Evaluation and control of acoustical environments in 'green' (sustainable) office buildings

Murray Hodgson


This paper discusses the increasing important issue of the acoustical design of 'green' (sustainable) buildings. Many 'green' buildings have unsatisfactory acoustical environments, according to their occupants. Work done at UBC to evaluate acoustical quality in 'green' office buildings and improve it by engineering control measures is reviewed. The problem of 'green'-building acoustics is introduced and its importance discussed. Details of the acoustical evaluation of six 'green' office buildings by occupantsatisfaction surveys and acoustical measurements are presented, and their implications for the design of 'green' buildings considered. A detailed study of one naturally-ventilated 'green' building is discussed. Pretreatment survey and measurement evaluation results are presented. It is concluded that inadequate noise isolation due to natural-ventilation openings is a big problem. The design and post-treatment evaluation of noise-control measures to improve the noise isolation in two situations is discussed. Finally, other 'green'building acoustical issues are noted, and conclusions are drawn as to where future work should be directed.


Acoustic noise; Acoustics laboratories; Architectural acoustics; Design; Office buildings; Surveys; Acoustical design; Acoustical evaluation; Acoustical measurements; Building acoustics; Control measures; Engineering controls; Measurement evaluations; Noise isolation; Post treatment; Pre-Treatment

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