Noise Suppression

October 30, 1963

Report Outline
Omnipresence of Noise in Modern Life
Measurement and Control of Sound
Regulations to Cure Unnecessary Noise

Omnipresence of Noise in Modern Life

Assaults on the Ear in Cities and Suburbs

Man's right to peace and tranquillity and to the quiet enjoyment of his property is under determined attack. The aggressor is noise, the grating sounds of an increasingly urbanized and mechanized society. Street noises in cities swell with the growth of population, commerce and motor traffic. Suburban communities have the same and other noise problems, produced by a spreading network of industrial parks, highways and jetports. Raucous power lawn mowers and clattering air-conditioning units add to the din in summertime.

Little relief is to be found within the confines of hotels, office buildings or apartment houses. Noise control has received only lip service in construction of many of these structures. In fact, the problem has become so disturbing in multi-family housing that the Federal Housing Administration is planning to promulgate, before the end of this year, noise-control standards that will have to be observed by all builders of such housing that is financed by F.H.A.-insured loans.

Contrasts in Old and New Sound Environment

Noises of street traffic have been a source of complaint since before the start of the Christian era. Julius Caesar figured in a controversy over urban noise more than 20 centuries ago. After barring chariots from the streets of Rome by day as a safety measure, he was forced to exclude them by night because the first edict resulted in a great increase of sleep-disturbing clatter over the city's cobblestones. Day or night, city streets have been noise offenders to the present time. H. B. Creswell, writing in the British Architectural Forum in December 1958, described London of the 1890s as follows:

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Oct. 30, 1963  Noise Suppression
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