How quickly noise can affect you

Last month we worked hard on our objective noise measurement research. We visited a lot of houses in the vicinity of Schiphol airport to perform noise measurements in order to gain more knowledge about the sound environment within a house that is exposed to noise pollution. In addition to all the data we gathered from this research, the subjective experience of the homes was very interesting and sometimes shocking as well.

“What struck us after these measurements is the sensitivity to noise that you build up. After being exposed to such a noise-heavy environment, you suddenly notice a lot more nuisance in your own environment. In addition to the recognizable sound environment in your home, you suddenly notice a lot of unpleasant sounds that were previously a lot less dominant.”–  Koen Haesen

What immediately became clear when performing the measurements is that when you optimize for sound insulation in a building, the weakest link of insulation immediately becomes dominant when the rest has been improved. Doors that don’t close properly, leaking air vents, and a lack of sound insulation all contribute to noise entering a home.

Behind the noise pollution

However important and useful the collected data is, what we mainly take from this research is the effect of noise pollution on people. When we founded DeNoize, the core was always to help people, and this hasn’t changed over the years. This research again very strongly confirmed why the subject of noise pollution that we are so involved with at DeNoize is so important. In many areas, we have basic rights, clean drinking water, clean air, etc. However, we see that a lot is still lagging behind in the field of sound. The fact that so many people have nowhere to go for much of the noise pollution experienced is simply shocking.

Next step, analysis

Now comes the big task of processing the collected data to answer crucial noise nuisance questions: which frequencies are problematic for the subjective sound environment, which factors within the home contribute to this negative noise environment, and what role does glass play in all of this.

For this research, we got a lot of applications from very generous people to help us in our research. Unfortunately, we couldn’t visit everyone, because for a number of measurements we used a speaker that had to be relatively loud, which is not possible in every environment.

Thanks to all the people who signed up for our research and to everyone who opened their doors for us to carry out our measurements. Seeing and hearing all the different situations and personal stories really gives us that extra push to solve the problem!

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