In Finland almost one million inhabitants live in areas where the daytime equivalent noise level exceeds the 55 decibel guideline. In other words, almost a million citizens are exposed to noise every day. Noise has many negative impacts on health, wellbeing and comfortability. Noise is the most typical cause of occupational diseases, and it harms the natural environment as well.
Strong vibration can cause damages to structures, but the discomfort caused by vibration or structure-borne noise in residential areas is significantly more common. With good design, it is possible to create a comfortable living environment. This has a significant impact on health, wellbeing and comfortability of the living environment.
Town planning plays a major role in preventing noise and vibration discomfort
Noise can originate from a variety of sources, such as transport, industrial plants, construction sites and outdoor events. The most characteristic sources of vibration and structure-borne noise are rail traffic, heavy road traffic and land construction.
Effective means to prevent and solve noise and vibration issues are to assess the potential problems during zoning process. The design of master plans can have a significant impact on potential noise and vibration problems by placing sources of noise as far as possible from housing and, for example, locating commercial premises alongside major roads and other thoroughfares to protect residential blocks from noise. If necessary, space should also be reserved for noise barriers. The propagation of vibration depends heavily on the soil, and measurements can thus significantly refine assessments.
Noise abatement measures are considered if noise could not be prevented. Industrial noise can be abated simply by damping its source. In the case of traffic noise, the main factor is the placement of structures, design of terrain to form noise berms, and the erection of noise barriers in narrow places. In preventing harmful vibrations, much depends on the sources of vibration. The implementation of vibration suppression for buildings may prove to be economically infeasible.
Good design takes possible noise and vibration into account
The noise viewpoint should be paid attention to as early as possible so that it can be taken into consideration with the appropriate level of detail. Vibration must also be taken note of in soft soil areas. The earlier potential problems can be taken account of in the planning phase, the better the chances are to abate them effectively, while also lowering the cost impacts.
The solutions set out in the regional and master plans are general by nature when it comes to noise and vibration abatement, but they are typically of great significance to the outcome of area use. In the local plan, the noise and vibration abatement solutions become more detailed and case specific. The available options, cost, and comfortability of the outcome depend on the solutions chosen in the previous phases.
Our comprehensive range of services and extensive expertise enable us to take account of possible problems in the planning phase, and to bring together zoning and emissions experts to guarantee the best possible results.
Our services include:
- Environmental noise measurements and modelling
- Noise assessments
- Noise abatement planning and action plans
- Vibration assessments