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Songkran Celebration – Noise complaints during holidays

Punyakorn, April 2023

Geonoise (Thailand) Co., Ltd

The previous week is a week of celebration in Thailand for the Thai New Year or also known as “Songkran Days”. The celebration usually lasts for three days from 13 -15 April every year. This celebration is also well known for the way people celebrate by adapting the traditional activity to a water festival or water fights. This year is also a little bit special after the government put on a break during the COVID-19 situation. There is much positive feedback from the people that finally things tend to turn back to the normal conditions that they can celebrate, and many festivals are now allowed again.

There are many well-known areas or streets where most Thai and foreigners go to enjoy the festival and the water fights, but some might not be so convenient to travel across the city there. That’s when people need to find their way of celebrating!

Many clips on the internet show how people are having fun at their own houses, most people will have a small water station in front of their home where their neighbors can join when they are passing by. Some might make it bigger and more fun, having loudspeakers and playing some partying music.

However, this might be the start of the complaints….

What makes party music might be a disturbance more than a fun to the neighbor?

Party music is made to make people feel fun and enjoying. That is why most party music contains a lot of heavy beats and low bass sounds. These sounds are called ‘low frequency’ in a more engineering way. Normally we are not good at hearing these low frequency, but our ears are smart, it detects these low frequency a lot better when the sound is loud enough and when it plays in beat (or called ‘impulse’ by engineers). These low frequencies are also good at traveling long distances and having big waveform, this makes low frequency can pass through a wall without taking so much effort!

What should we do to prevent complaints?

If you’re planning to have a party again next year with some music in the backyard, you might try to keep the volume a bit lower and not boost the bass of your speakers. Second, be careful about your party time, after 10 pm is commonly known as nighttime when people need to rest, they are more sensitive to noise during this time. There are laws and regulations from the government protecting people’s health, so the laws are more sensitive during this time of day as well. Third, a small party room in your home is also a good idea! These days there are several companies that can help you with the design of a soundproof room with a good sound system.

What should I do if my neighbors are making noise?

Keep in mind that the laws are protecting you! You might try to contact the police officer in your area and not engage the neighbor by yourself. The police can help stop the noisy activity. Another regulation is by the Department of Public Health of Thailand, contact your local authorities to stop the disturbance activity. The laws protect your right to have good health and proper rest.

Thai Ministry of Justice provided an infographic for the related laws that emitting loud noise and creating disturbance can lead to a fine from 1,000 baht – 10,000 baht or imprison not exceeding 1 month (depending on the law section).

Follow this link:

Prevent noise in the long run: interested in improving your home acoustic insulation?

You may need a professional acoustic consultant to find the most effective way, especially when you are dealing with low-frequency noise. This noise is really good at traveling through structure, normal designs or materials might not work at their best performance without proper acoustic designs.

Celebrating Songkran in Thailand next year?

Feels the fun and enjoy the festival for three days long here in Thailand.
But after this, you might want to keep in mind and care for others who might not celebrate the festival as well.

Happy Songkran Days!


Department of Health, Ministry of Pubic Health (2560). พระราชบัญญัติการสาธารณสุข พ.ศ. 2535 หมวด 5.

กฎหมายน่ารู้ ตอนที่ 388 : เพื่อนบ้านทำเสียงดังเดือดร้อนรำคาญ เสี่ยงคุก 1 เดือน ปรับ 1 หมื่น. (2022, September 28). Retrieved from MINISTRY OF JUSTICE OF THAILAND:

Asia Noise News Environment

Da Nang restaurants fined, suspended for blasting loud music

Three restaurants in Da Nang (Vietnam) were fined up to VND70 million ($2,975) and two of them were also suspended for blasting music too loud.

Police of Lien Chieu District on Saturday said the Victory, Max Beer Garden and Idol Food&Beer restaurants on Hoang Thi Loan Street violated noise pollution protocols by blasting music that was too loud.

The Max Beer Garden restaurant was fined VND70 million and had its operation suspended for 4 months. The Idol Food&Beer was fined VND50 million.

