What is music to one person’s ears is noise to another’s, and vice versa.
In other words, our perception of "noise" is subjective.
Subjective or not, if you're building a new house, you’ll want to establish the noise levels to which you are willing to be exposed beforehand. As a general rule, the more airtight your house, the less you’ll be disturbed by noise.
In general, air leakage and vibrations are the two major threats to your tranquility. Since air is a good sound conductor, a wall that lets air through will also let sound through.
The first step is to identify whether the noise is caused by an impact (e.g., the sound of high heels) or carried through the air (e.g. a voice or the sound of a radio or T.V.).
Concerning wall insulation, you have a number of possibilities:
The basic principle is that when you close off air leaks, you also block out sound.
There are several ways of building walls to increase soundproofing, but take note that improvisation, in this particular area, does not produce good results! Acoustical consulting could guide you in this process.
Noise falls under Section 5.9 of the National Building Code (2005). The Sound Transmission Index (STI) establishes the minimum acceptable noise levels in accordance with ASTM standards.
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