The effects of noise from internal drainage systems on daily human activity and sleep patterns

Rabee Rustum, Anaebo Chike Emmanuel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human fascination with tall buildings is one that has trickled down through history. From the ancient Roman pyramids down to the modern-day Burj Khalifa, standing at 828m high. The number of multistory buildings continues to increase around the world, and as a result, the quality of life for those people living in these buildings requires ongoing evaluation. Many residents of multi-story buildings complain about noise disturbances from internal drainage systems, mostly from toilets flushing in the upper levels. This paper seeks to establish whether or not the noise from internal drainage systems in multi-story buildings affects daily human activity and sleep patterns with the aid of a sound level meter and a questionnaire. A survey was undertaken on a 6-story building, and a sound level meter was used to measure noise levels on different floors in the building. The result obtained from each floor were 42, 39, 41.6, 40.9 and 42.2 dBs, respectively, which is negligible and showed that the building height does not influence the noise, while the survey which was carried out on occupants aged between 15 and 35 proved that noise from the drainage system does not affect human activity and sleep pattern. Principally because the noise does not last longer than a few seconds, with a typical duration of 15 seconds or less, the result from this test can be studied further for a wider application, such as noise reduction in classrooms, libraries and hospital wards, to mention a few.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of GEOMATE
Issue number108
Early online date6 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Multi-Storey building
  • Acoustics Emissions
  • Drainage
  • Sleep Patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Pollution


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