Community Noise Survey Testing

Community Noise Survey Testing is one of our most frequently requested services due to the constant interactions between our clients and the communities in which they live, operate or serve.

Outdoor noise has become a major concern for many communities, as it negatively affects the quality of life of residents and has been shown to contribute to health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, hearing loss, and sleep disturbance.  The sources of outdoor noise are numerous, including transportation (e.g., automobiles, trucks, trains and airplanes), machinery (e.g., air conditioners, fans, pumps, construction and industrial equipment), lawn maintenance equipment (e.g., mowers, blowers), and businesses (e.g., clubs, restaurants, gyms, dog kennels).  Many communities have enacted ordinances that limit outdoor noise emissions to certain maximum values depending on the time of day or night.  Depending on the community, these ordinances limit noise emissions to absolute values (such as 65 dBA during the day and 45 dBA during the night), or to relative values (such as no more than 5 dB greater than the ambient noise levels at the time of measurement).

Community Noise Survey Testing outlines sound contours near an airport
Noise Survey Testing

Sonic-Shield’s acoustical engineers have performed numerous outdoor noise surveys on behalf of residents, businesses and communities to determine compliance to community noise ordinances.  Typically, we first perform acoustical tests using a Class 1 SLM, which we use to establish ambient and operating noise levels and to identify noise transmission paths.  Once these paths are understood, we perform acoustical tests over longer durations and at different times of the day and/or night to establish noise patterns in the ambient and operating noise levels.  If necessary, we also install acoustic data loggers near the source and within the community to record the noise data over a longer time duration (hours, days, or weeks).  We then download and analyze the data to determine compliance with community noise ordinances.  Typically, this community noise survey testing results in the creation of a “sound map” of the community.

Community Noise Survey Testing results for Dayparts
Community Noise Survey Testing for Dayparts

Once the community noise levels are established and areas where the noise ordinances are exceeded have been identified, it is a matter of identifying noise source (s) and addressing them with soundproofing materials.  Our approach to solving community noise issues is to first attempt to address the noise problem at its source, by implementing noise reducing solutions on the offending equipment.  If that is not possible, we attempt to block noise transmission paths at the source location through the creation of outdoor noise barriers.  For some noise sources (such as airplane noise) neither of these remedies are practical, and we address the noise at the receiver’s location, such as implementing soundproofing in the walls, ceiling or windows of a home or office.

Sonic-Shield has an engineering staff with advanced technical capabilities and instrumentation that can assist communities, businesses and individuals in conducting Community Noise Survey Testing.  Not only can we perform the testing and analysis, we also develop and supply the appropriate sound abatement materials and products to reduce the noise from offending equipment or establishments to acceptable community limits.