The loudest roads and railway areas of the Valencian Community

It is no secret that both roads and railways are sources of excessive noise, causing annoyance both to the population and to the conservation of the environment. Specifically in the Valencian Community, it is estimated that approximately 183,000 inhabitants are daily exposed to noise that comes from the main infrastructures, which is a quite alarming fact considering the negative consequences of noise pollution.

 

The CV-35, one of the roads with the highest levels of noise pollution

 

The acoustic studies carried out in the main roads of the Valencian Community have concluded that the CV-35 is one of the most affected road, since around 10,000 people support up to 75 decibels at peak times of the day.

Another section with a high noise concentration is the one between Vilamarxant and Benisanó on the CV-50. In this area there are several schools and institutes that must withstand noises of up to 70 decibels.

On the other hand, although the railway network generates less acoustic nuisance, we must also focus on the acoustic problems that derive from the noise of the trains.

According to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report in 2010, railway noise affected over 12 million inhabitants of the European Union every day, figures that may well have increased since that time.

Rail noise in Europe is especially concentrated in Western European countries, among which is Spain. The main sources of noise pollution in railways are engine, rolling and aerodynamic noise, while the most annoying ones are produced by freight trains. We must not forget that passenger stations, places for receiving goods (dry ports), train maintenance activities and other facilities also generate noise in their daily operation. Given this, it may seem that noise pollution caused by the railway and its facilities is almost impossible to eliminate, but the truth is that it is easier to mitigate.

Consequences of noise pollution for our health

As we have seen, there are high figures that confirm that many people are victims of the problems derived by noise pollution from roads and railway areas in the Valencian Community. What are the harmful consequences of excess noise for health?

  • Hearing problems: it is the most common and one of the most worrisome. Keep in mind that any sound above 85 decibels can damage hearing, and on roads and railways, this limit is often far exceeded. Someone who lives in this type of area is continuously exposed to a very high noise level, and consequently can develop hearing loss.
  • Cardiovascular problems: Constant exposure to high noise levels can increase blood pressure, increase heart rate and increase stress by releasing the hormone cortisol ... All of this can lead to an imbalance of vital body functions.
  • Sleep problems: If the home is near highway areas, the noise from freight trucks is very likely to cause sleep disturbances. As we mentioned in the previous point, cardiovascular problems are a long-term effect of this exposure to excess noise. In the short term, the most notable are fatigue, impaired memory and creative abilities, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Digestive problems: Although to a lesser extent, there are studies that have shown that excess noise leads to a decrease in peristalsis, that is, muscle contractions thanks to which the food eaten moves through the digestive system. As a consequence, problems such as gastritis, ulcers, heartburn, loss of appetite, diarrhea or constipation may be more frequent.

How can we solve this problem?

The expansion of urban centers towards industrial areas has meant that many living areas are located very close to road and railway infrastructures, and this requires effective solutions that eliminate excess of noise.

Acoustic Screens

As experts in acoustic solutions, from Metalesa we can certify that acoustic screens are an effective solution to reduce or eliminate this noise. But first, from Metalesa we get in charge of conducting acoustic studies, which are used to extract noise maps that measure noise pollution in a specific area, and based on the results, we take care of adopting the necessary measures through the installation of acoustic screens.

 

Types of acoustic screens for roads and railway areas

 

Steel or aluminium metal acoustic screen

These types of acoustic screens are made up of galvanized steel or aluminum panels, which are vertically superimposed between HEA / HEB profiles until the desired height is achieved. By installing metal acoustic screens on roads or railway areas close to human environments, we obtain maximum insulation and absorption, which is a very effective solution to counteract the negative effects of noise.

In addition, other advantages of the metallic acoustic screen are its ease of installation, its long durability thanks to the quality of its components, and its resistance to loads such as the action of the wind or the overpressures produced by rail traffic.

Metallic acoustic screen with mesh or vegetable

This type of plant acoustic noise screens also achieve great noise absorption and acoustic insulation in road and railway areas. Inside the panels that form it, rock wool is placed together with a green plastic mesh that facilitates the growth of vegetation.

Methacrylate acoustic screen

Las características acústicas de las pantallas acústicas de metacrilato o vidrio también son muy eficientes. Están formadas por paneles de metacrilato cuyas propiedades de aislamiento han sido evaluadas de acuerdo a la norma EN 1793-2:1998, obteniendo un elevado índice de aislamiento.

The acoustic characteristics of methacrylate or glass acoustic screens are also very efficient. They are made of methacrylate panels whose insulation properties have been evaluated according to the EN 1793-2: 1998 standard, obtaining a high insulation index.

In addition, it is an easy-to-install acoustic screen, which allows landscape integration, and has a long durability thanks to the quality of its components. For all this, they are ideal to be installed in noisy areas.

Methacrylate can be transparent or have a certain color. Likewise, it is possible to install vinyl solutions on the methacrylate to prevent damage to the birds in the environment.

