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Noise / Ruído




The sound of cowbells has left Austrian residents ‘at the end of their tether.’ (AP)

Cowbells are just as much a part of Alpine culture as yodelling and Lederhosen, but the constant clanging can be annoying. An Austrian court has ordered a farmer to remove the bells after residents complained they couldn’t get any sleep.

Next they’ll be banning yodelling. In a ringing blow to Alpine tradition, an Austrian court on Tuesday banned cowbells from a field after residents complained they weren’t get any sleep at night because of the endess clanging.

The owner of the cows had refused to remove the bells from his herd, arguing that they were traditional and had a generally calming effect.

But judge Erich Kundegraber visited the field near Stallhofen, a small town in the southeastern foothills of the Alps, population 3,000, and ruled in favor of the farmer’s neighbors.

“They couldn’t sleep anymore. They were at the end of their tether,” he said, according to Austrian newspapers. Kundegraber could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

The cows were free to roam the field at night and the noise was reportedly made worse by the scraping of their bells against a metal trough.

The ruling confirmed a May court decision which the farmer had appealed. The ruling stated: “Cattle are kept in an unacceptably disturbing way if the animals wearing cowbells are held in a rural area with scattered residential buildings within a fenced meadow and the animals cause a loud noise at night through the clanging of bells that disturbs the nocturnal peace of neighbors.”

The court decided there was no need to give cows bells if they were in a fenced field, easily visible and not located in a mountain pasture. It added that cowbells weren’t a traditional feature of rural residential areas.

The farmer will face a fine if he doesn’t comply with the ruling.

Cowbells were originally used to help trace errant animals and to make it easier for the cows to stay close to each other in mountain pastures.

It remains unclear to what extent the ruling sets a precedent that could lead to the widespread removal of bells from cows across Austria.

Source: Spiegel Online International
Original: http://goo.gl/0xFW7


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Além de dar um toque vibrante, fachada viva ajuda a filtrar impurezas do ar, controlar a temperatura interna dos apartamentos e isolar ruídos

“Vegitecture”, o termo que mistura “vegetação” com “arquitetura” dá nome ao elegante jardim vertical desenvolvido pela firma Capella Garcia para a fachada de um prédio residencial em Barcelona, na Espanha. Visto de longe, o paredão verde – de 21 metros de altura e quase 300 metros quadrados de área – chega a se confundir com a paisagem arborizada das ruas que cercam o edifício.

Os benefícios vão muito além do efeito estético de adicionar um toque vibrante ao bairro. O jardim vertical ajuda a filtrar impurezas do ar, controlar a temperatura interna dos apartamentos e ainda funciona como um isolante natural de ruídos.

Toda a estrutura é feita em aço galvanizado e cada plataforma de jardins conta om banquinhos, fontes e até um telescópio que permite a observação em detalhes da flora e fauna. Pensando em atrair os bichos da vizinhança, os arquitetos equiparam o jardim com pequenos “abrigos” para as aves urbanas.

Um sistema de irrigação por gotejamento automatizado monitora o consumo de água e alimento (fertilizante) da fachada viva por meio de drenagens programadas. E três jardineiros profissionais são responsáveis pela poda das plantas.

Autor: Vanessa Barbosa
Fonte: Exame
Original: http://goo.gl/upA50


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As Germany forges ahead with its energy revolution, offshore wind parks are becoming increasingly important. But construction clatter can threaten sea life, in particular whales and porpoises that rely on echolocation. Noise-mitigating “bubble curtains” may offer a solution, a new report says.


Cetaceans such as whales and porpoises that inhabit the sea off the North German coast — a prime area for wind farm construction — are one at-risk group of underwater dwellers. They use sonar to orient themselves, communicate with one another and find food. (Photography: AP)

mages of offshore wind farms, white turbines twisting over the blue sea, look peaceful enough. But the underwater construction required to install these turbines is far from tranquil. The resulting noise pollution poses a serious threat to sensitive ocean dwellers. At particular risk are cetaceans such as the porpoises and whales that inhabit the Baltic Sea off the northern German coast — a prime area for wind farm construction.

