Noise can be defined as a form and level of ambient sound that is generally considered annoying.
The Berkeley Development Department, on the other hand, defines sound as air or water pressure variations that can be perceived by human hearing. The objectionable nature of the sound could be caused by its pitch or volume.
In addition to the concepts of pitch and volume, there are several methods to measure noise. The most common is to use a unit of measurement called a decibel (dB). On the dB scale, zero represents the lowest sound level that a healthy, unaffected human ear can detect. Sound levels in dB are calculated on a logarithmic basis. Thus, an increase of 10dB represents a 10-fold increase in acoustic energy, and an increase of 20dB represents 100 times more acoustic energy. The human ear also responds logarithmically, and each 10 dB increase in sound level is perceived as approximately doubling the noise.
Noise pollution is considered as a form of energy pollution where distracting, irritating or harmful sounds can be heard. Noise and vibration from sources like HVAC systems, vacuum cleaners, pumps, and more can trigger severe symptoms in susceptible individuals.
The noise level has values related to the nature of the activity that takes place in a certain space.
Acoustic comfort can be ensured by avoiding annoying noises, by reducing their intensity at the source or by acoustic insulation for airborne or impact noises.