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Noise from pubs and clubs

This project was a literature review to examine current criteria and assessment methods for noise from pubs and clubs commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The project concluded that there was a need for a new, more rigorous assessment method. The abstract from the final report is below and the full report can be found on the DEFRA website.

A review of available data on entertainment noise from pubs and clubs has been conducted with the aim of determining how a rigorous UK method for assessing it might be devised. There is considerable evidence that a noise annoyance problem exists and significant variation in how it is measured and assessed across the country. There is therefore a clear need for a universal, validated UK assessment method. Several candidate assessment methods are identified. These include methods specifically proposed for pub and club noise, those for general low-frequency noise, those relying on absolute criteria and those based on relative assessments.

A validation programme is described which would enable comparison of objective rating methods to listener perceptions of entertainment noise obtained under rigorous laboratory conditions. Seven factors are identified which may affect the magnitude of the recorded subjective response. These are: sound level, background level, differences between listeners, the context into which the sound intrudes, music type, bass level and bass beat. The validation programme would be supported by a series of field measurements. The two main outputs of the programme would be an optimised UK assessment method and a deeper understanding of the factors affecting perception of noise from pubs and clubs.