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N oise Radiated by a Construction

The noise radiated by a building will of course depend on the sound reduction index of each envelope component as well as its respective area.

The sound power level Lw radiated by a component of area S and sound reduction index R is given by [18]

where Lp is the sound pressure level inside the building.

There are a few things to get from this formula: To start with, large elements with a rather small sound reduction index value (e.g., the metal roof of a building) will be major contributors. So will the apertures (that can be considered an element with R = 0) and weaknesses with regards to other components.

Standards and Regulations

For a long time, there were various ways of expressing the acoustic requirements for buildings, especially dwellings, and a rather broad range of values to go with it [19, 20]. Nowadays, there are quite a number of standards and regulations pertaining to sound exposure levels and sound insulation [21, 22]. A few of them are given in the various chapters of this book regarding the main types of constructions. Typically, one may care to note the following constraints:

  • • There are limits, expressed as noise levels, regarding the noise exposure of workers (e.g., [23]), or the danger limit for people exposed to high-level music (e.g., [24]).
  • • There often are minimum sound insulation values required for specific types of construction, such as dwellings, schools, hospitals, etc. (e.g., [20, 21, 24-39]).
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