An indicative case-control study of noise perception due to environmental noise sources

University essay from KTH/Marcus Wallenberg Laboratoriet MWL

Abstract: The subject of the thesis was proposed by the acoustic consultancy firm Brekke & Strand, which is of relevance for their additional understanding and development of services and contribution to robust solutions. The aim with this thesis is to give indicative results and to dig deeper into the relation between environmental noise and the perception of the same, specially focusing on construction related noise but also permanent noise sources that originates from infrastructure. The area of interest to evaluate the study is a central location in Stockholm, specifically around Slussen.The importance of a study within this field is vital, especially when considering possible negative health effects that can be related to the perceived noise exposure. With that background it is worth to consider the amount of healthy-life-years lost in Europe each year, which is assumed to be one million. The correlation between lost life years and noise is one of many, but it is also proven to be a catalyst when it comes to stress related or cardiovascular diseases. For instance, if one is living closer than 50 meters from a major road the risk can be four times higher to be annoyed, which in extension can be coupled to the diseases mentioned above.The practical implementation of the study is conducted with a survey and field measurements, with a psychoacoustical perspective and within the frames of a case-control study. Partially this includes to inform the participants of the study at different stages regarding construction noise. The provided information, survey and field measurements aims to be a substantial part of the evaluation regarding the perceived noise whether it is due to construction work, infrastructure or other stochastic sources.The result is presented and distinguished based on distance to noise source, differentiated by gender as well as which type of source that tends to be most annoying. The implemented ranking is displayed as the ICBEN score of each category or source which aims to measure the perceived impact. Even though the results are indicative, the conclusion yields an information dependency as well as a noise source dependency. Further on, the result yields an interesting pattern between genders where women tend to be more disturbed by construction- and other-noise, whereas men tend to be more disturbed by rail- and road-noise.

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