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ASHRAE Sound and Vibration Control

Table 3 - Maximum Recommended Duct Airflow Velocities Needed to Achieve Specified Acoustic Design Criteria
Maximum Airflow Velocity, fpm Main Duct Location In Shaft or above drywall ceiling Design RC (N) 45 35 25 45 35 25 45 35 25 Rectangular Duct 3,500 2,500 1,700 2,500 1,750 1,200 2,000 1,450 950 Circular Duct 5,000 3,500 2,500 4,500 3,000 2,000 3,900 2,600 1,700 Increased Flow Circular vs Rectangular 1.43 1.40 1.47 1.80 1.71 1.67 1.95 1.79 1.79

Above suspended acoustic ceiling

Duct located within occupied space

Notes: 1. Branch ducts should have airflow velocities of about 80% of the values listed. 2. Velocities in final runouts to outlets should be 50% of the values or less. 3. Elbows and other fittings can increase airflow noise substantially, depending on the type. Therefore, duct airflow velocities should be reduced accordingly.