Schools-2009 IEQp3: Minimum Acoustical Performance

  • Schools IEAp3 diagram
  • Beyond standard practice

    You may assume that good acoustical performance is standard practice and will be delivered by the architect and mechanical engineer, but baseline designs often don’t meet the minimum acoustic requirements of LEED. To achieve this prerequisite you may need the help of an acoustics consultant, especially when project team members don’t have specific experience with acoustical performance. However, the architect or mechanical engineer can perform many of the needed calculations.

    Keep background noise out of learning spaces

    This prerequisite is intended to keep background noise out of learning spaces and prevent sound generated within a space from reverberating. Although this is a requirement of LEED for Schools projects, other projects can earn an innovation credit by meeting these or similarly appropriate requirements.

    Background noise may come from a variety of sources: traffic on nearby streets, mechanical equipment, sounds from adjacent classrooms or multi-purpose spaces, and more. Isolating classrooms from these sounds usually involves a variety of different strategies, including selecting quiet mechanical equipment, locating classrooms away from noisy exterior and interior spaces, avoiding placing fans and mechanical systems directly above classrooms, insulating ducts, and using low-velocity air delivery or displacement ventilationA system in which air slightly cooler than the desired room temperature is introduced at floor level and is lifted up by warmer air to exhaust outlets at the ceiling, increasing air circulation and removal of pollutants..

    Absorb reverberation

    Reverberation within a classroom is caused by hard surfaces that reflect sound waves instead of absorbing them. To mitigate reverberation, install acoustically absorptive materials on the ceiling, walls, and floors; and use smaller classroom sizes. Ceiling heights over 10 feet will make it harder to meet requirements.

    Good acoustical design can be cost-effective in any project as long as acoustics are considered early in design. Waiting until the design is set can lead to additional costs and needless frustration if  you end up having to redesign mechanical systems or the building envelope. Having the entire design team focused on acoustics, including stakeholders such as school board members, the principal, or teachers, will help ensure a consistent focus throughout the project, and will help the project surmount obstacles that may arise.

    Also consider IEQc9

    When setting project goals, consider both this prerequisite and IEQc9: Enhanced Acoustical Performance, which is a step up. For IEQc9, project teams are required to have a Background Noise Level of 40dBA, whereas the prerequisite only requires 45dBA. The credit also requires project teams to meet Sound Transmission Class (STCSound transmission class (STC) is a single-number rating for the acoustic attenuation of airborne sound passing through a partition or other building element, such as a wall, roof, or door, as measured in an acoustical testing laboratory according to accepted industry practice. A higher STC rating provides more sound attenuation through a partition. (ANSI S12.60–2002)) ratings as outlined in ANSI S12.60-2002 whereas the prerequisite does not require projects to meet any STC rating. The biggest difference here is that the STC calculations typically require an acoustics consultant.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Verify that the mechanical engineer and architect are comfortable with running the necessary calculations for background noise level and reverberation time (RT), and ensure that this analysis is included in their scope of work. If the architect and mechanical engineer are not comfortable performing these calculations, hire an acoustics consultant as soon as possible.


  • Many design teams will hire an acoustical consultant to run an acoustical analysis, make necessary calculations, and make recommendations for meeting the prerequisite and credit requirements. This is not necessary, but is highly recommend for projects attempting EQc9: Enhanced Acoustical Performance, and for architects and mechanical engineers without extensive experience designing for acoustics.


  • Consider the certifications of prospective acoustics consultants. Many are INCE Board Certified or members of the National Council of Acoustical Consultants (NCAC). These certifications are not necessary but can help in making hiring decisions.


  • Check with your local jurisdiction to see if the ANSI/ASA S12.60 standard has been adopted for the construction of schools and classrooms. Among jurisdictions that have adopted the standard are the New Hampshire Department of Education, the New Jersey School Construction Board, the State of Connecticut, the Ohio School Facility Commission, New York City Public Schools, and Arlington County (VA) Public Schools.


  • Your local jurisdiction may provide funding for meeting these requirements.  For example, the Massachusetts School Building Authority and Massachusetts Collaborative for High Performance Schools Standard offer funding for meeting ANSI/ASA S12.60-2002.

Schematic Design

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  • Meet with the acoustics consultant (if applicable) and project team, including architect, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, contractor and owner to cover programmatic uses, acoustics goals, mechanical design, typical wall assemblies, and any other related issues. This meeting should result in a clear path forward, including decisions about which LEED compliance paths will be followed and what strategies will be used to meet the requirements.


  • The owner and design team should set preliminary acoustical performance goals and add them to the Owner Project Requirements (OPR) for EAp1: Fundamental Commissioning and EAc3: Enhanced Commissioning. When setting these goals, consider both this prerequisite and IEQc9: Enhanced Acoustical Performance.


  • Meeting the requirements for Enhanced Acoustical Performance is a step up from the prerequisite. For the credit, project teams are required to have a Background Noise Level of 40dBA, whereas the prerequisite only requires 45dBA. The credit also requires project teams to meet Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings as outlined in ANSI S12.60-2002 whereas the prerequisite does not require projects to meet any STC rating. The biggest difference here is that the STC calculations typically require an acoustics consultant.


  • Sample classroom design for improved acousticsA good acoustic design takes into consideration classroom and building orientation, size and shape of the classroom, adjacent spaces, wall construction, materials selection (doors, windows, wall covers, ceiling, and floor), placement of the mechanical system, and duct design.


  • Keeping classrooms smaller than 20,000 ft3 allows you to follow the easier Case 1 compliance path, this will eliminate the need to run RT calculations.


  • Sound bafflesSuspended sound baffles, which are simply cloth panels hung from a ceiling or on trusswork, interrupt the path of sound and reduce reverberation. Acoustical Solutions, Inc.The reverberation time compliance path depends on the size of the classrooms and core learning spaces. Rooms smaller than 20,000 ft3 will not have to run any calculations and will find it much easier to meet the prerequisite requirements. All classrooms and core learning spaces must meet the prerequisite requirements. Core learning spaces include band rooms, gyms, labs, libraries and more. It does not include cafeterias.


  • Although reverberation time measurements can be taken after construction to show prerequisite compliance, this is a risky path because a redesign might be the only way to attain the prerequisite and could prevent LEED certification.


  • For projects attempting EQc9 and those running RT calculations, an acoustics consultant is recommended. The consultant will also help verify that the mechanical engineer is running the background noise calculations correctly and understands the requirements.


  • Wrapped ductDuct wrap dampens the transmission of noise generated by flowing air and reduces room-to-room transmission of sound by ducts, while also providing thermal insulation. Acoustical Solutions, Inc.Include acoustic performance goals early in the design process to help keep this prerequisite cost-effective. Waiting to include acoustical strategies until after the building and mechanical systems have been designed can add significant cost to the redesign due to changes such as supply silencers, return silencers, duct layout reworking, lined ducts or flexible ducts, diffusers, lined sound boots, or double gypsum layers on fan-powered boxes. These strategies could be minimized or eliminated with early incorporation of acoustical goals.


  • Hiring an acoustics consultant will add a cost, but can be a worthwhile investment in achieving this prerequisite. Hire a consultant as early as possible in order to incorporate recommendations cost-effectively.

Design Development

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  • The architect or acoustics consultant calculates the volume of all classrooms and core learning spaces to determine the appropriate compliance path for RT. If a space is less than 20,000 ft3, follow Case 1 and design with proper NRC rated material. If a space is equal to or greater than 20,000 ft3, then follow Case 2 with calculations.


