Construction Noise Assessments
Noise is an inevitable side effect of construction, but it can be mitigated and managed to reduce the impact on local residents and businesses. A construction noise assessment and noise management plan are an important part of a planning application (or S61 application) for developments in dense urban areas, as well as ongoing construction noise monitoring.
Construction Noise Assessments - Why do I need one?
Putting together a Construction Noise and Vibration Management Plan can be an important part of ensuring your site is protected against noise complaints.
Without gaining prior consent, a developer or contractor can be risk at costly delays as a result of noise complaints.
When a Local Planning Authority receives complaints from noise-sensitive properties, under the Control of Pollution Act 1974, they have the power to serve a Section 60 notice on the site. This notice can restrict the operating hours of the site, restrict contractors in their working practices (i.e. the equipment used or operational times of certain plant); and potentially impost a noise level limit which should not be breached. This can all have significant implications on the programming and costs of the works, particularly when a Section 60 notice can be served at any time without warning.
ParkerJones Acoustics are experienced in conducting construction noise and vibration surveys/assessments around the UK, including London, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Swansea. Our noise management plans can be used to gain planning permission, and as part of a S61 application, protecting your site against S60 notices.
How does a Construction Noise Assessment work?
1 - We predict construction noise emissions using a detailed noise model
Based upon the construction schedule and the machinery to be used, we can accurately predict the noise exposure of local noise-sensitive properties using BS 5228.
2 - Assess the noise risks
The predicted noise emissions are assessed against BS 5228 limits and local planning policy. We may also need to do a baseline noise survey to determine suitable noise targets.
3 - Produce a Construction Noise Management Plan
If there's a high risk of impact, then we'll advise on how to mitigate noise to an acceptable level. A construction noise management plan can be used as a S61 application..
What do we have to do about construction noise? Our guide to construction noise management, planning, and monitoring, for planning apps and S61 applications
What can I do about Construction Noise and Vibration?
So, you might be thinking ‘surely there’s not much you can do about construction noise?’. Unfortunately, there is no magic trick which will eliminate construction noise.
However, there are a number of steps that a developer or contractor can take to significantly reduce the impact on local residents.
The developer and contractor should be taking actions to mitigate the noise and reduce the impact using ‘Best Practicable Means’, that is, reasonable and practicable measures within technical and financial restraints.
These means might include regular maintenance of machinery, scheduling noisy machinery to operate in daytime hours and avoiding all of the noisiest items running at the same time, using local barriers and site hoarding, training employees to use equipment properly, and simply having a good relationship with the local community, with a robust complaints procedure.
Long term construction noise and vibration monitoring can also be conducted with live alerts send to site staff when noise thresholds are exceeded, so that the contractor can find the source of noise and mitigate it.
Check our Acoustics A to Z article on Construction Noise and Vibration.
Where do we conduct Construction Noise Assessments?
We’re able to offer construction noise surveys and produce noise management plans across the nation, including cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea, throughout the UK.
Give ParkerJones Acoustics a call, where you’ll get a fair and honest evaluation at a competitive price, wherever you’re based.
Can we offer long term Construction Noise Monitoring?
Absolutely. We can provide semi-permanent construction noise and vibration monitoring from as little as a week to as long as three years.
Our engineers are able to maintain noise monitoring equipment every few weeks and provide bi-weekly or monthly reports.
Our systems can be hooked up to a web portal to allow live access to noise levels for the contractor. This means we can set up alerts via email or phone when noise and vibration thresholds are exceeded, allowing the contractor to pause temporarily and find the source of the problem.
Construction Noise Guidelines
BS 5228 ‘Code of practice for noise and vibration control on construction and open sites – Part 1: Noise’
The go to construction noise guidelines with appropriate noise limits, typical noise levels from construction activites, and a methodology for predicting levels of construction noise. BS 5228 Part 2 also covers vibration from construction sites.
Control of Pollution Act (CoPA) 1974 - Section 60 – Control of noise on construction sites
Section 60 of CoPA gives the power to a local authority to serve a notice on a developer/contractor and slap restrictions on construction works. An S60 notice is typically served as a result of noise complaints from nearby noise-sensitive properties.
Control of Pollution Act (CoPA) 1974 - Section 61 – Prior consent for work on construction sites
A Section 61 application can be made to gain consent from the local planning authority prior to construction works commencing. Providing the contractor operates the construction site as set out in the S61 application, then they can avoid being served an S60 notice.
The Control of Noise (Code of Practice for Construction and Open Sites) (England) Order 2015
How do I assess Construction Noise in an S61 application?
An construction noise assessment or noise management plan requires the input on acoustic consultant.
The noise consultant would usually conduct a baseline noise survey in the first instance, before predicting noise emissions using a noise map model based on the proposed schedule of construction and demolition works.demolition/construction.
They will assess in accordance with BS 5228. Depending on the level of adverse impact determined from the construction noise calculations, they may need to produce a construction noise management plan.
This plan will set out how the contractor will use ‘best practicable means’ to minimise noise and vibration. The acoustic consultant will be able to advise on suitable techniques, operational measures, and complaints procedures, that the contractor can follow without imposing unreasonable restrictions upon themselves.
Putting this into a S61 application, and providing this is approved, the contractor should then closely follow this construction noise management plan. Doing so should result in the safety of knowing that works cannot be halted by a Section 60 notice.
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Talk to a Construction Noise Consultant
How can one our construction noise consultants help with noise and vibration from your construction site?