A Construction Noise Assessment is required as part of the planning process to ensure due diligence is given to the presence noise and vibration in construction. This includes all works to be undertaken and noise generated, including heavy plant noise, and noise created by the work force as part of their daily activities. The primary requirements are part of BS5228-1:2009: Noise and BS5228-2:2009: Vibration
Control of noise at construction sites ensures that the health and well being of all those in the vicinity of a construction project is protected. It may also include complying with Noise at Work regulations in order to protect those working on site.
Undertaking a construction noise assessment
An initial assessment is carried out on site prior to commencement. This forms a baseline from which a plan can be implemented to mitigate any issues which could have a detrimental effect on the construction programme and budget. Once construction has started, further acoustic testing can be undertaken to ensure that noise levels are not exceeding those detailed in the acoustic plan. Where required, additional control measures can be introduced.
Following the completion of a construction noise assessment, a noise management plan can then be provided. The noise management plan provides all the known information gathered. It also contains mitigation and control requirements required to meet planning and guidance expectations. such controls may be limiting traffic movement or restricting noisy operations for set periods during the work period.
Standards used in a construction noise assessment
BS 5228: 2009 determines the likely levels of noise (part 1) and vibration (part 2) arising from the construction project.
BS 6472: 2008 measures exposure to vibration within a building
BS 4866: 2010 measures mechanical vibration and shock of fixed structures
HSE (Health & Safety Executive) – HSG 150, Health and Safety in Construction; CDM Regulations 2015; INDG 344 The Absolutely Essential Health and Safety Toolkit
Problems arising due to poor control of noise at construction sites
A contractor or developer needs keep noise levels within acceptable limits to:
1. Ensure they are not in breach of Noise at Work regulations
2. Protect employees and members of the public from harmful (includes nuisance) levels of noise
3. Prevent complaints being made to the Environmental Officer or Building Control that can:
a) Result in financial penalties or additional costs being incurred (sound testing, additional acoustic treatments etc)
b) Cause delays in the project program whilst additional sound testing and remedial works are carried out
c) Cause a breakdown in community relations
d) Damage the company profile
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