News: Smart construction methods can reduce aircraft noise exposure by up to 14 decibels

Based on the preliminary results of the research into building ultra-quiet homes near Schiphol, AMS Institute and TU Delft estimate that aircraft noise levels can be up to 14 decibels lower near shielded facades. This reduction is a result of the surrounding building geometries. The research was carried out in the noise-adaptive construction field lab in Hoofddorp.

Published on: 20 February 2023

Lawns and green walls

The research continues, but these preliminary assessments are positive. In addition to examining the design of houses in a street, the researchers are also looking at whether adding lawns and green walls might be an effective means of achieving noise reduction. It is expected that this measure could probably reduce sound levels by an additional 3 decibels. In the follow-up study, the researchers will also be examining air pollution and the influence of temperature.

Understanding sound

Martijn Lugten, research fellow at AMS Institute and postdoc at TU Delft, explains: ‘Prolonged sound exposure is unpleasant, especially if you have no control over it. What’s more serious is that it can lead to mental and stress-induced illnesses. It is therefore important to understand if, and how, aircraft noise propagation is affected by the design of streets and buildings.’

Experiment in Hoofddorp

In light of this, the research into new methods of building to reduce noise nuisance around airports was started a year ago. A study installation replicating three streets, in which containers represent homes, has been set up in the field lab at Schiphol Trade Park. Here, the researchers examine the effects of various designs, including roof overhangs and slanted walls, and how sound behaves between the ‘buildings’.

You can read more about the low-noise building field lab in this blog