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Acoustics: 50 Years of the Engineers Newsletter

December 12, 2022


As mentioned in our January blog post, 2022 marks the 50-year anniversary of Trane’s Engineers Newsletter publication! This month we hear from EN author, Trane Systems Development Engineer Dustin Meredith.

Acoustics affects how each of us judges and responds to the comfort of the immediate environment. It can enhance or impair our ability to perform and, especially in the case of commercial buildings, can affect the value (marketability and tenancy) of the space. Although there are many aspects to building acoustics, the HVAC system designer is generally interested in a design that will minimize unwanted sound (known as noise) and vibration.

The subject of acoustics was addressed in the very first year of publication for Trane’s Engineers Newsletter and it continues to be a hot topic. In 1972, we were already talking about the very important topic of fan selection with an EN comparing the sound levels generated by backward-tended fans to those generated by forward-curved fans. Just last year, we published an EN focused on a modern HVAC system in a modern space: VAV box noise in an open plan office.

In total, we’ve published 15 newsletters dedicated to acoustics, but the topic has been persistent with mentions in many other newsletters throughout the years. Particular attention has been given to rooftop and VAV applications. Other examples include:

  • Estimating room sound levels and good air distribution design
  • Fan selection
  • Quality equipment sound and sound standards
  • Classroom acoustics

Acoustics has gained marked importance with acoustic criteria now being a requirement in building performance standards like ASHRAE® Standard 189.1 and classroom regulatory efforts with the advent of ANSI® Standard S12.60.

Included below are links to a few of the past ENs related to acoustics in case you missed them. Be sure to subscribe if you want to receive future issues of the Trane Engineers Newsletter!

Kasey Boxleitner

About the author
Dustin Meredith, Lead Systems Development Engineer at Trane

Dustin began his career more than 20 years ago supporting airside products for Trane. Since joining the systems and applications engineering team in 2005, his role has been to develop integrated customer solutions for HVAC products & systems providing a link between the sales, design, and manufacturing organizations. He has specific expertise in fans, acoustics, air system design and overall system optimization including unitary and variable refrigerant flow systems. Dustin holds multiple patents and has been instrumental in advancing cutting-edge fan and motor applications to industry. He has authored a wide variety of technical bulletins, white papers, articles and Trane Engineers Newsletter LIVE programs that have been widely published.

Dustin is a licensed professional engineer and earned his mechanical engineering and computer science degrees from the University of Kentucky. He continued his education by receiving an MBA from the Gatton College of Business and Economics. Dustin is an active member of ASHRAE® having received awards at the local, regional, and society level including the society’s Distinguished Service Award. Dustin has been an ASHRAE® Section Head and past Chair of the committee that oversees all ASHRAE® technical committee activities. He also serves on the “Fans” and “Sound and Vibration” technical committees, including as past Chair of the latter. He is Trane’s voting member for Air Movement and Control Association International, Inc. (AMCA) and serves on a number of AMCA committees including instrumental, first edition standards on the Fan Efficiency Grade (FEG) and Fan Energy Index (FEI) metrics.