Engineering Noise Control | Noise Nuisance Ordinances Case Study

Engineering Noise Control Case Study | Noise Nuisance Ordinances

Engineering Noise Control | Noise Nuisance Ordinances Case Study

In this engineering noise control case study, we discuss nuisance-based noise ordinances, and how you manage governing body rules.

When faced with arbitrary rules from a governing body, the question arises, how do you establish your position fairly? This case study was created based on a situation TruHorizon encountered, where the current ordinances were vague, unclear, and nuisance based, therefore making the answer of compliance arbitrary. What follows is our approach to such a problem.

Noise is defined as “any perceived sound that is objectionable to a human being.” (Barenek 1). Although responses to specific sounds vary from person to person, there are several common effects noise exposure that may occur. Hearing loss may occur when a person is consistently subjected to noise but is subjective and varies between individuals.

TruHorizon considers sounds above 60 decibels to be a nuisance when no specific limit is defined in the governing ordinance. Sounds in excess of 60 decibels interfere with speech and conversational sound levels.

Another commonly used metric to limit commercial and industrial noise is to add a limit to the existing ambient sound level. Other cities have a sound level limit based on the zoning criteria.

How Data Mitigated Noise Nuisances

Through exhaustive research and presentation of rational data, TruHorizon was able to redirect the conversation away from a subjective notion of “nuisance”.

In the study, TruHorizon was able to utilize the limits established above for sound and vibration. Ultimately, this study ended up in litigation, resulting in a court testimony of the study that the Judge ruled as “conclusive and far more rational than the current stated ‘nuisance’ ordinance based on the limits established by the consultant (TruHorizon)”.

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