Construction noise and noise
The central reference document in the UK relating to noise from construction and demolition sites is BS5228: 'Noise Control on Construction and Open Sites'. This document consists of a
several parts, each dealing with various aspects of the topic, and includes a listing of sound power levels for various kinds of plant and equipment typically used in construction activities.
A key difference between construction and demolition activities and most other sources of noise is that they are normally only present for a limited period of time. Small works and small
developments may only give rise to significant levels of noise at particular locations for a few days or weeks. Larger scale projects may generate noise for more extended periods, but still would not normally
exceed a year or two at most. It is therefore normally appropriate to use methods of noise assessment and control which differ from those employed for more permanent noise sources.
Most local authorites in the UK will welcome the employment of a Code of Constuction Practice (CoCP) or a Section 61 agreement, whereby the main contractor on a project enters into an agreement which
sets limits on maximum LAeq noise levels either at the boudary of the site or at the nearest potentially affected residential properties and sets out the proposed hours of working. The main contractor would normally ensure that these limits are included in the contract documentation which sub-contractors sign up to.
This pro-active approach is generally favoured by local authorities as key issues can be agreed in advance of activities starting on site and local residents can be informed that appropriate noise
control measures are being out in place. It can also be of benefit to developers and contractors as it reduces the likelihood that activities on site will be stopped due to the generation of complaints.
The noise limits set and agreed for construction and demolition activies are typically much higher than would be applied for other kinds of environmental noise, because the noise source is tempaorary
in nature. There may also be benefits in permitting higher levels of noise if this means that the duration of disruption (in terms of both noise and other kinds of disturbance such as dust and traffic
conjestion) is reduced. A noise limit of 75 dB LAeq,T is frequently adopted for construction and demolition activities. This normally applies at potentially affected residential properties and is averaged over the whole working day (typically 08.00 hours to 18.00 hours).
Where driven piles are to be used a higher noise limit may be employed, but if this is the case it is likely to be permitted for a reduced part of the site's working day.
Auracle Acoustics is able to undertake all aspects of the monitoring, prediction and assessment of noise and vibration from contruction and demolition activites in accordance with national guidance such as BS5228 and the specific requirements of local planning authorities, including the preparation of acoustic reports to support planning applications and liaison as required.
Information on the various means of controlling and mitigating against noise from construction and demolition activities may be found on the Noise Control page.
Copyright © 2003-2006 Owen Clingan - Auracle Acoustics