Noise responses before and after noise abatement measures in a residential intervention project
Journal article, 2015
In a residential area exposed to road traffic noise a socio-acoustic longitudinal study was conducted to investigate the effects of a large intervention project on acoustical conditions and resident's noise responses. The paper presents results on general noise annoyance, noise disturbed activities and perceptions of the sound environment in relation to obtained noise levels before and after the interventions. The most comprehensive abatement measures implemented were construction of new buildings that filled in gaps between buildings facing the highway and erection of a noise barrier to create less noise-exposed court- yards and sides of the dwellings. One building site had a considerable renovation, such as installation of new windows, glazed-in balconies, and an upgrading to two-sided flats with windows facing the quieter courtyard. Overall in the resi- dential area, noise levels were reduced with 5–10 dB at the most traffic exposed side and with 4–10 dB at the less noise exposed side. General noise annoyance and sleep disturbances decreased substantially and the perceived sound environ- ment indoors and outdoors was improved for a majority of the investigated building sites. Through the successful combination of measures taken in the res- idential area, we obtained significant positive effects; however, measures to fur- ther reduce the negative impacts of noise on health and well-being and to improve the sound environment are needed and suggested.