But a recently released report by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) suggests there are both technically and economically feasible ways to reconcile the drive for green energy with protecting aquatic life. One such solution could be as simple as surrounding wind farm construction sites with “bubble curtains” to contain underwater noise.
“A bubble curtain is one way to minimize noise and potentially reduce the impact of offshore wind farm construction on sealife,” Greenpeace oceans & biodiversity campaigner Thilo Maack told SPIEGEL ONLINE. “But it’s important to distinguish between initiatives that simply reduce noise and alternative methods of installing wind farm foundations.”


Images of offshore wind farms, white turbines twisting over the blue sea, look peaceful enough. But the underwater construction required to install these turbines is far from tranquil. The resulting noise pollution poses a serious threat to sensitive ocean dwellers. (Photography: Matthias Ibeler / DDP / DOTI)

The environmental activist organization sees noise-reducing initiatives like bubble curtains as helpful, but believes they should only be a temporary solution used until less-invasive techniques for offshore wind farm installation are developed. But until that happens, says Maack, bubble curtains can help.

Such bubble curtains are generally created by placing a pipe or hose on the sea floor in order to create a ring around noise pollutants — like a piledriver attempting to break through bedrock. Air is pushed through strategically placed and sized holes, creating a shield of bubbles around the noise. As sound waves pass through the resulting bubble curtain, some of their intensity is absorbed and their density alters. Beyond the bubble curtain, the sound waves become less intense and noise levels are decreased.


But noise pollution from offshore wind park construction can cause young whales to be separated from their mothers and older animals to suffer hearing damage. Last year, a study of the Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm, some 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of the German island of Borkum, showed that noise from the site’s construction was scaring off local porpoises. (Photography: DPA)

Habitat Hubbub

Whales and porpoises use sonar techniques to orient themselves, communicate and find food. Healthy and unhindered hearing is essential to their existence. But the noise created when wind turbine foundations are rammed into the bedrock on the sea floor creates serious problems for them. Young animals can be separated from their mothers, while older animals can suffer hearing loss.

Such concerns are not new. Last year, a study of the Alpha Ventus offshore wind farm, some 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of the German island of Borkum, showed that noise from the site’s construction was scaring off local porpoises. During construction, porpoises avoided an area surrounding the construction site of some 20 kilometers, according to assessments made via aerial flyovers.


“A bubble curtain is one way to minimize noise,” Greenpeace oceans & biodiversity campaigner Thilo Maack told SPIEGEL ONLINE. Greenpeace sees noise-reducing initiatives like bubble curtains as a helpful but temporary solution, one that should be used only until more environmentally-friendly techniques of offshore wind farm installation are developed. (Photography: DPA)

“From the standpoint of environmental protection, it’s necessary to decrease noise pollution in marine ecosystems,” BfN acknowledges in the introduction of its recent report. The study looks to the guidelines set forth by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), which suggest that noise outside of a 750 meter radius from the construction site should not exceed 160 decibels. Techniques like bubble curtains, according to the BfN report, can meet this standard.
However Greenpeace takes issue with this value because it is based on single-sound exposure — and it takes much more than a single punch into the bed rock of the sea floor to install a wind turbine foundation.

There is also the question of the porpoise’s proximity to the construction site, says Greenpeace’s Maack. “If there are animals in the vicinity, you have to interrupt construction,” he says. “And if there are weather conditions, like smog or strong rain that make it impossible to tell if the animals are present or not, you have to stop construction. It’s a precautionary principle.”

Source: Spiegel Online International
Original: http://bit.ly/qLnzN7


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Universidade do Minho projeta novos pavimentos para reduzir ruído do tráfego rodoviário

Braga, 03 out (Lusa) – Especialistas da Universidade do Minho estão a desenvolver uma nova geração de pavimentos silenciosos, um projeto pioneiro em Portugal e que pretende reduzir o ruído do tráfego rodoviário, foi hoje divulgado.

Segundo Elisabete Freitas, investigadora responsável pelo projeto, a ideia é construir pisos “com propriedades acústicas melhoradas, através da integração de camadas de desgaste duráveis, mas sustentáveis na sua relação custo-benefício”.

Designado “Noiseless — Perceção, modelação e redução de ruído através de superfícies de pavimento inovadoras e duráveis”, o projeto está a ser desenvolvido pelo Centro de Território Ambiente e Construção do Departamento de Engenharia Civil da Universidade do Minho.

Autor: Margarida Cotrim
Fotografia: Euopean Pressphoto Agency
Fonte: LUSA – Agência de Notícias de Portugal, S.A.
Original: http://goo.gl/RMfxW


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