ASHRAE Approves Indoor Noise Criteria Study


ASHRAE has recently approved more than $1 million in funding for research projects in various areas. Of that amount, nearly $70,000 is set aside for Productivity and Perception Based Evaluation of Indoor Noise Criteria, 1322-RP, a project that will study how indoor noise impacts productivity.

The 15-month study, which is sponsored by ASHRAE’s Technical Committee (TC) 2.6, Sound and Vibration, will evaluate the acceptability of background noise—often caused by mechanical systems—in buildings.

According to Lily Wang, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the project’s principal investigator, indoor background noise can have dramatic effects on building occupants, causing annoyance, affecting productivity, hindering speech communication and sleep and lowering overall occupant comfort and satisfaction.

“Our goal is to determine how these systems impact productivity and perceptions,” she said. “Based on the results, modifications to noise criteria systems may be made, allowing the rating systems to account better for the subjective results.”

Other projects recently approved by ASHRAE include:

• Inlet Installation Effects on Small Propeller Fans, Air and Sound, 1223-RP, Corrine Darvennes, Tennessee Technological University, 12 months, $94,320, sponsored by TC 5.1, Fans.

• Maximum Velocity of Make-up Air for Smoke Management Systems in Atria and Other Large Spaces, 1300-RP, George Hadjisophocleous, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, 12 months, $44,800, sponsored by TC 5.6, Control of Fire and Smoke.

• An Evaluation of the Efficacy of Fill Removal, Cleaning and Disinfection in Controlling Legionella Populations in Cooling Tower Systems, 1307-RP, Nicholas Cianciotto, Northwestern University, 18 months, $164,242, sponsored by TC 3.6, Water Treatment.

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