  • The mechanical engineer, architect and acoustics consultant collaborate to design compliant wall, door and window assemblies; mechanical systems; and delivery systems that will meet the LEED prerequisite requirements.


  • Run preliminary calculations to confirm credit compliance. See below for more details.


  • Reassess the potential for earning EQc9 – Enhanced Acoustical Performance after the first round of calculations. If the background noise level can be reduced to 40dBA, the acoustics consultant should run some preliminary calculations for EQc9’s STC requirements. You may find that this credit is fairly attainable.


  • Finalize acoustics goals, including a decision about whether to attempt EQc9 – Enhanced Acoustical Performance.


  • Meet with the owner, teachers, or principal to review programmatic uses and layout of individual classrooms and core learning spaces.


  • Absorptive ceiling, wall and floor materials will help projects meet RT requirements. Design the placement of absorptive material based on the space programming and layout. For example, the design for a lecture hall should not include absorptive material above the lecturing position, which would absorb the lecturer’s voice instead of reflecting it into the audience.


  • Painting sound-absorptive materials could affect the acoustic performance of the material; check with manufacturers before specifying any paints.


  • Including microphone and speakers in a classroom design or other electronic amplifiers will not contribute to credit compliance. Amplification allows the teacher to be heard more easily but does not reduce reverberation time or background noise levels.


  • Acoustic requirements can add minimal upfront costs associated with upgraded mechanical equipment, wall assembly design, and materials selection.


  • Reverberation Time: Case 1, Classrooms and Core Learning Spaces less than 20,000 ft3


  • The architect or acoustics consultant calculates total ceiling area and decides whether Option 1 (all ceiling material to have an NRC of 0.70) or Option 2 (a combination of ceiling, wall and floor material has a combined NRC of 0.70 for an area the same size as the ceiling area) is best for the project. Option 1 is the most straightforward but might not be possible for all projects due to design constraints such as, ceiling material selection, classroom layout and programmatic issues. Research other design strategies and compliant products.


  • No RT calculations need to be run for this compliance path. It is based on material selection.


  • An architect can check and meet RT requirements without the assistance of an acoustics consultant, because this compliance path is based on material selection and not calculations.


  • NRC ratings may not always be available from manufacturers of ceiling tiles and drywall. Typically only materials advertised as acoustic materials will have an NRC rating. NRC ratings for floors are even more difficult to obtain. Verify that materials have the appropriate rating before specifying.


  • If an NRC rating is not given by the manufacturer, NRC may also be calculated from other acoustic data.


  • Meeting reverberation time requirements is usually a negligible or zero cost increase, as long as acoustics have been included in the design from the early stages and no redesign is necessary.


  • Reverberation Time: Case 2, Classrooms and Core Learning Spaces greater than or equal to 20,000 ft3


  • Run preliminary RT calculations as defined by the ANSI standard to determine any design changes needed for compliance, and make recommendations based on these calculations. Include any changes to the acoustic design on the architectural plans and project specifications.


  • You will need to run a series of calculations for credit compliance. The architect should review the ANSI Reverberation Time (RT) requirements and calculations and decide whether to perform calculations or hire an acoustics consultant to do so. The RT calculations include total interior room surface area, room volume, sound absorption coefficient for each surface material, and total area for each surface material. These calculations are run for three frequencies (500 Hz, 1000 Hz, and 2000 Hz) and with the design needing to meet the requirements at each frequency. All materials in the room must be included in the RT calculations, including the ceiling, walls, doors, windows, significant furniture and the floor. The absorption of people in the room is not considered.


  • The sound absorption coefficient for each material can be obtained from the product manufacturer or by using generally accepted measurements. The LEED 2009 Reference Guide includes a table listing the sound absorption coefficient for some common materials, and other sources of absorption coefficients are also available.


  • Project teams generally prefer to have an acoustics engineer or consultant to verify that all of the requirements are met. These calculations are relatively easy to run as long as the architect is comfortable doing so.


  • Ceiling heights over 10 feet in classrooms will make the RT requirements harder to meet.


  • Meeting the RT requirements will involve detailed calculations that can add a minimal soft cost.


  • Preliminary calculations calculated by the acoustics consultant or mechanical engineer, as defined by the 2007 HVAC Applications ASHRAE Handbook, Chapter 47, Sounds and Vibration Control determine any design changes needed for compliance. Follow recommendations based on these preliminary calculations, including acoustical changes integrated by the mechanical engineer into mechanical plans and project specifications.


  • Isolating mechanical equipment noise and installing low-noise and low-velocity equipment, including fans and boxes, will help project teams meet the Background Noise Level requirements. Audiovisual equipment, plumbing, lighting, and noisy sites can also affect background noise but are not required to be considered for this prerequisite but will need to be accounted for in EAc9; Enhanced Acoustical Performance.


  • The calculation for background noise level can be calculated by a mechanical engineer if they are familiar with the calculations or common software, such as the Trane Acoustics Program (TAP)—which costs $500 per license. ASHRAE has guidelines on running the calculations without software, but these are fairly detailed measurements and a consultant will most likely be needed.


  • Ductless mechanical systems or open-plan classrooms will most likely not conform to the requirements of this credit.


  • Calculations for “duct breakout noise” should also be made if there is large, high-velocity ductwork in the core learning space or above lay-in tile ceilings. Acoustic duct lagging may be needed in these situations.


  • It may be difficult to appropriately calculate the effectiveness of duct silencers. It is important to select an appropriate silencer and to place them properly within the ductwork layout. Designers should work with an acoustics consultant, or closely with the manufacturer, if the mechanical engineer is not familiar with these installation and calculation issues.


  • Meeting the background noise level requirements typically will bring a minimal cost increase due to upgrades in mechanical equipment and calculations. There could be a substantial cost increase if a redesign with upgrades is necessary.


  • Selecting mechanical equipment with low noise levels, specifically in the 60 Hz and 125 Hz octave-bands, will reduce the extent of noise mitigation and associated costs needed to reach the acceptable background noise levels.


  • All Cases


  • Ensure that all acoustical considerations are included on project drawings and specifications.

Construction Documents

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  • All Cases


  • Run final acoustic calculations for the project and verify that goals are met.


  • Specifications should state explicitly that acoustic materials should not be painted in the field unless recommended by the manufacturer. Painting acoustic materials will generally reduce their acoustic performance.


  • Reverberation Time: Case 1, Classrooms and Core Learning Spaces less than 20,000 ft3


  • Specify NRC of 0.70 for all ceiling tiles or a combination of ceiling and wall materials meets the 0.70 requirement for an area equal to the total ceiling area.


  • Reverberation Time: Case 2, Classrooms and Core Learning Spaces greater than or equal to 20,000 ft3   


  • Sound absorption coefficient requirements for the ceiling, wall and flooring materials should be included in project specifications.


  • Background Noise Level


  • Ensure that mechanical equipment is specified to meet the project’s acoustical goals.

Construction

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  • The contractor coordinates with subcontractors to ensure that construction practices adequately address the acoustics design.


  • Install acoustic materials according to manufacturers’ recommendations in order to ensure optimum performance.


  • Keep all relevant product information for absorptive materials. The product information must contain the NRC rating, sound absorption coefficient, and other acoustical ratings. These items may be requested during LEED project review.


  • All calculations should be kept on file for easy accessibility if detailed calculations are required during project review.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • Inform facilities personnel of any activities that might affect the acoustics of the classrooms and core learning spaces, such as painting sound-absorptive material and replacing ceiling tiles. Provide a list of compliant products to verify that any future renovations, additions or repairs will comply with the acoustical goals.


