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Thread: Building design for sound attenuation (zoning near an elevated rail)

  1. #1

    Building design for sound attenuation (zoning near an elevated rail)

    Does anyone know of any resources that cover sound attenuation, such as facade design techniques, building orientation and setbacks? (Specifically for occupants inside the building and for pedestrians along the street near an elevated rail.)


  2. #2
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Jun 2003
    at the neighboring pub
    Here's what I use in my fair city for noise sensitive HUD-funded projects:

    The HUD Noise Guidebook

    It certainly isn't perfect (over-simplifies the issue), but should at least give you a good start. I've got some stuff in a book somewhere at work that gets far more detailed in the design than this, but I'm sure others on this site that do more design work can provide more insight. The nice thing about the HUD book is that you don't have to be some kind of acoustic expert--just know some basic algebra.

    I don't know if it mentions elevated rail or not, but it does include variables like welded v. bolted rails, electric or diesel locomotives, horn blasts, speed and length.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  3. #3
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
    Dec 2003
    Heaven or Las Vegas
    Look up the OMA (Rem Koolhaas) design for the Illinois Institute of Technology. The enlosed the EL in a giant metal tube. Can't say how well it worked, but it looks really cool! In Holland I noticed short sound barriers, maybe only 1 meter tall, along the electric commuter rail lines. They were just perforated steel sandwiching what looked like mineral wool or fiberglass.
    If you look in Architectural Graphic Standards, you'll find a host of tried and true methods of sound attenuation for buildings.
    When I was with the NJDOT, they were considering using these concrete blocks that are made to trap sound for highway sound barriers. More complex surfaces reflect less sound. There is conjectural thought that trees decrease reflected noise in an urban environment, but I can't say I've ever read of it being scientifically tested. You'd have to find some urban streets with mature trees, measure noise levels, then cut them all down and measure noise levels again. What neighborhood would agree to that?
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  4. #4
    Thank you! I will look into the resources you mentioned. I've been meaning to look into how Chicago handles the L.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Sep 2001
    skating on thin ice
    This document from the ontario ministry of environment may help you


    I know there are others as well.

    I would also suggest looking through CMHC information


    Finally, I'd look through teh Canadian Federation of Muncipalities' website

    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Dec 2001
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Google Acoustical Solutions, they are a vandor we use, and have alot of info on their site.

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