Turning Down the Volume with Noise Modeling Platforms

Our acousticians use mechanical noise modeling platforms, the Trane Acoustics Program (TAP) and Pottorff AIM, to estimate noise levels from mechanical equipment. The AIM model calculates room sound levels due to HVAC systems using algorithms developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

Noise levels modeled in AIM are the result of several HVAC sound sources, including:

  • Air handling unit noise emissions
  • Supply air noise
  • Return air noise
  • Exhaust air noise
  • Duct breakout noise
  • Noise associated with terminal units
  • Noise associated with diffusers and grilles

Adam Buck and Gina Jarta recently performed noise measurements and modeling in support of the design of an office fit-out project for a confidential client in Pryor, Oklahoma. The planned office space was located directly under multiple rooftop mechanical units, resulting in noise levels in the space exceeding 70 dBA.

Acoustical maps of the space were developed to diagnose the primary noise producing elements. Thorough measurements and modeling remediation solutions were developed to reduce noise levels by over 40 dBA, making the space suitable for teleconference rooms, phone rooms and open workstations. Implemented remediation included installation of duct silencers and treatments as well as high isolation ceiling treatments. Post-construction measurements for the project showed that noise levels after the installation of mitigation measures were within +/- 5 points of the target noise level as required by the client.

Acousticians also use sound isolation modeling and audio simulation for architectural projects to demonstrate the sound isolation performance of building elements and how much noise will be transferred between spaces.

Most recently, acousticians worked with architectural staff from the HDR Dallas office to develop sound isolation values for the HDR standard wall types. These sound isolation values will be used by architecture staff throughout the company to determine appropriate wall types for different noise control applications.

Acoustic Specialist
National Acoustics Program Manager