  • Facilities personnel should monitor and respond to any complaints about acoustics. This could include periodically metering decibel levels during the school day.


  • The school may provide training for the teachers and school staff on the acoustical properties of learning spaces. This will allow teachers to arrange their classrooms in a way to best address acoustics.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Schools New Construction and Major Renovations

    IEQ Prerequisite 3: Minimum acoustical performance

    Required

    Intent

    To provide classrooms that are quiet so that teachers can speak to the class without straining their voices and students can effectively communicate with each other and the teacher.

    Requirements

    Background noise

    Achieve a maximum background noise level1 from heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in classrooms and other core learning spacesCore learning spaces are spaces for educational activities where the primary functions are teaching and learning and where good speech communication is critical to a student's academic achievement. These spaces include, but are not limited to, classrooms, enclosed or open plan), instructional pods or activity areas, group instruction rooms, conference rooms, libraries, offices, speech clinics, offices used for educational purposes and music rooms for instruction, practice and performance. of 45 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 S12.60–2002).

    AND

    Reverberation time

    Design classrooms and other core learning spaces to include sound-absorptive finishes to sufficiently limit reverberation in classrooms and other core learning spaces.

    Case 1. Classrooms and core learning spaces < 20,000 cubic fee (560 cubic meters)t

    For classrooms and core learning spaces less than 20,000 cubic feet, options for compliance include:

    Option 1. Minimum NRC

    For each room, confirm that the total surface area finished with a material with a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.70 or higher equals or exceeds the total ceiling area (excluding lights, diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light. and grilles).

    OR

    Option 2. Compliance with ANSI Standard S12.60-2002 or non-U.S. equivalent

    Confirm through calculations described in ANSI Standard S12.60-2002 that rooms are designed to meet reverberation time requirements as specified in that standard. Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent to ANSI Standard S12.60-2002.

    Case 2. Classrooms and core learning spaces ≥ 20,000 Cubic Feet (560 cubic meters)

    For classrooms and core learning spaces 20,000 cubic feet or greater, confirm through calculations described in ANSI Standard S12.60-2002 that rooms are designed to have a reverberation time of 1.5 seconds or less. Projects outside the U.S. may use a local equivalent to ANSI Standard S12.60-2002.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    ReverberationReverberation is an acoustical phenomenon that occurs when sound persists in an enclosed space because of its repeated reflection or scattering on the enclosing surfaces or objects within the space. (ANSI S12.60–2002) time requirements can generally be met through the use of sound absorbent materials on ceilings and other surfaces. Consider using acoustical lay-in ceilings and/or other acoustical ceiling materials in combination with sound absorbent finishes such as acoustical panels.

    Commercially-available software may be used to perform the calculations for core learning space noise levels, provided calculations are based on 2007 HVAC Applications ASHRAE Handbook, Chapter 47 (with errata but without addenda) on Sound and Vibration Control. Control of classroom HVAC noise involves all potential noise sources and paths, including duct-borne, structure-borne and equipment radiated noise. Factors specific to the project site are also very important; examples include classroom/ mechanical room adjacencies, equipment located in ceilings above or near classrooms, and noise transmission via return air plenums when classroom walls do not extend to structure. 

    Recommended methodologies and best practices for mechanical system noise control are described in Annex B of ANSI Standard S12.60-2002 and the 2007 HVAC Applications ASHRAE Handbook, Chapter 47 on Sound and Vibration Control (with errata but without addenda).

Technical Guides

IEQ Space Matrix - 2nd Edition

This updated version of the spreadsheet categories dozens of specific space types according to how they should be applied under various IEQ credits. This document is essential if you have questions about how various unique space types should be treated. Up to date, 2nd Edition.


ANSI S12.60-2010 American National Standard Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, and Guidelines for Schools

ANSI S12.60-2010 is the most recent version of the standard for LEED acoustics credits. Note, however, that LEED  2009 still references the 2002 version of this standard, which is no longer officially available.


2007 HVAC Applications ASHRAE Handbook, Chapter 47, "Sound and Vibration Control"

This ASHRAE standard is the standard for LEED acoustics credits and should be referenced when designing mechanical equipment for acoustics.


Classroom Acoustics I: A Resource for Creating Learning Environments with Desirable Listening Conditions

A technical guide for architects and school planners to design spaces for acoustics.


Sengpielaudio: Absorption Coefficients of Building Materials and Surfaces

A list of absorption coefficients for common building materials.


Maryland Classroom Acoustics Guidelines

A publication from the Maryland State Department of Education that provides design guidance based on the ANSI standard.


Absorption Coefficient Chart (SAE Institute)

A list of absorption coefficients for common building materials.


IEQ Space Matrix - 1st Ed.

This spreadsheet categories dozens of specific space types according to how they should be applied under various IEQ credits. This document is essential if you have questions about how various unique space types should be treated.  This is the 1st edition.

Organizations

Quiet Classrooms

This organization provides information for architects, teachers, parents and students on the importance of good acoustics in classrooms.


National Council of Acoustical Consultants (NCAC)

The NCAC website provides information on selecting an acoustics consultant and provides a list of registered consultants.


Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE)

The INCE was developed to provide engineering solutions to noise problems from mechanical equipment.

Web Tools

Sabine Calculator for Calculation of Reverberation Time after Sabine – RT 60 Decay

A relatively basic calculator for the Sabine calculation, one method to determine RTReverberation time (RT) is a measure of the amount of reverberation in a space and equal to the time required for the level of a steady sound to decay by 60 dB after the sound has stopped. The decay rate depends on the amount of sound absorption in a room, the room geometry, and the frequency of the sound. RT is expressed in seconds. (ANSI S12.60–2002). May provide guidance on RT calculations.


Room Reverb Calculator

A calculator for the Sabine calculation

Software Tools

Trane Acoustics Program (TAP)

TAP is used to help mechanical engineers determine a room's background noise level. It costs $500.

Publications

Classroom Acoustics II: Acoustical Barriers to Learning

This publication provides schools and design teams with an insight on the problems associated with noise and learning ability.


Education Stakeholders and the ANSI Standard for School Acoustics

This article addresses some questions asked by stakeholders in the education and school building process.


Classroom Acoustics resource page from U.S. Access Board

This website from the United States Access Board, the federal agency devoted to accessibility, provides an overview of acoustics in classrooms including many links.


National Clearing House for Educational Facilities

This website provides links to publications and studies on classroom acoustics.

Sample Project LEED Online Form

This completed LEED Online form from a certified project demonstrates how to document Schools IEQp3.

Project Narrative

Projects must complete a narrative describing compliance.

Acoustics Calculators

Use these calculators to assess and document compliance.

Mechanical Sound Data

Before attempting background noise measurements, especially if not hiring an acoustics consultant, develop a basic understanding of acoustics terminology. An acoustics expert provides this document as an introduction.

Acoustic Consultant

An acoustics consultant can be a great help for this credit.

Acoustic Product Specifications

Look to manufacturer cut sheets like these for acoustic performance data.

Construction Details

Successful acoustical design often comes down to the details—like these sample wall details completed for Casey Middle School.

Building for Acoustics

Good acoustical performance requires attention to specific construction details.

Acoustical Design Credit

Innovation in Design

Enhanced acoustical design is only a prerequisite and credit in the LEED for Schools rating system only, but it is a good candidate for use as an innovation credit in other rating systems. Armstrong, a major manufacturer, pursued acoustics as an innovation path in its own LEED-EB certification in 2007. Shown here is a summary of how Armstrong earned the point.

