Relating human productivity and annoyance to indoor noise criteria systems: A low frequency analysis

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

14 Scopus citations


A number of indoor noise criteria systems are used to quantify the background noise in a built environment, including Noise Criteria (NC), Balanced Noise Criteria (NCB), Room Criteria (RC), Room Criteria Mark H (RC Mark II), A-weighted Equivalent Sound Pressure Level (L Aeq), and others. An ongoing debate exists in the acoustical community over which criterion is the most appropriate to use in the variety of ambient noise situations encountered. In an effort to quantitatively support the use of an individual criterion, this project subjectively correlates these various criteria with human task performance and perception. Eleven subjects participated in a pilot study by completing typing and proofreading tasks, as well as subjective ratings of loudness, annoyance, and spectral quality. Results show that there were no significant differences in productivity scores among the 12 noise exposures tested; however, significant relationships were found between indoor noise criteria predictions of level and subjective perception of loudness and annoyance. In this study, RC and RC-Mark II were found to be the most correlated with level perception, although NC, NCB, and L Aeq were also strongly correlated. Additionally, interesting relationships were found between subjective perceptions of rumble or roar and criteria predictions of such. The authors are in the process of extending the pilot study to more subjects, as well as examining the effects of tonal and fluctuating background noise spectra on criteria predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASHRAE Transactions
Number of pages9
Volume111 PART 1
StatePublished - 2005
EventAmerican Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers ASHRAE 2005 Winter Meeting - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Feb 5 2005Feb 9 2005


OtherAmerican Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers ASHRAE 2005 Winter Meeting
CountryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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