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Controlling HVAC system noise is essential to the quality of the listening environment in classrooms. The American National Standards Institute Standard S12.60-2002 — Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, and Guidelines for Schools calls for a maximum background sound level of 35 dBA for classrooms less than or equal to 20,000 ft3 (566 m3), and 40 dBA for classrooms that are greater than 20,000 ft3 These levels are much lower than previously recommended. Careful attention to the design, selection, and detailing of HVAC systems in schools is required to achieve these lower levels.

Citation: ASHRAE Journal, Vol. 46 No. 5, May 2004