General Article

The Various Types of Noise Barriers Available

In various industries, especially in the transportation sector, there tends to be a large need for noise dampening barriers. These barriers are constructed with one of two intents, to either eliminate the sound all-together or to drastically reduce noise. There are various types of noise barriers constructed depending on the needs of the environment and the level of noise reduction requested.

Noise berms are a traditional type of noise barrier that is cheap to construct and helps to absorb a large number of traffic noises. These berms are constructed out of natural materials, such as rocks, soil, and rubble that is typically left over from the initial construction of the roadway. These materials are stacked up to create a mound that runs alongside the roadway. Noise berms are cheaper to construct than other methods, however, they do not quiet the highway noises as effectively as other methods.

Noise walls are very common to see along major interstates as they do a sizeable job of reducing the highway travel noises. These outdoor sound barrier walls typically come in two different styles. These are single panels that are connected via embedded posts and stacked panels that are placed on top of one another to create a full panel. Both of these types of noise walls are prefabricated at a manufacturing company and freighted into the construction site. These walls can be just a few feet high or 15 to 20 feet high depending on the preference of the noise dampening.

When sound reflections are a specific problem, a tilt noise reduction wall will be installed. This type of wall will allow the sound to reflect off of the tilt in the wall and bounce over the structures which are on the other side of the wall. This type of wall is more effective to reduce noise than traditional noise walls in situations where the height of the initial noise producing location creates sound reflections.

In locations where wall appearance is of high concern, such as in neighborhoods or arenas, the noise reduction walls may be made out of brick and masonry blocks. These provide various types of construction blocks that can formulate specific designs that are more appealing to the eye than traditional slab walls. Since these walls are constructed with bricks, they’re handcrafted on site instead of shipped in like traditional walls.

The last type of noise barrier we’re going to talk about in this article is a stone crib. This may also be referred to as the gabion system in the construction industry. These walls are constructed with blocks that are made up of crushed stones and entrapped by wire mesh. These blocks are placed on one another in a pyramid-like scheme to support structural integrity. These are built as high as the noise reduction purposes designate.

As you can see, there are many different types of noise barrier systems available in the construction industry. The reason to choose one system over the next takes many factors into consideration, such as the amount of noise that needs to be reduced, the amount of space for the barrier to exist, and the aesthetic requirements of the area. By understanding some of the common variations of noise barriers used, you can start to decide on the best barrier for your specific situation.


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