The Quieter Home Program (Program) is the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s (Airport Authority’s) Residential Sound Insulation Program. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has determined that residences within the 65+ decibel level contour map around San Diego International Airport (SDIA) may be eligible for sound insulation treatments to mitigate aircraft noise. The FAA has set a goal of reducing interior noise levels for eligible residents by at least five decibels inside the home, providing a noticeable reduction in noise. The Airport Authority’s Quieter Home Program is the means to obtain that goal.
Am I Eligible?
Non-compatible residential land uses within the 65+ decibel (dB) contour of the SDIA may be eligible for the Program.
Within these areas, priority is given to those in the loudest noise impacted areas and those with the longest length of ownership. Find out if your home is within the current Program Boundary by viewing our maps.
Please note: your home will be subject to the FAA’s two-tier eligibility requirements, which include:
- Property located within 65 decibel (dB) Community Noise Equivalent Level (CNEL) contour, referenced above and
- Have habitable areas inside the home with averaged noise levels of 45 dB or greater with all windows
In 1998, the Unified Port of San Diego, then operator of the San Diego International Airport (SDIA), launched a pilot sound insulation program to determine the feasibility of sound insulating homes in the communities surrounding SAN. The results showed that such a program would be feasible. By 2001, the Program was fully operational, with insulation starting within the highest noise impacted areas. Since 2003, the Program has functioned under the Airport Authority, who acquired control of SDIA the same year. Since then, the Program’s pace has increased and the Program’s geographical area has expanded to include the communities of Loma Portal/Ocean Beach, Bankers Hill/Middletown, and Golden Hill/South Park. Today, the Program is one of the largest remaining airport residential sound insulation programs in the country. To date, the Program has completed 4,500 dwelling units.
Our Goals and Requirements
The goal of the Quieter Home Program is to reduce the interior noise level within treated homes by at least five (5) decibels (dB); however, results may vary depending upon the existing construction of the home. In order to achieve this goal, the Program may retrofit exterior doors and windows, install a ventilation system, and may conduct other miscellaneous treatments; however, the actual treatments in your home may vary. In order to determine if the Program is reaching this goal, a sample of 10% of homes participating within each of the Program’s groups are acoustically tested before and after construction.
The Program must also take into account the historical nature of each property it treats, which requires that the Program conduct an historical evaluation on all homes that apply for the Program. Following this evaluation, your home will be designated as either ‘Historic’ or ‘Non-Historic’ in the context of the Program. This historical designation determines how the Program can treat your home and which products can and cannot be used.
Homeowners interested in the Quieter Home Program must submit a Participant Application. Once your application has been returned to the Program, your home will be placed on the General Waiting List.
Participant Application »
After your application has been returned to the Program, your home will be placed on the General Waiting List. Priority is given to those in the loudest noise impacted areas and with the longest length of ownership. Should a property change ownership while it's on the waiting list, the new owner would inherit the previous owners waiting list position. It is not uncommon for homes to be on the Program's waiting list for many years.
Homeowner Informational Meeting: Step 1 of 8 – Liberty Station Office
Once selected for a construction group, you will be invited to attend a Homeowner Informational Meeting. During this two hour meeting, the Program's policies and general scope of work will be explained. You will have the opportunity to view sample products in the Program showroom and sign and notarize the Program required documents:
Sample Grant of Avigation Easement
Sample Homeowner Participation Agreement
Note: All individuals listed on the deed for the home are required to attend this meeting.
Assessment: Step 2 of 8 – Your Home
Shortly after the Homeowner Informational Meeting, an architectural/engineering assessment will be conducted at your home. During this assessment, our Design Team will make a preliminary assessment of your home in its current condition to determine which treatments are necessary to make your home quieter. The Design Team is large, approximately 6-8 individuals, and is comprised of specialists in architecture, electrical and mechanical engineering. In addition, a representative will be there on behalf of the Airport Authority to answer any questions you may have. During this appointment, access to all rooms, attics, basement crawlspaces, closets, and electrical panels will be required.
