As building systems and products continue to advance with pioneering chemical and industrial engineering techniques, concrete technologies propel the construction sector into the 4th Industrial Revolution with the likes of precast concrete noise barriers, acoustic concrete and soundproof concrete technologies.

Already an effective acoustic insulator for sound and loud noises, the high density make up of concrete constructs offers a number of acoustic benefits in reducing noise pollution and separating sound between two rooms or from exteriors and interiors of homes, industrial areas and office spaces, by incorporating different concrete technologies and treatments, concrete can help to deter loud noise and sound pollution while also offering the means to enhance the aesthetic sounds of specific areas where desired.

From restaurants to classrooms, theatres and amphitheatres, studios or transit terminals, concrete noise barriers, acoustic concrete treatments, wood fibre panels and other soundproof concrete techniques can adjust the intensity of sound waves and noise accordingly.

  • Precast Concrete Noise BarriersHaving recently been recognised at the 2019 CMA Premier Awards in the “Innovative Concrete Products” category, specialised precast concrete noise barriers are effectively being used to control residential noise pollution along South Africa’s Gautrain route. Fitted by Southern Pipeline Contractors, these innovative concrete barriers are the first of their kind to be produced in Southern Africa and compliance tested by the acoustic laboratory of the SABS (South African Bureau of Standards). Installed as 100mm thick reinforced concrete panels along the various commuter and airport service line, these act as sound reflective barriers. The noise barriers have also been treated with acoustic tiles produced using cement and imported wooden chips which enhance noise deterrence with further sound modification.
  • Acoustic ConcreteFitted in spaces that produce some of the most beautiful sounds known to man, acoustic concrete treatments are deigned to control the effects of noise and unwanted vibrations resulting from various frequency sound waves. While used to enhance and beautify the sounds to come out of theatres, opera houses and amphitheatres, acoustic concrete is also effectively installed in airports, sports stadiums and even along urban highway thoroughfares to influence both transport and environmental acoustics.
  • Wood Fibres ConcreteKnown for its sound absorption and insulation properties, blending Portland cement with wood fibres or chips offers a lightweight and cost effective solution to sound insulation. Effectively used to keep the sound in and not out or absorbed instead of reflected, wood chips or fibres act as an aggregate when blending a Portland cement and water mix. Presenting sound waves with a highly porous surface, loud noise is more easily absorbed into wood fibre concrete panels, engulfed by the larger spaces between the wood cement bods. While noise is easily absorbed the fibrous construct of wood fibre concrete also presents the sound waves with a further distance to travel from start to finish. As the sound wave passes through the pockets of space, the lengthier journey sees the sound or noise lose decibels as it travels.

Already at an advantage given its density, concrete sound walls or shaped barriers and acoustic concrete treatments are a most effective means to manipulating sounds of varying forms both unwanted and desirable, seeing more than half of these noise barrier fittings constructed out of precast concrete or masonry block.