Design Submittal

PencilDocumentation for this credit can be part of a Design Phase submittal.

136 Comments

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Brian Homans President Shiner + Associates, Inc.
Dec 17 2013
Guest
8 Thumbs Up

Background Noise Measurements

For a recently-constructed school, are sound level measurements permissible in lieu of calculations? I recall that this was a path in LEED for Schools 2007.

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Dec 19 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

I believe they are.

The credit language doesn't explicitly state that measurements are OK, but the pdf's that you have to fill out for IEQp3 and IEQc9 allow for measurements instead of documenting design calculations.

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Monica Alicea
Dec 09 2013
Guest
9 Thumbs Up

Sound absorption coefficient data

Hello,

We are working on filling out the Sound Absorption coefficientSound absorption coefficient describes the ability of a material to absorb sound, expressed as a fraction of incident sound. The sound absorption coefficient is frequency-specific and ranges from 0.00 to 1.00. For example, a material may have an absorption coefficient of 0.50 at 250 Hz, and 0.80 at 1,000 Hz. This indicates that the material absorbs 50% of incident sound at 250 Hz, and 80% of incident sound at 1,000 Hz. The arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at midfrequencies is the noise reduction coefficient. data in Table IEQp3-3. While we have data for some of the items we need, the manufacturer's cut-sheets do not provide sound absorption data for items such as drapery, uplholstry and common materials such as wood and gypsum board. Does LEED accept general data for these items? What is the altrernative for documentation if we don't have this data in the cut-sheets?

Thank you,

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Dec 10 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

For every project that I've needed to use this table, I've started with the acoustic materials first. This usually brings he reverb times below 1.5 seconds and I do not enter the other materials. So I guess you could say the table is not very detailed with regard to all of the components in the space. It only shows that by using the acoustic material that we'll meet the reverb time requirements. The actual reverb time being slightly less than what is reported.

If you wanted it to be more detailed (or are relying on typical construction materials to achieve the reverb time), I would just upload another pdf table called "typical construction materials" and list the absorption coefficients for the various materials you want to show. Maybe include at the bottom of the table where the values were obtained from. I think that would be sufficient.

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Monica Alicea Dec 12 2013 Guest 9 Thumbs Up

Thank you!

Post a Reply
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Misha Volf
Nov 16 2013
Guest
20 Thumbs Up

Form IEQp3-8

Hi All,

I newbie question: when the credit asks me to upload Form IEQp3-8, is this a form that I download somewhere and fill out, or is it just a document (or several documents) that I create myself from scratch, and upload as a .zip

What's a typical format for the document, for this credit. Anywhere I can see a sample submission?

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Nov 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi Misha

The form is an interactive pdf that you would access on the leed website. You can download a sample of the form if you click on "Documentation Toolkit" above. "Sample Leed Project Online Form" should be the first item on that list.

You also might need to upload other items like product cutsheets or supporting calculations.

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Misha Volf Nov 19 2013 Guest 20 Thumbs Up

Thanks Daniel,

While I have access to main interactive form for the pre-requisite, shouldn't I also have access to the sub-forms? Where on the leedonline website can I find it? I'm not really looking for a sample, i'm looking for the actual interactive form I can fill out and upload to my project's credit portfolio.

Thanks again,
m

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Nov 19 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi Misha

I'm having a hard time finding where IEQp3-8 is on the main form. Can you tell me what section it's under and what exactly it asks for?

Every time I've ever had to upload something it's always been cutsheets or calculations, or something that I generated myself. But it's possible they've changed something and I'm not aware of it.

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Misha Volf Nov 19 2013 Guest 20 Thumbs Up

Thanks for bearing with me Daniel,
In my project's scorecard, I scroll down and click on IEQ - p3 - Minimum Acoustical Performance (V05). On the web page for that form, I click on "View Form" in the top left corner - the interactive PDF opens up. When I select path 1 for background noise (ashrea), I am aksed to upload IEQp3-8. The upload button essentially takes me to a browse dialog...
Is the expectation that I upload a proper IEQp3-8 worksheet that I've filled out previously, or is this just a document I create from scratch call it IEQp3-8 in the file name (with relevant cut sheets, etc).

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Nov 19 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

This is what was needed in the past...For that compliance path you'll need to upload your mechanical calculations based on ASHRAE. It is a document that you'll create from scratch on your own, not something that is provided.

I am not familiar with the Version 5 form, but since you can't find a sub-form somewhere to fill out, it sounds like the form is just confusing. Hope that helps!

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Misha Volf Nov 19 2013 Guest 20 Thumbs Up

Confusing indeed.

Thanks Dan.

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Joseph Celentano
Mar 20 2013
LEEDuser Member
170 Thumbs Up

VRF HVAC Compliance

We are using a VRF HVAC System at a PK-8 School in Alexandria. Has anyone had success getting the appropriate data from Mitsubishi or other Manufacturers to be able to run the necessary Acoustic calculations for the prerequisite? We've had a very hard time obtaining needed data and are concerned we may not be able to do the design-side calculation method. Would love feedback from anyone out there who has succeeded.

Thanks!

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Mar 22 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Sorry you're having a problem getting sound data. A lot of manufacturer's do not have data because it is an extra cost for them to get the testing performed. Your best but is to try to contact the sales rep in your area (or have the mechanical engineer contact them) and tell them you need the data. I have not had much luck getting information from Mitsubishi, personally.

Good luck!

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Dylan Connelly Mechanical Engineer, Integral Group Apr 03 2013 LEEDuser Expert 7014 Thumbs Up

Daikin AC typically has sound data. http://www.daikinac.com/commercial/docsOverview.asp?sec=docs

They are very similar sized unit and you may be able to substitute the data.

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Cristina Algaze Architect. LEED AP BD+C.
Feb 15 2013
LEEDuser Member
83 Thumbs Up

Minimum Acoustical Performance in Naturally Ventilated Classroom

Most of our core learning spacesCore learning spaces are spaces for educational activities where the primary functions are teaching and learning and where good speech communication is critical to a student's academic achievement. These spaces include, but are not limited to, classrooms, enclosed or open plan), instructional pods or activity areas, group instruction rooms, conference rooms, libraries, offices, speech clinics, offices used for educational purposes and music rooms for instruction, practice and performance. are naturally ventilated. We understand that there's no need to calculate the HVAC's background noise, but we are not sure about background noise from other sources and compliance requirements related to the NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. of the surfaces.

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Feb 15 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

For best practices regarding background noises other than HVAC, refer to the ANSI S-12.60 standard. It is not required in the current version of LEED, but the standard has recommendations that will help you address that issue.

The NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. requirements in LEED aren't related to background noise, they are related to reverberationReverberation is an acoustical phenomenon that occurs when sound persists in an enclosed space because of its repeated reflection or scattering on the enclosing surfaces or objects within the space. (ANSI S12.60–2002) time of the room. The reverberation requirements are the same, whether you have a naturally ventilated space or a space with HVAC equipment and ducting.

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Nadja Turek Woolpert Inc.
Feb 15 2013
LEEDuser Member
159 Thumbs Up

McQuay Acoustic Analyzer Program

My mechanical engineer has a program called "McQuay Acoustic Analyzer Program" but we do not know if the calculations it performs will be acceptable to the LEED reviewers. The only program I see referenced in the forum so far is Trane Acoustics Program (TAP). Has anyone used the McQuay software and had experience (good/bad) with it to document the background level noise requirement for EQp3? I appreciate your help!

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Feb 15 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Ask your mechanical engineer to look into how the calculations are performed with the software. I'm going to guess that the calculations are based on ASHRAE, the same as the TAP program, and should be fine to use.

