When Gardermoen replaced Fornebu as the main airport for Oslo, aircraft noise levels increased in recreational areas near Gardermoen and decreased in areas near Fornebu. Krog and Engdahl [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 116, 323-333 (2004)] estimate that recreationists' annoyance from aircraft noise in these areas changed more than would be anticipated from the actual noise changes. However, the sizes of their estimated "situation" effects are not credible. One possible reason for the anomalous results is that standard regression assumptions become violated when motivational factors are inserted into the regression model. Standardized regression coefficients (beta values) should also not be utilized for comparisons across equations.
Comment On: J Acoust Soc Am. 2004 Jul;116(1):323-3315295993
The Norwegian facade insulation study includes one pre-intervention and two post-intervention surveys. The facade-insulating measures reduced indoor noise levels by 7?dB on average. Before the intervention, 43% of the respondents were highly annoyed by noise. Half a year after the intervention, the proportion of respondents who were highly annoyed by road traffic noise had been significantly reduced to 15%. The second post-intervention study (2?yr after the first post-intervention study) showed that the proportion of highly annoyed respondents had not changed since the first post-intervention study. The reduction in the respondents' self-reported sleep disturbances (due to traffic noise) also remained relatively stable from the first to the second post-intervention study. In the control group, there were no statistically significant differences in annoyance between the pre-intervention and the two post-intervention studies. Previous studies of traffic changes have reported that people "overreact" to noise changes. This study indicated that when considering a receiver measure, such as facade insulation, the effect of reducing indoor noise levels could be predicted from exposure-response curves based on previous studies. Thus no evidence of an "overreaction" was found.
The efficacy of fac¸ade insulation in providing an improved indoor noise environment and in reducing indoor noise annoyance was examined in a socio-acoustic before-and-after study with a control group. An average equivalent noise reduction inside the dwellings of 7 dB was obtained from the fac¸ade insulation. Whereas 42% of the respondents were highly annoyed in the before-situation, this dropped to 16% in the after study. The conclusion is therefore that the fac¸ade insulation provided a substantial improvement in the indoor noise environment. The advantage with respect to indoor noise annoyance, of having the bedroom facing the least noise-exposed side of the dwelling corresponded to a 6 dB noise reduction. The changes in annoyance from noise reduction due to the fac¸ade insulation were in accordance with what would be expected from the exposure-response curves obtained in the before-situation. A total of 637 respondents participated in the before-study. Of these, 415 also participated in the after study. Indoor and outdoor noise exposure calculations for each of the dwellings were undertaken before and after the fac¸ade insulation was implemented.
A small focused socio-acoustic after-study of annoyance from a windmill park was undertaken after local health officials demanded a health impact study to look into neighborhood complaints. The windmill park consists of 31 turbines and is located in the South of Norway where it affects 179 dwellings. Simple exposure-effect relationships indicate stronger reactions to windmills and wind turbine noise than shown internationally, with the caveat that the sample size is small (n = 90) and responses are colored by the existing local conflict. Pulsating swishing sounds and turbine engine hum are the main causes of noise annoyance. About 60 per cent of those who participated in the survey were of the opinion that windmills degrade the landscape aesthetically, and were far from convinced that land-based windmills are desirable as a renewable energy source (hydropower is an important alternative source of renewables in Norway). Attitudes play an important role in addition to visual aesthetics in determining the acceptance of windmills and the resulting noise annoyance. To compare results from different wind turbine noise studies it seems necessary to assess the impact of important modifying factors.