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ASHRAE to Study Indoor Noise Criteria
Mar 10, 2005
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Research to help further studies of how noise impacts productivity has been approved by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

ASHRAE recently approved funding totaling U.S. $1.1 million for 11 research projects in the areas of indoor air quality, comfort and health, design tools, safety under extraordinary circumstances, environmental quality, seismic and wind restraint design, operating and maintenance, and high risk, innovative, and emerging technology.

Among them is Productivity and Perception Based Evaluation of Indoor Noise Criteria, 1322-RP. Indoor background noise can dramatically impact occupants by causing annoyance, affecting productivity, hindering speech communication, impacting sleep, and degrading overall occupant comfort and satisfaction, according to principal investigator Lily Wang, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Heating and ventilating systems are commonly the primary source of that noise.

"Because ambient noise is something we continually encounter in our everyday environments, evaluation of that noise is crucial to improve occupant satisfaction," she said. The study will assess indoor noise criteria systems to evaluate the acceptability of background noise level in buildings, often caused by mechanical systems.

"Our goal is to determine how these systems impact productivity and perceptions," Ms. Wang 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 ASHRAE approved projects are:
Operating and Maintenance
Inlet Installation Effects on Small Propeller Fans, Air and Sound

High Risk, Innovative and Emerging Technology
Performance Characterization of Selected Refrigerants in Flat Plate Microscale Condensers

Seismic and Wind Restraint Design
Static/Dynamic Equipment Testing and Certification

Safety Under Extraordinary Circumstances
Maximum Velocity of Make-up Air for Smoke Management Systems in Atria and Other Large Spaces

Design Tools
Experimental Evaluation of the Heat Transfer Impacts of Tube Pitch in a Highly Enhanced Surface Tube Bundle
The Nature, Significance and Control of Solar-Driven Vapor Diffusion in Wall Systems
Determine the Effect of Duct Fittings on Air Velocity Measurements
Revisions to the ASHRAE Thermal Comfort Tool to Maintain Consistency with Standard 55-2004

IAQ, Comfort and Health
An Evaluation of the Efficacy of Fill Removal, Cleaning and Disinfection in Controlling Legionella Populations in Cooling Tower Systems
Comparison of Gas-Phase Air Filtration Equipment Lab Tests to Field Experience

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