It’s no secret that public utilities are a necessary piece of infrastructure for any community. However, what may come as a surprise is that many of these same communities are investing in noise barriers to protect residents from the loud noises associated with these utilities.
Public utilities are installing noise barriers to reduce the amount of noise that their operations create. While many people think of these barriers as being something that is only installed for aesthetic reasons, there are a number of other reasons why they are valuable.
- Constructing public infrastructure can be very noisy.
As anyone who’s lived near a construction site can tell you, the work of building public infrastructure can be very noisy. But what’s the cost of that noise? According to a new study, it may be more than just an annoyance—it could be costing us billions of dollars in lost productivity each year.
Government agencies in charge of putting up public infrastructure then invest in noise barriers to mitigate the impact of construction noise on those who are exposed to it. Construction noise not only affects communities close to it, but also the way businesses operate since these were established before the infrastructure activities kicked in.
- Noise generated by public utilities may entail long-term exposure.
We all know that noise from public utilities can be a disturbance, but did you know it could also be a long-term health hazard? According to some researchers, the noise emitted from things like power lines and gas stations can cause heart problems and sleep disturbances.
Long-term exposure to outside noise, even during sleeping hours, can affect a community’s way of life. Since this kind of noise cannot be simply reduced from the source, mitigation using noise barriers becomes the next durable solution.
- Maintaining outdoor noise generated by public infrastructure at tolerable levels promotes healthier living conditions.
A recent study found that keeping outdoor noise levels down around public infrastructure, such as hospitals and schools, not only promotes a sense of tranquillity and well-being, but can also lead to better health outcomes. Researchers believe that the constant noise from these facilities can actually increase stress levels and impede cognitive function.
By reducing the noise level, people are able to relax and focus better. In addition, this quieter environment may also encourage visitors and patients to stay longer, resulting in better care.
- Communities appreciate public infrastructure better when they don’t feel the presence of unwanted noise.
There is nothing quite like the peace and quiet of open land. The beauty of nature can be enjoyed without the intrusion of noise from traffic or other people. Unfortunately, this ideal setting is often disrupted by the sound of passing cars or airplanes. In some cases, this noise pollution can be so overwhelming that it ruins the experience of living in a community. To combat this problem, many municipalities have installed sound barriers along major roads and airports.
Research has shown that these barriers are generally welcomed by communities. Not only do they make it easier to enjoy natural surroundings, but they also help reduce negative health effects associated with exposure to noise pollution. As a result, it is clear that public infrastructure projects such as sound barriers are valuable assets to any community.