The technological advancements of the last decade have allowed an exciting new type of assessment – noise mapping. It has proved a useful tool for strategic planning purposes for developers, local councils and industrial customers.
Noise mapping indicates the predicted levels of noise as contours or areas of colour on a noise map, similar to isobars on a weather map. The noise mapping process requires a computer noise model to calculate the noise levels at a given location. The noise model is a 3D virtual environment which incorporates the noise source (road, railway, flight path and industrial noise) along with any environmental factors which may affect the spread of sound (buildings, bridges, areas of water and forests). Once the noise model is in place, it is possible to calculate the sound at any point within the virtual environment.
Through the use of noise mapping, acoustic engineers and consultants are able to assess complex environments and design a range of noise solutions for proposed projects. This can include potential alterations to the height and layout of a barrier or adjusting the layout and ground levels of a development itself.
RMP acoustic consultants use CadnaA for noise mapping projects. CadnaA is one of the leaders in the field of noise modelling and is a well respected software package in the acoustics industry.