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GHD for
Ellerslie Noise Walls, Auckland

08 Oct 2018

The Ellerslie acoustic barrier project was initiated by the local community and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to mitigate the noise and air pollution effects of over 100,000 vehicles travelling on this section of the southern motorway.

GHD completed the design and construction of nearly 1km of acoustic barriers. This comprised 233, 3-metre-high panels, which sit on a fibre reinforced concrete footing which varies in dimension to fit the narrow corridor.

Success demanded innovative thinking, high levels of collaboration amongst consultants and stakeholders, and cutting-edge structural analysis and design to deliver an extremely complex 3D structure.

Sustainability was at the heart of the project from start to finish. Everything from 3D printing the concept designs and the adoption of re-usable formliners to reduce waste, developing the fibre reinforced foundation to cut preparation, and minimising maintenance through an anti-graffiti paint all consider environmental and economic sustainability.

In terms of the social aspects of sustainability, owners of the adjacent properties have enjoyed a 6 decibel drop in noise since the barriers’ installation.


The use of concrete panels to alleviate traffic noise is relatively common, but to do so in such an innovative and decorative manner elevates this project to the exceptional. It is not difficult to imagine the relief of the residents whose properties back onto the stretch of Southern Motorway now benefitting from the noise cancelling barriers. Matching the social gains of mitigating noise pollution, the efficiencies achieved during the design and construction of the barrier were driven by a desire to meet environmental and economic sustainability goals. Developing advanced systems to ensure buildability, reduce waste, speed-up construction and prolong service life all are commendable, and given prominence by striking visuals.


CLIENT New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA)

CONSULTANTS Novare Design, White Landscapes, Jackson Industries and Manaaki

CONTRACTOR Fulton Hogan John Holland Joint Venture, with Oxcon / CLL (subcontractors)