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LEED v4
Healthcare
Indoor Environmental Quality
Acoustic Performance

LEED CREDIT

Healthcare-v4 EQc9: Acoustic performance 1-2 points

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Ken Shook

LEED AP BD+C

Longman Lindsey
Partner

SPECIAL REPORT

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Credit language

USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To provide workspaces and classrooms that promote occupants’ well-being, productivity, and communications through effective acoustic design.

Requirements

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

Option 1. Speech Privacy, Sound Isolation, and Background Noise (1 point)
Speech Privacy and Sound Isolation

Design sound isolation to achieve speech privacy, acoustical comfort, and minimal annoyance from noise-producing sources. Consider sound levels at both source and receiver locations, the background sound at receiver locations, and the occupants’ acoustical privacy and acoustical comfort needs. Speech privacy is defined as “techniques … to render speech unintelligible to casual listeners” (ANSI T1.523-2001, Telecom Glossary 2007).
Design the facility to meet the criteria outlined in the sections of 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 (in the 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 the criteria in the 2010 FGI Guidelines, Sections1.2-6.1.5 and 1.2-6.1.6, and the 2010 SV Guidelines (including the appendix).

Background Noise

Consider background noise levels generated by all building mechanical-electrical-plumbing 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 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 ASHRAE 2011 Handbook, Chapter 48, Sound and Vibration Control, Table 1.

Option 2. Acoustical Finishes and Site Exterior Noise (1 point)

Meet the requirements for acoustical finishes and site exterior noise.

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 the 2010 SV Guidelines.
Calculate or measure the average sound absorption coefficients for representative unoccupied rooms of each type in the building to confirm conformance with the requirements.

Site Exterior Noise
Minimize the effect on building occupants of site exterior noise produced by road traffic, aircraft flyovers, railroads, on-site heliports, emergency power generators during maintenance testing, outdoor facility MEP and building services equipment, etc. Also minimize effects on the surrounding community from all facility MEP equipment and activities as required to meet (1) local applicable codes or (2) Table 1.2-1 of the 2010 FGI Guidelines, Table 1.2-1, and the 2010 SV Guidelines, Table 1.3-1, whichever is more stringent.
Comply with the 2010 FGI Guidelines for the following noise sources:

  • heliports, A1.3-3.6.2.2;
  • generators, 2.1-8.3.3.1;
  • mechanical equipment, 2.1-8.2.1.1;
  • 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 the 2010 FGI Guidelines, Categorization of Health Care Facility Sites by Exterior Ambient Sound, Table A1.2a, and the 2010 SV Guidelines, Table 1.3-1.
Design the building envelope composite STC rating based on the 2010 FGI Guidelines, Categorization of Health Care Facility Sites by Exterior Ambient Sound, and show conformance with requirements.
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. Measurements should generally conform to ASTM E966, Standard Guide for Field Measurements of Airborne Sound Insulation of Building Façades and Façade Elements, current edition.

See all forum discussions about this credit »

What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

Frequently asked questions

Is it possible to pursue this as an Innovation credit in a Core & Shell project?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

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Our project has small meeting rooms in an open-office plan. This situation appears to require an STC of 50. However, this level seems to be (unrealistically) high, especially considering the doors in the wall partition. STC 50 with a (closed) wall can be achieved, but even high STC doors won't achieve an STC of more than 45. Would this mean that the credit is not achievable?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

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Sound transmission requirements for adjacency combinations are listed in Reference Guide Table 1, but not all combinations are included. For example, an STC rating requirement is not provided for conference room and standard/executive office adjacency. Is sound transmission compliance achieved by addressing only project applicable adjacency combinations listed in Table 1?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

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Are we required to have an acoustical consultant in order to attempt this credit?

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See all forum discussions about this credit »

Documentation toolkit

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LEEDuser expert

Ken Shook

LEED AP BD+C

Longman Lindsey
Partner

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USGBC logo

© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Intent

To provide workspaces and classrooms that promote occupants’ well-being, productivity, and communications through effective acoustic design.

