Thought Leadership

Fresh Angles on Keeping the Neighbors Happy

Recently, the Canadian Acoustical Association hosted the Acoustics Week in Canada conference in Guelph, Ontario. 

This blog is the third in a short series highlighting some of the research and insights shared there by the RWDI acousticians and engineers. Our presenters proposed standards for noise annoyance complaints.

Annoyance – and how to quantify noise complaints – was the focus of a third paper at the conference. Steve Meszaros and Mihkel Toome describe the challenges that often lie at the heart of annoyance complaints between neighbors and propose a solution based on their experience.  Sources such as raised voices, footsteps, children playing, music (including subwoofers) and cooking may interfere with sleeping, reading and focused work in an adjacent apartment or condo unit. The absence of clear, standard measures for problematic levels of noise from adjacent spaces can make conflicts, including legal disputes, difficult to resolve. By addressing how much noise is too much, Steve and Mihkel propose standard criteria that have the potential to deliver major benefits to municipalities, by-law enforcement officers and anyone who has to keep the peace.