Noise can be defined as an acoustic phenomenon where there is an intermingling of non-harmonic vibrations as well as unwanted sounds which are disturbing in nature. Noise has been dubbed as “daily terror” by some acoustic researchers and not without reason. Noise has the potential to damage human hearing permanently or for the short term and for those residing in high noise areas like highways and industrial areas, there is a need to be proactive about preventing these unwanted noises from reaching their ears.
Adverse Effects Of Noise
Noise has a negative effect on both the physical and mental planes. Physically, you may have symptoms of high blood pressure, stomach ulcers and depression. The psychological outcome of continuous exposure to noise is difficulties in communication, creation of fear, aggressive behaviour in people, prevention of creative pursuits, stress, fatigue and prevention and reduction of resting time and sleeping time.
What Is A Noise Barrier?
A noise barrier has many names. It is called a soundwall, sound berm, noise wall or acoustical barrier. It happens to be an exterior structure that is made with the intention of protecting inhabitants from noise pollution. This is particularly important for those who live in sensitive areas like near highways, or industrial areas where the level of noise is unacceptable compared to human standards. Noise barriers are extremely effective in the prevention of sounds from railways, roadways, as well as industrial noise, which can be a big issue otherwise.
Noise Barrier Benefits
A highway noise barrier is also termed a sound barrier and is used to insulate the source of the noise so that it gets reflected from the barrier into the source itself. It does so without disturbing the lives of residents living in these affected regions. Noise barriers will prevent the spread of noise due to traffic along roads, bridges and flyovers.
Noise barriers are used to prevent noise from machines like generators, compressors and other similar engineering products that produce unacceptable amounts of noise. On the source side of noise, the sound gets absorbed by the noise barrier as well as reflected back to provide a better acoustic experience for people living in the affected areas. Noise barriers are constructed from a number of materials including aluminium, rubber mats, steel, wood, masonry blocks concrete as well as acrylic sheeting.
Here are the benefits of noise barriers:
- Prevention of bad noise from spreading to the surrounding environment
- The noise gets trapped between the source and the sound wall, so it does not spread out to the immediate environment.
- Rubber noise barriers can be recycled.
- Noise barriers are highly durable, lasting for many years apart from being extremely affordable.
- Noise walls can be hidden with grass covering, further damping the sound and making the barrier pleasing to the eye and aesthetic in nature.
Importance Of Noise Barriers In A City
For the residents of a bustling city, thriving with activity, noise walls in Melbourne provide them with a measure of peace by absorbing the ambient noise from the environment. This is especially so for those who live close to the railway or near highways. In order to protect people from the effects of noise pollution, noise walls are recommended in a lot of places with excessive amounts of noise.
Noise barriers are of high value to a city like Melbourne that has a lot of highways, train lines, subways and trolleys. Sounds from these sources spread like crazy, contaminating the lives of nearby residing people and causing them physical and mental problems. Not only does noise affect you, but it also affects your pets and the local wildlife.
Prevention Of Traffic Noise
The one and only solution to blocking heavy noise coming from traffic are to use noise barriers that are of high quality and durable in all kinds of weather. They function equally well in rain, thunderstorms as well as snowfall. High-quality noise barriers are capable of insulating noise up to 40dB. These noise barriers are made from recyclable products and can insulate you from sounds in the higher 30dB to 40 dB ranges.
For an ideal solution to the problem of noise pollution, noise barriers are the first line of defence. A top of the line noise walls company will have long-lasting and durable products that decrease sound pollution without compromising on-road safety or the structural strength of the road. Ideally, noise barriers need to be placed on both sides of roads witnessing heavy traffic. This has the added effect of insulating drivers of cars in separate lanes from noise coming from other lanes of traffic so that safety is enhanced.
Is It Mandatory To Have Noise Walls?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions about the subject. Legislation on noise barriers varies from country to country. For example, in Turkey, it is not mandatory but in Germany, you have to have noise walls installed to comply with local legislation. However, even if it is not mandatory to have a noise wall, it is conducive to good health to have them in place because the level of noise faced is increasing day-to-day.
Over the last few decades, there has been increased importance given to the health of people, hence different governments and administrations are passing new rules and regulations to enhance the quality of life for citizens. Because noise pollution happens to be a threat to the lives of people, the majority of it being vehicular traffic, using a noise barrier can turn out to be the best medicine for you.
Other Advantages Of Noise Barriers
There are several advantages of noise barriers, they are:
- Insulation performance
- Suitability for all kinds of vehicles
- Easy installation process
- Reasonable pricing
- Impact durability
- Low cost of maintenance
- Durability in the face of extreme weather
- Resistance to fire
Some of the other measures that can be taken to avoid noise are:
- Afforestation and city greening
- Speed and noise control of vehicles
- Priority is given to noise-free transport, public in nature
- Proper material selection for road construction and of desired quality so that noise is reduced
- Standardization of building materials to provide for acoustic insulation
- Banning unnecessary honking
- Raising awareness about the issue
Sound pollution is a real threat to the environment and the self. In order to lead a peaceful and productive life, you need to have sound barriers in place, especially if you live in a modern city like Melbourne.