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Saturday, 24 November 2012

Consultation on maximum sound levels

The regulations on noise in Hall state:

Excessively loud music and other noise are not allowed at any time of day. The Warden or his nominated Deputy (normally the Duty Senior Member) shall be the arbiter of whether noise is excessive, and his/her decision shall be final.

You must make no noise audible from outside your room between 11.00 pm and 7.00 am.
The Warden would like to make the definition of "excessively loud" clearer. We have a sound level meter (decibel meter) in Hall so it may be useful for us to employ this in deciding whether noise is excessinve or not, by comparing the noise to established normal sound levels in everyday environments.

The point of measurement would need to be standardised. Two points are proposed: 15cm away from the door of the room where the noise is being generated, and/or in the centre of a neighbour's room (both horizontal and vertical neighbours). So for example, if you complained about noise, the Duty Senior Member could come to your room and take a sound level reading from inside your room; or if the Senior Member thinks noise is excessive whilst walking around the building on their rounds, they could check the sound level at the door of the room in question.

The chart below is a FIRST DRAFT of proposed maximum permissible sound levels, charted against time of day.

A better quality version, and a pdf download, are available here:

Your views on this proposal will be welcomed. No final decision has been made either to adopt this proposal at all, or on exactly what the maximum sound levels should be. One additional option might be to reduce the maximum permissible sound levels during the daytime, but then have a "power hour" where louder music is allowed even up to 80dB around, say, 18.00:

Please write to the Warden with your comments and ideas: