Noise effects & noise protection

ZEUS is one of the leading non-university institutions in the field of psychological and sociological research of noise effects in Germany.

Noise has proven negative effects on the welfare and quality of life. Noise disturbs, annoys, and leads to stress reactions that in turn can lead to more long-term health deseases.

Our Services in the field of noise effects & noise protection:

  • Expertises and studies on the impact of noise on people
  • Measurement of the effectiveness of noise-abatement (evaluation)
  • Support of a cooperative noise management, the public participation on the topic of noise through moderation, consulting & research

Expertises and studies on noise effects

In our studies on noise effects we examine the annoyance of people affected by noise with the greatest of scientific care.

By creating profound and sophisticated exposure-response analyses, we provide valuable information on the effect of noise for different disturbance levels, at different times, differentiated by noise sources and for the population as a whole or different groups (e.g. children, seniors). We use methods of analysis adapted for the issue that vary from the classic representative survey (written, by phone, mobile, online) to behavioural monitoring and laboratory experiments to computer-based diary methods (experience sampling methods).

The acousticians in our project teams are professionals in their field and, with the most modern measurement and calculation methods, identify noise exposure measures, which are then compared with the interview and observational data.

Measurement of the effectiveness of noise-abatement (evaluation)

Noise protection is not for free - it often requires substantial investments. To use capital funds for noise protection in a useful and efficient way, it is advisable to provide a performance measurement of noise protection measures that not just examines the sound-absorbing effects but furthermore contemplates the effects of those arrangements themselves and their attendant circumstances on the impact of noise.

The sound of noise sources explains up to about one third of the annoyance due to noise in the population. Thus, noise protection measures and their attendant circumstances often trigger additional effects beside the noise reduction. These non-acoustical effects can enhance or decrease the reduction of noise annoyance within the population. Therefore, an impact-oriented arrangement evaluation reveals both the acoustical and non-acoustical effects of noise protection measures as well as the implementation of action plans, thereby creating the conditions for a target-oriented and effective fine-tuning of the noise-abatement plan.

Cooperative Noise Management, public participation

As the noise effect research repeatedly shows, the noise annoyance is caused only partly by the sound. There are also psychological and situational factors, such as the attitude towards the noise source, the confidence towards the noise polluters, planners and decision makers as well as the individual sensitivity to noise and the personal coping strategies that are available in the noise situation for those concerned.

Accordingly, very effective additions to technical noise protection programs are

  • a transparent and authentic information policy from the companies or businesses responsible for the noise on the one hand and  the planners and decision makers of public authorities on the other hand,
  • the ensuring of the acceptance of noise abatement measures and
  • the possibility to involve affected persons in the improvement of their noise situation.

Through consultancy, research and moderation we support the development of a cooperative noise management and the participation of the public (e.g. through the action planning according to the EU Environmental Noise Directive).

We moderate workshops, focus groups, town meetings and information sessions around the issue of noise and noise effect.