Brüel & Kjær Sound & Vibration Measurement A/S

Creating an entire country's noise map - Case Study

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To comply with the European Union’s Environmental Noise Directive 2002/49/EC, member states are required to create updated noise maps for large urban areas and major transportation sources every five years.

The English government commissioned a single project to calculate sound levels across the whole of England which resulted in the world's biggest noise map.

Challenge: To calculate noise maps for 26,000 km of roads, 5,000 km of railways and 65 urban areas within a very restricted timescale and budget.

Solution: Predictor-LimA noise mapping and prediction software efficiently processed the massive amount of data.

Results: Consultants cost-effectively created EU-compliant maps that provided a country-wide noise footprint.


Environmental Noise Directive (END) 2002/49/EC focuses on how noise from major metropolitan areas, transportation and industrial sites impacts the public. It requires EU members to create noise maps every five years and develop subsequent action plans to manage noise issues identified. 

England’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is responsible for developing these compulsory maps. For the second round of noise mapping, the EU expanded the remit of the mapping to include modelling additional urban areas, roads and railways across most of England.

Hepworth Acoustics, a consultancy specialising in providing high-quality acoustics, noise and vibration advice, was appointed by DEFRA to calculate this extensive map collection. Hepworth collaborated with Acustica, DARH2, Extrium and Stapelfeldt Ingenieurgesellschaft 

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