Acoustic Testing: Step 3 of 8 – Your Home
Testing is a vital part of the Quieter Home Program process as it will confirm the home's eligibility and is the only way to evaluate the effectiveness of the retrofit products installed by the Program. The Program's acoustical engineers will conduct a series of tests with an exterior loud speaker in each habitable room. The acoustical engineers will proceed room by room and turn the loudspeaker on and off to collect noise measurements. Additionally, all participating homes may be subject to acoustical testing once construction is complete in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the retrofit products. Please note acoustical testing consists of the periodic use of a loud speaker and can be disruptive to you and your neighbors.
If your home has an average interior noise levels of 45 dB or greater, your home may proceed to step 4. If your home does not meet this requirement, it may be eligible for limited treatments.
Design Review: Step 4 of 8 – Liberty Station Office
During this appointment, the Design Team will review and discuss the proposed treatments to your home. A copy of the design package
will be provided in advance for you to review prior to the appointment. This will be your last opportunity to accept the proposed treatments or withdraw from the Program without financial implications.
Plan Check / Bidding / Authority Board Award
After your design review appointment, the Program will begin the plan check and bidding process. All plans will be submitted to the City of San Diego's Development Services Department for the plan check process. If your home is designated historic, the City of San Diego Historic Resources Board will also conduct a review. Following the plan check process, the Airport Authority will publicly bid the contract for which your home has been included. In keeping with public works contracting requirements, the lowest responsive and responsible bidder will be awarded the contract upon approval from the Airport Authority Board.
Measurement Walk: Step 5 of 8 – Your Home
During this appointment, the Contractor will take precise measurements for each window and door, as well as review the electrical and mechanical scope of work with the Design Team. If applicable, you will make final determinations of the window and door colors. If pre-work was previously identified, it must be completed by this appointment. Should your pre-work not be completed, the Program may have to remove your home from the construction group, which will cause a delay in construction.
Pre Construction Walkthrough: Step 6 of 8 – Your Home
A Pre-Construction Walkthrough appointment will be scheduled for a date approximately two weeks in advance of your construction start date. During this appointment, our Team will systematically go through your home to direct requirements necessary for you to prepare the home for construction. After this appointment and prior to construction, there will normally be work for you to do, such as: movement and storage of furniture, covering and protecting belongings, and general cleaning in order to provide sufficient access around the home.
Construction: Step 7 of 8 – Your Home
The construction duration on your home will depend upon the size of your home and complexity of the scope of work. An average duration for the entire construction period is approximately 15 to 30 business days. During this timeframe, access must be provided between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., Monday – Friday, except Airport Authority holidays. Throughout the construction period, multiple construction trades - carpenters, painters, electricians, AC installers, and other specialized trades - will be in your home at various times to complete the sound insulation improvements. Any windows and doors that are removed will be replaced and be operational and lockable within the same day. During the work, Program staff will make periodic inspections to ensure the Contractor is meeting the requirements of the plans and specifications. They will also meet with the Contractor at the end of the work to conduct a “punchlist inspection” walkthrough to determine final items that need to be corrected. The Program understands the importance of your time and will make every effort to minimize any inconvenience to you. However, construction in a home (while it is occupied) has some inherent inconveniences. Experience has shown that the end result of a quieter home will more than compensate for these temporary disruptions.
Post Construction Walkthrough: Step 8 of 8 – Your Home
This final appointment, to be conducted upon completion of your home, is to identify how to operate all installed products and address any questions/concerns that you may have. Prior to this appointment, the Homeowner shall complete a Post-Insulation Survey. If the Survey is not completed prior to this appointment, Program staff will take a hand written survey at the appointment. Following the appointment and completion of the Survey, your Warranty Package, containing the Contractor's and product manufacturer warranty information, will be delivered.
In order to improve our Program for future participants, the Program asks all homeowners to complete a survey about their experience with the Program after completion of their home. The feedback is critical as the Program reviews all survey responses and tries to improve the experience for future participants.
Take the Homeowner Post-Construction Survey