The option to register projects under LEED for Schools 2009 will end in October 2016.  After that, LEED v4 will have to be used.  We already have a couple of v4 projects on the books so we wanted to highlight some of the changes to acoustic requirements.

HVAC Noise Levels

PrerequisiteHVAC Background Noise levels have been reduced from 45 to 40 dBA.

CreditHVAC Background Noise levels for the Credit have been reduced from 40 dBA to 35 dBA.

What does this mean to the design team?

In many cases this will require more money be spent to mitigate mechanical noise.  This could mean additional use of duct silencers, moving equipment further from core learning spaces, or additional lengths of duct liner.

 

Outdoor Noise from highways and Aircraft

Isolating Exterior Noise has moved from the Credit to the Prerequisite.

What does this mean to the design team?

School sites will need to be analyzed for exterior noise if they are within ½ mile of a significant noise source.  This most likely will include on-site noise measurements.  Projects found to be on high-noise sites will require measures to minimize noise intrusion from the exterior.  For the prerequisite, the design team will have to take reasonable measures to reduce exterior noise intruding into the building.  To achieve the Credit, significant improvements to the sound isolation of windows and daylighting systems may be necessary.

 

Reverberation in Classrooms

Reverberation times for large core learning spaces (over 20,000 cu ft.) must now meet a different standard.

What does this mean to the design team?

Acceptable reverberation times have been cut in half, but this only affects very large core learning spaces.  In those instances, additional acoustic treatments will most likely be required.

 

Wave Engineering can help you navigate the acoustic requirements and documentation for your next LEED school project.