Effects of building construction noise on residents: A quasi-experiment

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Noise pollution is an environmental problem in cities. Although recent field research has focused on transportation noises, the effects of exposure to building construction noise have not been studied. In a quasi-experiment, residents of a three-wing residence hall for female students located near a construction site served as subjects in three comparison groups. Information about their personal characteristics and perceived effects of construction noise on studying and other behaviours were gathered in a questionnaire (n = 94) and an activity log (n = 14). In addition, sound level measurements and records of resident turnover and systematic observations of windows open or closed were analysed. As expected, the results of chi-square tests, one-way ANOVAs and MANOVAs show significant wing effects (p<0·05) on frequency heard, distractability, and several perceived behavioural effects, such as being awakened, difficulty with relaxation and studying-related activities, and interference with conversation and television-watching. These effects were significantly more severe for residents closest to the construction site than those further away. Residents coped with noise by speaking louder, keeping windows closed, and leaving the room.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-385
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec. 2000


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