The Victory got fined VND50 million for a second time and saw its operation suspended as well. Its owner, 38-year-old Phan Duy Tan, was also fined VND12.5 million for allowing repeated violations at his restaurant.

Hoang Thi Loan Street is popular for its numerous restaurants, bars and dance clubs, often blasting loud music throughout the night.

Da Nang’s environmental police department said that since 2019, the unit had dealt with 18 cases of noise pollution violations and fined a total of VND232 million.

Asia Noise News Building Accoustics Environment Uncategorized

Importance of acoustics in office space

Office – traditionally known as a place for work, means more than just that in this modern era. Today, apart from being used for conventional office activities like reading, writing, or computer works, office is also the space for open innovative discussions, private meetings, business collaborations and a venue for office members to connect and build strong peer relationships. Certain offices even provide a space for entertainment purpose so that employees can have fun to destress from work.

Notice the connections between all the activities that can happen in the office? Each of them involves different levels and types of noise. This is when office acoustics comes into the picture.

Investing into the acoustics design of office spaces can be more important than what you may think it should be. High noise levels in the office have been one of the main complaints among employees, as it can significantly affect their work performance and productivity. Noise can come from the activities like keyboard-clicking, printing noise, or low frequency hums from office equipment like printers or computers. With high noises, conversations in the office will be difficult, such that employees will end up having to raise their voice while talking – eventually making things worse.

It is therefore imperative to focus on the office acoustics, especially for the following:

  1. Effective communication

Having the background noise under controlled in a office will ensure speech clarity during conversations, be it among employees, or when talking to clients.

  1. Employees’ wellbeing

Long exposure to high noise will cause increase in both physical and psychological stress levels among employees, leading to poorer productivity and communication. Prolonged stress can possibly cause harmful health effects, such as headache, high blood pressure, or increase in heart rate etc.

  1. Privacy

It is often required to have one-to-one meetings for highly confidential topics in the office, hence it is important to have spaces that offer sufficient privacy to prevent conversations cannot be overheard.

  1. Work performances

As mentioned in point 2 as well, noisy environments will cause interruptions during work, leading to difficulties in focusing on work. This will thus influence the employees’ wellbeing, linking back to point 2.

Now that the importance of office acoustics have been known, are there any ways to treat the noisy office environment, or even better…avoid it?

The acoustic quality of an office, or room in general, can be determined by doing reverberation time (RT) measurements. RT is defined by the time taken for reverberation to decay, where typically shorter RT is preferred for better speech intelligibility, as there will be less reverberation, or in layman terms “echo” that exists in the room. High reverberation is normally due to the hard structural surfaces that offices are built with, such as concrete, glass, plaster etc. To reduce the RT, it is recommended to install sound absorbing materials like acoustic ceilings, acoustic wall panels, thicker carpets/curtains or other similar products in the office. The absorption performances of these products can be defined by finding out the sound absorption coefficients (α) of the material, which should be already stated in the datasheets by manufacturers. Sound absorption is relatable to sound reflections of a room.

Reverberation control can then influence the speech intelligibility of a room, which can be measured as the Speech Transmission Index (STI), or speech to noise ratio (SNR). The higher the SNR or STI, the better the speech intelligibility. According to the rule of thumb, SNR should be essentially at least 10-15 dB for good speech intelligibility, which means that the speech should ideally be 10-15 dB above the background noise to be clearly heard. However, to meet the goal for privacy, it should be the other way round, where SNR should be as low as possible.

On the other hand, sound insulation, sometimes known as attenuation, associates with the sound transmission control between adjacent rooms. The purpose of having sound insulation is to achieve better privacy by effectively blocking noise travelling from one room to another. Similar to sound absorption, sound insulation of a product can be graded using a single figure rating called Sound Reduction Index (R). Sound transmission can happen when sound passes through structures like partitions/walls/floors/ceilings. Sound can also transmit through hollow elements in the building like ventilations, ducts, pipes, claddings etc. Therefore, it is important to design the interior carefully and ensure that the construction of the building is done properly to avoid any unnecessary costs for remedial work in the future.

