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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 59  |  Page : 135--139

Estimating occupant satisfaction of HVAC system noise using quality assessment index

1 Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Parvin Nassiri
Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.99861

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Noise may be defined as any unwanted sound. Sound becomes noise when it is too loud, unexpected, uncontrolled, happens at the wrong time, contains unwanted pure tones or unpleasant. In addition to being annoying, loud noise can cause hearing loss, and, depending on other factors, can affect stress level, sleep patterns and heart rate. The primary object for determining subjective estimations of loudness is to present sounds to a sample of listeners under controlled conditions. In heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems only the ventilation fan industry (e.g., bathroom exhaust and sidewall propeller fans) uses loudness ratings. In order to find satisfaction, percent of exposure to noise is the valuable issue for the personnel who are working in these areas. The room criterion (RC) method has been defined by ANSI standard S12.2, which is based on measured levels of in HVAC systems noise in spaces and is used primarily as a diagnostic tool. The RC method consists of a family of criteria curves and a rating procedure. RC measures background noise in the building over the frequency range of 16-4000 Hz. This rating system requires determination of the mid-frequency average level and determining the perceived balance between high-frequency (HF) sound and low-frequency (LF) sound. The arithmetic average of the sound levels in the 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz octave bands is 44.6 dB; therefore, the RC 45 curve is selected as the reference for spectrum quality evaluation. The spectral deviation factors in the LF, medium-frequency sound and HF regions are 2.9, 7.5 and -2.3, respectively, giving a Quality Assessment Index (QAI) of 9.8. This concludes the QAI is useful in estimating an occupant's probable reaction when the system design does not produce optimum sound quality. Thus, a QAI between 5 and 10 dB represents a marginal situation in which acceptance by an occupant is questionable. However, when sound pressure levels in the 16 or 31.5 Hz octave bands exceed 65 dB, vibration in lightweight office construction is possible.


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