The info might be found in the "about software" or in the documentation that came with it. Or by contacting your McQuay representative and asking them.

I haven't had any personal experience with it but it probably will give the same results as the TAP program.

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Dave Barg Sustainability Manager RQ Construction
Jan 24 2013
LEEDuser Member
85 Thumbs Up

Music Classroom

The school I am documenting has a Music Classroom that is mostly composed of ACT which meets the required NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. of .7, however, some of the ACT tiles have been replaced by Pyramid Sound DiffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light. with only an NRC of 0.1. Is there something I am missing here? It doesn't seem right that we would not comply with the Prerequisite or achieve LEED for that matter, because of something that is commonly done is music rooms. Would the Music room not be considered a core learning space? Any advice would be appreciated.

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Jan 25 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi Alberto

Music Rooms are considered a core learning space. You are on the right track. A simple way to be back in compliance if you keep going down the Option 1 route would be to add wall panels, NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. 0.7 or better, to compensate for the missing ceiling tiles.

The other way would be to not do the wall panels and try Option 2 and make the reverb time calculations to see if you're in compliance.

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Dave Barg Sustainability Manager, RQ Construction Jan 25 2013 LEEDuser Member 85 Thumbs Up

Thanks for the tip Daniel, I was under the impression that you could only count material on the ceiling, makes perfect sense to be able to count wall panels as well, we should have enough in the design already to make-up for the SF in the ceiling.

Thanks.

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Dave Barg Sustainability Manager, RQ Construction Jan 25 2013 LEEDuser Member 85 Thumbs Up

Daniel,

After inputting the absorbent wall panels into the calculation, we are still short of the required SF. I have discussed with my acoustical consultant, and their argument is that the music room is a "special-purpose" room and therefore should not be included as part of the calculations. The room is currently optimally designed for acoustics, adding absorbing panels or removing diffusing panels would result in poor acoustical performance.

Would you agree with pursuing compliance in that manner? Trying to be very careful here since it is a PR.

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Dave Barg Sustainability Manager, RQ Construction Jan 25 2013 LEEDuser Member 85 Thumbs Up

Daniel,

After inputting the absorbent wall panels into the calculation, we are still short of the required SF. I have discussed with my acoustical consultant, and their argument is that the music room is a "special-purpose" room and therefore should not be included as part of the calculations. The room is currently optimally designed for acoustics, adding absorbing panels or removing diffusing panels would result in poor acoustical performance.

Would you agree with pursuing compliance in that manner? Trying to be very careful here since it is a PR.

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Jan 28 2013 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi Alberto

You can definitely try that approach and write in the narrative how it is a special purpose space. I don't know how USGBC will react. The LEED documents explicitly state that music rooms are core learning spacesCore learning spaces are spaces for educational activities where the primary functions are teaching and learning and where good speech communication is critical to a student's academic achievement. These spaces include, but are not limited to, classrooms, enclosed or open plan), instructional pods or activity areas, group instruction rooms, conference rooms, libraries, offices, speech clinics, offices used for educational purposes and music rooms for instruction, practice and performance. so they might come back and ask for absorption.

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Gabriela G
Dec 13 2012
Guest
289 Thumbs Up

ASHRAE Standard vs ANSI Standard

Do we need to comply with either the ASHRAE Standard vs the ANSI Standard to meet the Prerequisite????
And if so, who is usually the party responsible for documenting the compliance.....it seems that if we use the ANSI Standard we could ask our mechanical engineer for assistance.

We are using Option 1 to meet the minimum NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. for the classrooms would this suffice???? Or do we still need to meet the ASHRAE or ANSI Standard?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 13 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Gabriela, can you clarify your question? I think that a review of the credit language above should provide the detailed clarity that you're looking for.

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Dec 14 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi Gabriela.

You are free to choose between complying with ASHRAE (path 1) or ANSI (path 2) based on what you feel is best for your situation. I, personally, like to follow path 1 and the ASHRAE standard because I'm familiar with the procedure and acoustic calculations, but path 2 and following the ANSI standard is also perfectly fine.

If you use Option 1 and document the NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. requirements for all of the core learning spacesCore learning spaces are spaces for educational activities where the primary functions are teaching and learning and where good speech communication is critical to a student's academic achievement. These spaces include, but are not limited to, classrooms, enclosed or open plan), instructional pods or activity areas, group instruction rooms, conference rooms, libraries, offices, speech clinics, offices used for educational purposes and music rooms for instruction, practice and performance., that would be sufficient. You have the choice to do either one or the other, or both Options. For example, if you had some core learning spaces that lent themselves to Option 1 (minimum NRC) and you had another handful of classrooms that lent themselves to Option 2 (calculations) you could use both options to meet the criteria.

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Eri Spaulding Ashley McGraw Architects
Nov 08 2012
Guest
817 Thumbs Up

Ceiling Clouds

We have a music room with some hanging ceiling clouds that contain acoustical ceiling tiles with a high NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. (.90). Can we count the cloud areas twice? They hare hanging more than 3' from deck above and both faces of tiles are exposed. I am assuming NRC coefficients are equal on both faces.

Has anybody tried this before?

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Nov 08 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi Eri

Unfortunately, it's not as easy as being able to count the cloud areas twice.

There is an increased performance benefit, but you will need to calculate the reverberationReverberation is an acoustical phenomenon that occurs when sound persists in an enclosed space because of its repeated reflection or scattering on the enclosing surfaces or objects within the space. (ANSI S12.60–2002) time of the space to meet the LEED requirement that way, instead of going the square footage of treatment route.

What will happen with the clouds is that the absorption coefficients behind the NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. value will increase. The only way to appropriately represent this is by calculating reverb time using the improved absorption coefficients.

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Eri Spaulding Ashley McGraw Architects Nov 08 2012 Guest 817 Thumbs Up

So, would it be enough to use the ANSI calculation path, where I measure the space volume and include the absorption coefficient of different materials at 500, 1000 & 2000 Hz? ...Can in this case count the ceiling cloud area twice? that is the only way I can achieve .6 or less.
I don't know if I am missing something or is there another type reverberationReverberation is an acoustical phenomenon that occurs when sound persists in an enclosed space because of its repeated reflection or scattering on the enclosing surfaces or objects within the space. (ANSI S12.60–2002) time calculation that I should do.

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Nov 08 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

You would use the ANSI calculation path, but you would use improved/revised absorption coefficients for the panels to take into account the open sides of the clouds. These would need to come from the manufacturer or estimated based on a similar product. Armstrong, for example, sells a cloud product called Soundscapes that uses their NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. 0.9 ceiling tile and publishes acoustic data.

Doubling the panel area would not be the correct way to do the calculation.

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Eri Spaulding Ashley McGraw Architects Nov 08 2012 Guest 817 Thumbs Up

Daniel,

It seems it is getting more complicated than I originally thought. We may need to hire an acoustical consultant to perform this calculation, as I am a simple architect.

Thanks for your help.

