Confusion in the evaluation of sound barriers under harmonized standard



After the obligatory introduction of the declaration of uncertainty in EN 1793-2:2018, the B categories shall not be used to prevent further confusion. Contrary to the updated standard, B categories remain a ubiquitous contractual criterion in the Czech Republic. Contractors continue to request insulation category B3 products determined according to the cancelled EN 1793-2:1997. The current standard only specifies a test method for determining the intrinsic airborne sound insulation performance of noise barriers designed for tunnel roads, deep trenches or covered spaces. EN 1793-6:2018 shall be used for barriers designed for non-reverberant conditions. Notified bodies involved in barriers testing should exercise care and analyze whether supporting test standards in the cancelled but still harmonized EN 14388:2005 can be used or whether the latest testing procedures will be considered. A guidance document is vital because the situation is becoming increasingly confusing. Common rules should be established across the EU to prevent invalid contractual requirements concerning B3 category barriers designed for non-reverberant conditions. The paper analyzes the current unsatisfactory situation, discusses the application of single number rating involving uncertainties, and proposes decision rules for logical and illogical contractual requirements.