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Eligibility

 

sample map of sound mitigation boundary, not an official map. Contact Noise Programs office for eligibility details

Thank you for your interest in the Port of Seattle’s Sound Insulation Program. This Program is designed to reduce the impact of aircraft noise within your home. Your participation in the Program is entirely voluntary. The Port of Seattle (Port) wants owners to have the information they need to make an informed decision about participating in the Program. Participants in the Program are required to sign legal documents including an avigation easement granted to the Port.

One of the goals of the Program is to achieve a noticeable reduction in the amount of noise that enters your residence. While no residence can be completely “sound-proofed,” the quality of life in your residence may be improved by reducing how much sound enters your living areas.

These sound insulation improvements can also provide increased energy savings, and in some cases reduced maintenance costs on the new window and door products. Homeowners have also reported to the Port that new doors and windows have improved the appearance of their homes. 

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The material on this page is for informational purposes only and does not supersede or replace the formal details provided by the Program Handbook. Please consult your Program Handbook or the Airport Noise Office at 206-787-5393 for complete program details.

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Sound Insulation Program Preliminary Eligibility and Requirements

For a home to be considered for the Program, it must be: 

  • Constructed before December 3, 1986 in the City of Des Moines and in all other areas built prior to September 6, 1987 
  • Mobile/Manufactured homes are not eligible
  • Located within the SEA Noise Remedy Boundary established under Federal Aviation Administration (FAAaccepted Noise Exposure Map (NEM) 
  • An owner or tenant-occupied residential structure 
  • Clean title (no adverse judgements)
  • Free of building code violations 
  • Have an average interior noise level that is 45 dB DNL or greater with the windows & doors closed (determined during acoustic testing). 
Noise Remedy Boundary

The Program can only provide sound insulation improvements to properties located inside the Noise Remedy Boundary that exists when installation of the improvements begins. The Noise Remedy Boundary is established under FAA guidelines using noise modelling and the FAA’s required noise metric known as Day-Night average sound Level or “DNL”. DNL is calculated as a 24- hour average (measured in decibels) with nighttime noise weighted at a level 10 times that of daytime noise. The FAA has determined that a property must be located within an approved boundary area with a DNL level of at least 65 dB DNL to be potentially eligible for sound insulation. A DNL noise contour is produced using sophisticated noise modelling software using the FAA-required method, and this contour forms the basis for the Noise Remedy Boundary. 

 

sound mitigation sample map, not an official map. Contact the Noise Programs office for eligibility details

Average Interior Noise Level

Pre-construction acoustic testing is the calculation of the existing interior noise level to determine eligibility to participate in the sound insulation program based on FAA criteria. The average interior noise level of a particular property is determined through the acoustical measurements of all habitable spaces with the windows closed. This requirement applies whether or not the structure has a ventilation system.

Eligible Areas in the Home

Areas eligible for acoustic treatments are considered “habitable” spaces designed to be occupied year-round and meet all local building code requirements in the residence.  These are defined by the FAA and, include spaces for living, sleeping, eating, or cooking.  

Non-Eligible Areas in the Home

Bathrooms, closets, halls, vestibules, foyers, stairways, laundry, garages, storage areas and utility rooms are considered non-eligible areas, unless there is no practical way to isolate them acoustically from an eligible room. Other non-eligible areas include: 

  • Incomplete and unfinished rooms or additions where there are exposed wall and ceiling framing members. This includes rooms that fail to meet minimum building code, were not legally permitted, or do not meet zoning standards. 

  • Properties determined to be structurally inadequate through design, rot, or structural damage. Eligibility can be achieved once, at the Owner’s expense, all deficiencies are corrected. The residence would move to an “On Hold” designation until repairs are completed and verified. 

  • Sunrooms, enclosed porches, breezeways, etc. will be evaluated at the design site visit to determine if they meet the following criteria for year-round habitability: adequate and permanent source of heat; minimum standard building construction; code-conforming assembly at foundation, wall, ceiling and roof; and conformance with code requirements for room size and dimensions. If all these criteria are not met, the Program will not provide acoustic treatments in those areas. 

Owner Benefits and Improvements

One of the goals of the Program is to achieve a noticeable reduction in the amount of noise that enters your residence. While no residence can be completely “sound-proofed,” the quality of life in your residence may be improved by reducing how much sound enters your living areas.

These sound insulation improvements can also provide increased energy savings, and in some cases reduced maintenance costs on the new window and door products. Homeowners have also reported to the Port that new doors and windows have improved the appearance of their homes. 

 

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