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David Mirabile LEED AP, BD+C
Oct 25 2012
Guest
873 Thumbs Up

Clarifications on Background noise

This is my first attempt at this credit. I am confused on the effort to prove background noise whether using the ASHRAE or ANSI standard. Do you just have to prove background noise from the mechanical systems serving that specific space? Surely they want you to take into account more than that, but the recommended TAP program doesn't input outside noise (i.e. traffic, adjacent spaces, etc.) or adjacent equipment and spaces. In reality, if you have a heat pumpA type of heating and/or cooling equipment that draws heat into a building from outside and, during the cooling season, ejects heat from the building to the outside. Heat pumps are vapor-compression refrigeration systems whose indoor/outdoor coils are used reversibly as condensers or evaporators, depending on the need for heating or cooling. In the 2003 CBECS, specific information was collected on whether the heat pump system was a packaged unit, residential-type split system, or individual room heat pump, and whether the heat pump was air source, ground source, or water source. in a classroom and one in each surrounding space all and traffic outdoors, all of these are going to contribute to background noise not just the unit in the space, but you don't have to show that. Is that correct?

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Oct 26 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi David:

The LEED requirements are only concerned with background noise caused by HVAC equipment. It sounds like you already know how to do this for the duct layouts. To calculate noise levels that might be in an adjacent room, select "Elements", "Sound Transmission", and then "Equipment Room Wall". To calculate equipment noise levels from equipment that might be above a ceiling you would select "Ceiling system" instead of "Equipment Room Wall".

Exterior noise from non-HVAC items (traffic, etc.) is covered in the ANSI standard but not a requirement by LEED.

Does that answer all your questions?

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Rebecca Grant Dull Olson Weekes - IBI Group Architects, Inc.
Oct 10 2012
LEEDuser Member
210 Thumbs Up

Core Learning Space Classification

There are discrepancies between the spaces listed as "Classroom and Core Learning" in the IEQ Overview section and in the EQp3 and C9 "Core Learning SpacesCore learning spaces are spaces for educational activities where the primary functions are teaching and learning and where good speech communication is critical to a student's academic achievement. These spaces include, but are not limited to, classrooms, enclosed or open plan), instructional pods or activity areas, group instruction rooms, conference rooms, libraries, offices, speech clinics, offices used for educational purposes and music rooms for instruction, practice and performance." and "Ancillary Learning SpacesAncillary learning spaces are spaces where good communication is important to a student's educational progress but for which the primary educational functions are informal learning, social interaction or similar activity other than formal instruction. These areas include, but are not limited to, corridors, cafeterias, gymnasia, and indoor swimming pools." definitions which were revised per the Addendum issued on 11.1.11.

In the IEQ Overview section a Gymnasium is listed as a core learning space. In EQp3 and C9 a Gymnasium is defined as an Ancillary Learning Spaces. "Ancillary Learning Spaces are spaces where good communication is important to a student's educational progress but for which the primary educational functions are informal learning, social interaction or similar activity other than formal instruction. These areas include, but are not limited to, corridors, cafeterias, gymnasia, and indoor swimming pools."

Corridors are listed as an ancillary learning space in EQp3 and EQc9, but in the IEQ Overview they are classified as "Spaces Not Regularly Occupied".

For EQp3 and EQc9 we will follow the credit definitions and classify the gymnasium as a "Ancillary Learning Space" and the gymnasium will not be required to meet the prerequisite or credit requirements.

For the daylight, views and thermal comfort credits we will classify the gymnasium as a "Classroom and Core Learning Space" per the IEQ Overview and the gymnasium will need to meet the credit requirements.

Does anyone see a problem with this?

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Oct 11 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi Rebecca

I think the path you are on is good. The gymnasium is not a core learning space for acoustics but is one for daylight, views, and thermal comfort.

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Maura Adams Environmental Stewardship Manager
Sep 12 2012
Guest
2295 Thumbs Up

Discrepancy between forms

For reasons I don't need to get into here, we started off using the LEED for School Beta form (version 0.2.3) but had to switch to Version 4.0. When we enter the same data in Version 4.0 we get different results. Can anyone speculate on the cause of this discrepancy? Is it another bug in the form?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Sep 12 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Maura, I don't know anything about the calculations behind this form, but it strikes me as likely that the Beta form had a bug that was resolved in the updates up to v4.0. Is the change in results creating compliance questions?

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Maura Adams Environmental Stewardship Manager Sep 12 2012 Guest 2295 Thumbs Up

Yes, it is. The reverberationReverberation is an acoustical phenomenon that occurs when sound persists in an enclosed space because of its repeated reflection or scattering on the enclosing surfaces or objects within the space. (ANSI S12.60–2002) values go up significantly in v4.0.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Sep 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5558 Thumbs Up

Before upgrading forms, I have found it very helpful to access the Form Fix Log (available for download from this page - http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=1447 and from main landing page of LOv3 (Form Updates)) to understand the reasons for the changes to the forms. For instance, IEQp3's v3.0 update of the form states: "Corrected calculation error in ANSI ReverberationReverberation is an acoustical phenomenon that occurs when sound persists in an enclosed space because of its repeated reflection or scattering on the enclosing surfaces or objects within the space. (ANSI S12.60–2002) Time table; revised NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. and ANSI tables to allow documentation of non-rectangular rooms."

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Emmanuel Pauwels Owner Green Living Projects s.l.
Jun 14 2012
LEEDuser Member
2156 Thumbs Up

A weighted sound level

The ANSI norm S12.60-2002 refers to IEC 61672-1 in order to define the A-weighted sound level. Is it allowed to use values from local code based on an acustic map of the city?

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Jun 18 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

That should be fine to use to determine outdoor noise levels on the school site.

For indoor noise levels from HVAC, you will need to calculate those based on equipment selections and duct layouts.

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M Carolina Weitzman
Apr 20 2012
Guest
59 Thumbs Up

ANSI 12.60-2002

HELP!!! Where do I find 2002 version of this ansi standard? I can't locate anywhere!

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Apr 20 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5558 Thumbs Up

I downloaded it from the Acoustical Society of America (http://asastore.aip.org) in 2007 but the 2002 version does not appear to be available anymore. They only have 2009 and 2010 versions.

Consider using this contact information from Armstrong's website who provided it along with Trane at no cost(http://www.armstrong.com/commceilingsna/article21193.html) to contact ASA: “These standards and many other national and international standards can be obtained in PDF format from the Acoustical Society of America Online Store at: http://asa.aip.org. Standards may also be ordered by fax or mail from: Acoustical Society of America, 35 Pinelawn Road, Suite 114E, Melville NY 11747-3177, Phone: 631-390-0215, Fax: 631-390-0217, Email: asastds@aip.org.” You might mention to them that folks are still using this and it would be great to still have available.

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M Carolina Weitzman Apr 20 2012 Guest 59 Thumbs Up

my email is carolina@natexarchitects.com

Your emailing that would be fantatic! Thanks for your help!
My question is why doesn't USGBC have it if they require us to use it. It is not right!

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Apr 21 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5558 Thumbs Up

Carolina –

You must be new to the LEED game. There are extensive standards and references that USGBC does not provide and most of those require payment. It was great that Armstrong and Trane provided the ANSI resource as a free download via ASA.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Apr 23 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5558 Thumbs Up

Carolina –

I contacted ASA on your behalf and got a copy of the 2002 standard for you, which I have e-mailed to you.

As an FYI, here is the information I got from ASA when I asked that they post the 2002 document back to the ASA website:

“Pursuant to your request, since we cannot post the obsolete document you are requesting, the Standards Manager, Susan Blaeser, asked me to send you the attached complimentary copy of the Obsolete document ANSI S12.60-2002 (R2009) for your use. As noted in the attached PDF, the document is OBSOLETE and MAY NOT be referred to as an American National Standard. It is provided for historical purposes only.

As you saw on the website, the document has been replaced by two parts: ANSI/ASA S12.60-2010/Part 1 American National Standard Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, and Guidelines for Schools, Part 1: Permanent Schools and ANSI/ASA S12.60-2009/Part 2 American National Standard Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, and Guidelines for Schools, Part 2: Relocatable Classroom Factors.”

