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Morbelli, Chiara Francesca

L'acustica dei green buildings e il suo impatto sulla produttività degli occupanti.

Rel. Arianna Astolfi, Adrian Passmore, Arup Acoustics. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea specialistica in Architettura (costruzione), 2008

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Green building guidelines, standards and rating systems, whose potential is now admittedly well established in the building industry, represent a challenging opportunity to encourage the design of healthier and more comfortable buildings. The attainment of “green” certification is often a goal that has greatly influenced building design. Since great emphasis (and several credits) has been placed on indoor air quality and natural daylight, harmless building materials and “environmentally friendly” sources of energy, design teams working on certified projects tend to concentrate only on these items, disregarding acoustics.

Therefore the point at issue is: why is acoustics not included into the above mentioned criteria? They do not take into consideration (or they barely do) the importance of good acoustics on human efficiency as well as the harm that poor acoustics causes to people. Moreover, environmental experts do not seem to have carefully analyzed the effects of poor acoustics which eventually trumps the benefits of good lighting and good air quality.

Neither have they questioned how acoustics deals with green building technologies (and vice versa) nor how acoustics influences productivity.

Another issue which requires investigation is related to the causes which determine poor acoustic in a green environment. The question is twofold:

a) is acoustic in a green environment perceived as poor (even though its standards are the same as they used to be in the past) because other parameters such as lighting, indoor air quality and thermal comfort have improved?

b) do green buildings have features that inevitably lead to an unsatisfactory acoustic environment?

Green building is still a developing field of knowledge and expertise, and there is need to investigate further on in order to asses objectives and proposes corrections for former standards.

This study aims to provide healthier and more productive environments for office occupants by proving the need of including acoustic requirements (and credits as well) into the green building rating systems.

I will approach the problem by selecting a number of office buildings with different “green” features and evaluating them acoustically.

Due to time and access constraints, only three Arup based office buildings will be taken into consideration, all of them containing open-plan offices occupied by white-collar workers.

Measured parameters will include: Background Noise Level, Reverberation Time and Speech Transmission Index. Measurement procedures will be carried out according to the following standards:

• BS 8233:1999 and ISO R1996 for Background Noise Level

• BS EN ISO 3382:2000 for Reverberation Time

• IEC 60268-16 for STI

Moreover, an occupant satisfaction survey will be carried out using a web-based questionnaire powered by FreeOnLineSurveys.com to get a clear and useful assessment of occupants’ comfort, well being and productivity. This will allow me to quantify how well a building is performing and how cross-correlated indoor environmental factors (air quality, thermal comfort, lighting, and acoustics) can influence productivity from the perspective of its occupants.

The data resulting from the acoustical measurements will be compared along with the ones resulting from the survey and they will be analyzed to identify situations corresponding to high and low satisfaction and to find out which aspects of “green” buildings still need improvement.

Relatori: Arianna Astolfi, Adrian Passmore, Arup Acoustics
Soggetti: S Scienze e Scienze Applicate > SA Acustica
A Architettura > AD Bioarchitettura
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea specialistica in Architettura (costruzione)
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/1214

1 Introduction

1.1 Statement of the problem

1.2 Objectives and methodology

2 Background

2.1 Health and Productivity

2.1.1 Indoor Environmental factors

• Air Quality

• Lighting

• Thermal Comfort

• Acoustics

2.2 “Green” Buildings acoustical issues and technologies

2.2.1 Issues

• Architectural design trends

• Acoustical Solutions

• Speech privacy

2.2.2 Technologies

• Double skin façades

• Passive stack system

• Natural Ventilation

• Building integrated photovoltaic and wind turbines

2.3 Rating Systems

2.3.1 BREEAM

2.3.2 LEED

2.3.3 ITACA

2.3.4 Critique of BREEAM, LEED and ITACA

3 Methods and Data

3.1 Buildings descriptions

• 13 Fitzroy Street, London

• Arup Midlands Campus, Solihull

• Carlow House, London

3.2 Post Occupancy Evaluations Survey

4 Results & Discussion

4.1 Database analysis

4.1.1 Acoustics

4.1.2 Thermal comfort

4.1.3 Lighting

4.1.4 Indoor Air quality

4.1.5 Office Layout

4.2 Cross correlation and Conclusions: productivity & acoustics, lighting, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, office layout

4.3 Limitations

5 Saggio di Ricerca II: La progettazione acustica degli uffici open space

6 Glossary

7 Bibliography

8 Attachments


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