Effects of building mechanical system noise on worker performance and perception

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents results from a number of studies that investigated the effects of noise from building mechanical systems on human task performance and perception. Three phases of research were conducted, each of which utilized a different set of noise signals produced by building mechanical systems: (1) broadband noise at different levels and spectral qualities; (2) tonal noise conditions; and (3) noise conditions with time-varying fluctuations. In each phase, at least six different noise signals (many based on in-situ measurements) were reproduced in an office-like setting. Thirty participants completed tasks (e.g. typing, grammatical reasoning, math) plus subjective questionnaires, while exposed to each noise condition for up to one hour. In general, no statistically significant differences were found in task performance across the various noise signals tested. However, higher annoyance/distraction responses from the test subjects were often significantly correlated with reduced typing performance. These higher annoyance/distraction responses were also closely correlated to higher subjective ratings of loudness, followed by roar, rumble, and tones or fluctuations. Of particular interest is that a greater perception of low frequency rumble was significantly linked to reduced performance on both the routine and cognitively demanding tasks. [Work supported by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication24th National Conference on Noise Control Engineering 2010, Noise-Con 10, Held Jointly with the 159th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America
Pages1311-1324
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Event24th National Conference on Noise Control Engineering 2010, Noise-Con 2010, Held Jointly with the 159th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America - Baltimore, MD, United States
Duration: Apr 19 2010Apr 21 2010

Publication series

Name24th National Conference on Noise Control Engineering 2010, Noise-Con 10, Held Jointly with the 159th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume2

Conference

Conference24th National Conference on Noise Control Engineering 2010, Noise-Con 2010, Held Jointly with the 159th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America
CountryUnited States
CityBaltimore, MD
Period4/19/104/21/10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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  • Cite this

    Wang, L. M. (2010). Effects of building mechanical system noise on worker performance and perception. In 24th National Conference on Noise Control Engineering 2010, Noise-Con 10, Held Jointly with the 159th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (pp. 1311-1324). (24th National Conference on Noise Control Engineering 2010, Noise-Con 10, Held Jointly with the 159th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America; Vol. 2).