Environmental Noise

Mitigation Measures

The following shows some mitigating measures for some types of environmental noise.

Subsequent sections will provide details and examples of some of the above mitigating measures. Follow the text or alternatively click the icon next to a mitigating measure to access to details on it.

(Click on the above headings to link to corresponding sections below)

Land Use Planning
One important planning tool to minimize the impact of environmental noise is to ensure compatibility of different uses adjacent to each other. Outline Zoning Plans (OZPs) are drawn under the Town Planning Ordinance to govern land uses for different purposes.

For any amendment of existing OZPs or drafting of new OZPs, implications on the environment including any possible noise impact will be addressed.

The aerial photo below illustrates how land use planning provides separate zones for the industrial undertakings at the Tai Po Industrial Estate and the residential buildings in the nearby housing estates to avoid incompatibility in land use. A buffer area for non noise sensitive use between the two zones can further help to reduce noise impact to the residents arising from the industrial operation.

Image of buffer area reducing noise impact from Tai Po Industrial Estate to the Tai Po residents

Alternative Siting / Alignment
One most effective way to deal with noise is to plan away the problems by selecting alternative site or alignment that avoids serious problems.

If a certain locality is found to be unsuitable for the development of a certain noise sensitive use or a certain noise source due to adverse environmental noise impact on existing sensitive development, then an alternative location or site may have to be explored. Similarly, noise impact from road traffic can be minimized through suitable choice of alternative alignment. The following plan shows the various proposals of the Tseung Kwan O Western Coast Road. Please click on the demo button to read the details.

The original design, shown in red, employs elevated roads running along the coastal areas. This scheme might expose noise sensitive uses to excessive traffic noise and noise barriers or enclosures might be required to improve the situation.

A number of alternative proposals have been put forward and they are being evaluated at the time this Package is being prepared. All these alternative proposals employ tunnels which, among other consideration, can help to design out traffic noise impact on the nearby noise sensitive uses.

Screening by Noise Tolerant Buildings
This is an illustration of how a noise tolerant building such as a multi-storey carpark building is used to protect residential buildings from road traffic noise. Placing a noise tolerant building in between the road traffic and the residential building causes the noise in the "shadow zone" to be reduced. This brings about a reduction in the traffic noise affecting the residents. Please click on the demo button to read the details. Then click on the stop button to stop the sound/demo.

This concept has been employed in the design of the Hong Keung Court, Lok Fu to protect its residents from traffic noise from the Fung Mo Street, as generally illustrated by the following plan and photographs:

Building Disposition
The impact of environmental noise can also be reduced by the proper disposition of noise sensitive buildings within a development.

The following plan shows residential blocks in blue and the Sai Sha Road as the major noise source in yellow. As shown, the residential buildings are sited away or set back from the Sai Sha Road as far as possible. (The development also employs noise barrier to reduce the impact of traffic noise. The issue of noise barrier will be discussed later. Follow the text or click here to jump to the part on barrier .)

Decking Over
This illustration shows how the use of decking over reduces impact of road traffic noise on a number of residential buildings. Please click on the demo button to read the details. Then click on the stop button to stop the sound/demo.

One such example in Hong Kong is the Sceneway Garden at Lam Tin, as shown by the following plan and photographs:

Putting residential buildings on top of a podium can provide shielding against traffic noise from roads in their vicinity, as illustrated by this animation. Please click on the demo button to read the details. Then click on the stop button to stop the sound/demo.

The development at Island Place, North Point uses this measure to reduce the impact of traffic noise from the busy King's Road on the residents.