The just-released, version 4.1 of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Building Design and Construction guidelines makes achieving those LEED credits much more practical and rewarding. For example, in response to practical feedback from the construction industry, acoustic goals in the new version of the guidelines have been set to more realistic levels. As an added incentive, 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.
In every LEED project I’ve worked on so far, the critical building components in determining whether the project achieved LEED credit(s) for acoustics has been its walls and ceilings. LEED v4.1 now makes achieving those goals low-hanging fruit for those counting up available LEED credits on their project. Complicated wall and ceiling designs and exotic materials aren’t necessary; but early team coordination and attention to detail is.