Noise is unwanted sound that unreasonably intrudes and disturbs daily lives. Noise is referred to an inevitable nuisance in the current society. It originates from all sorts of ways. The increase in the density of residential and population and the commercialization of cities creates more traffic on the roads and outdated building regulations contribute to serious noise pollution. Noise cannot be controlled fully in any neighborhood in this modern life. Traffic on the roads, aircraft flying low, dogs barking at night, lawn mowers, and music emanating from ghetto are significant sources of the noises that pollute the neighborhoods.
Noise is subdivided into environmental noise, which covers noise from road, rail and air transport. The second division known as the neighborhood noise, results from people and activities such as pubs, barking dogs and music lessons. Statistics show that people are noisier in this generation than in the preceding generation. The increase in noise pollution is attributed to the increase in rural urban migration. Noise not only affects the quality of life, but evidence indicates that it also affects directly health. In particular, there is proving that it causes long-term cardiovascular impacts. Therefore, the governments through the local authorities need to locate and maintain the areas known to be noise pollution free. Noise can be limited within the neighborhood through several ways. These ways include, building quiet buildings, and managing the noise from the source.
Noise is a significant environmental pollutant but it is not easy to quantify the impacts that it can bring to the society. Exposure to excessive noise causes hearing problems, poor concentration, stress and mostly productive loss in the workplace. Additionally, it creates difficulty in communication and fatigue from lack of sleep. It can on a long-term basis cause deterioration of the general wellbeing. Work safe policy recommends that a certain noise level should be sustained for not more than eight hours within a single day. High noise level causes permanent hearing loss, which can result to permanent deafness to people living within a noisy residential area (Wen-Der 330).
Quiet buildings can be carefully designed to reduce the effect of noise within the building. For instance, if the buildings have a direct exposure to the roads where there can be a lot of noise pollution, it makes sense for the building to have its bedrooms located at the rear of the building. Creation of a garage between the house and the main street provides additional noise barrier. Moreover, noise inside the building reduces significantly if the house or building design is such a way that the external walls and the internal walls have higher sound reduction mechanism. Heavy and dense building materials such as masonry or the construction of brick walls are a preference for sound reduction, although there are other lightweight solutions to this effect. For instance, interior walls that have layers made of plasterboard with incorporation of a sound control material in the cavity can be remarkably effective and efficient in reducing noise. In a building, the weakest links to sound insulation are often the windows and doors (Sharp, Jeff and Lazarus 76).
Implementation of double-glazing is principally effective for windows. It is effective particularly if the airspace located between two windowpanes is wider. In addition, Solid-core doors are best, specifically for those doors opening on to external l outer areas of a building. Sealing of all gaps and openings around both the doors and windows is particularly essential in the effort to control the noise. This is because even smallest openings can leak considerable amounts of noise.
Smarter urban planning can be used as a means of reducing noise within a neighborhood. This can be crucial, in addition to the tough regulations that can be set by a government. Several steps can be taken to achieve this. For example, the use of dead end streets as well as car free malls as the prospective sites for setting up a residential building can help a immense deal in limiting the noise. Moreover, the creation of discouraging freeways and main roads below the level of adjacent residential areas can substantially reduce the noise. Maximum separation should be maintained between road and new buildings. Urban planners should also encourage the setting up of high-rise buildings in the form of a development. This will provide shield to the low-rise buildings. Furthermore, the use of natural topography can be the best shield to noise. For example, building of residential houses on a slope can enhance it. Carefully designing buildings can markedly reduce the effect of sound pollution.
Limiting noise can be done by reducing the noise from the source. Machines, cars, can be designed that have a reduced vibration. Vibration can also be reduced by standing the machines on an absorbent material. Traffic and aircraft can be rerouted to other places, which are non-residential. Laws have to be set in action to ensure that clubs and restaurants only play music to a certain volume and to certain hours obtain licenses. The clubs and pubs can be constructed in buildings that have an immensely powerful sound insulation system. Volumes can be controlled on radios and televisions. Noise can be forbidden in public places at night.
Traffic noise is the most serious and persistent noise within the neighborhood. Passenger’s vehicles make up a substantial majority of noise followed by commercial cars, then trucks, motorcycles and buses. Traffic noise has increased currently due to poor planning in the recent past. Residential homes, schools, hospitals and other community buildings built on the main roads without buffer zones and adequate soundproofing. This problem compounded by the increase in the traffic volumes far beyond the expectation of the planners. Most of the traffic noise is from vehicles engines, transmissions, exhausts and brakes. To limit the noise due to traffic, new noise levels in line with the international standards and tougher regulations can be adopted to control the performance of the exhaust systems in vehicles. More resources should be provided to the local authority to ensure that the owners of the vehicles, especially those with older cars, comply with the new rules and regulations. Neighbors are encouraged to be considerate to each other to avoid this kind of noise (Shon 2231).
Noise from pubs and clubs, airport, fireworks and barking dogs are other sources of noise within the neighborhood. There is a need to control noise in pubs and restaurants within the residential area. This can be done using the sound sign to act as a warning whenever a certain sound frequency limit is exceeded. Bars and restaurants operating in residential communities need to be precisely aware of their noise levels, or risk of service with abatement notice or other penalties such as heavy fines. The Clean Neighborhoods and Environment Act 2005 grant powers to the local councils to deal with complaints of excessive noise from pubs and clubs. For instance, if the noise is linked directly unacceptable social behaviors such as disorderly and violent conduct, which will need the police to be involved. In addition, local by laws prohibit the use of loudspeakers for an advertisement within the residential areas. The council has the rights to prosecute any person making disturbing noises prior notice. In line to this, recreational noise has become a significant nuisance in most places. Indiscriminate use of fireworks, particularly during celebrations, has become a vital apprehension in many residential communities. The people within a residential area should uphold the laws put in place by the fireworks act. These laws requires that no authorization of the use of fireworks during antisocial hours. People living next to the airports particular face problem with the noise from aircrafts. Barking dogs can be a real nuisance within a residential area. Apart from noise pollution, dogs can also be dangerous and should therefore, be kept with exceptional care (Maisonneuve, Nicolas and Matthias 57).
In conclusion, limiting the noise in residential places is attainable. Noise can have serious adverse effects on to the residents and human beings in general. On a short-term basis, noise can cause stress, lack of concentration at work and communication difficulties. On the other hand, on a long-term basis, noise can cause psychological disturbance and might even eventually lead to deafness. Several ways can be adopted to control noise. These includes adopting ways of controlling noise from the source, development of insulated buildings, and upholding and respecting the laws set on the control of noise resulting from traffic, barking dogs, pubs and restaurants, recreational activities and finally noise resulting from fireworks. If all this noise is controlled, it will help in avoiding the long-term health implications. It will also mean that the neighborhood will be a quiet and a pleasant place to reside. Local council should implement and follow up these laws. In general, use of natural topography can be the best shield to noise within a residential community. Since it is not easy to quantify the impact of noise on the residential areas, there can be other adverse effects. Therefore, limiting the noise within residential areas is necessary to avoid complications.
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