Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction


Date of this Version



Wang, L. M. and B. Kraay. (2013) “Rating low levels of ambient noise in performing arts facilities.” Proceedings of the International Symposium on Room Acoustics; Toronto, Canada; June 9-11, 2013.


Copyright (c) 2013 Lily M. Wang & Brent A. Kraay


Previous studies have indicated that common indoor noise rating metrics, such as Noise Criteria NC and Room Criteria RC, do not best correlate to human perceptions of annoyance and distraction in typical office environments. Based on investigations conducted at the University of Nebraska using noise levels between 30 – 60 dBA, the author has proposed that an effective indoor noise rating method should begin with a rating of level (either dBA or sones), then an assessment of spectral quality, tones, and fluctuations. How well would such a system work at very low levels of ambient noise, though, as found in performing arts facilities? This paper compares and discusses the performance of assorted indoor noise rating metrics, calculated from background noise level data measured in existing performing arts facilities.