Noise emissions and pollution data were calculated in the framework of an expert opinion based on the ”Richtlinien für den Lärmschutz an Straßen – RLS 90” (Guidelines for Noise Abatement on Roads).
The calculation takes into account speed, percentage of trucks, road surface and quality (a vehicle makes about 5 dB less noise on asphalt than on cobblestone), the distance between road and buildings (distance doubling reduces the volume by 3 dB), height and type of roadside development (open or closed construction) and reflection conditions.
The noise load due to tram traffic was determined in accordance with the Berechnungsvorschrift Schall 03 (Calculation Regulation, Sound 03). Accordingly a deduction of 5 dB(A) (rail bonus) was made in calculating the mean volume.
Although their contributions have been recorded individually, the map of motor vehicle and tram noise depicts the combined load.
The total length of the entire Berlin road network is some 5,200 km. 1,228 km of that, about a quarter, belongs to the primary road network.
1,150 km of the main network (equal to 2,300 km roadsides) was divided into some 7,000 road segments. Their traffic and acoustically relevant parameter were recorded. The results for the built-up road segments (totaling 1,800 km roadsides) are shown in the map. The noise pollution was taken with a standard interval of 25 m for the road segments without roadside development. This was not depicted in the map to avoid any misinterpretations.
The data on which this is based (inter alia motor vehicle use, truck share, local public transport timetables, type and condition of road surface, topographical and construction details) are stored together with all acoustic information in a data base and can be called up via a geographical information system for a wide range of uses.
The noise map itself necessarily contains only a portion of the available data. For instance, it is hardly possible to accurately show the influence of traffic signals, important for the formation of the assessment level, using a scale of 1 : 50,000. An increase of 1 to 3 dB would be necessary according to the RLS 90 for an interval of up to 100 m. One gets the assessment level for which the above mentioned guidelines or limits apply. In the remaining areas, the assessment volume is the same as the mean volume shown.
The noise contribution of intersecting side streets is not taken into account.
For a specific location, e.g. for building and planning projects, these corrections can also be made after the fact. Detailed information can be obtained from Section V B of the Berlin Department of Urban Development, Environmental Protection and Technology. This information is subject to charges as specified in the environmental fee regulations.
The volume class shown in the noise map, with a breadth of 5 dB(A) reflect the noise pollution at a height of 3.5 m in front of the effected building facades in a street segment where the distance between the facade and the nearest road land is typical.
Moreover, the units of rounded off mean volume are shown as digits next to the road segments. In some areas, where many road segments are concentrated, some digits have been omitted for the sake of clarity.
The street traffic noise pollution shown in the map pertain to daytime (6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.) and nighttime (10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.). The sound volumes lie at round 10 dB below daytime levels. In some cases, the difference is even noticeably lower.