Copenhagen eyes tamped soil sound barriers

Surplus and excavated soil could help with a construction material shortage in Denmark.
Road Structures / August 23, 2022 1 minute Read
By David Arminas
The need for sustainable sound barriers is growing (image © Wlodzimierz Dondzik/Dreamstime)

The Danish Road Directorate says it is exploring the use of tamped clay from construction soil waste as material for constructing sound barriers along motorways.

The directorate is working with the Capital Region of Denmark (Region Hovedstaden), construction companies Remco and Holbøll and architectural firm Thi and Dencker.

Remco is supply soil for the project, Holbøll is supplying equipment for the production of the tamped clay wall, such as mixing machines and tamping equipment, while the architectural firm Thi and Dencker will work on the design of the noise barriers.

“The Danish Road Directorate is always interested in using the land from the construction projects most appropriately,” said Kasper Anias Møller, responsible for the environment and nature at the directorate. “Since there is also an increasing interest in establishing noise barriers, [we are] investigating whether we can use more sustainable materials in the form of surplus soil in our noise barriers.

The Technical University of Denmark has been working with alternate uses of temped soil and clay and a group of researchers and students will be building an outdoor 2m x 3m demonstration wall.

A tamp is a device used to compact or flatten an aggregate or another powdered or granular material, typically to make it resistant to further compression or simply to increase its density. For the demonstration, layers of clay will be put into a mold and built up to create the wall. The purpose is to build on a larger scale and investigate how resistant the structure is to weather such as wind and rain, said Ida Maria Gieysztor Bertelsen from the university’s Sustain programme.

A press release from the the Capital Region of Denmark said Copenhagen has a particularly acute shortage of construction raw material, such as sand and gravel for road construction. Jens Lind Gregersen, chief consultant at the Centre for Regional Development in the capital region said that re-using material, especially directly on a site where it is produced, will help the cut carbon footprints of a project.

The project will run until the end of 2024.

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