Regulations on Construction Noise and Control Measures IES-SIA-MEWR Joint Seminar onEnvironmental Requirements & Plan Submission Procedures Jul 2009 Khairul Sani B Samsudin Pollution Control Department National Environment Agency
Regulatory and Enforcement Regimes on Noise at Construction Sites Typical Problems Observed Public Complaints on Construction Noise Measures to Minimise Construction Noise Nuisance Scope
NEA regulates noise at construction sites through: Environmental Protection and Management Act (EPMA) EPM (Control of Noise at Construction Sites) Regulations Permissible noise limits tightened in Oct 2007 Construction sites within 150 m from residential premises required to further reduce noise at nighttime (Mon-Sun) and daytime (Sun/PH) Regulatory Requirements
Construction sites are required to install noise meters to monitor the noise continuously Noise Monitoring
Type of Works 7am-7pm 7pm-10pm 10pm-7am Very Noisy Works e.g. Piling, blasting,demolition, concreting works, use of percussion tools e.g. pneumatic hammers, etc Yes No No Moderately Noisy Works e.g. Erection/dismantling of formwork, tying/fixing of steel bars, operation of cranes, loading/unloading of construction materials, etc Yes Yes No Quiet Works e.g. Housekeeping, bricklaying, plastering, painting, etc Yes Yes Yes Noisy Construction Activities Typical noisy construction activities against the permissible noise limits (Mon – Sat)
Noisy Construction Activities Typical noisy construction activities against the permissible noise limits (Sun/PH) Type of Works 7am-7pm 7pm-10pm 10pm-7am Very Noisy Works e.g. Piling, blasting,demolition, concreting works, use of percussion tools e.g. pneumatic hammers, etc No No No Moderately Noisy Works e.g. Erection/dismantling of formwork, tying/fixing of steel bars, operation of cranes, loading/unloading of construction materials, etc Yes No No Quiet Works e.g. Housekeeping, bricklaying, plastering, painting, etc Yes Yes Yes
Penalties for violations of permissible noise limits with effect from 1 Oct 2007 1st offence: compound fine of $5,000 2nd offence: compound fine of $10,000 3rd offence: compound fine of $15,000 4th offence: (a) court case (max fine of $40,000; max fine of $1000 per day for continuing offence) (b) Restrict construction work from 10pm to 7am Penalties for Violations
Notice served to construction companies to: Install sound level meters at 1-metre from nearest affected building Submit weekly noise measurements to NEA Maintain and operate sound level meter Inform NEA on factors influencing noise level and reasons on incidents of noise limit exceedance Surprise inspections for problematic sites Night enforcement team Enforcement Regime
Sound level meters not installed according to requirements in NEA’s Notice, e.g. not in direct line of sight of construction activities Sound level meters not calibrated Sound level meters covered with leaves, papers, plastic sheets, etc Typical Problems Observed
Improper Noise Meter Installation Noise Meter Not Properly Located – Blocked By Wooden Panel CONSTRUCTION WORK ON THE OTHER SIDE OF WOODEN PANEL
Improper Noise Meter Installation Noise meter kept in enclosed box without openings
Improper Noise Meter Installation Noise meter hidden under Water tank on roof-top of affected building
Proper Installation of Sound Level Meter Noise meter located at façade of building
Web server Class 1 SLM wireless communication Sms alerts to: a) Project Manager b) ECO c) NEA Enhanced Monitoring of Construction Noise
With the new system contractors can respond more quickly to complaints Much less time spent on retrieving data Contractors can take immediate action to lower the noise levels Enhanced Monitoring
With Effect From 1 Oct 08 for: New sites, located within 150m from residential premises, with contract value exceeding $10m Existing sites fined the second time for exceeding the noise limit between 10pm and 7am Enhanced Monitoring
13500 (Projected) Noise Complaints No. Of Complaints On Construction Noise From Year 2004 To May 2009
Complaints increased by 54 % from 2007 to 2008 750 complaints received per month in 2007 1,200 complaints received per month in 2008/2009 Complaints mainly on noise at night and on Sundays/Public Holidays Noise from concreting, metal form work, hackings, movements of concrete trucks and cranes Excessively loud noise generated at worksite went on unattended Noise Complaints
“ …that around 12 midnight, works like ground drilling and and huge tiles being thrown down from the 6th floor is still being carried out, causing great noise pollution...” “…the sound of welding and shifting of steel rods and material continues at night, sometimes until 4.00am. This has led to sleepless night for the family and as a result, health problems has arisen…” “…I wish to note that it is now 4.00a.m. and the circumstances remain the same. The noise continues and cement trucks continue to stand in line to enter the worksite. It is highly annoying…” Noise Complaints
Guidelines for Construction Site • Noise Pollution Control • Contractors should schedule noisy activities during weekdays and daytime (avoid noisy activities on Sunday, Public Holidays and late at night) • Contractors should also take the following measures: • Using advanced construction and noise damping technology • Use visual screens or noise barriers to help screen off the noise • Use precast concrete panels
Guidelines for Construction Site • Noise Pollution Control • Contractors should also take the following measures: • Site noisy activities; such as entrance to concrete trucks, further away from residential areas • Keep residents informed of what is being planned and done • Use electrical supply from Powergrid rather than generator • Enclose noisy machineries in acoustic enclosure • Maintain and service equipment and machineries regularly to keep noise low
Good Practices Site Layout Rows of silos placed before receivers aid in mitigating construction noise.
Good Practices Selection of equipment Use quieter alternatives such as a silent piler for installing sheet piles. Traditional method of using vibro hammer generates loud noise and ground vibration.
Good Practices Control of Noise at Source Avoid the use of old machinery. Use sound-reduced machinery.
Good Practices Control of Noise at Source For machines that are not yet sound-reduced, install noise panels at noise emission outlets.
Good Practices Using Enclosures Partial enclosures if used, should be oriented such that openings are facing away from residents and if there’s no roof , it shouldn’t be placed below any tall residential buildings. Housing of small motor units.
Good Practices Using Enclosures Using full enclosure for housing of generator set.
Good Practices Noise Barriers Portable noise barriers can be used at face of operations for noisy activities.
Good Practices Behavioral Improvement Remind drivers not to leave their engines idling if a longer-than-usual waiting time is anticipated. Employ simple techniques such as wrapping one of the resonance head with cloth to reduce high pitch noise.
Good Practices Behavioral Improvement Remind machine operators not to exert more power than necessary during operations. Educate workers to lay rebar down properly instead of letting them go from a standing position.