Minneapolis can be a very noisy place. Between the sounds of car horns, sirens, truck traffic, and people yelling, background-noise levels can regularly reach 70 decibels—about as loud as the drone of a vacuum cleaner at close range. That much noise pollution isn’t just annoying; it can heighten stress, disrupt your sleep, and even lead to heart disease. Researchers at the University of Michigan estimate that about one-third of Americans are exposed to harmful noise, and might be at risk of noise-related health problems.
Www.howloud.com is a website that uses empirical data to determine a “Soundscore” for an address. Instead of driving to a property and camping out to determine noise levels (or worse, moving in and realizing the noise levels are higher than you can tolerate), you can now type any address into the search bar and receive a “Soundscore”.
A Soundscore™ rating is determined by three noise factors: vehicle traffic, air traffic and local sources (restaurants, schools, stores, etc.). For the most important component — vehicle traffic — the site applies the Federal Highway Authority’s Traffic Noise Model. This model is mandated in the State of California, but HowLoud is the first to use it on a massive scale and make the results available to consumers and other businesses.