Acoustic comfort | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: Homes | v3 - LEED 2008

Acoustic comfort

EQpc47 | Possible 1 point


Provide acoustic comfort by minimizing intruding noise into and within buildings.


These requirements only apply to “acoustically sensitive” rooms, such as bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, and studies. (“Acoustically insensitive” rooms include bathrooms, kitchens, and hallways.) Projects may also implement the measures throughout the entire home.

Option 1. Prescriptive noise reduction methods.

Meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Mechanical systems must meet the following requirements:
    • Continuous ventilation fans shall have a maximum sound rating of 0.7 sones. Intermittent fans shall have a maximum sound rating of 1.5 sones, unless their maximum rated airflow exceeds 400 cfm. HVAC air handlers and remote-mounted fans are exempted, if the fans are mounted outside the habitable spaces, bathrooms, and hallways, and if there is at least 4 feet of ductwork between the fan and the intake grill.
    • Meet the following best-practice HVAC installation measures:
      • Ducts are securely attached (no loose connections between sections of ductwork).
      • The fan housing is securely anchored.
      • The damper flap closes fully, with no visible airspaces around the flap.
    • For projects that are less than a half a mile away from any significant noise source such as (but not limited to) aircraft over-flights, highways, trains, and industry, exterior assemblies must include:
      • Exterior windows and doors must have a minimum STC rating of 35.
      • All exterior wall penetrations must be sealed with acoustical sealant,
      • and/or otherwise treated for sound control (e.g. lined elbows on vents, lined exterior ducts where feasible).
    • Attached single family homes and multi-family homes must also meet the following:
      • Party walls must have a minimum STC rating of 55.
      • All party wall penetrations must be sealed with acoustical sealant
        • Floor/ceiling assemblies must have a minimum STC and IIC rating of 55.
Option 2. Performance-based compliance requirements

Meet all of the following. The tested levels must be met in the acoustically sensitive room that is considered the worst case condition.

  1. The maximum background noise level in the home or unit due to exterior noise sources cannot exceed 40 dBA, based on the peak hour Leq.
  2. The maximum background noise level in the home or unit due to interior noise sources (HVAC systems, lighting, and other building services operating simultaneously) shall not exceed 40 dBA, based on the peak Leq.
  3. Party walls must have a minimum NIC rating of 50.
  4. Floor-ceiling assemblies between units must have a minimum NIC and FIIC rating of 50.

Ductless systems qualify for this credit.

General Pilot Documentation Requirements

Register for the pilot credit

Credits 1-14

Credits 15-27

Credits 28-42

Credits 43-56

Credits 57-67

Credits 68-82

Credits 83--96

LEED for Homes Review Process

LEED for Homes projects: When complete, submit documentation here.

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