Brüel & Kjær Sound & Vibration Measurement A/S

Noise monitoring solutions for urban noise - Monitoring & Testing

The sounds in a city are central to our quality of life. Constant exposure to noise effects both our physical and psychological health, and our ability to learn and communicate.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has proven direct links between noise and health risks. It is reported that in western European countries:

  • 1 million healthy life-years are lost from traffic-related noise every year
  • Every third person in the WHO European Region is affected by traffic noise
  • 40% of the population is exposed to road traffic noise at levels exceeding 55 dB(A)
  • 30% of the population is exposed to levels exceeding 55 dB(A) during the night

Don’t spoil your city – manage urban noise

Urban noise management is a major concern for politicians, urban planners and municipal officials. The tasks involved in managing noise includes solving noise complaints, noise mapping and policing noise limits, as well as noise abatement and zoning. Reports must be made, actions taken and the public must be kept informed.

Manage the noise

The European Union has implemented a directive on environmental noise (2002/49/EC) aiming to avoid, prevent or reduce the harmful effects of exposure to environmental noise.

Reduction of the noise levels by traffic regulation, low-noise road surfaces, noise barriers etc. is very expensive. Therefore, it is important to know exactly which areas have the largest problems before investing in noise reduction. Noise calculations and measurements are the best tools for this identification.

Noise is not just noise

Traffic, business and recreational activities like motorsport or outdoor music concerts all contribute to spoiling a city and harming its inhabitants. The source of most outdoor noise worldwide is construction and transportation systems.

Often a large number of different sources contribute to the ambient noise at any particular point. The impact of each specific noise source must be evaluated. When measuring noise, the type of noise determines the parameters to measure, the equipment to use, and the duration of the measurement.