Sound masking is a potential contributor to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). As LEED projects are designed, important acoustical design criteria are affected. For instance, as day-lighting is introduced work station partitions are reduced which eliminates the absorptive nature of fabric partitions. Furthermore, the elimination of acoustical ceiling tile - which has typically hidden ductwork and plumbing has caused an effect of increased reverberation within the space. Sound masking begins to help address many of the issues created by the elimination of absorptive materials; it not only helps to create speech privacy but also make the space more comfortable to work within.
When incorporating a sound masking solution, credits are specifically available for implementing sound masking in LEED for Healthcare and LEED for Commercial Interiors and New Construction. Credits for LEED for Schools are also available but may not be specific to sound masking solutions.
In identifying the benefits that proper acoustics can provide, LEED for Healthcare cites Environmental Quality Credit 9.1 and 9.2. The intention of the credit is to provide building occupants with a healing environment free of disruptive levels of sound.