Disturbing effects of low frequency sound immissions and vibrations in residential buildings

Noise Health. 2004 Apr-Jun;6(23):29-35.


Noise immissions with predominant low frequency sound components may exert considerably disturbing effects in dwellings. This applies in particular to sounds which are excitated by transmission of structure-borne noise, and to low frequency sounds emitted by ventilators. Exposed persons usually declare such immissions as being "intolerable" even at very low A-weighted sound levels. If mechanical vibrations in the frequency range below 20 Hz (ground-borne vibrations) affect dwelling rooms, the annoying effects are perceived only by a small portion of exposed individuals as a physical effect. For the most part the immissions are observed as vibratory effects on the building and on objects inside the dwelling. The disturbing effects of vibration frequencies above 20 Hz (structure-borne sound) are determined by the airborne sound field generated inside a particular room and its given surface and extension.

MeSH terms

  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Noise / adverse effects*
  • Vibration / adverse effects*