Noise pollution is very common in big cities and towns and has affected the dwellers’ mental and body health. Highway noise barriers are panels used to reduce and prevent noise pollution in areas by being placed between the noise source and affected area. They help minimize noise from roads and bridges from spreading to the surrounding. The barriers are usually made of strong resistant high-quality materials that can survive high impact resistance and high levels of light. The barriers are mostly made up of metal, bricks, wood, and concrete which reduce the intensity of the noise from traffic.
Communities that reside behind the noise barriers are protected by highway walls and barriers by stopping sound waves from traveling past the source of the noise, especially when made of sound absorptive materials. This helps to prevent the bouncing off of the sound when it hits the barriers making it get amplified. A variety of methods and techniques have been employed by architects, engineers, and contractors to minimize traffic noise. The type of material, way of placement, and arrangement determine how the sound is blocked and eliminated. Below are some tips applied by constructors to achieve noise reduction.
- Site Planning
This works by ensuring that the distance between the source of noise and the receiver is great. The arrangement of buildings built near highways also determines whether the barriers will be effective or not. Demolishing buildings across roadways may not be an option but whenever new buildings are constructed along the road, their orientation should decrease the amount of noise into them.
- Absorbent Material
Highway walls can be made from absorbing materials to reduce the sound frequency and loudness of the sound. Trims, windows, and textures are used for the absorbent material to break down the sound waves, therefore, reducing the noise even further.
Aesthetic design is necessary to efficiently reduce issues. Designers have used gutters, doors, windows, easements, and fire escape to control how the sound goes around and spreads. The freeway noise is minimized by such barrier designs since the sound waves are broken down before they can travel to residents on reaching levels higher than that of the wall.
- Type of Barrier Used
The type of highway noise barrier usually determines the amount of noise that will travel to the occupants behind the barriers. Concrete is one of the most used noise barriers, but some people prefer to use natural noise reduction methods such as the use of soil berms, plantation, and recessed walls.
Benefits of Highway Noise Barriers
- Minimizes the impact of environmental noise pollution on human physical, mental and emotional aspects.
- Prevents reflection of sound and captures both high and low-frequency noise.
- Reduces the levels of stress-inducing noise.
- Requires minimal labor to install and is made of lightweight materials.
Many people who live and work near highways are affected by going on with their daily lives due to the noise pollution from the roads. The noise leads to unwanted stress and mental health issues therefore should be controlled. Highway noise barriers were developed to help minimize the noise from the road and the traffic as well as enhance the highway appearance. The barriers also exist in various forms and different types of materials depending on the noise being targeted and the noise levels.