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Gypsum Association Releases 20th Edition of Flagship Publication

The Gypsum Association is pleased to announce the release of the 20th edition of GA-600, Fire Resistance Design Manual (FRDM). Since 1958, the Association has regularly published its collection of the latest in fire-resistance rated gypsum building system designs. Over the years, the manual has become the standard industry reference document for architects and design professionals, builders and drywall contractors, and the building code enforcement community. The FRDM is currently referenced by the International Building Code, and The National Fire Codes, as well as many state and local jurisdictions in the US and Canada as a source document for fire-resistance and sound-control rated designs that incorporate gypsum board in a variety of building systems.

The FRDM opens with introductory sections that describe the requirements necessary for correctly assembling fire-resistant and noise-attenuating building systems. Following the introductory sections, the FRDM depicts laboratory tested designs for both fire-resistance- and sound-attenuation-rated gypsum board building systems. Fire resistance ratings range from one to four hours; sound attenuating systems range from 30 to 69 in sound transmission class (STC). The rated systems include walls and partitions; floor-ceiling systems; roof-ceiling systems; column protection systems; and beam, girder, and truss protection systems.

New to this edition of the FRDM are several designs for protecting steel column systems that for the first time allow the use of horizontal joints. These new steel column systems offer fire-resistance ratings ranging between 1 to 4 hours. An entire new section has also been added to the manual that addresses Strain Relief Systems. This new section includes designs for 1- to 4-hour rated systems that protect control joints in walls, 1-hour systems for control joints in ceilings, and 1- and 2-hour rated perimeter relief systems. There is also a new discussion in the preliminary notes addressing the protection of wood columns and beams. There are also several new proprietary systems that offer protection for wood and steel pitched roof trusses, several 30 minute wall systems, and a 45 minute floor/ceiling system. In total, over 150 new designs have been added. The 20th edition of the FRDM consists of 230 pages.

Robert Wessel, Ph.D., the Association’s Assistant Executive Director and Director of Technical Services explains: “The 2012 edition is the culmination of the most comprehensive review and revision to GA-600 since we completely changed the format in 1992. The addition of 150 new systems, about a third of which are generic, and the creation of a completely new section (strain relief systems) constitute the greatest number of new systems added in a single edition since the inclusion of the first gypsum wallboard systems in the second edition, which was published in 1961.”

GA-600-2012 is available in both print and digital download versions through the Association’s on-line bookstore at

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