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Noise Barrier Design Handbook


The U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Special Programs Administration, John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center), Acoustics Facility, in support of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Office of Natural Environment, has developed the updated "FHWA Highway Noise Barrier Design Handbook." This document reflects substantial improvements and changes in noise barrier design that have evolved since the original 1976 publication. This Handbook, which is accompanied by a videotape and a companion CD-ROM, addresses both acoustical and non-acoustical issues associated with highway noise barrier design.

The objectives of this document and accompanying video and CD-ROM are to provide: (1) guidelines on how to design a highway noise barrier that fits with its surroundings and performs its intended acoustical and structural functions at reasonable life-cycle cost; and (2) a state-of-the-art reference of common concepts, designs, materials, and installation techniques for the professional highway engineer, the acoustical and design engineers and planners, and the non-professional community participant. This handbook may also be used as a guide for other applications such as noise barriers used to attenuate noise from rail lines, as well as noise from other sources which are not necessarily found in transportation. Every effort has been made to address common designs, materials, and installation techniques. However, it is impossible to encompass the proliferation of new concepts and materials entering the market on a daily basis. Therefore, the specific descriptions in this handbook are not to be considered all-inclusive, and are not intended to limit the creativeness of the designer, manufacturer, and construction contractor. Any new theory, design, material, or installation technique not addressed in this handbook should be evaluated with the general fundamentals of durability, safety, and functionality in mind.

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Updated: 6/28/2017
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