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NOISE LEVEL DATA


The following table presents noise data at octave-band center frequencied for familiar residential, outdoor transportation and building activity noise sources.
Sound Pressure Level
Example Source  
Home 63 Hz 125 Hz 250 Hz 500 Hz 1000 Hz 2000 Hz 4000 Hz 8000 Hz dBA
Alarm Clock at 4-9 ft – Ringing 46 48 55 62 62 70 80 80
Electric Shaver at 1.5 ft 59 58 49 62 60 64 60 59 68
Vacuum Cleaner at 3 ft 48 66 69 73 79 73 73 72 81
Garbage Disposal at 2 ft 64 83 69 56 55 50 50 49 69
Clothes Washer at 2-3 ft – Wash Cycle 59 65 59 59 58 54 50 46 62
Toilet – Refilling Tank 50 55 53 54 57 56 57 52 63
Whirlpool, Six Nozzles – Filling Tub 68 65 68 69 71 71 68 65 74
Window Air-Conditioning Unit 64 64 65 56 53 48 44 37 59
Telephone at 4-13 ft – Ringing 41 44 56 68 73 69 83 83
TV at 10 ft 49 62 64 67 70 68 63 39 74
Stereo – Teenager Listening Level 60 72 83 82 82 80 75 60 86
Stereo – Adult Listening Level 56 66 75 72 70 66 64 48 75
Violin at 55 ft – Fortissimo 91 91 87 83 79 66 92
Normal Conversational Speech at 3 ft 57 62 63 57 48 40 63
Outdoors 63 Hz 125 Hz 250 Hz 500 Hz 1000 Hz 2000 Hz 4000 Hz 8000 Hz dBA
Birds at 10 ft 50 52 54 57
Cicadas 35 51 54 48 57
Large Dog at 50 ft – Barking 50 58 68 70 64 52 48 72
Lawn Mower at 5 ft 85 87 86 84 81 74 70 72 86
Pistol Shot at 250 ft – Peak Impulse Levels 83 91 99 102 106 106
Surf at 10-15 ft – Moderate Seas 71 72 70 71 67 64 58 54 78
Wind in Trees – 10 mph 33 35 37 37 35 43
Transportation 63 Hz 125 Hz 250 Hz 500 Hz 1000 Hz 2000 Hz 4000 Hz 8000 Hz dBA
Large Trucks at 50 ft – 55 mph 83 85 83 85 81 76 72 65 86
Passenger Cars at 50 ft – 55 mph 72 70 67 66 67 66 59 54 71
Motorcycle at 50 ft – Full Throttle, Without Baffle 95 95 91 91 91 87 87 85 95
Snowmobile at 50 ft 65 82 84 75 78 77 79 69 85
Train at 100 ft – Pulling Hard 95 102 94 90 86 87 83 79 94
Train Siren at 50 ft 88 90 110 110 107 100 91 78 109
Car Horn at 15 ft 92 95 90 80 60 97
Commercial Turbofan Airplane at 1 mile – From Takeoff Flight Path 77 82 82 78 70 56 79
Military Helicopter at 500 ft – Single Engine, Medium Size 92 89 83 81 76 72 62 51 80
Interiors 63 Hz 125 Hz 250 Hz 500 Hz 1000 Hz 2000 Hz 4000 Hz 8000 Hz dBA
Amplified Rock Music Performance – Large Arena 116 117 119 116 118 115 109 102 121
Audiovisual Room 85 89 92 90 89 87 85 80 94
Auditorium – Applause 60 68 75 79 85 84 75 65 88
Classroom 60 66 72 77 74 68 60 50 78
Computer Equipment Room 78 75 73 78 80 78 74 70 84
Dog Kennel 90 104 106 101 89 79 108
Gymnasium 72 78 84 89 86 80 72 64 90
Kitchen 86 85 79 78 77 72 65 57 81
Laboratory 65 70 73 75 72 69 65 61 77
Library 60 63 66 67 64 58 50 40 68
Mechanical Equipment Room 87 86 85 84 83 82 80 78 88
Music Practice Room 90 94 96 96 96 91 91 90 100
Racquetball Court 82 85 80 85 83 75 68 62 86
Reception and Lobby Area 60 66 72 77 74 68 60 50 78
Teleconference 65 74 78 80 79 75 68 60 83

Intermittent or peak noises may exceed the data given in the table by 5 decibels or more, depending on the source or environment. For many practical problems, however, the data can be considered to be typical source levels at the given distance and condition, or average general activity levels for interiors. The data can be used for design purposes if proper consideration is given to especially loud equipment or sources, which may exceed it, unusual site conditions, and any other conditions that deviate from normal. For example, it is prudent to measure transportation noise at proposed building sites near highways, airports, etc., so design data will represent existing noise sources and reflect specific site features. Note also that modern aircraft, trucks and office equipment may not be as loud as the examples in the table.

Note: Sources for noise level data include Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Sound and Vibration, Noise Control Engineering Journal and technical publications of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. National Bureau of Standards.

Reprinted from the 1988 edition of Architectural Acoustics with the kind permission of Author, David Egan

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