Sustainability in Acoustic Design
Sustainability continues to be an important consideration for new building projects with incentives being offered from all levels of government. While the construction industry has made great advances when it comes to developing and improving sustainable methods of construction, acoustic consultancy has largely lagged behind. Acoustics has primarily been considered under the "social" pillar of sustainability rather than the “environmental” or “economic” pillars, with green building frameworks such as LEED awarding points for achieving specific internal noise levels. Therefore, when acoustics is discussed in conjunction with sustainability, the focus is typically on the conflict between simultaneously achieving acoustic criteria while implementing other important elements of the sustainable building design, such as passive ventilation systems. This paper looks at alternative ways to incorporate sustainability into acoustic design. It will provide an overview of current worldwide practices as well as investigate how acoustical consultants can use existing “green” certifications to provide more information relating to sustainability for acoustic design projects.
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