Guidance values for noise from road and rail traffic in the vicinity of existing homes Guidance and benchmarks with a focus on outdoor noise from existing roads and railways which exposes existing homes to noise. svenska Share Contact Listen Target group Operational supervisory authorities Road and railway operators Interested members of the general public When do roads and railways generate excessive noise levels near homes? When does action need to be taken to reduce noise levels? We explain various benchmarks for noise levels and when consideration needs to be given to reducing noise levels in existing environments according to current practice. The Environmental Protection Agency has drawn up this guidance based on our responsibility as regards supervisory guidance under Chapter 3 Section 2 of the Environmental Supervision Ordinance (2011:13). The guidance focuses on noise outdoors from existing roads and railways which exposes existing homes to noise. Guidance and benchmarks The guidance is available in its entirety in the PDF. In this document, we explain in more detail about the benchmarks for noise from roads and railways, various terms and when action needs to be considered in accordance with the Environmental Code. Vägledning och riktvärden för buller från väg- och spårtrafik vid befintliga bostäder (‛Guidance and benchmarks for noise from road and rail traffic in the vicinity of existing homes’ – in Swedish) (PDF 483 kB) Summary with the benchmarks Benchmarks for noise In order to achieve a good environmental quality outside existing homes, noise levels should normally be below the following levels (‛free field values’) according to the Government bill on infrastructure 1996/97:53 and associated documents from central government agencies. Residential property façade (Leq24h) Residential property, outdoor area (Leq24h) Residential property, outdoor area (Lmax) Near road 55 dBA ~55 dBAII 70 dBAI Near railway 60 dBA 55 dBA 70 dBAI I Time weighting Fast. May be exceeded max. 5 times/mean max. hour day and evening (6am – 10pm) II The Government bill does not designate any equivalent level for road traffic noise in an outdoor area. In the case of new residential buildings where the zoning plan or the building permit specifies noise values which are not exceeded, no further requirements need normally be imposed via supervision (Chapter 26 Section 9a of the Environmental Code). The limitation in the supervision in accordance with the Environmental Code applies to new residential buildings in cases where the case regarding the zoning or the building permit were initiated after 1 January 2015. In connection with decisions concerning zoning or building permits, an assessment is made concerning what levels may occur with regard to the opportunities to prevent detriment to human health. When measures must be considered According to current practice in supervisory cases, measures do not normally need to be considered unless the “action levels” shown below are exceeded in an older existing environment (free field values). Road traffic outdoors, façade ( Leq24h) Rail traffic indoors, night ( Lmax)1 65 dBA 55 dBA 1 Time weighting Fast. The indoor value may be exceeded on no more than 1-5 occasions/annual mean night in rooms for sleeping and rest (bedrooms), 10pm – 6 am. ‛Older existing environment’ refers to noise disturbance around residential properties constructed before spring 1997 where the road or railway causing the disturbance was built before spring 1997 and has also not been significantly altered since spring 1997. In summary, the following outdoor benchmarks are applied in order to determine when protective measures or other precautions need to be considered. Note that the maximum level of 55 dBA for rail noise applies indoors at night. ~2015 onwards “new residential buildings”IV 1997 - ~ 2015 “newer existing environment” - 1997 “older existing environment” Road noise at façade See the plan description or the building permit 55 dBA Leq24h 65 dBA Leq24h Rail noise at façade See the plan description or the building permit 60 dBA Leq24h 55 dBAImax&indoors at night Road and rail outdoor area See the plan description or the building permit 55 dBA Leq24hII70 dBA LmaxIII I Time weighting Fast. The indoor value may be exceeded no more than 1-5 occasions/annual mean night, 10pm – 6am.II The level of 55 dBA in outdoor areas applies in the first instance to the rails.III Time weighting Fast. May be exceeded on a maximum of 5 occasions/mean max. hour, 6am – 10pm. IV See Chapter 26 Section 9a of the Environmental Code. The limitation in supervision in accordance with the Environmental Code applies to new residential buildings if the case concerning the detailed plan or building permit was initiated after 1 January 2015. Benefits – Cost When measures and other precautions are considered in order to limit noise disturbances, the benefits that they provide must be weighed against the costs. Requirements may not be unreasonable to fulfil (Chapter 2 Section 7 of the Environmental Code).