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Join date : 2010-10-10

PostSubject: Noise barrier   Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:01 am

A noise barrier (also called a soundwall, sound berm, sound barrier, or acoustical barrier) is an exterior structure designed to protect sensitive land uses from noise pollution. Noise barriers are the most effective method of mitigating roadway, railway, and industrial noise sources – other than cessation of the source activity or use of source controls.
In the case of surface transportation noise, other methods of reducing the source noise intensity include encouraging the use of hybrid and electric vehicles, improving automobile aerodynamics and tire design, and choosing low-noise paving material. Extensive use of noise barriers began in the United States after noise regulations were introduced in the early 1970s.
Noise barriers have been built in the United States since the mid-20th century, when vehicular traffic burgeoned. In the late 1960s, acoustical science technology emerged to mathematically evaluate the efficacy of a noise barrier design adjacent to a specific roadway. By the 1990s, noise barriers that included use of transparent materials were being designed in Denmark and other western European countries.[1]Below, a researcher collects data to calibrate a roadway noise model for Foothill Expressway.
The best of these early computer models considered the effects of roadway geometry, topography, vehicle volumes, vehicle speeds, truck mix, roadway surface type, and micro-meteorology. Several U.S. research groups developed variations of the computer modeling techniques: Caltrans Headquarters in Sacramento, California; the ESL Inc. group in Palo Alto, California; the Bolt, Beranek and Newman[2] group in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a research team at the University of Florida. Possibly the earliest published work that scientifically designed a specific noise barrier was the study for the Foothill Expressway in Los Altos, California.[3]

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