Noise from outside

Recommendation 71
After deciding about the location of the home, take satisfactory measures towards sound isolation around walls, windows and other façade openings

Chapter (theme)
Architectural spaces (sound / noise and acoustics)

Because of
sensory sensibilities (sound), weak powers of imagination, disturbed perception

In order to
lessen noise an related problems.

Noise from outside usually is traffic noise (airplanes, motor vehicles, trains and trams – in that order), although other noise sources may be relevant as well. The burden is not always in the number of decibels which filter into the home but also lies in its interpretation. As was recounted in the theme noise and acoustics, one is confronted with noise from a variety of sources, among which those from outside. Especially autistic children have trouble identifying their origins, which adds to the confusion and sometimes anxiety too. Parents can lessen this confusion and anxiety by explaining to their children which sound comes form where.

The exposure to outside noise and therefore the location of the home is the first consideration. This subject was mentioned in recommendation 2 where the outside noise is one of the considerations in the choice of a home.

Given the noise levels at a certain location in combination with the individual sensitivities, remains the necessity for adequate sound-insulation. Although structural measures and the materials to be employed are the competence of the architect, from the literature the following suggestions can be drawn:

  • Connection of door and frame, sealing of doors
  • Double glazing / additional window at 4 inches
  • Ventilation grilles with sound attenuation
  • For a detached house a cavity of at least 8 inches
  • The use insulating building blocks such as Insulated concrete forms (ICF’s) for exterior walls.



in that order

See Shield & Dockrell and assuming noise in schools is the same in this respect as at home. PDF