Community Noise Check (72 KB)
Use this worksheet to estimate potential sound levels in the community due to outdoor equipment.
Using the Community Noise Check Worksheet
Besides the effect of noise emission on personnel within the facility, the impact of noise on neighbors and/or nearby communities should also be considered. Use the community noise check worksheet (72 KB) to make a quick check of the potential for community noise issues.
Note: The community noise check worksheet requires noise emission data in sound power level format. Data are occasionally presented in sound pressure level format. Convert the sound pressure level data supplied to approximate sound power level numbers using one of the spreadsheet tools in the Converting Sound Power to/from Sound Pressure section.
Enter estimates of noise emission and distance for the proposed new equipment into cells C13..C17. The worksheet estimates the sound pressure level due to the new equipment at the community (assuming a worst-case scenario: downwind with a temperature inversion). The estimated new equipment level is combined with the existing community sound pressure level (nighttime readings are preferred). The total is compared to a conservative criterion level.
Noise complaints are likely when the new equipment increases the overall A-weighted level in the community by 1 dBA or more, and are more likely to the extent that the overall level approaches the criterion.
The Community Noise Check Worksheet Presents 3 Likely Scenarios:
Red: Noise Complaints Likely
If the background color of cell C21 turns red, noise complaints are a possibility. A noise control professional should be retained to review and advise on the situation as needed. The overall level exceeds the criterion and may be increased by at least 1 dBA due to the new equipment. If noise complaints appear to be likely, review the contribution of the existing sound pressure level in the community relative to the new equipment.
Orange: Noise Complaints Possible
If the background color of cell C21 turns orange, noise complaints are less likely but still possible due to conditions that are beyond the scope of this simplified spreadsheet analysis. The overall level falls below the criterion by as much as 6 dBA and may be increased by at least 1 dBA due to the new equipment.
Blue: Noise Complaints Not Likely
If the background color of cell C21 remains light blue, noise complaints are unlikely. The overall level is falls more than 6 dBA below the criterion, and/or the community levels are not expected to increase more than 1 dBA due to the new equipment.
Note: The A-weighted criterion level is obtained from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Administrative Rules, Chapter 340, Division 35, Table 9 “Industrial and Commercial Noise Source Standards for Quiet Areas”. The criterion value depends on the percentage of time that the noise source is “on”. There are also octave band constraints in the Oregon DEQ regulations that are not used here.
DISCLAIMER: This worksheet and the computation supporting it are no substitute for the experience and judgment of a noise control professional. It is intended to indicate when a prudent user might choose to retain a noise control professional for assistance. The Oregon DEQ regulations are among the more restrictive environmental noise requirements, and the environmental conditions assumed in the worksheet approach a worst case scenario. Local ordinances may be more or less restrictive than Oregon DEQ regulations. It is important to note that a favorable sound level prediction using this worksheet does not guarantee the absence of community noise complaints.