Requirements

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

Option 1. Speech Privacy, Sound Isolation, and Background Noise (1 point)
Speech Privacy and Sound Isolation

Design sound isolation to achieve speech privacy, acoustical comfort, and minimal annoyance from noise-producing sources. Consider sound levels at both source and receiver locations, the background sound at receiver locations, and the occupants’ acoustical privacy and acoustical comfort needs. Speech privacy is defined as “techniques … to render speech unintelligible to casual listeners” (ANSI T1.523-2001, Telecom Glossary 2007).
Design the facility to meet the criteria outlined in the sections of 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 (in the 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 the criteria in the 2010 FGI Guidelines, Sections1.2-6.1.5 and 1.2-6.1.6, and the 2010 SV Guidelines (including the appendix).

Background Noise

Consider background noise levels generated by all building mechanical-electrical-plumbing 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 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 ASHRAE 2011 Handbook, Chapter 48, Sound and Vibration Control, Table 1.

Option 2. Acoustical Finishes and Site Exterior Noise (1 point)

Meet the requirements for acoustical finishes and site exterior noise.

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 the 2010 SV Guidelines.
Calculate or measure the average sound absorption coefficients for representative unoccupied rooms of each type in the building to confirm conformance with the requirements.

Site Exterior Noise
Minimize the effect on building occupants of site exterior noise produced by road traffic, aircraft flyovers, railroads, on-site heliports, emergency power generators during maintenance testing, outdoor facility MEP and building services equipment, etc. Also minimize effects on the surrounding community from all facility MEP equipment and activities as required to meet (1) local applicable codes or (2) Table 1.2-1 of the 2010 FGI Guidelines, Table 1.2-1, and the 2010 SV Guidelines, Table 1.3-1, whichever is more stringent.
Comply with the 2010 FGI Guidelines for the following noise sources:

  • heliports, A1.3-3.6.2.2;
  • generators, 2.1-8.3.3.1;
  • mechanical equipment, 2.1-8.2.1.1;
  • 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 the 2010 FGI Guidelines, Categorization of Health Care Facility Sites by Exterior Ambient Sound, Table A1.2a, and the 2010 SV Guidelines, Table 1.3-1.
Design the building envelope composite STC rating based on the 2010 FGI Guidelines, Categorization of Health Care Facility Sites by Exterior Ambient Sound, and show conformance with requirements.
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. Measurements should generally conform to ASTM E966, Standard Guide for Field Measurements of Airborne Sound Insulation of Building Façades and Façade Elements, current edition.

Cost estimates for this credit

On each BD+C v4 credit, LEEDuser offers the wisdom of a team of architects, engineers, cost estimators, and LEED experts with hundreds of LEED projects between then. They analyzed the sustainable design strategies associated with each LEED credit, but also to assign actual costs to those strategies.

Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

Learn more about The Cost of LEED v4 »

In the end, LEED is all about documentation. LEEDuser’s Documentation Toolkit, for premium members only, saves you time and helps you avoid mistakes with:

  • Calculators to help assess credit compliance.
  • Tracking spreadsheets for materials purchases.
  • Spreadsheets and forms to give to subs and other team members.
  • Guidance documents on arcane LEED issues.
  • Sample templates to help guide your narratives and LEED Online submissions.
  • Examples of actual submissions from certified LEED projects.

Is it possible to pursue this as an Innovation credit in a Core & Shell project?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Our project has small meeting rooms in an open-office plan. This situation appears to require an STC of 50. However, this level seems to be (unrealistically) high, especially considering the doors in the wall partition. STC 50 with a (closed) wall can be achieved, but even high STC doors won't achieve an STC of more than 45. Would this mean that the credit is not achievable?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Sound transmission requirements for adjacency combinations are listed in Reference Guide Table 1, but not all combinations are included. For example, an STC rating requirement is not provided for conference room and standard/executive office adjacency. Is sound transmission compliance achieved by addressing only project applicable adjacency combinations listed in Table 1?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

Are we required to have an acoustical consultant in order to attempt this credit?

The answer to this question is available to LEEDuser premium members. Start a free trial »

(If you're already a premium member, log in here.)

LEEDuser expert

Ken Shook

LEED AP BD+C

Longman Lindsey
Partner

See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Subscribe to new discussions about Healthcare-v4 EQc9