Services Offered:

Noise measurement

Preparation of traffic data for noise modeling

Noise impact analysis

Noise abatement

Traffic noise simulations

Noise barrier assessments

SEQR/CEQR noise assessments

FHWA noise assessments

STAMINA 2.0/OPTIMA Barrier Cost Reduction procedure

Simple Traffic Noise Prediction Model

Will widening a highway increase noise levels for nearby residents, and if so, at what locations should noise barriers be placed to protect affected homes?

Will a new high-rise building create an urban noise "canyon?"

Will noise from the turbine of a waste-to-energy plant inhibit development of an adjacent office park?

How will aircraft noise affect a planned residential development near an airport?

What effects will various mitigating measures have on lessening the noise impacts of major facility construction on an adjacent school and playground?

Noise is one of the most invasive forms of pollution. Traffic noise impacts associated with roadway projects and large real estate developments are among a community's greatest concerns. While the health effects of noise are largely unknown and widely debated, changes in noise levels are often easily detected by the public and can affect property values and the quality of life. Noise is generally not stopped by walls, windows, or vegetation, unless these barriers are specifically designed for that purpose.

Federal, state and local governments regularly require traffic noise analyses for a variety of projects, including real estate developments, highway and bridge construction, and other facilities that are subject to environmental assessment. The analyses typically involve measuring existing noise levels, developing traffic data specifically for noise modeling, using officially designated noise models to determine future impacts, comparing these impacts to established standards and guidelines, and developing mitigation measures, if needed.

Real estate developments are often evaluated according to noise and land use guidelines governing both project-generated traffic and stationary noise sources, such as rooftop and wall fans. Highway projects that use federal funding must satisfy Federal Highway Administration regulations that require detailed STAMINA 2.0/OPTIMA modeling and, where appropriate, noise barrier analyses. In consultation with the community, Konheim & Ketcham has designed noise barriers for several highway projects using the Barrier Cost Reduction procedure provided in the OPTIMA model.

Konheim & Ketcham keeps informed of the state of knowledge about analytical methods, and seeks to find new ways to use the tools of noise impact analyses. The firm has developed expert and efficient methods for analyzing traffic noise. In the case of STAMINA 2.0/OPTIMA modeling, which is the state-of-the-art traffic noise model, we have developed AutoLisp (the programming language of AutoCAD) programs, C++ programs and Lotus 123 procedures that streamline the modeling process, from traffic and noise data collection to final results. This enables us to overcome limitations inherent in the STAMINA 2.0 model that normally require segmenting a large project into multiple sections, and perform a more rapid and cohesive analysis. When necessary, we have customized procedures to analyze unusual circumstances introduced by a specific project, such as boat noise from a proposed marina development on City Island, The Bronx; the potential "canyon effect" of new high rise construction in midtown Manhattan; and multi-year construction noise impacts of a major public facility on an adjacent school and playground.

We have also programmed a traffic noise model, called the Simple Traffic Noise Prediction Model, into MapInfo for Windows (a popular GIS package). The use of GIS simplifies data management while implementing the same traffic noise theory as STAMINA 2.0. This model have been validated by comparing its results to those produced by STAMINA 2.0. The model has been used for several rapid noise impact assessments for feasibility and planning studies. K&K presented the model at the 1993 Annual Meeting of the Air & Waste Management Association.

The firm owns all equipment needed to measure noise levels, including a Metrosonics dB-308 Sound Analyzer for basic noise measurements, a Larson Davis 800B Precision Integrating Sound Level Meter for detailed noise characterization, and a portable field computer.