9 June 2022 | Brussels
SOPRANOISE projects’ results were unveiled during the conference “CEDR Transnational Research Programme: Call 2018 Noise and Nuisance” that took place in Liège on 7-8 June.
This research programme aims to reduce noise exposure and noise nuisance for people living near national roads, and to identify methods that could improve the way noise is perceived by these people.
The programme has three focus areas:
- Quieter Tyres, Tyre labelling system and Pavements
- Optimization and securing the performance of noise barriers
- Psycho-Acoustics: Improved understanding of people’s subjective reactions to road noise.
The conference presented the final results of all the three awarded projects in the frame of the call.
- Sopranoise (Securing and Optimizing the Performance of Road trAffic noise barriers with New methOds and In- Situ Evaluation): SOPRANOISE successfully developed the biggest database for noise barriers and quick methods to test noise barrier in-situ.
- STEER (STrengthening the Effect of quieter tyres on European Roads): The main objective of STEER is to provide the basis for decision makers allowing them to develop new guidelines and policies to enhance the impact of quieter tyres on European roads.
- FAMOS (FActors MOderating people’s Subjective reactions to road noise): FAMOS will use scientific methods to find, extract and analyse data from existing annoyance surveys and turn the results into models formulated for practical use with illustrative examples. The project will quantify how different factors modify people’s subjective reactions to road traffic noise.
The event was opened by the Speech of Etienne Willame (Wallonia Public Service Mobility and Infrastructure): he stressed how noise is the second major environmental concern in Europe and this data reflects the importance of this research.
Ian Holmes (National Highways, UK) introduced then the summary session – the session gave a quick and general overview of the 3 projects.
Jean-Pierre Clearbois (Atech, Belgium) – the Sopranoise project coordinator- gave a quick overview of the Sopranoise project: the Noise Barrier performance depends on the NB position and geometry as well as the NB intrinsic characteristics (sound absorption, diffraction, insulation). Tests can be done in laboratories and on the roads. Problem is that standard methods on the road are not quite safe and costly. Sopranoise made possible a more effective and less costly in situ method.
Marco Conter (Austrian Institute of technology Gmbh, Austria) illustrated the work done by AIT in he WP2 that consisted in providing both theoretical and practical background information on measurement methods characterizing the acoustic performance of noise barriers and on meaningful results
WP3 was presented by Fabio Stringari (Bast, Germany): Bast focused on in-situ inspection tools, physical assessment made via physical in situ inspection on 3 different sites.
Bast developed a friendly use excel file to collect data with drop-down pre-filled list (one tab for location, one tab for construction data, one tab for defects data, one for acoustic assessment and one for settings)
WP4 was presented by Massimo Garai (University of Bologna): the main objective was to develop a quick in situ method.
Prof. Garai showed the quick system used by UNIBO for the in-situ tests: light devices, easy to use and to place with 6 microphones. Antenna can be placed easily as it allows 5 cm error margin.
The simulation can be controlled by a light box containing 6 buttons (starts, stop, etc.)
The device can compute data in real time, and it does not register disturbing sounds like human voice.
In the frame of WP4, AIT (Austria) developed a quick measurement method to fill the gap between visual inspections and full testing according to EN 1793-5 and EN 1793-6
Eng. Conter detailed the general layout of the AIT equipment, for the tests they were used different approaches (1 to 6 microphones).
AIT conducted comparison between QUIESST and Sopranoise methods: good accordance between the two methods also in frequency range. The Austrian institute developed a brand-new equipment for measuring sound absorption and reflection in a quick and safe way.
The measurement time was around 5 minutes, with high precision of the equipment and very good accordance between QUIESST and SOPRA methods.
Two different labs have developed two methods.
Jean-Pierre Clearbois concluded the presentation with the introduction of the guidance for NB use.
Noise barriers can provide very high and effective noise reduction but only if they are correctly designed, built, monitored and maintained during their whole lifetime.
Taking advantage of all the outcomes of the research, SOPRANOISE provides a better knowledge and relevant information at every stage of a new noise barrier project:
- before its installation (planning, design, procurement),
- at the installation (approval),
- during its whole use/lifetime (monitoring, lifetime tests, maintenance),
- up to the decision about its end of life.
It is highly recommended that the NRAs consider noise projects in a holistic way in order to keep their value as long as possible.
SOPRANOISE 3-step approach provides now appropriate quick methods for assessing the noise barriers acoustic performances, whenever and wherever.
The sopranoise 3-steps approach provide now appropriate quick methos for assessing the NB in each situation so strongly recommended to NRAS authority.
The next steps that Project executive board wishes to take is to possibly influence CEN in making the relevant standards less complicated for noise barriers.