Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction


First Advisor

Lily M. Wang

Date of this Version


Document Type



Spallino, William J. 2020. "Understanding the Impact of Room Acoustic Conditions on the Kurtosis Levels of Various Noise Signals." UNL Institutional Repository, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, July 2020, digitalcommons.unl.edu.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Architectural Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Lily M. Wang. Lincoln, Nebraska: July 2020

Copyright 2020 William Jesse Spallino


Impulsive noise can be common in certain occupational and recreational settings, such as manufacturing plants, construction sites, and firing ranges. While many regulations and guidelines for noise exposure exist, their mathematical basis is stronger for continuous noise, and concerns have been raised about the possibility that impulsive noise may be more harmful to people’s hearing than those metrics would let on. Much work has been done on establishing metrics that accurately assess the severity and hearing risk associated with impulsive noise, but the effects of room acoustic conditions on those metrics have been heretofore understudied.

This study calculated room impulse response-based metrics of rooms’ acoustical properties and the kurtosis levels (a metric which has been proposed and vetted during the last two decades) for three different noise signals. The impact of rooms’ sound absorption and sound scattering properties on those kurtosis levels is presented and supported with statistical analysis. Due to a low number of data points, no statistically significant results were obtained without reasonable doubt, but several categories approached significance; further investigation of these phenomena is recommended.

Adviser: Lily M. Wang