Snowsound and LEED V4.1: Amping Up Interior Environmental Quality

The Omicron variant has reduced the amount of time people spend indoors together. It’s another setback, but when this Covid curve abates, we’ll soon be gathering again in restaurants, hotels, retail and the workplace.

Before the pace fully picks up, now is the time to make enhancements that will help everyone feel safe, valued and confident when they re-enter these interior spaces.

Throughout the pandemic, design teams have been focused on delivering healthy indoor air quality (IAQ). But Interior Environmental Quality (IEQ) is equally important. The CDC defines IEQ as the quality of a building’s environment in relation to the health and wellbeing of those who occupy space within it. IEQ is determined by many factors including acoustics.

Successfully addressing noise in interiors is a complicated undertaking. Snowsound acoustic experts can help architects, designers and end users achieve the right conditions in a range of settings and applications. While the science of acoustics is complex, the principles of controlling acoustics in interiors can actually be broken into four basic categories: Absorb, Block, Cover and Diffuse (ABCD). Sound-absorbing products like Snowsound acoustic panels help minimize the amount of reverberation that happens when sound bounces off hard surfaces (delve deeper here).

Under LEED Version 4 of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Building Design and Construction guidelines, the importance of acoustics as an important IEQ issue has been elevated by introducing a pilot credit for exterior noise control and expanding the niche acoustic performance credits into other building types. wrote about the more stringent acoustical standards offered by LEED v4.

LEED Version 4.1 further simplified the process by responding to feedback from the construction industry. Acoustic goals have been set to more realistic levels. Each space in most projects now only has to achieve two out of three of its acoustic goals for the entire project to achieve LEED acoustic credit. A bonus credit is awarded to those projects whose spaces meet all three acoustic goals.

The LEED guidelines divide acoustic goals into three categories:

  1. Maximum background noise produced by heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  2. Minimum isolation from adjacent spaces
  3. Adequate amount and type of sound absorbing finishes

Specific LEED acoustic goals for each of the three categories are dependent on the type of project and its layout. Sound-rated walls are just the beginning. Snowsound can also help—during new construction and afterwards too. Snowsound’s line-up of aesthetically pleasing and technically superior products includes wall-hung, ceiling suspended and movable panels that absorb uncomfortable reverberations in any kind of interior space. Snowsound has solutions in a range of vertical markets.

Acoustics are an important part of every commercial interior design. They can make or break the success of the project. Architects and designers who bring forth the most advanced acoustical solutions are able to positively impact their clients’ bottom lines—especially in the current competitive landscape as we emerge from Covid.

Contact us to see how Snowsound can help your next project achieve Interior Environmental Quality (IEQ) goals. Our free acoustic analysis will calculate how reverberant a room or space is and the optimum number of Snowsound Technology Panels, Snowsound Fiber Products or Snowsound Fiber Acoustic Textiles needed to create spaces that sound as great as they look. Get more information here.

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