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Sustainable Road Surfaces for Traffic Noise Control


Sustainable Road Surfaces for Traffic Noise Control

Background & policy context: 

SILVIA was initiated by FEHRL, with the leadership designated to the Belgian Road Research Centre (Mr Guy Descornet). This project aims to provide decision-makers with a tool allowing them to rationally plan traffic noise control measures. To this end, the work will aim at filling three major knowledge and technical gaps, namely by: setting up classification and conformity-of-production procedures of road surfaces with respect to their influence on traffic noise; investigating and improving the functional and structural durability of low-noise pavement construction and maintenance techniques; and developing a full life-cycle cost/benefit analysis procedure for traffic noise abatement measures. The main final product will be a "European Guidance Manual on the Utilisation of Low-Noise Road Surfacings" integrating low-noise surfaces with other traffic noise control measures including vehicle and tyre noise regulation, traffic management and other noise abatement measures.

  • - To develop a classification procedure for noise reducing road surfaces combined with a conformity-of-production testing method. This will start from existing measurement methods, improve some of them and possibly develop new ones.
  • To test and specify road construction and maintenance techniques that would achieve satisfactory durability of the acoustic performance while complying with other requirements for safety, rolling resistance and maintenance.
  • To develop a procedure for cost/benefit analysis of noise abatement measures.
  • To issue a "European Guidance Manual on the Utilisation of Low-Noise Road Surfacings" to help decision-makers to rationally plan noise abating or preventing measures integrating low-noise surfaces with other noise control measures.

The project will establish a procedure for assessing the noise performance of a given road surface in a representative and reproducible way. This will require the different existing measurement methods to be harmonised and supplemented with measurements of relevant physical characteristics like surface texture and acoustic and mechanical impedances. Models relating these characteristics to noise will have to be refined and validated. Certification procedures for measurement equipment for conformity of production will be established. Available experimental data and new measurements, will be used to investigate the durability of low-noise solutions and compare them to new construction and maintenance techniques. A cost/benefit analysis procedure to properly evaluate a low-noise surface against other means of noise reduction will be developed. It will be applicable to any specific, local traffic noise control measures taking into account noise reduction and other aspects such as safety and durability.

Institution Type:
Institution Name: 
European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN)
Type of funding:
Key Results: 

The main products are:

  • A set of harmonised procedures for classification of road surfaces and conformity of production testing with respect to noise.
  • A procedure for cost/benefit analysis of traffic noise abatement measures.
  • Guidelines for constructing and maintaining durable low-noise pavements.
  • "European Guidance Manual on the Utilisation of Low-Noise Road Surfacings" integrating low-noise surfaces with the other available noise abatement measures.

Technische Universität Wien (Vienna University of Technology) (TUW)

Belgian Road Research Centre (BRRC)

Danish Road Institute (DRI)

IFSTTAR; Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussées (Public Works Research Laboratory) (LCPC)

Bundesanstalt für Strassenwesen (Federal Highway Research Institute); BASt

ItalGrip  (ITALGRIP)

Transportøkonomisk Institutt (Institute of Transport Economics) (TØI)

Gdansk University of Technology (TUG)

Skanska, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute

The Netherlands:
Dutch Information and Technology Platform for Infrastructure, Traffic, Transport and Public Space; Dienst Weg- en Waterbouwkunde (Road and Hydraulic Engineering Institute) (DWW); Dienst Weg- en Waterbouwkunde (Road and Hydraulic Engineering Institute) (DWW); M + P Raadgevende Ingenieurs bv

United Kingdom:
Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)

Belgian Road Research Centre (BRRC)
Boulevard de la Woluwe, 42
Contact country:
(+32) 2 775 82 30
Fax Number: 
(+32) 2 772 33 74