Investigations of indoor noise criteria systems based on human perception and task performance

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Abstract

Several noise criteria methods commonly used in architectural acoustics have been quantitatively related to noise perception and task performance under a variety of ventilation systems-induced background noise conditions. Noise criteria, balanced noise criteria, room criteria, room criteria mark II, and A-weighted equivalent sound pressure level were examined. The first phase of the project included noise conditions controlled to be non-time-varying and nontonal, with neutral, rumbly, roaring, or hissy characteristics. An intermediate study examined exposure time length and types of performance tasks used. The final phase included noise conditions containing various levels of discrete tones from 120 to 595 Hz. Under each noise, subjects completed performance tasks and perception questionnaires. Results indicate task performance was significantly affected by perception of noise, but this relationship was not fully demonstrated by the criteria systems analyzed. The five criteria were generally well suited in describing subjective loudness perception, but some discrepancies in criteria spectral quality ratings and subjective perception existed. Finally, perception of annoyance changed based on the frequency and prominence of tones in noise, but these changes were not reflected in the criteria level or spectral quality ratings. Modifications to the existing criteria are recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume120
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2006

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ratings
rooms
loudness
ventilation
background noise
sound pressure
acoustics
Spectrality
Rating
Sound
Questionnaire
Length
Intermediate
Acoustics
Controlled
Loudness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

Cite this

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title = "Investigations of indoor noise criteria systems based on human perception and task performance",
abstract = "Several noise criteria methods commonly used in architectural acoustics have been quantitatively related to noise perception and task performance under a variety of ventilation systems-induced background noise conditions. Noise criteria, balanced noise criteria, room criteria, room criteria mark II, and A-weighted equivalent sound pressure level were examined. The first phase of the project included noise conditions controlled to be non-time-varying and nontonal, with neutral, rumbly, roaring, or hissy characteristics. An intermediate study examined exposure time length and types of performance tasks used. The final phase included noise conditions containing various levels of discrete tones from 120 to 595 Hz. Under each noise, subjects completed performance tasks and perception questionnaires. Results indicate task performance was significantly affected by perception of noise, but this relationship was not fully demonstrated by the criteria systems analyzed. The five criteria were generally well suited in describing subjective loudness perception, but some discrepancies in criteria spectral quality ratings and subjective perception existed. Finally, perception of annoyance changed based on the frequency and prominence of tones in noise, but these changes were not reflected in the criteria level or spectral quality ratings. Modifications to the existing criteria are recommended.",
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