Acoustic environment | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: Healthcare | v3 - LEED 2009

Acoustic environment

EQc2 | Possible 2 points


To provide building occupants with an indoor healing environment free of intrusive or disruptive levels of sound.


Design the facility to meet or exceed the sound and vibration criteria outlined in the 2010 FGI Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities (aka 2010 FGI Guidelines) and the reference document on which it is based, Sound and Vibration Design Guidelines for Health Care Facilities (aka 2010 SV Guidelines).

Option 1 (1 point)
Sound isolation

Design sound isolation to achieve speech privacy, acoustical comfort and minimal annoyance from noise-producing sources. Consider sound levels at both the source nd receiver locations, the background sound at the receiver locations, and the occupant’s acoustical privacy and acoustical comfort needs. Speech privacy is defined as “Techniques… to render speech unintelligible to casual listeners” by ANSI T1.523-2001,Telecom Glossary 2007.

Design the facility to meet the criteria outlined in the sections of the 2010 FGI Guidelines Table 1.2-3: Design Criteria for Minimum Sound Isolation Performance between Enclosed Rooms and Table 1.2-4 Speech Privacy for Enclosed Room and Open-Plan Spaces (2010 FGI Guidelines and 2010 SV Guidelines).

Calculate or measure sound isolation and speech privacy descriptors achieved for representative adjacencies as necessary to confirm compliance with criteria as identified in Sections 1.2-6.1.5 and 1.2-6.1.6 (including associated sections of the Appendix) of the 2010 FGI Guidelines and the reference standard on which it is based: the SV Guidelines.

Room noise

Consider background sound levels generated by all building mechanical-electricalplumbing systems, air distribution systems and other facility noise sources under the purview of the project building design-construction team.

Design the facility to meet the 2010 FGI Guidelines Table 1.2-2 Minimum-Maximum Design Criteria for Noise in representative interior rooms and spaces.

Calculate or measure sound levels in representative rooms and spaces of each type as necessary to confirm compliance with criteria in the above referenced table using a sound level meter that conforms to ANSI S1.4 for type 1 (precision) or type 2 (general purpose) sound measurement instrumentation. For spaces not listed in Table 1.2-2, refer to the ASHRAE 2007 Handbook, Chapter 47, Sound and Vibration Control, Table 42.

Option 2 (2 points)

Achieve Option 1


Acoustical finishes

Specify materials, products systems installation details, and other design features to meet the 2010 FGI Guidelines Table 1.2-1 Design Room Sound Absorption Coefficients (including associated sections of the Appendix) and its reference the 2010 SV Guidelines.

Calculate or measure the room average sound absorption coefficients for representative unoccupied rooms of each type in the building, as necessary, to confirm conformance with requirements for this credit.

Site exterior noise

Minimize the impact of site exterior noise on building facility occupants produced by all exterior noise sources—road traffic, aircraft flyovers, railroads, on-site heliports, emergency power generators during maintenance testing, outdoor facility MEP and building services equipment. Also minimize impacts on the surrounding community produced by all facility MEP equipment and activities as required to meet the lower of the local applicable codes or Table 1.2-1 of the 2010 FGI Guidelines and the supporting Table 1.3-1 of the 2010 SV Guidelines.

    Comply with the appropriate sections of the 2010 FGI Guidelines for each category:

  • Heliports – A1.3-
  • Generators – 2.1-
  • Mechanical Equipment – 2.1-
  • Building Services – A2.2-5.3

Measure and analyze data to determine the Exterior Noise Classification (A, B, C, or D) of the facility site. See Table A1.2a: Categorization of Health Care Facility Sites by Exterior Ambient Sound in the 2010 FGI Guidelines and Table 1.3-1 in its reference standard, the 2010 SV Guidelines.

Design the building envelope composite STC rating based on the 2010 FGI Guidelines for the Categorization of Health Care Facility Sites by Exterior Ambient Sound and analyze contract documents to show conformance with requirements for this credit.

For Exterior Site Exposure Categories B, C or D calculate or measure the sound isolation performance of representative elements of the exterior building envelope to determine the composite sound transmission class (STCc) rating for representative façade sections as necessary. Measurements shall generally conform to the current edition of ASTM E966 Standard Guide for Field Measurements of Airborne Sound Insulation of Building Façades and Façade Elements.

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