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Incorporating Sound Masking in LEED Office Design

As more importance is placed on sustainability, today’s offices are being built green.  The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) defines green buildings as one that have significantly reduced or eliminated negative impacts on the environment and their occupants.

The Acoustical Challenge of Building Green

Some of the acoustical challenges in common green build practices are:

  • Lower furniture panels for more day lighting means less speech privacy
  • Thinner walls for sustainability means less speech privacy
  • Tighter people spacing for higher occupancy levels means less speech privacy
  • HVAC below floor systems are more efficient and quieter therefore providing lower ambient sound level which means less speech privacy

With the ability to value engineer through the use of Acoustical Programming Software, Margenau Associates, Inc. can create the optimum environment for speech privacy, noise reduction. Provide opportunities to reduce build-out materials, and select more efficient systems furniture panels and acoustical ceiling products.

LEED points for acoustics are often overlooked due to limited knowledge.  Speech privacy improvements through sound masking systems that deliver white noise and pink noise can qualify for the subjective point assessment in the “Innovations in Design and Indoor Environmental Quality” category.

Margenau Associates, Inc. installed the sound masking system, both in the traditional ceiling plenum in areas without raised floor and under the raised floor in other areas throughout the Aardex Signature Building in Golden Colorado, the state’s first Platinum Certified LEED Building and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) region 8 Headquarters Building, a Gold Certified LEED Building with zone paging.

To learn more how to have speech privacy in your green building, contact us.