European Noise Directive
In 2002, the European Noise Directive was published relating to the Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise. It concerns noise from road, rail and air traffic and industry and focuses on the impacts of noise on individuals. The Environmental Noise Directive requires Member States to make Strategic Noise Maps for large conurbations, major roads, railways and airports to assist in the production of Noise Action Plans to help manage the effects and impacts of noise.
ACCON has been at the forefront of developing Noise Maps, not just in England but across Europe. Using the CadnaA software, personnel from ACCON UK and ACCON GmbH created noise maps of Bristol and Bournemouth for Defra. The maps were created to provide information on the levels of road traffic noise across the whole of the Bristol and Bournemouth areas to gain knowledge that will assist in the implementation of the EU Environmental Noise Directive.
ACCON UK have been involved in the CityHush project which aims to support city administrations in the production and implementation of noise action plans according to the directive EC 2002/49. The identified hot spots and noise action plans made with the existing technology suffer from major shortcomings:
- Poor correlation between hot spots with annoyance and complaints;
- Most measures lead to increased emissions; and
- Only indoor noise comfort is addressed.
ACCON’s capability in noise mapping extends to the utilisation of GIS tools and software, hot-spot identification and mitigation measure optioneering.
Environmental Impact Assessment
ACCON are now able to utilise the technology used in their noise maps to help determine environmental impacts for EIA’s or other planning applications. Using CadnaA, one of the world’s first integrated air quality and noise models, ACCON is able to build detailed models of factories, roads, railways, airports etc, in order to predict the impacts of a development on noise and air quality. These three dimensional computer models can be used to help develop mitigation strategies and can assist in the design of major developments, roads, railways etc, in an environmentally conscious, sustainable way.
Recently at ACCON we have utilised our noise mapping capabilities to determine the noise impacts of a new tram line in Dublin. That study has considered both tram noise and traffic noise within the whole of Dublin City Centre.