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Noise-Induced House Vibrations and Human Perception  

Author:  | Noise

One aspect of community response to noise involves people inside houses. Since house structures have many components which are readily excited by noise and which can be coupled, they respond as complex vibrating systems. These dynamic responses are significant because they affect the environment of the observers inside the house. The nature of this noise-induced house excitation problem is illustrated in Fig. 1.

A person inside the house can sense the impingement of noise on the external surfaces of the house by means of the following phenomena: noise transmitted through the structure from outside to inside (see Refs. 1-6); the vibrations of the primary components of the building such as the floors, walls and windows (see Refs. 2,3,7 and 8); the rattling of objects such as dishes, ornaments and shelves which are set in motion by the vibration of the primary components (see Refs. 2, 3 and 9); and in the extreme case damage to the secondary structure such as plaster and tile and/or furnishings (see Ref. 7).

The purpose of this article is to summarize available data on house vibration responses due to airborne noise excitation and to define the role of such vibrations in the problem of human perception of environmental noise. The building response data contained herein, are derived largely from aircraft noise, helicopter noise and sonic boom flyover tests. The associated findings are believed to apply directly to any situations for which the airborne noise component is large compared to the seismic component. The material of this article was developed initially as an appendix of Ref. 10, and has been applied to the community noise evaluation of large wind turbine generators. In situations for which seismic excitation of the house structure can be significant, as for road and rail traffic, the response data of the present article may be inadequate.

Noise Control Engineering Journal, Volume 19, Number 2, September-October 1982

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