The development of the degree thesis first and the Ph.D (physical doctorate) then, both in acoustics, allowed me to become passionate about an argoment that would become everyday activity. Sound is an “invisible” energy that spreads in the air and in the middle according to unexpected physical phenomena, being able to understand these mechanisms is never simple and obvious. Sound or noise? What’s the difference? None, the neighbor playing the piano loud may sound pleasant to some and annoying noise to others. This difference is established by each of us or better by our brain than “acquires” noise or sound as pleasant or annoying.
This distinction is fundamental in everyday life even in the domestic environment where the noises that surround us can be unbearable for some while for others it is irrelevant. All civil lawsuits are based on this distinction and also the often wrong opinion of people; underestimating the effects of noise on the human being is usual when such problems have never been experienced in the first place. Unfortunately civil cases related to noise, the disturbance caused to third parties by “disturbing” noises, are on the agenda; the criterion applied in the private sector (normal tolerability – civil code art. 844) is very restrictive and intuitive … the algebraic difference between the level of noise generated by the disturbing source and the background noise should not exceed 3 dB (A).
Perceiving clearly the presence of a sound source with respect to the background noise usually corresponds to a noise increase of 6/7 dB (A) compared to the background noise. It is fundamental to distinguish the origin of a disturbing noise in one’s home; often the noise problems in new buildings are mistakenly attributed to neighborhood behavior when instead they are the evidence of a lack of sound insulation of the building. The problems related to the lack of sound insulation of the buildings compromise first of all the balance of the condominium, the neighborhood relationships and the mutual trust between people – not secondary aspects in everyday life.
If in dealing with these problems a professional with superficial knowledge of the acoustic material in general and lack of sensitivity in understanding the negative effects that noise can cause, your cause will certainly lead to an inevitable loss of time, patience and economic expenditure which will not lead to the resolution of the problem.