A Survey of Factors That Impact Noise Exposure And Acoustic Comfort in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings


  • Maedot Andargie University of Toronto
  • Marianne Touchie University of Toronto, Toronto, ON. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5008-0630
  • William O'Brien Carleton University, Ottawa, ON.


acoustic comfort, noise, annoyance, multi-unit residences


There is limited research on noise exposure in multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) despite the proven effects of noise on people’s physical and psychological health. This motivates the current study which aims to identify important noise sources in MURBs and investigate factors that impact acoustic comfort as well as determine the various impacts of noise on occupants. A survey was administered to collect subjective assessments of noise exposure and the effects of noise from 213 occupants. The findings show that building age, floor level, proximity to ongoing construction, existence of balcony, number of bedrooms, proximity to elevators and garbage chute are important building-related factors that impact noise annoyance. The results also show that personal and demographic factors, such as occupants’ age, length of residency, ownership status, relationship with neighbors, and willingness to pay for better acoustic conditions, significantly affect subjective responses. Even though both indoor and outdoor noises cause annoyance, outdoor noises, especially noise from traffic, construction and neighborhood activities, cause more annoyance and sleep disturbance compared to indoor noise sources. The findings also show some noise mitigating actions can have negative effects on indoor air quality and building energy consumption, as well as worsen the overall acoustic condition in buildings.

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How to Cite

Andargie M, Touchie M, O’Brien W. A Survey of Factors That Impact Noise Exposure And Acoustic Comfort in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2020 Oct. 5 [cited 2024 Jul. 20];48(3):25-42. Available from: https://jcaa.caa-aca.ca/index.php/jcaa/article/view/3389



Article - Architectural Acoustics