Power + Line | Engineering Solutions

New A12 Noise Barrier

Power and Line Ltd are proud to announce their contribution to an installation of a new style noise barrier which is a first for the UK. The works took place during November 2020.

This is a new barrier which is both artwork and acoustic shield intended to dramatically reduce the impact of traffic noise on passers-by, has been fitted on the A12, next to Bromley-by-Bow station.

The project, led by housing association, Poplar HARCA, and funded by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Transport for London (TfL), aims to enhance the area for people walking and cycling in the area.


The design and construction team was led by architects Beep Studio, in collaboration with Expedition Engineering, Cake Industries, Echo Barrier and Power and Line Ltd.


The design was inspired by local waterways, the artwork’s geometry is one of folded surfaces and flowing lines. The reflective material used also picks up fluctuations in light over the course of any given day. Surface anodising provides soft and subtle colour.

The barrier is almost thirty metres long in length and reaches a peak height of three metres in front of Jefferson Plaza, where the acoustic effect has the greatest impact.

How does it work?

Most acoustic treatments reduce noise by using soft or textured surfaces to absorb vibrations. The ‘Silk Metal’ system used here is intended to work differently: An aluminium sheet perforated with tiny holes less than a millimetre in diameter forms the front face of a
closed box. As sound waves hit the sheet it starts to vibrate, forcing air trapped in the box through the perforations: the resulting friction slows the passage of air, which in turn reduces the vibration of the sheet, and echoing and reverberating sound.
The barrier is formed from over 60 of these sealed cassettes, all of which absorb noise generated by the road through friction, ultimately dissipating this sound energy as heat.

Power and Line Ltd worked closely with Leaside Planning Ltd to arrange safe delivery and construction of the barrier made up by the sealed cassettes.
Each cassette in the assembly is linked together into larger groups, which in turn are mounted to a carefully articulated concrete footing. These footings require no permanent fix to the highway and can be removed through a simple crane lift.
This is the first external use of this kind of acoustic baffle in the UK, and brings this innovation to the public realm to enhance the area for people walking and cycling in the area.

Interestingly the project has garnered some great coverage in New Civil Engineer magazine.

A12 Noise Barrier – Bromley by Bow

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