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Assessing Intrusive Noise and Low Amplitude Sound

A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Health Science, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University Wellington Campus (New Zealand)

ABSTRACT
Annoyance due to relatively high levels of sound and noise, above 50 dB, has been well documented in noise assessment literature. The potential for annoyance or disturbance from low amplitude sound, below 50 dB to the threshold of an individual’s hearing, is not as well documented. The thesis presents a new approach to the measurement and assessment of intrusive noise and low amplitude sound. Acoustical and sound quality measures are integrated with measures of loudness, pitch, dissonance and tonality to provide physical measures of sound. Individual amenity is assessed with respect to personal noise sensitivity and personal attitudes to sound in the environment, the environment itself and the perceived qualities of the audible sound. A decision-support methodology to integrate perceived noise with noise performance indicators, annoyance criteria, personal noise sensitivity and amenity is presented. A method for rating intrusive noise is derived. Designs for sound measurement and calibration instrumentation are described. Methods to measure and assess low amplitude sound are presented.

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