough space with a simple furring channel application.

This also gives us the opportunity for additional sound management or impact transmission control.

To prevent the transmission of impact borne noises, such as footsteps, I have to decouple the furring channels from the floor joists. We accomplish that with a device called the IsoMax Sound Clip. It is basically a rubber block with a profile cut-out for the furring channel and a metal bracket on either end through which the piece is fastened to the floor joist.


We added a half inch plywood piece between the floor joist and IsoMax to give us the required one and three quarter inch clearance space. As you can see, the furring channel is decoupled from the floor joist and fastening system through the rubber block.

We hope that this little trick will provide additional peace and quiet. Actually, we really, really hope so, because those IsoMax Sound Clips cost an arm and a leg – between $5.00 and $6.00 apiece. Do the math and you know we have an expensive ceiling.

Based on my research, there is only one company that offers this kind of sound control solution – Kinetics Noise Control. It looks like they pretty much can charge what they want with only one player in the market. I tell you, that is an expensive piece of rubber!

About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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