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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

Above suspended acoustic ceiling

Duct located within occupied space

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

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.

Increased Flow
Circular vs Rectangular
1.43
1.40
1.47
1.80
1.71
1.67
1.95
1.79
1.79