Environmental Noise: Evaluation

“You shoulda been here last night”: what the neighbor invariably says on greeting the acoustical consultant

petrochemical plant noiseEnvironmental noise is elusive because its impact depends on so many factors:

  • weather
  • operational schedules
  • changes in local ambient

Nelson Acoustics has developed long-term survey and recording methods that help isolate and evaluate problem sounds.

Criteria come from a hodgepodge of state, county, local, and regulatory sources.   These vary widely in quality, methods, and sophistication.  Most of them are based on the limitations of 40-year old sound level meters, and don’t fully take into account the range of typical human responses.  Some “criteria” are so technically meaningless that they are unenforceable.

The situation is complicated by myths and legends available from the “disinformation superhighway”, and the awkward reality that people, in spite of hearing their entire lives, generally don’t understand how sound is evaluated, moves around, penetrates structures, and influences life.

Nelson Acoustics draws on the noise control engineering literature and decades of experience to identify a criterion that’s appropriate for the time, place, and situation.  We present vast quantities of complex data in easily digestible forms.  In practice, acoustical engineering information seldom means much to untrained people, so we endeavor to illustrate the findings using recordings and “auralized” simulations.