As much as the interior aesthetic of office space should be the key of design, acoustics should not be neglected as well, because it will strongly affect the users’ experience while working or carrying out tasks in the office space. In fact, with the variety of acoustic treatment products available in today’s market, it is definitely possible for both aesthetic and acoustics to be taken care of without sacrificing either, especially when interior designers often can work with acoustic consultants nowadays. Hence, do consider to put in more effort in the soundscape design of your workspace, for the better wellbeing of both you and your fellow workmates.





Residents on how their quality of life affected by ‘terrible noise’ from North-South Corridor construction

SINGAPORE — On Wednesday (Jan 25), an article was published in The Straits Times titled, “‘The noise is terrible’: Residents say quality of life affected by North-South Corridor construction.”

Several Singapore residents described the difficulties they experience due to the construction works, with one 24-year-old having to “deal with the pounding and whirring of machines” as he works from home. Calling the noise “terrible,” he added that he needed to close his windows and curtains to block out the noise.

The situation is perhaps even harder for two educators living on Thomson Road, who have had to shell out funds to soundproof their baby’s room. The couple also has a six-year-old son with a sensory processing disorder for whom the noise “feels even louder.”

The constructions have also meant a loss of business for some of the shops in the affected areas, as well as additional traffic.

Netizens commenting on the ST piece weighed in concerning their own experiences.

“As I am typing this, the whirring construction noise is in the air. Churning n tunnelling down the earth. So irritating coz cannot rest properly or take a nap in the day if I’m not feeling well,” wrote one woman.

“The worst thing i gave feedback to LTA for better traffic light control at major junction esp peak hour. they are so stubborn,” another wrote.

Others, however, underlined that the constructions are a temporary inconvenience.

One chimed in, “Get ‘used’ to it…this is Singapore where construction works is NEVER ending…”

The ambitious North-South Corridor, the country’s longest Transit Priority Corridor, aims to connect the Northern region and the city centre directly. It features not only bus lanes but also cycling routes and footpaths.

Construction began in 2018 and is expected to be completed by 2026 or 2027. However, some residents affected by the construction have documented their struggles.

Asia Noise News Environment

When traffic noise gets too loud for health

Thomson lives about 50 meters from a busy freeway that bisects Kuala Lumpur – one that has been increasingly used as a speedway for high-speed races, diesel-spewing lorries, revving motorcycles and cars that have been illegally modified to make even more noise.

About the only time it quiets down is Saturday night between 3am and 4am, Thomson said.

Otherwise, the din is constant, and most nights, he’s jolted out of sleep five or six times.

“It’s terrible. I don’t recommend it for anyone.”

Thomson is a victim of noise pollution, which health experts warn is a growing problem that is not confined to our ears, but causes stress-related conditions like anxiety, high blood pressure and insomnia.

“There’s an aspect of our society that likes to be loud and proud, but it shouldn’t infringe on someone else’s health in a public space.”

Traffic is a major driver of noise pollution, which disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities, and it’s getting harder to escape the sounds of leaf blowers, construction, and other irritants.



China continues to tackle noise pollution in 2021-2025

BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) — China will continue to tackle noise pollution and improve the country’s acoustic environment during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), according to environmental authorities.

By 2025, China aims to keep the night-time environmental noise level at 85 percent of the acoustic environment function zones up to standard, said an action plan jointly issued by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and fifteen other departments.

With remarkable progress being made in pollution control, public expectations on the ecological environment are growing, and noise pollution is now among the hottest issues in environmental complaints, said the ministry.

In 2021, of the over 450,000 complaints received by China’s national platform for environment-related complaints from the public, 45 percent were about noise disturbance, ranking second among all types of pollution, according to the ministry.

The plan pledged to enhance control of the sources of noise, as well as noises from industrial firms, construction sites, transportation, and social activities.

China will also establish a valid system to prevent, control and manage noise pollution, improve relevant laws, regulations, and standards, strengthen science and technology education, and boost monitoring and law enforcement, it said. ■


Korea noise nuisance leads to attempted murder

SEOUL — A Incheon man will serve 22 years in prison for the attempted murder of three members of a neighbouring family over noise complaints, after he dropped his appeal, according to legal professionals and news reports Thursday.

