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Applications and Limitations of Acoustical Walls

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Though acoustical walls do have their applications as noise control measures, these applications are limited by the nature and behaviour of sound itself. While acoustical walls can be engineered using materials that absorb noise to minimize the reflection of sound off the barrier, sound can still diffract, traveling over and around the wall. Placing an acoustical wall on one side of a noise source mitigates noise in the space directly adjacent to the wall, opposite the sound source, known as the wall’s sound shadow. The only significant sound attenuation an acoustical wall can perform is found within this sound shadow created by the wall. If the receiver point or affected residence falls outside of the sound shadow, a wall provides little to no attenuation value.

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