Typical Noise Levels

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Last Articles | 0 comments

Understanding Building Compliance Testing: Deciphering Typical Noises and dB Levels

In the realm of building compliance testing, understanding and monitoring noise levels are paramount. Whether it’s ensuring adherence to regulatory standards or maintaining a conducive environment for occupants, comprehending the typical noises encountered in various settings and their corresponding decibel (dB) levels is crucial. Let’s delve into this subject to shed light on what constitutes acceptable noise levels and why they matter.

Residential Noise Levels

In residential areas, tranquillity is key to fostering a peaceful living environment. Typical noises in such settings include traffic from nearby streets, voices of neighbours, and household appliances. Here are some typical noise sources along with their approximate dB levels:

  • Traffic Noise: Busy streets can generate noise levels ranging from 60 dB to 85 dB during the day, and possibly higher during peak hours.
  • Neighbourhood Sounds: Voices, barking dogs, and other intermittent noises may fall between 40 dB to 70 dB, depending on the proximity and intensity.
  • Household Appliances: Common appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, and washing machines typically emit noise levels between 40 dB to 60 dB.

Learn more about environmental noise surveys for residential developments by clicking here.

Commercial Noise Levels

Commercial buildings host a variety of activities, from office work to retail operations. Noise levels in these settings can vary significantly based on the nature of the business. Here’s a glimpse of typical noise sources and their dB levels:

  • Office Settings: Conversations in offices typically range from 50 dB to 60 dB. However, open-plan offices or areas with machinery can experience higher noise levels, up to 70 dB or more.
  • Retail Spaces: Busy retail environments may experience noise levels ranging from 70 dB to 85 dB, especially during peak hours or sales events.
  • Restaurants and Cafes: These establishments may have noise levels varying between 60 dB to 80 dB, influenced by factors such as kitchen equipment, customer conversations, and background music.

Industrial Noise Levels

Industrial areas are known for their high noise levels due to machinery, equipment, and manufacturing processes. Monitoring and mitigating noise in these environments are crucial for the well-being of workers and nearby residents. Here are some typical noise sources and their dB levels:

  • Heavy Machinery: Industrial machinery can produce noise levels exceeding 85 dB, sometimes reaching 100 dB or more, depending on the equipment and operation.
  • Construction Sites: Construction activities often generate noise levels ranging from 70 dB to 100 dB, with occasional spikes during intensive tasks like drilling or demolition.
  • Manufacturing Facilities: Noise levels in manufacturing plants can vary widely based on processes involved, with levels typically falling between 80 dB to 110 dB.

Lear more about commercial and industrial noise assessments by clicking here.

Why Typical Noise Levels Matter?

Understanding dB levels is essential for maintaining compliance with regulatory standards, ensuring occupant comfort, and preserving the well-being of individuals. Excessive noise can lead to various health issues, including hearing loss, stress, and sleep disturbances. By monitoring and controlling noise levels, buildings can enhance the quality of life for occupants and contribute to a healthier and more sustainable environment.

Learn more about decibels (dB) by clicking here.


In conclusion, building compliance testing plays a vital role in assessing and mitigating noise pollution across residential, commercial, and industrial settings. By recognizing typical noises and their corresponding dB levels, stakeholders can take proactive measures to minimise noise pollution and create healthier, more harmonious spaces for everyone.