Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Weichiang Pang

Committee Member

Dr. Laura Redmond

Committee Member

Dr. Patricia Layton


Highways are some of the biggest causes of noise pollution in the United States of America. To deal with the traffic noise coming from these highways, noise barriers have been erected across major highways. The goal is to reduce as much noise as possible through a sustainable solution. Unfortunately, the use of steel and concrete, commonly used materials, have undesired environmental impacts. A suggested sustainable alternative material would be mass timber. Mass timber products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) and mass plywood panels (MPP) has attracted the attention of the construction industry in the U.S, as they are sustainable, light, cost-effective and have a net positive environmental impact as compared to traditional materials used in the industry. Additionally, they are expected to lose 20 dB(A) in transmission since they weigh more than 4 psf. In this study, the objective of the research was to evaluate and determine whether mass timber is a competitive alternative material for constructing noise barriers compared to concrete or steel. The design of prototype CLT noise barrier was carried out including seismic and wind loads representative of several regions across the U.S. Next, the environmental impact and cost was compared between a CLT and concrete noise barrier. Finally, a prototype using the proposed noise barrier design was erected to assess constructability and instrument it for log-term moisture monitoring to assess the performance of two different protective coatings. As a result of the study, CLT proved to be a viable alternative to concrete noise barrier while the moisture content in CLT varied from 28% during rainy condition to 10% under dry conditions.



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