Noise regulation includes statutes or guidelines relating to sound transmission established by national, state or provincial and municipal levels of government. After a watershed passage of the United States Noise Control Act of 1972, other local and state governments passed further regulations. Although the UK and Japan enacted national laws in 1960 and 1967 respectively, these laws were not at all comprehensive or fully enforceable as to address generally rising ambient noise enforceable numerical source limits on aircraft and motor vehicles or comprehensive directives to local government.
In the case of construction of new (or remodeled) apartments, condominiums, hospitals and hotels many US states and cities have stringent building codes with requirements of acoustical analysis, in order to protect building occupants from exterior noise sources and sound generated within the building itself. With regard to exterior noise, the codes usually require measurement of the exterior acoustic environment in order to determine the performance standard required for exterior building skin design.
The architect can work with the acoustical scientist to arrive at the best cost effective means of creating a quiet interior (normally 45 dBA). The most important elements of design of the building skin are usually: glazing (glass thickness, double pane design, etc.), roof material, caulking standards, chimney baffles, exterior door design, mail slots, attic ventilation ports and mounting of through the wall air conditioners. A special case of building skin design arises in the case of aircraft noise, where the FAA has funded extensive work in residential retrofit.