Explicit building heights were not available and were, therefore, defined through the following empirically determined function: [building height = 3.2 m + number of storeys x 2.8 m]. As information on use is available for most buildings, the above function will be altered in justified cases. For garages, kiosks and public toilets, a height of 2.5 m is set per storey; for halls, sheds and transformers it is 3 m per storey.
159,473 buildings in the areas surrounding Berlin were integrated into the model including their explicit height data from the State of Brandenburg. These buildings act as obstructions and reflectors of road and railway noise sources at the edge of the area under examination.
Building façades were included in the calculations as reflecting objects, with an absorption loss of 1 dB(A).
The figures for numbers of residents, with principal and secondary domiciles, are available in 14,707 blocks and block segments of the municipal area (as of 31 December 2016). These residents were proportionately assigned to the storeys of the blocks of flats located in the respective sections. Buildings with mixed use were incorporated into the distribution, and assigned shares of between 25 and 75%, in accordance with their respective use levels.
The number of dwellings was taken from Kleine Berlin-Statistik 2015 the total being 1,891,800. This resulted in a mean value of 1.91 inhabitants per dwelling. This factor and the number of inhabitants affected yielded the number of dwellings affected.
Geometry / Road Traffic
For the 2017 noise map, the network of city streets and motorways from the environment network was used for the mapping (based on the detailed network of the VMZ (Traffic Control Center Berlin), as of January 2016) of the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection as well as the traffic volume of the 2014 traffic count, including updates (cf. Map Traffic Volumes), permitted maximum speeds and road surface related parameters as of 2015.
In the model formation for the calculation, the following properties were taken into account:
Lanes: For road segments with different numbers of lanes per direction, the (asymmetrical) position of the outermost lane is explicitly used to locate the linear noise sources (hence, the mean distance from the road centre line is not used here). The lane width for single-lane roads per direction is 3.75 m and 3 m for multi-lane roads per direction. In justified individual cases, deviating lane widths are applied for each direction. One-way streets: For single-lane one-way streets, the location of the road centre line is used as the linear noise source. For multi-lane one-way streets, the right lane is used, assuming the worst case scenario.
Bus lanes: If bus lanes are present, the boundary between the outermost lane and the bus lane is set as the location of the linear noise source.
(Advisory) cycle lane: If (advisory) cycle lanes are available, 1 metre is subtracted from the calculated distance between the road centre line and the outermost lane.
Time-dependent speed limits: In sections with a time-dependent speed limit, an average speed is calculated, based on an approach weighted by hours for the periods daytime, evening and nighttime respectively.
Road surface: In the case of different road surface materials (asphalt, paving stones, etc.) per direction, the inferior road surface is assigned to both directions, based on the speed-dependent DStrO (noise immission correction value for varying road surfaces), thus assuming the worst-case scenario.
Road surface quality: In case of differences in road quality (cracks, holes, etc.) per direction, the inferior road quality is assumed for both directions, thus applying the worst-case scenario. The DStrO value, which was previously determined based on the road surface, may be increased further, depending on the road quality and the speed.
Disparate traffic volumes: For road segments with different levels of traffic flow in each direction, the asymmetrical distribution of traffic has purposely been taken over. The assumption of a 50-50 occurrence of traffic flow in each direction is not used in this case.
Data on the principal roads in the State of Brandenburg close to the Berlin border, including the required calculation parameters, have been provided by the Brandenburg State Environmental Agency.
A total of 1,859.2 km of roadway have been incorporated into the calculation, of which 1,561.8 km are located on the territory of the city of Berlin. Further principal main roads in Brandenburg, which are located up to 2 km from Berlin’s city borders and exceed the stipulated resulting immission level, were also included. Here, the mapping network of the Level 2 noise maps for the border area was referred to, as the Level 3 noise mapping traffic numbers of the Brandenburg mapping network were not yet available at the time of calculation.
Geometry / Streetcar Traffic, Above-Ground Subway Traffic
A total of 201.3 km of track of the streetcar network were modelled. Differences in route lengths from the 2012 map are predominantly caused by new streetcar segments (e.g. connection to Berlin Central Station).
The situation of the streetcar network, including the route parameters, is based on the network of the 2012 Level 2 map, with the following modifications:
- Situation correction based on the planning documents of the network geometry of the streetcar tracks as provided by the BVG, with the additional use of orthophotos
- Consideration of service railyards (each modelled with one main track)
- Network expansions (e.g. connection to Berlin Central Station) and network cutbacks (e.g. segment toward Schwartzkopffstraße underground station)
- Adaptation of road types according to BVG specifications
- Adoption of correction values for screeching in curves dependent on the curve radii based on the 2012 noise mapping, assignment of correction values for squeaking sounds in curves caused by curve radii for new sections
- Assignment of correction values for bridges and railway overpasses
- Assignment of correction values to reduce noise in curves by use of rail lubrication and surface conditioning facilities
- In cases of relevant distances between the tracks in the two directions, division of those routes by direction
- Adoption of current information on maximum speed from the BVG
Streetcar traffic was adopted into the calculation model by assignment of detailed electronic “count slips” of the BVG (as of 2016) to 126 route segments, and the Schöneiche-Rüdersdorf Tram Co. GmbH (Line 88) timetable (as of 1 January 2016).
The situation of the subway lines, including the route parameters, is based on the network of the Level 2 (2012) map and is used with the following modifications:
- Supplementary assignment of correction values for screeching in curves dependent on the curve radii and the presence of further rail head conditioning facilities according to current BVG data (as of 2016).
The subway traffic to the segments above-ground was included in the calculation model according to BVG data (as of 2012).
A total of 27.2 km of subway track were modelled.
Geometry / Industrial and Commercial Plants
The Berlin noise map for commercial sites which affected ambient noise covers 18 power plant sites.
Plants (see Table 3) have an effect on environmental noise if they cause relevant sound immissions, i.e., those in excess of LDEN = 55 dB(A) and/or LNight = 50 dB(A), at a nearby type of use requiring protection. The site of the TSR Recycling GmbH & Co. KG in the Westhafen area was removed here, as compared to the 2012 noise map.
For the 18 power plants in the area of the city of Berlin, there was no change compared with the 2012 noise map.