Indoor Quality Approach in Green Buildings: Acoustic Performance According to LEED Certification

Nowadays, a very large majority lives in closed environments. This closed environment is sometimes a closed volume such as a building and a structure, while it is sometimes located in closed spaces where logistics such as vehicles are provided.

There are now places where space heating or cooling is shaped according to it, even in outdoor spaces where people’s preferences are highly directed in social life. In fact, there is a desire for a place that is integrated with high indoor air quality in its spacious meaning, especially in contact with the external environment, but at the location. Therefore, even in cold climates, glass façade preferences increase and the cost of the heating load is neglected.

People generally in their daily life during the daytime; While it is located in type buildings such as hospital, warehouse, school, industrial facility or office buildings, it lives in residential buildings in the evening. It is not even possible to establish contact with the external environment in the form of glass opening, especially in industrial buildings and high-rise office buildings during daily working hours. Therefore, the concept of indoor environment quality appears.

For all occupied spaces, meet the following requirements, as applicable, for HVAC background noise, sound isolation, reverberation time, and sound reinforcement and masking.

indoor quality approach in green buildings

HVAC Background Noise

Achieve maximum background noise levels from heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems per 2011 ASHRAE Handbook, HVAC Applications. Calculate or measure sound levels.

For measurements, use a sound level meter that conforms or Comply with design criteria for HVAC noise levels resulting from the sound transmission paths listed in ASHRAE 2011 Applications Handbook.

Sound Transmission

Meet the composite sound transmission class (STCC) ratings.

Reverberation Time

Meet the reverberation time requirements.

Table 6. STC for Wall

Components Installation Minimum STC STC
15 mm plywood + 75 mm air gap + 15 mm plywood Wall 35-45 48
15 mm plywood + 100 mm air gap + 15 mm plywood Wall 35-50 51


Indoor Quality Approach in Green Buildings concept of acoustics, which plays an important role in indoor quality, was examined within the framework of the green building rating system LEED certification system. It is important to have a sufficient and appropriate level of acoustic event depending on the space type. In new projects, the issue of acoustics is optional as an additional point, whereas in school projects, it is necessary to perform the necessity as a prerequisite for ringing time and architectural-built sound reduction. In hospitals, since it has a separate LEED guide, it has its own standards and scoring, so the level of speech and the quality of the acoustic material is important in order to get points from the related credit heading.

In order for the sound to be appropriately clear and quality in the space, it is desirable to control the background sound levels, especially the noise levels of the sound arising from the HVAC systems, and the sound transmission with adjacent locations to be acceptable.


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