The Effectiveness of Environment Noise Barriers

The Effectiveness of Environment Noise Barriers

  05 Apr 2019

How Sound Barriers Work

The idea of a sound barrier is pretty simple. It is the use of a wall which is usually a hard surface made from concrete, brick, wood or any other material that is durable and reflective. The material needs to be reflective so that any noise is absorbed, reflected or transmitted. The taller the wall is the more surface area it has to perform all the functions that are made. Modern-day sound barriers are made with textured surfaces because this property diffuses the sound and scatters it to different directions. This aids in the reduction of noise that is why one can find noise barriers made with embossed patterns and brick-like textures. If one drives along major interstate highways in busy town and cities, they are most likely going to find huge walls installed. There is no longer a beautiful look of homes and structural properties because of these sound wall barriers.

The effectiveness of sound wall barriers

While not seeing the beautiful natural city buildings and suburb homes may be a bummer to many, these massive sound wall barriers are essential for the environment. Highway sound barriers have been in existence since the late 1970s but they have sprouted a lot over the few years. They may turn the neighborhoods of people living near busy highways and industrial areas into prisons, but they have proven effective in reducing the noise for people living here. More and more residents are applying to get these sound wall barriers in their region, and the waiting list is large especially in California. With such a high demand for this wall, one cannot help but wonder how effective it is.

Highway sound barriers also are known as environmental sound barriers, are made to reduce the noise produce on busy and high traffic areas. These can be industrial areas, commercial areas, and railway stations and airports. Technology has revolutionized over the last decades but has brought some adverse effects with it. One of these adverse effects is noise pollution. Noise pollution has increased over the years because of new industries being set up and more people buying cars. It is hard to go to any state and not find a commercial or manufacturing industry and huge interstate highways with thousands of cars. If one lives in a high traffic highway, they are aware of how traffic jam can create a lot of noise and cause noise pollution. Highway sound barriers are thus effective in environmental sound control.

The downside of these wall barriers

Highway noise barriers are only effective; however depending on the range one is towards them, the further a person is from the sound barrier wall the less effective it is. In some cases, it has also shown that individuals that live in high areas such as hills still hear noise from busy highways. Noise barriers for them can even amplify the noise in the area rather than reduce it. Studies are underway on environmental noise control, but the best solution for many currently is these walls. To make the sound wall barriers as effective as possible, one must make them thicker and taller. Residential houses near these wall barriers can reduce noise from busy highways.


There are state laws on the construction of new highway sound barriers especially in places where new highways are being constructed. The government usually works tirelessly to ensure that the road noise is at least reduced for residents near. Noise pollution is still a problem in society especially with the growing population and booming industrial business. Science experts are still trying to find effective solutions for noise pollution.