European Test Standards for Noise Barriers and their Relevance to New Zealand

Giles Parker

New Zealand Acoustics, 26(1), pp.12- 18 . (2013).

Revisions to the Specification and Acoustic Test Standards for Noise Barriers for use on European Highways have formally been approved and were due for publication in 2013/14. These proposed changes are examined in this paper. Changes include: 1) Defining higher categories for the specification of acoustic performance for tall barriers both in terms of sound absorption and airborne sound insulation, 2) Requiring outdoor noise testing of all barriers under direct sound field conditions instead of the classical indoor laboratory test regime, 3) The potential use of in situ acoustic testing of barrier durability as a tool for barrier maintenance and asset management. This paper also considers how these revised standards may also be of use to the NZ Noise Barrier Industry and the effective future use of barriers on the NZ state highway network.