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Noise - Environmental Noise - Introduction

In this Section of the site Environmental Noise is considered.  The main sections are

Read this section if you are "new" to noise; if not pick and choose from the menu.  For noise professionals Statutory Nuisance and Weather should both be of interest.  There are many other codes of practice for example entertainment and pub and club music noise assessment is covered by a draft code issued by the ioa which is no longer available on their website - although they may post you a copy. 

In the near future we will be adding to the above content.

Factors Affecting Noise Impact

From the noise terms section you should understand both LA90 and LAeq; these factors are used to measure or represent the level of noise, in the following sections, but other factors, which cannot be measured with a meter, are also important when assessing whether disturbance is likely to be caused:-

Nature of noise - Is the noise bland and easy to ignore? or is the noise tonal and/or information rich drawing attention to itself? for example traffic noise is easier to ignore than a baby crying.
Time of day or night it occurs - One hour is disturbance is easier to tolerate at 3 pm than say 3 am. 
Day of the week on which it occurs
- Generally people are more tolerant of noise generated during the working week, than at weekends. 
How long it occurs for
- Naturally one minute of noise causes less disturbance than one day, or one week of noise. 
How often it occurs - One per year is less disturbing than once per year. 
The character of the area in which it occurs - For example city centre residents are more likely to be tolerant of "disco" noise than say suburban residents. 
The attitude of the observer to the noise - People are less tolerant of noise generated by sources which they consider as undesirable in other ways.

Yet more factors could be added to this list, but it demonstrates that noise standards have to take into account many factors. Also it tends to indicate that it is difficult to use a standard developed for one type of noise when considering a different type. For example [Mainly UK content] BS 4142  relates to industrial noise, but it has been (wrongly) used for clay target shooting, motor bike scrambling and cockerel crowing.


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