This pilot credit is intended to maintain the existing background noise of a site, prior to the new building’s construction. U.S. legislation was introduced in the 1970’s to curb the trend of rising ambient noise levels. In Europe and Australia, similar requirements state that noise emission is significantly below the measured existing site noise. However, in the 1980’s the EPA’s noise code was defunded. This pilot credit has been developed in order to bring awareness to the rising ambient noise levels due to lax local noise codes.
Noise can be an annoyance and quality-of-life issue that can negatively affect sleep patterns and outdoor recreation. The effect noise has on habitat is just starting to be understood since most metrics for measuring noise are based on human-hearing ranges. Many parks and cultural heritage sites are now focusing on preserving quiet and natural soundscapes for both visitors and to protect the natural ecosystems.
Ambient noise measurements should be taken on the project site prior to construction or clearing to establish current Ldn. Calculations for building equipment noise emission should be submitted, establishing that noise is expected to be at least 5 dB below the established Ldn, and no louder than 60 dBA at the nearest property line or public right of way Narrative describing:
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations
Improve or have no negative impacts on the outdoor acoustical environment as a result of new or major renovation building construction.
Design and locate exterior noise sources1 for new and majorly renovated buildings so that project noise levels at the nearest property line or public right of way are a minimum of 5 dBAA decibel (dBA) is a sound pressure level measured with a conventional frequency weighting that roughly approximates how the human ear hears different frequency components of sounds at typical listening levels for speech. (ANSI S12.602002) below the existing ambient noise levels without the project, and no more than 60 dBA. Ambient sound level shall be measured as a Day-Night Equivalent Level (Ldn), and future sound levels from the project shall be calculated. Project building equipment noise shall be evaluated with respect to existing levels, and mitigated as required to not exceed the levels set out above. Emergency equipment (e.g. generators) do not need to meet these noise requirements, however, an operations plan must be included to describe their schedule for periodic testing.
1Noise sources may include building equipment mounted on the rooftop, inside building but exterior venting, or located at grade), transformers, traffic associated with the building, and other sources.
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The credit says "...nearest property line or public right of way." Is this property line at ground level only or does it go all the way up into the air?
Our acoustic engineer thinks we will achieve this credit at ground level but not if we have to consider the property line at all heights as the rooftop plant will result in too much noise above the height of the building.
Refer to the property deed. I would think the property line would go all the way up. You could always try to submit it and see what the result is.
Manager, LEED Technical Development
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