Acoustic performance is addressed in two other LEED credits/prerequisites: EQ Prerequisite Minimum Acoustic Performance and EQ Acoustic Performance, where the primary focus is on interior noise control, either from interior noise sources or exterior noise intrusion. This pilot credit is focused on preserving the existing background noise environment to minimize impacts on the community.
Ldn/CNEL of 60 dB is the threshold under which many jurisdictions in California cite as “normally acceptable” in their city’s General Plan land use compatibility documents. At or below a Ldn of 60 dB at a property line, noise impacts would not unduly interfere with speech, or other considerations (e.g., annoyance, or else not significantly adding to typical noise levels currently existing in a locale).
The threshold for Leq and Lmax is based on guidelines for community noise to avoid sleep disturbance, from the WHO community noise document.
Additional resources and considerations:
- United States Environmental Protection Agency: Summary of Noise Control Act. This document states that the implementation of these goals should be administered by the local jurisdictions
- The local jurisdiction of a project likely contains either qualitative and/or quantitative criteria for noise emissions by buildings which may be more stringent than the credit guidelines. The more stringent criteria should apply.