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Landscape Design: A Lesson in Sound Attenuation

Is your business located near a major roadway, airport or construction site? Noise traffic from surrounding areas can easily cause an annoyance for both members of the company and customers. With proper landscape design techniques, much of this noise can be strongly reduced if not eliminated.   There are many different landscaping options and methods for achieving effective sound attenuation. The sounds can be absorbed, deflected, refracted or converted into white noise. Here are some typical solutions TotalScapes provides:

Sound absorption with plants

Sound is absorbed using all parts of a plant such the leaves, twigs, branches, bark and wood. Properly placed plants can easily consume and disperse irritating outdoor sounds and instantly provide a calming replacement. Creating a landscape design with large shrubbery trees are very effective in scattering sound waves and the deeper and denser a barrier is the greater noise scattering potential there is.

Sound deflection and reflection with walls, fences and partitions

Why not send that sound right back where it came from? With the usage of barriers such as walls, fences or partitions, noise can be bounced away from the recipient back toward the source. Partitions are much like a fence or wall except they don’t enclose anything. This leaves a lot of room for creativity as they are often used as freestanding forms of architecture, adding aesthetic appeal in any outdoorsy space.

Sound refraction through properly coated spaces

Have you ever stepped into a room with bare floors and walls that carried sound like megaphone? These magnified sounds and echoes occur because there’s no cushioning to take the sound. Add carpet to the room and the echoes disappear while also reducing the magnification of sounds. This concept applies to empty outside areas as well. By coating outdoor surfaces with grass, plants, or vines, the area will instantly absorb sounds and create a quieter and soothing atmosphere.

 Creating new sounds through white noise

The most widely used method for conceiving sound replacement is with the installation of a fountain. The loud splashes and flowing sounds of the water can easily mask surrounding nuisances. Landscape designs with plants can also provide white noise as well. Wind in pine needles produces a distinctive sound while the rustle of stiff oak leaves also supply nice environmental and natural sounds. In addition, the plants and trees also attract birds and other wildlife that will make their own sounds, further contributing in masking noise.

Whether at home or at work, start enjoying the silence by stifling noises for a serene and peaceful environment by implementing tactical landscape design. Remember, it is not what you create, but where you strategically place it. If you want to know what to look for when hiring the ideal commercial landscape contractor to create that ideal noise-reduced environment, please read our blog “Top 10 Criteria When Hiring a Commercial Landscaping Contractor”.