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Jessica Diaz Architect, LEED AP V Architecture
Apr 10 2012
LEEDuser Member
62 Thumbs Up

Vocational Shops

Does anyone know if a workshop area is considered a "core learning space" or an "ancilliary learning space"? Our project is a Vocational High School and for each vocational program offered there is a Core Learning Classroom and a Workshop. We have workshops going from Printmaking to Construction and even Toolmaking, among others, and we are wondering if the NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. .7 requirement is also applicable to this workshop areas. Our interpretation is that these are considered "Ancilliary Learning SpacesCore learning spaces are spaces for educational activities where the primary functions are teaching and learning and where good speech communication is critical to a student's academic achievement. These spaces include, but are not limited to, classrooms, enclosed or open plan), instructional pods or activity areas, group instruction rooms, conference rooms, libraries, offices, speech clinics, offices used for educational purposes and music rooms for instruction, practice and performance." according to the definition, since the formal instruction is given on the Classroom. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Apr 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi Jessica:

If each workshop area had a dedicated classroom, I think you would have a pretty good argument that the workshop areas are ancillary, areas only used for students to work on their projects. On the flipside, I recently had a project where the workshops did not have dedicated classrooms and we elected to call them core learning spacesCore learning spaces are spaces for educational activities where the primary functions are teaching and learning and where good speech communication is critical to a student's academic achievement. These spaces include, but are not limited to, classrooms, enclosed or open plan), instructional pods or activity areas, group instruction rooms, conference rooms, libraries, offices, speech clinics, offices used for educational purposes and music rooms for instruction, practice and performance. because some instruction would occur in the workshop.

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Jessica Diaz Architect, LEED AP, V Architecture Apr 16 2012 LEEDuser Member 62 Thumbs Up

Thanks a lot Daniel! I greatly appreciate your prompt response. I will let you know if we have any problems with that interpretation or if we find any other information on this.
Thank you!

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DuWayne Baird Construction Administration/LEED Project Administration, SHP Leading Design May 11 2013 Guest 7 Thumbs Up

I was wondering if this approach had been succesful? I have a project with a similar situation and I wanted to go this route if it was accepted by GBCI.

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renee jimenez principal mnk architects
Mar 20 2012
Guest
318 Thumbs Up

Template issues for Option 1

Per the LEED reference guide it states that for Option 1 we are to “Confirm that 100% of all ceiling areas (excluding lights, diffusersIn an HVAC context, diffusers disperse heating, cooling, or ventilation air as it enters a room, ideally preventing uncomfortable direct currents and in many cases, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality (IAQ). In light fixtures, diffusers filter and disperse light. and grilles) in all classrooms and core learning spacesCore learning spaces are spaces for educational activities where the primary functions are teaching and learning and where good speech communication is critical to a student's academic achievement. These spaces include, but are not limited to, classrooms, enclosed or open plan), instructional pods or activity areas, group instruction rooms, conference rooms, libraries, offices, speech clinics, offices used for educational purposes and music rooms for instruction, practice and performance. are finished with a material that has a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels.) of 0.70 or higher." however on the LEED on-line template it states "Option 1. Minimum NRC1. The project team will complete a table to confirm that the total area of materials in the room with a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.70 or higher equals or exceeds the ceiling area." The table further asks for the following information: Ceiling Area sf; Area of Lights, Diffusers and grills on ceiling sf; Material Description; Area of Material; NRC Coefficient of specific materials. With this information it then calculates Ceiling area excluding lights, diffusers and grilles and Area of qualifying high – NRC material (sf).
I have filled in the required information in both the following ways and the form still indicates that I do not meet the requirements. Am I misunderstanding the form? If not which way should I be filling in the form.
Classroom Square footage = 817sf my ceiling area is the same sf of this area 96sf is Lights, Diffusers and grills on ceiling. My ceiling is Armstrong Fine Fissured 1824 which has an NRC of .70.
Example 1 Example 2 Example 3
Ceiling Area sf: 817 817 721
Area of Lights,
Diffusers and grills
on ceiling sf: 96 96 96
Material 1 Description: Armstrong Fine Fissured 1824
Area of Material 1: 721 721 712
NRC Coefficient of material 1:
.70 .70 .70
Material 2 Description: acoustical wall panels
Area of Material 2: 100
NRC Coefficient of material 2: .70
Ceiling area: 721 721 625
(excluding lights, diffusers and grilles)

Area of qualifying high – NRC material (sf).
(must equal or exceed ceiling area)
721 821 721

In all the examples above we are following the statement on pg 428 for option 1 of the reference guide which is “Specify ceiling finish material with an NRC of .70 or higher for 100% of the ceiling area, excluding diffusers, grilles, and light fixtures.” Which in all examples would be 721sf. Am I missing something or is the template not confirming that I meet this credit for option 1stated in the referance guide?

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Mar 20 2012 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi Renee:

The formatting didn't quite come through, but it looks like you're filling out the form correctly. Did you also upload the spec sheets for the ceiling tile and wall panels that indicate that the materials have an NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. 0.7? The form won't say that it's completed until you do that as well.

If that still doesn't work, I would just check the box at the end of the form under "Special Circumstances" and explain the situation. Through various stages of upgrades and LEED revisions, I've had more than one time where a form didn't work for me and I had to explain what was wrong with it.

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Michelle Reott LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, O+M, Managing Principal, Earthly Ideas LLC Mar 20 2012 LEEDuser Expert 5558 Thumbs Up

Renee -

I was going to suggest that you ensure you have the most recent version of the Form. There is a v4.0 of the form for this prerequisite per the LOv3 Form Fix Log (https://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=9144). The form version is listed in the lower right corner of the form. That might be part of the problem.

You can ask your Project Administrator to update the Form by contacting USGBC.

Note: LOv3 Help says: "What if problems continue with the form?

USGBC encourages all customers to use the Feedback link (see Feedback Form for guidance) for any issues encountered when trying to complete a form. All issues are reviewed, handled on a case-by-case basis, and rolled into future form versions as necessary. Regardless of the issue, a member of our team will follow-up with you directly."

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Heather Alley Architect Ralph Tyler Co
Nov 01 2011
Guest
117 Thumbs Up

Example L-16 Narrative

Does anyone have a good example of an L-16 Narrative accepted by USGBC? This is our first LEED project, both architecturally and mechanically. The Example narrative under Documentation Toolkit is outdated and insufficient. We have created a draft outline based on ANSI S12.60, but we really could use some type of reference for comparison.
P.S. No budget for an acoustic consultant. We would if we could.

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cathi schar
Sep 23 2011
LEEDuser Member
97 Thumbs Up

Ceiling area

We have tectum panels (acoustic/insulation panels) above our beams. Do we have to add additional panels to the wall to make up for the ceiling area occupied by the exposed ceiling structure/beams?

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Sep 30 2011 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

It depends on what approach you want to take in the templates.

If you're going for the "all ceiling area = NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. 0.7 or better approach", then you would need to add panels. If you are willing to make RTReverberation time (RT) is a measure of the amount of reverberation in a space and equal to the time required for the level of a steady sound to decay by 60 dB after the sound has stopped. The decay rate depends on the amount of sound absorption in a room, the room geometry, and the frequency of the sound. RT is expressed in seconds. (ANSI S12.60–2002) calculations instead, you can make the calculation and you may, or may not, need to add more panels depending on the results.

If the space is greater than 20,000 cu. ft., however, the RT caluclation is your only option.

