Characterization and Effects of Noise Levels of Portable Generators Used in Residential Buildings in Ibadan Metropolis, Nigeria: A Case Study
Keywords:Electricity, Off-Grid Power Supply, Generators, Noise Generation, Standards, Impact
Proliferation of generators used in urban settlements in Nigeria over the years has been a major source of concern to the health and comfort of building occupants. This study therefore assessed impact of outdoor and indoor noise levels associated with the use of generators on the environment and building occupants. The study area, Ibadan Metropolis, was divided into core, transition and suburban zones. Five (5) residential and commercial residential buildings respectively were purposively selected in each of the core, transition and suburban zones of the study area. Measurement of noise levels were taken with the use of a digital sound level meter with compliance to NESREA and OSHA standards. The outdoor noise levels before and during use of generators were taken at 0, 2 and 4m from external walls of the buildings sampled while the corresponding indoor noise levels were taken at the actively useable internal space; at a least distance of 1m from internal walls, 1.2 - 1.5m above floor level and 1.5m from windows. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data collected. Results of the study revealed that the mean indoor noise levels of 79.97 dB, 87.4 dB during use of generators in residential and commercial buildings were highest in the core zone and above the permissible limits. The study concluded that there should be adoption of best house-keeping practices by positioning generators in properly built enclosure features; and efforts made to enforce sales and procurement of generators with noise abatement mechanisms that can conform to ISO 3744 and local codes so as to mitigate impact of its high noise levels on the health and comfort of building occupants.