Meet STC Requirements for Urban Zoning with ICF Construction

ICF Construction Provides Quiet Indoor Comfort for Multi-family Properties Built to Fulfill Massachusetts MBTA Communities Zoning Law Requirements

by Joe Harnois

February 21, 2024

Tackle Urban Noise with Nudura® ICF Construction
In 2021, Massachusetts enacted the MBTA Communities zoning law which requires that multi-family housing be included in communities within a half-mile of transit and other transportation facilities. One of the challenges of building residential projects in urban locations is sound mitigation. Nudura ICF provides an efficient, effective solution for mitigating urban noise.

Insulated concrete form construction (ICF) reduces sound transmission, making residential spaces in urban locations quiet and more comfortable, providing a refuge even in highly trafficked areas. In fact, according to ICF Builder Magazine, more than 60% of ICF homeowners mentioned the quietness of their homes, versus only 2% of their wood frame counterparts.

Take a look at the sound reduction that can be achieved with Nudura ICF:


ICF Delivers Higher STCs for Quieter Indoor Spaces
ICF construction provides not only the sound-deadening properties of concrete, but also the additional sound attenuation achieved with the EPS foam of the Nudura forms that make up the ICF system. The typical STC rating for wood-framed structures is 38, while the combination of concrete mass and insulating expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) ICF construction provides a STC of 52+.

“Our double-foam insulated concrete forms serve as an effective sound barrier and dampens sound vibrations from unwanted outside noise, such as traffic, trains, and neighbors,” explained Nudura technical services manager Keven Rector.

21 Summer Street Mixed Use Development, Natick, MA
A great example of a multi-family project that meets the requirements of MBTA Communities zoning law is 21 Summer Street. The mixed-use redevelopment with first-floor retail and apartments above is located in a World War II-era building.  Nudura ICF with a 6-inch core is used to provide a quiet interior in this downtown location across from Center for the Performing Arts.

A sound transmission class (STC) rating, measured in decibels (dB), assesses how much sound passes through a material. Nudura’s insulated concrete wall system with a 6-inch concrete core provides an STC rating of 52.