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Quietness and Economics Stimulate Infrastructure Management

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport



The main objective of this project is to develop procedures that enable the implementation of the acoustic performance of road infrastructure into asset management systems for road infrastructure. The following steps are planned:

  1. Inventory of existing data on the age-related performance of barriers and of noise reducing pavements and analyse these in terms of spread in initial performances and effect of age.
  2. Development of a survey method to assess the acoustic performance of barriers and pavements in a road infrastructure system. We will work on the actual measurement technology and procedure and the development of a practical scheme for scheduling the surveys, based on expected deterioration of the barrier and pavement performance.
  3. Development of the procedure to implement the effect of low noise surfaces into the future calculation scheme CNOSSOS. This procedure will include the age effect of the surface and the investigation into the combined effect of low noise vehicles and tyres and the road surface performance.
  4. Development of a cost/benefit procedure for mitigation measures, with an emphasis on road surfaces. This will be focused on the acoustic performance, but the effects on sustainability (represented by CO2) and safety (represented by wet grip) will be taken into account.
  5. Development of the necessary data and information in order to be able to implement low noise surfaces in a pavement management system.

The following specific results will be produced:

  1. A report on the performance of low noise surfaces over their lifetime with statistical results in urban, extra-urban and highway situations, for several types of porous, dense asphalt and concrete surfaces. A scientific report explaining the cause and nature of the degradation and a pragmatic model to predict degradation with road type, surface type, winter conditions, vehicle usage etc. as input parameter. This model can then be used in pavement management systems. We will formulate recommendations for applying low noise surfaces and to improve its lifetime performance through material technologies;
  2. A guideline for scheduled measuring the performance of barriers and pavements on a regular base based on existing procedures such as ISO 11819-1 and -2 (SPB and CPX methods) and EN 1793 (barrier performance) and additional visual inspection;
  3. A procedure for implementing the effect of the pavement in the CNOSSOS calculation procedure and an estimation on the effect of future vehicle and tyre technology on the effect of the road surface on the vehicle emission;
  4. Development of a cost/benefit procedure for noise mitigation measures based on the procedure developed by the EU-Noise Working Group on Health and Socio-Economic Aspects (WG-HSEA) and a procedure for life cycle costing and examples how it can be used in decision making systems;
  5. Data and procedures to fit pavement and barrier performance in pavement management systems and at a higher level, asset management systems.


Parent Programmes
Type of funding
Public (EU)
Other Programme


  • Noise reducing surfaces are an effective and efficient method to mitigate environmental noise even when reduced service life is taken into account.
  • For through roads they can be regarded as a reliable instrument to improve the quality of the environment.
  • A reliable cost-benefit tool is key in planning and managing road network maintenance and while a section of most road networks will not be resurfaced on the basis of noise it would be beneficial, especially in cases where noise is a sensitive issue, to understand the cost-benefit impact of various noise reducing options.
  • The management of the surface over its repeated surface life with input from regular monitoring helps to achieve the environmental targets during its repeated service life.
  • The acoustic monitoring of road surfaces is important in order to establish a comprehensive knowledge base with respect to the long term acoustic behaviour of road surfaces and types of road surfaces. Without such information the decision-making process in road building and road maintenance in consideration of noise protection issues is uncertain and runs the risk of either jeopardizing noise protection requirements or being inefficient. Acoustic monitoring also helps to learn from the road surface acoustic behaviour with respect to road pavement materials, laying processes and long term stability under the influence of traffic, weather conditions and winter services. This establishes the opportunity to decide for particular material and mixture properties, laying methods and maintenance strategies in order to improve the reliability and efficiency of noise reducing road pavements.
  • Introducing tyre/road noise excitation as a new attribute within the PMS requires a somewhat modified perspective on how this attribute should be implemented. In contrary to the existing attributes like skid resistance, evenness, crack formation etc., noise is not a functional property of the road that concerns the road user and his expectations and requirements with regard to safety, human health and goods protection and comfort while driving on the road. The noise attribute focuses on environmental issues outside the welldefined area of the road. Noise protection requirements change permanently along the road depending on the land use and to what extent the acoustic performance of the road surface is expected to contribute to the noise mitigation. Therefore, the categorisation of acoustic measuring results needs to be related to the noise protection requirements the NRA is obliged to.
  • Noise barriers, often seen as an alternative to noise reducing surfaces, are generally designed to require minimal maintenance. Acoustic degradation most readily affects the intrinsic properties of a noise barrier but not necessarily its performance at noise sensitive receivers. Degradation most commonly manifests in terms of changes in the structural integrity of the barrier and its physical condition/aesthetics. Regular visual surveys are therefore recommended with the need for any acoustic testing generally depending upon the requirements of the road authority.
  • Where significant damage or vandalism occurs, resulting in major damage to or removal of acoustic elements, this may affect noise levels at receivers screened by the barrier and it is important that prompt remedial action is taken – this is not currently always the case and barriers can remain with sections being unfit for purpose for considerable periods of time unless the structure is deemed to be structurally unsound. It is noted that a barrier in poor condition may be perceived as being less effective by those residents being protected even if practical assessments prove this not to be the case.
  • With the changing nature of how individual road sections are operated, e.g. the introduction of smart motorways in England which will in some instances remove the presence of an emergency lane, it would be advantageous if test methods could be implemented without the need for operators and/or equipment to be static on the carriageway side of the barrier.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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