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ASTM International Develops New Classification for Low-Frequency Impact Noise Rating

A new standard developed by ASTM International’s building and environmental acoustics committee establishes an evaluation metric for low-frequency impact noise. Specifically, it allows for evaluation of thudding from footfalls in buildings.


The standard, E3207, Standard Classification for Determination of Low-Frequency Impact Noise Ratings, provides designers a new evaluation tool for assessing thudding in buildings from heavy footfalls. When used in conjunction with the high-frequency impact ratings published under the ASTM standard E3222, designers, testing agencies, developers and homeowners have improved tools for evaluating noise from footsteps within buildings.


“When one is inside a wood-frame or other lightweight building, one can hear heavy footsteps from other occupants within the building, which is usually described as thudding,” said Samantha Rawlings, associate principal at Veneklasen Associates. “Using this new standard opens a door of design and evaluation capability that has not existed in more than 60 years of evaluating impact noise from footfalls in buildings.”


The World Health Organization has identified excessive noise within residential housing as having negative health effects. This new standard promotes public health by providing additional design tools for designers to create quiet living that will benefit communities worldwide.

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