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Note: I realize this question might be a bit peripheral to many of the discussions on "Sound Design" stack exchange but I believe that this community has the expertise to answer it.

Background

I live about 350 m from a rail yard. The idling engine are rather noisy. Within my house, only the very low frequencies usually make it through the walls to the living space. I haven't done any measurements, but my guess would be this noise is mostly sub- 100 Hz and possibly sub 40 Hz. It is fairly low magnitude (unless you're sitting in a quiet room trying to work or sleep, it isn't usually noticeable)

I am currently doing a renovation of the house, taking the walls down to studs. I would like to reduce the amount of low-frequency noise.

My question:

What can I do in wall construction to attenuate low-frequency noise?

The perfect answer will provide successful, proven examples and explain the theoretical underpinnings.

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    You won't achieve this in a domestic build, unless you're starting from scratch. You need mass & air-gapping. When you're dealing with such low frequencies & large masses as a building, you need to be floating sections on engineering rubber. Nothing with stud walls can achieve this. You start with concrete.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 22, 2022 at 17:50
  • Please don't cross-post to multiple SE sites. Pick one & stick to it, or flag for migration. Is cross-posting a question on multiple Stack Exchange sites permitted if the question is on-topic for each site? - diy.stackexchange.com/questions/261044/…
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 22, 2022 at 18:18
  • I think you also need to isolate the home from the ground. A lot of that noise can be transmitted through the ground. If you could somehow float the foundation that might help, but that’s basically rebuilding the house. Nov 23, 2022 at 13:21
  • @Tetsujin comment is pretty accurate. On the other hand, can't you file some kind of complaint, there should be some kind of regulation when it comes to residential areas and noises coming from sources like these.. airports for example have these kinds of regulations. For me that's your best bet, otherwise move or rebuild the house..
    – frcake
    Nov 25, 2022 at 14:41
  • " I haven't done any measurements" You can get audio spectrum analyser apps for smartphones to find out what you're dealing with. I use an Android app called Spectroid. Its response extends below 100 Hz (though I assume that's mainly a function of the phone's microphone). Other similar apps are available.
    – Graham Nye
    Nov 28, 2022 at 17:44

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Low-frequency noise is structure-borne, mechanical transmission. Isolation and suspension are the most common and most practical ways to eliminate such noise. You have to float floors and isolate walls (i.e. double walls, not touching).

Good luck.

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  • Although this may not be the only solution, it is indeed the most widely used solution (for good reason, of course).
    – ZaellixA
    Nov 24, 2022 at 1:37

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