Monitor Construction Noise

If you work in construction management, you know why construction noise monitoring is important. Too much noise can cause tension with neighboring residents and businesses. It can also lead to costly fines or operational shut-down. Monitoring construction noise will help you avoid those problems. It can also improve efficiency by enabling you to work longer hours without the risk of exceeding regulated noise levels.

You know why construction noise monitoring is important, but what is the best approach to how to monitor construction noise?

How to Monitor Construction Noise

Construction noise monitoring is imperative at sites in heavily populated urban areas or located near other buildings. These may include residential buildings, where excessive noise can interfere with people’s sleep. Additionally, buildings such as hospitals and museums have sensitive equipment that must be protected from loud noise and vibration. Others, such as schools or office buildings, will be busy at certain times of day and deserted at others. As a result, noise regulations often vary across times of day and across different areas of your construction site.

A construction noise monitoring solution needs to account for all these differences.

Knowing how to monitor construction noise is good for business

Heights, Materials and Locations

The size and type of neighbouring buildings can also affect construction noise levels. Noise is a wave caused by vibrations, and sound waves bounce off walls and other surfaces. The height, thickness, type of material and distance from the source of the noise all affect the loudness of a given sound at different points around a construction site. Of course, no two sites are ever exactly the same and neither are their surroundings. When assessing how to monitor construction noise, you need a solution that allows for a variety of new measurements with every new project.

Once you are aware of all applicable noise limits on a given project, the next step is to identify the best locations for measuring noise levels against each limit. These are usually the locations on your site that are nearest the areas where each limit applies. You should take into consideration whether those locations will be readily available for placing a monitoring terminal throughout the project. When you think about how to monitor construction noise, remember to look for locations where it’s practical to place a monitor. In most circumstances, the noise monitoring terminal’s microphone should be placed approximately 1.2 meters above the ground.

When you’re looking at how to monitor construction noise, sometimes you will find it’s not practical to place a device in the ideal location on a regular basis. You can address this by placing a second NMT in a more convenient location where you can keep it throughout the project. When it is possible to place both, assess the difference in readings between the two and correct accordingly to provide a reasonable estimate of the noise level at the ideal location.

Benefits of Construction Noise Monitoring

Noise monitoring terminals are unattended (that is, they do not require a person to operate them once they are set up and running). The noise levels they record can be observed remotely. In a site with several different limits at different locations and times of day, staff can monitor them all in one central location. In the event that a limit is in danger of being breached, alerts can notify staff to take action immediately to forestall the breach. Finally, keeping records of the data collected by the monitors will enable you to prove you complied with all limits in the event of future disputes.

There’s no question noise monitoring is a must. But with the right noise monitoring equipment and procedures, the how is as straightforward as the why.

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