Landscaping, Earth Berms, and Sound Walls

Landscaping, Earth Berms, and Sound Barrier Walls

Should I build an earth berm, add landscaping, or erect a sound wall?

Earth berms and sound walls

Earth berms and sound walls

If you are experiencing outdoor noise problems, you may be wondering if one of the solutions below is right for you.

  • Earth berm
  • Landscaping features
  • Sound Wall

Below we will answer some common questions on this topic.


Does planting trees help with sound control to meet a local sound ordinance or property line noise dispute?

Answer: Planting landscaping, such as trees or shrubs, is typically just aesthetic rather than an effective means to block sound.  Some studies should very thick vegetation can reduce noise by up to 5 dB over 200 lineal feet.  There have been studies showing a “psychological benefit” to planting landscaping features between the sound sources and neighboring receiver.

What is the best sound wall for outdoor use?

Answer: Most studies show that a sound wall needs to meet some requirements in order to be effective.

  • Weighing more than 5.0 lbs/square foot
  • Effectively designed to block the line-of-sight
  • Being engineered with little or no air gaps (sound leaks)
  • Inside surface of the wall should be absorptive

eNoise Control can help you learn more about sound barrier wall effectiveness.

Can I build an earth berm to use as a sound barrier wall?

Answer: Earth berms can be an effective way to help lower sound levels from a neighboring property line.  Clients that are not meeting a noise code or regulation have investigated the use of an earth berm.  Studies have shown that an earth berm is about 2 dBA less effective at reducing noise than a sound wall erected at the same height.  The foot print of the earth berm can become very large in width to support the berm itself.  If space is limited and the client wishes to install the sound barrier close to the noisy source, we recommend installing a barrier wall instead of an earth berm.

For further information or discussion about your sound barrier wall application, please call us at 888.417.1903 or email us at