Quiet~ The essential need for Perceptual Comfort

Mothers Against Wind Turbines was founded by mothers whose children have a range of disabilities most which fall into the Autistic Spectrum.   Our children struggle with everyday exposures to light, sound, and movement naming a few, among many challenges.    Many of our families have purposely chosen to live in quiet rural areas to provide our children the best environment to grow and thrive so they can achieve their best potential in life.

With the installation of wind powered generation facilities adjacent to our homes and in our communities we are faced with the unrelenting intrusion and trespass by industrial wind turbines and its associated infrastructures discharging light, noise, movement, electrical emissions into the most intimate of places that should be one of security, peace and our children’s sanctuary.

The following article talks about research of noise impacting living spaces and what that means for vulnerable populations such as those with autism, the elderly or those who are noise sensitive.

“Perceptual comfort means that the acoustics falls in ranges that people consider comfortable, clear, pleasant,”

The Bizarre Experience Of Sitting Inside The ‘Quietest Room On Earth’

UPROXX|By: |3.10.17

Take a moment and think about the quietest room you’ve ever laid down in; the quietest, stillest place you’ve ever been. No matter how peaceful, how serene, there was still some sound: the rush of water in pipes, the hum of electricity in the walls, the breeze gently blowing, insects chirping; the ambient noise of nature, of life.

If you take a 15-minute car ride from downtown Minneapolis, you’ll find a nondescript concrete building with ivy climbing its exterior walls. Orfield Laboratories sits a block away from a bowling alley called Memory Lanes and directly across the street from Skol Liquors. Inside Orfield Laboratories is an anechoic chamber that has been certified by Guinness as the quietest place in the world.

That still bedroom you were in? The ambient noise was probably about 30 dBA, or A-weighted decibels — the relative loudness of sound perceived by the human ear. This is a logarithmic scale, so every 10 dBA, you’re either doubling or halving the loudness or quietness. At zero dBA, the human ear can no longer perceive sound. The anechoic chamber at Orfield Laboratories was certified by Guinness at -9.4 dBA in 2004 and -13 dBA in 2013, both for one hour measurements. But over shorter periods, they’ve conducted tests on the chamber that have given readings of up to between negative 22 and negative 23 dBA.

That’s just in terms of what instruments can read in the room. The human ear has no way of telling that difference in sound (or lack thereof). If a room or chamber is 0 dBA or lower, you won’t hear anything. Nothing at all. The difference between -9.4 dBA and -23 dBA sounds the same to our pitiful flesh-ears. But it made a difference to me. I wanted to be in the quietest room on Earth…..

Orfield Laboratories primarily works in architecture, product development and in office research. They’re attempting to make living and working conditions better for everyone, with a specific focus on the elderly, people with disabilities, and people who are on the autistic spectrum. Not to put too fine a point on it, but their research is crucial in our busy world.

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