When it comes to building work, demolition and construction noise and vibration are almost always unavoidable. It is absolutely pivotal that before any work is carried out, a noise and vibration management plan is in place to define and outline what measures are in place to manage and reduce vibrations and noise emissions. For those who haven’t been required to do this type of thing before, creating a management plan can be daunting. But at HA Acoustics, we are here to help and support where possible.
Why A Noise And Vibration Management Plan Is Important
So why should a noise and vibration management plan be in place? The main objective of a management plan such as this is to take into account the effect noise will have on residential properties, the local environment and other buildings in the vicinity of the area in which work is being carried out. If necessary, HA Acoustics can consult with the local authority to agree a noise and vibration management plan. Our expert acoustic consultants can work on behalf of the contractor to help them remain compliant with Section 61 of the 1974 Control of Pollution Act.
Best Practice at All Times
Best Practicable Means (BPM) of noise control should always be applied during construction to minimise noise and vibration that’s likely to affect neighbouring residential properties during construction activities.
Best practice must be carried out at all times to be in line with Section 61 of Control of Pollution Act 1974. Additionally, best practice is something that all sites should adhere to be a safe workplace environment and not just due to legal requirements.
General Noise Management Principles
Noise is generally considered to be unwanted sound, and this can be down to several reasons such as volume, type of noise, the time of day, or any factor which makes a sound be determined to be annoying. As to what sounds are considered offensive is often subjective noise which means that noise pollution can be controversial.
Noise which creates disturbances, causing poor quality environments in both residential and business environments, can impact on health and wellbeing. In extreme cases, residential area noise pollution can cause physical and mental health deterioration.
Controlling the Noise and Vibration of Construction
When it comes to the workplace and educational spaces, symptoms of poor mental health can accompany reduced productivity and quality of work. As part of a demolition and construction noise and vibration management plan, it’s essential to access the noise at source and on site.
Controlling noise and vibration at the source:
- Set noise emissions limits for equipment that’s used onsite
- Directly control noise by retrofitting controls to plant and machinery
- Use indirect methods of noise control such as acoustic screens
- Assess the benefits and practicality of using alternative construction methodology to achieve the objective by using a selection of quieter tools and machines.
- Controlling noise across the site
- Implementing administrative and legislative control
- Sticking to sociable working hours
- Manage delivery times and delivery areas
- Diligently consider compound location
- Screening of site before use
- Implement limit specifications to control noise
- Ongoing noise monitoring to check compliance with noise level limits.
Having the Correct Procedures in Place for Equipment
It’s all very well having a management plan in place, but the operational equipment used must be well maintained in proper and effective working order to comply with legal side of things. During use, machinery and equipment must be operated in a manner that minimises noise and vibration emissions.
Some other points to consider when it comes to equipment in noise and vibration management include, but are not limited to the following:
- HGV and site vehicles to be installed with suitable reversing alarm.
- Generator, engine etc. compartment doors to be kept closed when not in use.
- Silencers or noise limiters to be fitted to pneumatic tools
- When vehicles are being unloaded, care should be taken to minimise noise.
- Avoid using particularly noisy plant early in the morning or during the night.
- Restrict the amount of plant items in use at any one time to an agreed minimum.
- Reduce the speed of vehicle movements – decide on a site speed limit.
- No engines to be running while waiting within the site for a certain length of time.
- Screens or barriers should be erected during particularly noisy activities.
- Hours of operation should be enforced – any deviations other than those previously agreed will be at the consent of the local authority.
Considering the Local Environment
When it comes to noise and vibration management, and creating a plan surrounding the effects, it’s vital to consider the overall environment. This not only includes local residents, businesses and people, it also relates to wildlife and nature. Local wildlife can be destructively disrupted, and it’s essential that checks are carried out to ensure that there aren’t sanctions in place that prevent work being carried out in particular areas.
If, for example, construction is taking place in a derelict area, a park or other land where wildlife may reside, a plan must outline the consequences and effects of this. Details of environmental impact must be included in a noise and vibration management plan as all aspects must be considered. Both noise and vibration can affect local wildlife and the natural environment quite considerably.
Noise and Vibration Management Support
Every minute aspect of construction must be thoughtfully considered from the beginning of a project right through to the end. From appropriate lighting to possible water contamination to dust levels, a noise and vibration management plan must include every single eventuality and consideration that could take place during a construction project.
For support and advice throughout the planning process, HA Acoustics will work with contractors and local authorities to help and support construction when it comes to a noise and vibration management plan and other aspects. If required, we can discuss and agree with the Local Authority on behalf of the Contractor, removing unnecessary stress and hassle. Get in touch with us to find out more about HA Acoustics can help.
HA Acoustics expert acoustic engineers also deliver a full range of specialist acoustic services including mechanical plant testing, noise assessments for licensed premises, noise at work assessments, sound insulation testing and a wide range of other expert acoustic testing services.