- Traditional sound barriers need much material because of their height (three metres on average)
- Noise disturbance causes health problems according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)
- 4Silence from Twente has developed a sustainable, innovative and effective noise barrier that only has a height of one metre
Twente as a testing ground for ideas that contribute to sustainable communities! Read more on sustainable communities at twente.com/sustainable-communities.
4Silence focuses on reducing noise pollution from cars and trains with their products. The innovative aspect of 4Silence's noise barriers lies in the fact that they deflect the sound waves rather than ‘only’ blocking them, as is the case with traditional noise barriers. The WHISwall noise barriers from 4Silence consist of concrete structures with a metal container on top.
This metal construction contains many curved slots with various depths. “Sound waves are deflected upwards through these slots. Air molecules collide and follow the path of least resistance: upwards,” explains Eric de Vries, director.
As a consequence, the noise barriers of 4Silence can be low. The WHISwall is only about 1 meter high, while traditional noise barriers often need to be 3 meters high to block the noise. “With a WHISwall of one meter high, the same noise-reducing effect can be achieved as with a normal three-meter noise barrier,” De Vries says. Because less material is needed, costs are reduced, and fewer raw materials need to be produced. Savings add up quickly when installing a sound barrier on long stretches, such as highways and railways. Moreover, noise disturbance leads to serious health problems, according to the World Health Organisation. The smart WHISsolutions from 4Silence thus contribute to better public health and a more sustainable environment.
These innovative solutions from 4Silence have not gone unnoticed internationally. The 4Silence project in the UK was recently mentioned in an article in The Times. Also, 4Silence has recently signed a contract with the German railway company Deutsche Bahn, and is working on a project in Denmark. Director de Vries is optimistic about the future of his WHISsolutions: “We first focus on Europe, but there are also interested parties in Japan and the United States. Quietly we are on our way to becoming a global player.” Once again, this is proof that ingenious solutions from Twente offer solutions to global problems.