The Incheon District Court ordered the man to serve 22 years in prison and to wear a GPS-equipped electronic monitoring anklet for 10 years in the first trial in May. The ruling was confirmed as he withdrew the appeal, he filed with the Supreme Court earlier this year.

Only identified by his surname Lee, the man was indicted on charges of attempting to murder his neighbours in December 2021.

On Nov. 15, 2021, the man in his 50s allegedly burst into the neighbour’s house on the third floor of a residential building in Incheon, west of Seoul, and jabbed the family members.

The mother, in her 40s at the time, was stabbed in the neck and received surgery for a cerebral infarction. The husband and daughter also suffered severe injuries that took five weeks to heal.

The 50-year-old attacker lived on the fourth floor of the apartment complex and had complained to the family about noise since moving into the house three months earlier.

During court hearings, he admitted trying to murder the mother but denied trying to kill the father and daughter. The court dismissed his arguments and convicted the man of trying to kill all three family members.

Police were criticized for their response to the knife attack. Officers were dispatched to the scene when a disturbance was reported, but when one officer took the husband to talk to him outside, the man began the knife attack, and the other officer fled.

After the incident caused controversy over the police’s bungled action, the two officers were dismissed. The two have filed an appeal after being dismissed from duty. They were also indicted without detention last month for dereliction of duty.



Asia Noise News Environment

No-Honking Days and Noise Barriers Aim to Quell Mumbai’s Cacophony

Activists say their efforts to quiet India’s financial capital can show the way for other loud places.

Living in Mumbai requires an inexhaustible tolerance for noise. There’s the ceaseless revving of autorickshaw engines and the clamor of car horns as drivers edge through impenetrable traffic. There’s pounding and buzzing from the construction of office towers, apartment buildings and a new metro line. Drumbeats and trumpet melodies spill out from wedding celebrations and countless festivals. And it’s all topped off by bellowing street vendors and garbage trucks blasting Bollywood songs.

So when Sumaira Abdulali began campaigning against noise pollution in India’s financial capital two decades ago, friends, acquaintances and even her attorneys insisted it was a fool’s errand. “People told me it’s ridiculous to even try, because Indians love noise,” she says. “We’re a noisy country.”

But in 2003, Abdulali won a public-interest lawsuit seeking to roll back changes to environmental regulations that had allowed blaring music late into the night during the Navratri festival each autumn. The ruling led to a blanket ban on loudspeakers within one hundred meters (328 feet) of schools, hospitals, courts, and places of worship. And she has since won more than a dozen other actions both on her own and via the Awaaz Foundation (awaaz means “noise” in Hindi), which she launched in 2006.

The World Health Organization warns that noise pollution is a top environmental threat to human wellness, affecting not only hearing but also sleep, brain development and cardiovascular health. With increasing urbanization, ever more people around the world are exposed to unrelenting noise. And Mumbai may be the epicentre of this emerging global crisis.

Abdulali claims the city is the world’s loudest, though that’s a tough statistic to nail down. A study by India’s National Environmental Engineering Research Institute in 2020 did find that noise levels in Mumbai and surrounding areas dramatically exceed legal limits. “Air pollution we can see, water pollution we can see, but noise pollution we can only feel and sense,” says Ritesh Vijay, the lead author of the report. “It is a slow poison.”

The battle against noise has become increasingly fraught in recent years, with Abdulali often confronting powerful interests who consider it an inevitable byproduct of economic growth. In a rapidly expanding city such as Mumbai, with a population topping 12 million, demand for new housing puts noise legislation in direct conflict with development plans.

Penelope Tong knows that firsthand. She awoke one morning two years ago to ceaseless thrumming from a construction project next to her apartment at the city’s crowded southern tip. “It was extremely disturbing,” says the Mumbai native, who works as a teacher. “Every time that noise started, I would feel so agitated.”


