During operation, construction machines generate high noise levels which can adversely affect the health and the job performance of operators. The noise control techniques currently applied to reduce the noise transmitted into the operator cab are all based on the decrease of the sound pressure level. Merely reducing this noise parameter may be suitable for the compliance with the legislative requirements but, unfortunately, it is not sufficient to improve the subjective human response to noise. The absolute necessity to guarantee comfortable and safe conditions for workers, requires a change of perspective and the identification of different noise control criteria able to combine the reduction of noise levels with that of psychophysical descriptors representing those noise attributes related to the subjective acoustical discomfort. This paper presents the results of a study concerning the “customization” of a methodology based on Sound Quality for the noise control of construction machines. The purpose is to define new hearing-related criteria for the noise control able to guarantee not only reduced noise levels at the operator position but also a reduced annoyance perception.
The primary aim of this research study was to model acoustic conditions of the Courtyard of the Gdańsk University of Technology Main Building, and then to design a sound reinforcement system for this interior. First, results of measurements of the parameters of the acoustic field are presented. Then, the comparison between measured and predicted values using the ODEON program is shown. Collected data indicate a long reverberation time which results in poor speech intelligibility. Then, a thorough analysis is perform to improve the acoustic properties of the model of the interior investigated. On the basis of the improved acoustic model two options of a sound reinforcement system for this interior are proposed, and then analyzed. After applying sound absorbing material it was noted that the predicted speech intelligibility increased from bad/poor rating to good category.