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Renee Shirey
Sep 23 2011
LEEDuser Member
2919 Thumbs Up

Submit in Design review but include manuf. cuts in Const Review

The prereq requires manufacturer cut sheets for the accoustic materials. This is a state funded project and we cannot single-source products - we must offer contractors at least 3 manufacturers to select from. We designed according to worst-case scenario of what could be selected. Once construction is done and we have the cutsheets for the actuall products used, I would edit any calcs as needed and provide the supporting cutsheets as part of the Constructin Submittal. If I explain this as part of Special Circumstances, does anyone know why I shouldn't go ahead and submit this as part of the Design Submittal? Or do I have to defer this credit until Construction Submittal since I don't have the cutsheets?

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Sep 30 2011 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi Renee:

I don't think I can help you with this but I'll try to find someone who can. I'm only up on the acoustics requirements...not the submission processes.

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David Posada Sustainability Manager, SS TAG member, GBD Architects Sep 30 2011 LEEDuser Expert 17587 Thumbs Up

Either way would probably work - You could wait until the Construction Phase and submit the final cutsheets, or you could try submitting what documentation you have for the design review.

In this case, you would probably submit the project specifications that clearly state the minimum performance requirements for the various materials, provide cutsheets from the three approved manufacturers to show several product options that meet the requirements, and provide the calculations that meet the requirements using those products.

You may still be asked to defer the credit until construction review, but at least you've had the opportunity to see if there are any other issues raised by the review that you might still have time to correct.

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Rodrigo Ubilla
Sep 22 2011
Guest
100 Thumbs Up

HVAC background noise from Kitchen hoods

We are working on a project which includes 2, 1350sf, culinary classrooms with many industrial cooking equipment in them. The kitchen exhaust rate are as high as 1,000,000 cfh for each of these classroom. The kitchen exhaust are demand controlled and work on a cascade mode with 6 fans.

Would these system be considered HVAC? There is no way to comply with the HVAC 45dBA limit in these classrooms including the kitchen exhausts. The only way around I see would be to include an override switch to turn the exhaust off in case quiet is required.

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Sep 30 2011 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi Rodrigo:

I think you could make the case that these are not HVAC equipment and can be excluded if you can turn them off when they are not needed. My interpretation of LEED's explaination of "HVAC equipment" is equipment used for indoor 'climate control', and not specialty exhaust equipment. If they were designed to be on all the time, however, you might be able to make an argument that they need to be included.

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Brian Moran
Sep 19 2011
Guest
207 Thumbs Up

LEED 2009 Music Schools

IEQ p3 is a requirement of LEED for Schools 2009. I would like to see if anyone has worked on documenting compliance for a school under the ANSI standards calculations.

Specifically, it seems rather difficult to achieve this credit in rooms for whicht he primary purpose is music education. The quality of education is inherently linked to the quality of sound in the room. The quality and quantity of materials needed to achieve the required reverb time can have adverse effects on the purpose of these rooms.

Has anyone had similar problems and if so found a soultion acceptable to all parties? We are well aware that LEED does not intend, rightfully so, to allow for every project to achieve every credit. However, to preclude whole projects based on their type, in this case music education, does not seem in keeping with the values set forth.

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Sep 30 2011 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi Brian:

I completely agree. I have not heard of any other compliance approaches, however, that satisfy LEED's understanding of "core learning space" and a musician's actual needs. I hope you bring it to their attention, though! Keep us posted.

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Brian Moran
Sep 19 2011
Guest
207 Thumbs Up

ANSI S12.60-2002 vs LEED Template

The ANSI S12.60-2002 standard requires that core learning spacesCore learning spaces are spaces for educational activities where the primary functions are teaching and learning and where good speech communication is critical to a student's academic achievement. These spaces include, but are not limited to, classrooms, enclosed or open plan), instructional pods or activity areas, group instruction rooms, conference rooms, libraries, offices, speech clinics, offices used for educational purposes and music rooms for instruction, practice and performance., between 10,000 and 20,000 cubic feet, have reverberationReverberation is an acoustical phenomenon that occurs when sound persists in an enclosed space because of its repeated reflection or scattering on the enclosing surfaces or objects within the space. (ANSI S12.60–2002) times that do not exceed .7 seconds. The LEED template states that
"The project team will demonstrate through calculations based upon the requirements of ANSI Standard S12.60-2002,
that each of the classrooms and core learning spaces has a reverberation
time of 0.6 seconds or less."

It seems that there is a discrepancy between the ANSI standard of .7 seconds and the template. The template requests .6 seconds, which is not what the standard references.

Has there a clarifying position been posted/released on this issue on the part of GBCI/USGBC?

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Daniel Hicks Daniel Hicks, E.I., INCE, Geiler & Associates Sep 30 2011 LEEDuser Expert 1824 Thumbs Up

Hi Brian:

I can't find in any of my templates where it says "0.6 seconds or less". All of the ones I've worked on, and the current credit requirements, say that the reverb time needs to meet the ANSI standard. It's possible that it's a new revision and a typo.

If you want a definitive answer, I would ask for clarification. I, personally, would follow the ANSI standard (as that is the original basis for the LEED requirements) and then explain what I did in the comment box.

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Jean Marais b.i.g. Bechtold DesignBuilder Expert
Aug 09 2011
LEEDuser Member
8498 Thumbs Up

Simplified Approach

I have a kindergarten, 7440sf, ground level only, all learning spacesCore learning spaces are spaces for educational activities where the primary functions are teaching and learning and where good speech communication is critical to a student's academic achievement. These spaces include, but are not limited to, classrooms, enclosed or open plan), instructional pods or activity areas, group instruction rooms, conference rooms, libraries, offices, speech clinics, offices used for educational purposes and music rooms for instruction, practice and performance. are on perimeter with windows. There is only a small road on the one side about 20 m away. There is no Mechanical Ventilation, just a radiant floor heating. The mechanical room is not adjacent to any learning space. All learning spaces have acoustic ceiling tiles with NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. 0.65, covering >80% of the ceiling. Ceiling height is at about 3.2 meters. The floor is laminated, and has a 8mm (3 inch) wood fiber board "Trittschalldämmung" Step absorption layer.

I've just been told we're not getting the usual acoustics calculation, because it was no longer required. This leaves me to do this on my own.

Q1) will it be accepted to do the calculation for one representative room? (there are 9 "learning" spaces)
Q2) Are other spaces, like corridors to be included?

Any other hints, suggestions and tips are appreciated. Good page btw.

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Jean Marais b.i.g. Bechtold DesignBuilder Expert Aug 09 2011 LEEDuser Member 8498 Thumbs Up

Sorry, I've just checked the data sheet properly. On the data sheet for the acoustic panels it states that when the gap between hard ceiling to bottom of panel is 125 mm (yes) and the insulation is 60 mm (yes), then the NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. is 0.95. I also now under stand that the 20000 cf criteria is per room, not entire facility. that means I could use case 1, option 2. to prove my case. I just need to area weight the NRC value. for that i need a good assumption of the NRC for the normal ceiling tiles with the same ceiling depth and insulation dimensions...any ideas?

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Jean Marais b.i.g. Bechtold DesignBuilder Expert Aug 09 2011 LEEDuser Member 8498 Thumbs Up

Woops! Just got the real value for the NRCNoise reduction coefficient (NRC) is the arithmetic average of absorption coefficients at 250, 500, 1,000, and 2,000 Hz for a material. The NRC is often published by manufacturers in product specifications, particularly for acoustical ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels. of the normal tiles from the manufacturer...0.05. Ouch!

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