Tong had heard about Awaaz from her mother, so she rang Abdulali for advice. Abdulali helped her contact police, file legal complaints and document noise of almost 100 decibels—which can harm human hearing over a prolonged period. Although sound barriers are required for construction projects, they’re expensive, so developers resist installing them. But after four months, the contractor on the project near Tong’s flat reluctantly installed a temporary fence to absorb noise.


Traffic is a more difficult problem. The loudest place Awaaz has found in the city is the JJ Flyover, an elevated highway leading to the main railway station. Noise on the road reached 110 decibels—a level that can lead to permanent hearing damage after just 15 minutes of exposure, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2011, Mumbai installed a 2-mile-long fence along a similar stretch of highway, and Awaaz found that it cut noise in a nearby residential area by 16 decibels. That spurred the city to require barriers for new overpasses, though the rules don’t affect older ones such as the JJ Flyover.


Technology can also help in the fight, Vijay says. “The worst part—it’s the honking,” he says. He suggests devices in vehicles that measure horn use, which would let officials offer quieter drivers’ incentives such as deductions on car insurance. Dynamic signalling, where sensors linked to stop lights detect traffic density, would improve the flow of vehicles, and reduce the urge for drivers to resort to their horns, he says.

Abdulali has recruited local officials in her fight, and Mumbai decreed India’s first “No-Honking” day in 2008, with cops handing out pamphlets to raise awareness about traffic noise and imposing fines up to 1,000 rupees ($12) on offending motorists. Mumbai’s police now restrict honking every Wednesday, and many traffic constables now carrying decibel meters.

But powerful officials ignore the rules when it suits them. Rival factions use festivals to win supporters, Abdulali says, so their leaders often endorse raucous celebrations. As a result, decibel levels during last year’s holiday honouring the elephant-headed god Ganesh were the highest on record.

Vijay says the festivals are only a temporary problem. Far more important is the longer-term impact of the day-to-day cacophony, so that’s where he believes activists should focus their energy. “In India we celebrate festivals with lots of noise,” he says. “But our background noise itself is beyond the permissible limit.”




Noida’s Twin Towers demolition, noisy ?!

It was the dogged pursuit of justice by a group of mostly senior citizens which led to the demolition of the Supertech twin towers in Noida - the biggest demolition in the country.

The 32-storey Supertech twin towers in Noida came crashing down on Sunday. The razing down of these two towers – Apex and Ceyanne, were due to the dogged pursuit of justice by a group of majorly senior citizens. These men didn’t let factors like age, travel, and a lack of funds come in the way of their pursuit of justice.

This battle began in 2009 when four residents raised an alarm against Supertech’s violation of building bye-laws by building the twin towers. The core team included Uday Bhan Singh Teotia (80), S K Sharma (74), Ravi Bajaj (65), and M K Jain (59).  

When the people started moving in, the society comprised 15 towers with 660 flats. An Apartments’ Owners Association (AOA) was formed, which consisted majorly of senior citizens. 

Residents felt cheated immediately as they weren’t given what the builders promised them. Supertech had promised them a luxurious living experience surrounded by 82 per cent undeveloped area. 

“We were sold the promise of living like royalty, but when we moved into the society in 2009, we realised we had not been given even half the amenities that we had paid for. Most of the brochure was a bunch of lies. Even the construction material used in the buildings was of much lower quality than was originally promised,” said Uday Bhan Singh Teotia, AOA president of Emerald Court to Hindustan Times. 

Noise can be detrimental if decibels over 60 According to Dr Rajesh Chawla, pulmonologist, Apollo Hospital it is difficult to predict the impact that noise pollution will have on the people. “This is the first time that something of this on such a large scale is being undertaken in the country. How this will impact the people and their ears is something that only time will tell,” Dr Chawla said.

In case, the blast produces a decibel of over 60, this will impact the hearing of those who are living around the area. “If the explosives that are being used will create a sound that is over sixty decibels it can damage the person’s hearing. If the sound produced is even more there can be more permanent,” Dr Chawla opined. The World Health Organization defines noise above 65 decibels (dB) as noise pollution. To be precise, noise becomes harmful when it exceeds 75 decibels (dB) and is painful above 120 dB. Dr Ajay Agarwal, director & HOD, Internal Medicine Fortis Hospital, Noida said that the demolition of the Noida twin towers, will have an impact on the hearing of the people. “A normal human hearing is 60 decibels. Anything that is over this will be harmful to the ears especially in those who have partial hearing. However, how much damage this noise pollution will create will only be gauged after the event. Also, the huge noise so created may instil fear psychosis. This can lead to panic attacks in elderly who have anxiety issues,” Dr Agarwal said.


