Urban road traffic noise and annoyance: the effect of a quiet façade

J Acoust Soc Am. 2011 Oct;130(4):1936-42. doi: 10.1121/1.3621180.


Road traffic noise in urban areas is a major source of annoyance. A quiet façade has been hypothesized to beneficially affect annoyance. However, only a limited number of studies investigated this hypothesis, and further quantification is needed. This study investigates the effect of a relatively quiet façade on the annoyance response. Logistic regression was performed in a large population based study (GLOBE, N~18,000), to study the association between road traffic noise exposure at the most exposed dwelling façade (L(den)) and annoyance in: (1) The subgroup with a relatively quiet façade (large difference in road traffic noise level between most and least exposed façade (Q>10 dB); (2) the subgroup without a relatively quiet façade (Q<10 dB). Questionnaire data were linked to individual exposure assessment based on detailed spatial data (GIS) and standard modeling techniques. Annoyance was less likely (OR(Q) (>10)<OR(Q) (<10)) in the subgroup with relatively quiet façade compared to the subgroup without relatively quiet façade. The difference in response between groups seemed to increase with increasing Q and L(den). Results indicate that residents may benefit from a quiet façade to the dwelling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics*
  • Adult
  • City Planning
  • Construction Materials*
  • Emotions*
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Facility Design and Construction* / instrumentation
  • Facility Design and Construction* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Noise, Transportation / prevention & control*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Health*