Noise nuisance for people living near an airport can be reduced by building homes and neighborhoods differently, say researchers from Delft University of Technology, among others. For example, by building canopies over facades and making other facades slope at an angle, the sound effect of the aircraft can be reduced by 14 decibels.
Such a reduction is more than half the experienced noise level, according to the researchers. In the vicinity of airports, such as Schiphol, residents suffer from aircraft noise. The Urban Comfort Lab has therefore been set up near Hoofddorp by, among others, TU Delft and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute). There, it is being investigated whether buildings can be designed and placed in such a way that aircraft noise is less audible.
According to the researchers, the first results show that aircraft noise can decrease in the vicinity of shielded facades, for example. Sloping facades can also cause sound to bounce off, so that less noise reaches the residents. The latter solution in particular appears to be very effective. ‘The new insights help to improve the quality of life in the living environment around airports, and thus enable better living environments to be designed,’ say the researchers.
They think that by adding plants to the walls and laying lawns, for example, nuisance can be reduced even further. Follow-up research is being done on this.
The application of sloping facades and screened facades is of course the easiest in a new-build project, explains researcher Martijn Lugten of TU Delft. ‘But if you expand a building, you can see if you can improve the current situation.’ And it is of course easier to install greenery in the neighborhood on and around existing buildings, if that also proves to work.
The noise reduction has been calculated for the situation outside, says co-researcher Gustaf Wuite. Thicker windows and walls can help to reduce noise in the house, but Wuite emphasizes that the researchers have not looked into this at the moment.