Do you suffer from ambient noise in your garden or yard? In this article you can read how to utilise a noise barrier in order to prevent this.

Everything About Noise Barriers and Outdoor Acoustics

Do you suffer from ambient noise in your yard or in your garden? Then read this tips page first, because in this article we will explain what a noise barrier is and, more importantly, how it functions!

How does a noise barrier function?

A well-functioning noise barrier ensures that ambient noise deriving from, for example, passing traffic or your neighbours has to travel a much longer distance before it reaches the receiver. This results in a seemingly longer distance between the sound source and its receiver, reducing the noise nuisance.

What requirements does a good noise barrier have to meet?

The most important properties of a well-functioning noise barrier at a glance:

  • Sufficient height and length (size).
  • A correct distance between the sound source, noise barrier and the receiver (placement).
  • Insulation value and sturdiness (construction & shape).


The placement of a noise barrier largely determines its effectiveness. If the distances between the noise barrier, sound source and the receiver are disproportional, the result will be limited, especially in case of a negative wind direction. A high screen containing absorption material placed close to the sound source ensures the best result.


What kind of shape the noise barrier should have depends on the situation in terms of infrastructure. Noise barriers facing other screens or buildings must be placed in a slightly inclined angle, away from the source, preventing sound from reverberating between the two. In situations where an inclined angle is not possible, the screen should consist of curved shapes to avoid direct reflections, or the screen should be equipped with absorption material such as Merfopol.



Diagonal screens and absorption material reducing reflections



The size of the screen, in particular its height, depends on the distance between the sound source and the screen, and between the receiver and the noise barrier. The higher the screen, the better the result. Within the built-up area, a screen height of at least 2.5 meters is desirable.

Construction and (building) material

It goes without saying that a noise barrier should be storm-resistant and consist of a closed construction, ruling out constructions with openings (as is the case with fences that consist of staggered boards). The mass per square meter determines the insulation value: the higher the mass, the higher the insulation value of the screen.

Sound absorption

Noise barriers that are used against traffic noise or barriers that are placed towards other screens or buildings must contain an absorbent property on side where the sound source is located. Without sound absorption, reflections between the sound source and the screen will reduce the effect of the 'acoustic shadow' (see image). We recommend equipping the noise barrier on the source or street side with an absorption material such as Merfopol.

The acoustic shadow effect



What can the Acoustics Shop do for me?

The Acoustics Shop does not supply fences or noise barriers, but it does supply the absorption material to ensure an optimal functioning of noise barriers. In such cases, the absorption material Merfopol deserves our preference. This product is moisture resistant, but we recommend finishing the top after assembly with a rain seal, making sure the material remains as dry as possible. This ensures that the absorption value remains optimal.

The Acoustics Store does not supply noise barriers, we offer absorption material for enhancing the effectiveness of noise barriers. The noise barrier or the fence itself has to be taken care of by yourself.

More information about outdoor acoustics

More information about various solutions with regards to outdoor acoustics can be found on these pages:

  • Sound-absorbing fences, for reducing reverberation in your own garden.
  • Balcony acoustics, for reducing traffic noise on your balcony.
  • City garden and courtyard, tips for improving the acoustics in a city garden.

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