Wooden Acoustic Screen

This wooden anti-noise screen performs a double acoustic and aesthetic function and is made up of the following elements:

  • Absorbent and reflective face: treated Scots pine wood slats.
  • Acoustic insulation: rock wool with black protective veil.
  • Supporting structure: made up of HEA / HEB-type uprights with hot-dip galvanized welded base plate and painted with polyester powder paint.

Concrete acoustic screen

Concrete acoustic screens are also a very effective option for noise abatement in railway areas.

Among its main characteristics we find its great stability, and its resistance over time, which is why its maintenance is scarce. This consistency is achieved thanks to its materials: cement, sand, water and gravel or crushed stone, giving rise to a highly rigid structure.

The concrete is supported by metal pillars, which also receive a specific treatment to withstand the passage of time. The anchoring of the steel profiles is carried out on the concrete through bolts of variable diameter and length, depending on the client's needs.

Like the rest of acoustic screens, it also allows maximum noise absorption and excellent landscape integration.Noise pollution is a very serious problem, but ‘invisible’ and fortunately more and more society is giving it the importance it requires to implement effective solutions. Undoubtedly, the installation of acoustic screens to absorb noise on roads and railways is the best option to prevent harmful consequences on the health of people who live near these areas. At Metalesa, we want to be part of the solution with our acoustic screens. If you need our services, contact us by calling +34 96 088 99 44 or send us an email to metalesa@metalesa.com.


METALESA

Awards ceremony for the 1st METALESA Awards for the best Final Degree Project in the UPV’s School of Civil Engineering.

During Engineering Week of the UPV’s School of Civil Engineering (SICMA 2018), METALESA held an event on Wednesday 28 February to announce the winners of the 1st METALESA Awards for the best Final Degree Project.

This initiative is part of the Metalesa Talent Platform, which arose from our company’s commitment to promoting endeavour and talent amongst new generations of engineers.

The jury, composed of several of the School’s lecturers and members of METALESA, valued the excellence of two works that stood out for the originality of their approach and the rigour of their execution. The first prize went to Adrián Santes Genovés for his “Study of solutions for the location and design of a space to practice longboard in the province of Castellón” and he was awarded €1,200. Second prize went to Manuel Buitrago Moreno who was awarded €600 for his analysis of “Maritime terminals and logistics chains for liquefied natural gas (LNG). Assessment of future needs in Spain”. Both the School and the company appreciated the enthusiasm of all participants and the quality of the work presented.

The event was attended by Mr Antonio Sánchez, a Civil Engineer, and Director of the company ESMOVibilidad, who spoke about his vision and experience on a topic that is ever more at the forefront in big infrastructure construction projects in our country, “Road safety audits in preliminary and project phases. Experiences of implementation in Spain”.

METALESA hope these awards will run annually with new editions that continue to unearth students’ talent and offer them a real experience of the civil works sector.

 

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volta a peu carcaixent

METALESA sponsors the 40th Volta a Peu in Carcaixent

As part of the corporate culture and social responsibility, METALESA again sponsors the XL Volta a Peu in Carcaixent, encouraging sporting values and health in our society. The event celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and it is expected that a large number of runners from all over the region will take part. The 10km race along an urban circuit takes place on Saturday 29th September at 10:30am. The children's race will take place one hour beforehand with the aim of encouraging the little ones to get into doing sports.


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Successful participation in the 40th Volta a Peu in Carcaixent

On Sunday 29th September the 40th Volta a Peu took place in Carcaixent, a 10-kilometre fun run in which almost 700 participants from across the region packed the urban circuit set out especially for the occasion, demonstrating that running is in fashion in the Valencian Community. As part of its social responsibility, METALESA sponsored the event for the second consecutive year and made a donation of €10 for each registered runner, which was given to the Food Bank in Carcaixent.


Awards ceremony for the 2nd METALESA AWARDS for the best Final Degree Project in Valencia Polytechnic’s School of Civil Engineering.

On Tuesday 19th February, METALESA held the awards ceremony of the 2nd METALESA AWARDS for the best Final Degree Project of the Polytechnic University of Valencia’s School of Civil Engineering.

The first prize in this event went to Ana Rabal Cortés, with her Temporary structure blueprint for an exhibition in Plaza de España in Lorca (Murcia) which, according to the jury, was noteworthy due to "its innovative component in both the structural design and the objective the structure itself".

Second prize went to Javier Aparici Borrás, José Luis Mocholi Garrido and Carlos Perez Fuentes, who, as a team, presented the Basic gateway project on the river Miño, between the Espacio-Fortaleza park in Goian-Tomiño (Pontevedra, Spain) and O Castelinho in Vila Nova de Cerveira (District of Viana do Castelo, Portugal). Hydraulics, conceptual design and equipment, which, according to the jury, stood out for "the degree of detail used in reaching an optimal solution that is elegant at the same time”.

The event was attended by Dr Luis Montoro González, Professor of Road Safety at the University of Valencia and President of the Spanish Road Safety Foundation, and José Carlos Cucarella, Managing Director of METALESA.