Vibration and structure-borne noise impact assessment for linear transport infrastructures

Context & Issue

The construction and operation phases of tramway/metro lines are likely to generate noise and vibration pollution for nearby residents.

Impact may also be present for specifically sensitive equipment (laboratory equipment, for example) or highly sensitive sites (theaters, auditoriums, etc.).

These phenomena therefore need to be managed as a whole, in order to control the associated impacts.



Develop the transport network in an urban environment


Ensure peace and quiet for local residents


Manage costs with optimized dimensioning of solutions and track laying

Key Development Points

Each of the issues described above is based on specific skills, expertise and the implementation of dedicated measurement or simulation resources.

In the absence of any normative reference to date, the definition of project criteria was based on feedback from experience and common usage by all those involved in this type of project.

“Sensitive” sites must be identified exhaustively, so as to avoid any risk of inconvenience to the project, and also to ensure that impact studies are compatible with project schedules. A selection methodology based on “homogeneous sections”, where representative buildings are studied alongside the most sensitive sites, is often used.

Impact studies often combine testing and simulation phases.

Tests and modelling should be carried out as necessary, depending on the context of each project.

In particular, “2.5D” or “3D” modeling (see illustrations below) were carried out.

Once the impact studies were carried out, it was time to specify the measures and other constructive elements to be implemented to ensure that the project’s objectives are met.

This included detailed definition of the elements that characterize vibration attenuation and the type of installation required to meet project objectives.

The final phase of the project was to validate that the objectives were met.

Results and Benefits

  • Study of “A la carte” solutions for specific systems
  • Ranking of different solutions according to implementation effort (time, cost, design, maintenance, safety, etc.)