Perception of noise annoyance

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Perception of noise annoyance


Author: Li, Hak Nang
Title: Perception of noise annoyance
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2012
Subject: Noise -- Psychological aspects.
Environmental quality.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Building Services Engineering
Pages: xix, 180 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Annoyance has long been recognized as a major noise impact which impairs individuals' well-being. Many noise mitigation measures have been proposed to alleviate the problem of noise annoyance. However, the factors influencing noise annoyance perception and their impacts on annoyance perception have not been fully investigated. Also, there are still some knowledge gaps in relation to annoyance perception which should be resolved for facilitating better decision making. Hitherto, there is no protocol available for estimating the monetary benefit gains arising from reduced annoyance in a probabilistic manner. Also, it is unclear whether the annoyance prediction model can be applied to a mixed noise situation, e.g. in the presence of both human and road noise, which is quite common in Hong Kong. Accordingly, this thesis intends to accomplish four major objectives in relation to noise annoyance perception. Firstly, it aims to study the inter-relationships among sound characteristics, people's characteristics, and the environment by formulating a multivariate stochastic model to predict noise annoyance. Secondly, it aims to study the impact of a greenery view or a sea view nearby on the moderation of noise annoyance perception at home. Thirdly, it is intended to evaluate the monetary benefits derived from reduced annoyance. All the above investigations are based on an underlying premise that road traffic was the major noise source. Accordingly, the final objective is to formulate an annoyance model to portray the response to a mixed road traffic noise and human noise situation. The mixed noises annoyance problem was addressed by conducting a series of laboratory experiments with individuals having similar socio-economic backgrounds, while a series of field surveys were carried out with residents of several housing estates in Hong Kong for addressing the remaining three objectives. The findings derived from the multivariable stochastic models revealed that acoustical parameters, personal characteristics like age, education attainment, noise sensitivity and health conditions as well as the duration of time spent at homes all influence individuals' noise annoyance perception. The presence of several neighbourhood characteristics such as greenery and sea is able to lower the likelihood of inducing high noise annoyance. A sea view can moderate noise annoyance even though its effect is not as strong as a greenery view. Upon detailed examination, types and amount of greenery settings are shown to have different effects on moderating noise annoyance perception.
On the other hand, the willingness-to-pay (WTP) value for reduced annoyance is found to vary with the household income level and the annoyance rating reported by an individual for the existing dwelling. The WTP per dB reduction per household is found to be increased nonlinearly from HK$6.0 at 55 dB(A) to $8.5 at 75 dB(A) for the high income group, and from $4.8 at 55 dB(A) to $6.8 at 75 dB(A) for the low income group. Under mixed noises situation, annoyance responses to 'single dominant' noise sources and 'no dominant' noise sources are found to be significantly different even under the same dB(A) level. Road traffic noise is found to be the dominant noise source in case the sound pressure level of the road traffic noise is higher than that of human noise by more than 6 dB(A). The findings revealed from this thesis pose a significant contribution to the knowledge as both greenery and sea views are determined to be able to reduce noise annoyance. This has a profound impact on city planning and building designs as alternative and complimentary strategies are available for moderating noise annoyance at dwellings and promoting good well-being for modern city-dwellers. Of equal importance is that the protocol developed for estimating the monetary benefits arisen from reduced noise annoyance can be used to provide essential cost-benefit information for evaluating the financial viability of the proposed noise mitigation measures. Also, the formulated models for road traffic noise are also applicable for predicting annoyance responses from individuals living in residential dwellings which are exposed to both human and road traffic sources and the sound pressure level of road traffic noise is higher than that of human noise by more than 6 dB(A).

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