Asia Noise News Environment

10 km of new MRT noise barriers in Ang Mo Kio, Buona Vista completed

SINGAPORE – Residents in Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Batok and Buona Vista are now enjoying slightly quieter neighbourhoods, with MRT tracks near their homes equipped with noise barriers that dampen the clunking of passing trains.

As of June, the second phase of the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) project to build 27km of noise barriers along Singapore’s elevated tracks of the North-South and East-West MRT lines has been completed, spanning 10km and covering twenty locations.

Together with the first phase that was finished in 2018, 21.5km of MRT tracks are now covered by a semi-enclosure or flanked by vertical boards up to 4.5m high that can reflect or absorb sound waves.

The third phase, comprising another 5.5km in places like Joo Koon, Bishan and Paya Lebar, is set to be finished in 2024.

“You might not think that it is important – but it is,” said Mr Jen Ang, 56, a marketing director in Ang Mo Kio, who compared the dull thud of passing MRT trains to having a constant, although barely noticeable, headache.

“It happens every few minutes, sometimes it’s louder when two trains are close. At the end of the day, you are left exhausted and feel less energetic.”

He said the situation has improved now with the noise barriers up. “At least I’m no longer woken up by the sound of trains in the morning. And I get to enjoy my morning coffee.”


The locations of noise barriers are chosen based on various factors, including how close the tracks are to nearby homes. It is not clear what the total distance of MRT tracks above ground is.

Research has shown that a passing MRT train can produce noise of up to 80 to 85 decibels – the equivalent of the sound of a loud alarm clock or hairdryer. This is similar to noise levels of trains elsewhere and studies have shown that long-term exposure to this noise level can harm people’s hearing.

LTA’s barriers reduce the noise level by five to 10 decibels, as measured from the nearest residential block. The authority said previously that the resulting 75 to 80 decibel noise would be like listening to someone practising on the piano.

The project began in 2013 after residents complained about the noise from the tracks. The second phase of the project was initially due to be completed in 2019, but the Government decided to push back the date to this year as it needed to review the effectiveness of phase one of the project.

Some residents, like Ms Kong Si Min, 37, who lives near the train tracks in Ang Mo Kio, said she was counting down the days to the erection of the barriers.

Ms Kong, a business consultant, said the noise was particularly hard to bear during the period of pandemic restrictions, when she had to stay home more.

“It was then that I realised how debilitating (the noise) can be. I hope the Government continues to look into reducing noise from the trains, which definitely can still be heard.”

Today, the LTA is also exploring other ways to reduce the noise of transport infrastructure, such as with noise-dampening wheels and using ballast and concrete sleepers so tracks can more effectively absorb noise.

In 2019, then transport minister Khaw Boon Wan said developers of nearby buildings must chip in to design features that will reduce the noise from MRT tracks, as MRT noise can never be completely eradicated.

“Developers know about our rail and rail projects years in advance of their construction,” he said.

Transport Minister S. Iswaran said on Facebook last week that the installation of the barriers has not been easy. Time and effort were required to set up the barriers safely along a live MRT line without damaging existing infrastructure, he said.

Noise barrier installation takes place only after passenger service hours and is coordinated with other rail maintenance and improvement works.

During the construction of the barriers, mobile noise shields were used to reduce the impact on residents. Noise levels were also closely monitored in real time.

“I seek residents’ continued understanding on this,” Mr Iswaran said. “When the project is done, residents can look forward to a quieter neighbourhood.”

The National Environment Agency recommends that people should be exposed to no more than 67 decibels of noise level.

However, a National University of Singapore study in 2017 found that Singapore’s average outdoor sound level throughout the day was 69.4 decibels, exceeding the recommended level.