Sound Barriers To Enable Open Windows And Integration In Landscape
Free (open access)
Sound barriers are a familiar sight along highways. They act to reduce noise levels in residential areas. As architectural elements that influence the environmental view, sound barriers form a variety of kinds of geometrical shapes, textures, and colour combinations, and they are made of different building materials, such as concrete, plastics (including transparent panels), glass, wood etc. A part of the sound barriers is designed to be impressive, having a strong architectural effect on the landscape. Yet another extreme is possible - merging with the environment. This paper illustrates a diversity of solutions that make part of the environment, and are not significant visually, or at least minimize the intervention in nature. Examples of such designs that are shown here are chosen from a variety that includes the moderate slope barrier, the local screening, the combination of earth berms with walls, lowered roads, hidden walls, walls with end absorption and non planar walls. 1 Introduction Residential areas near highways, railway lines, airports, industrial premises, recreation areas and other noisy zones are often subject to excessive noise levels, which are beyond the standards limits. Such situations invite acoustic treatment as to reduce the noise levels at noise-sensitive points to acceptable levels. The solutions can be divided into two distinct categories, namely: 1. External screening such as long sound barrier walls along noisy roads. 2. Acoustic isolation of the receiver, such as double glazed acoustic closed windows, or adding air conditioning and acoustic absorption to rooms exposed to noise. In some cases, also combined with acoustic isolation of the source.