Proactively planning construction noise management is going to save you potential problems further down the line on your projects, as well as instil confidence in project stakeholders. If noise complaints happen to arise, you could find yourself in a sticky situation with costly delays almost inevitably marring the completion of construction.
A noise management plan will help clarify to stakeholders the extent of the possible noise impact of the project and how it is being treated. This way, any doubts about the potential risks involved can be cleared up.
Your construction noise management plan should present at least the following general sections:
1. Identify potential noise receivers
In order to accurately measure the risk of impact of environmental noise, you’ll want to identify the potential noise receivers in the vicinity. This can include residential buildings, businesses, and wherever else there may be foot traffic or human activity. This will help for later steps in the noise management plan.
2. List intended construction activities to be undertaken that may cause disruption
Include the type of activity, the specific area of the construction site in which it will take place, the dates during which it is scheduled to take place, and the specific hours during the day that it should take place, even if only intermittently (as would be the case for most activities like cutting and breaking).
3. Predicted noise levels
The perceived noise level of any receiver is predicated on his proximity to the noise source. This is why it’s important for us to identify the receivers in the first place: we need to be able to predict and measure the noise level from their position.
4. Mitigation plan
This is the crux of the noise management plan. You need to clearly and confidently identify the measures that will be put into place to control the noise such as to minimize the impact for all receivers, wherever it is required in order to meet specified local noise criteria. (It can also be identified that no mitigation be necessary, as the noise level may fall below the regulatory limit, at least for a number of receivers). This is often achieved by detailing how sound affects people from the receivers’ position and the exact material or method that will be employed to reduce noise level, such as the deployment noise-reducing acoustic barriers.
5. Communication & consulting
All project stakeholders must remain informed of the state of the project throughout its completion. Transparency is key to the success of the project. Planned staging of periodical meetings should be outlined in this section.
6. Noise monitoring
This section should include details about the exact positioning of the noise monitoring equipment that is to be used throughout the duration of the project. It is critical to continue to closely monitor noise levels during the entire project and make any necessary adjustments to means of control.
With a good construction noise management plan in place, you will not only have a reliable reference point for noise control during construction, but also the confidence of stakeholders.
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