Many construction companies are choosing to undertake a far higher proportion of work at night, both to speed up construction and to make things safer and more comfortable for both the public and their workers.
Working at night has its advantages, such as:
Yet there are several downsides to night-time construction, the biggest of which is undoubtedly noise.
Everything is quieter at night, which means construction noise appears to be amplified even when it’s carried out behind barriers and hoardings. Each sound seems to resonate: grader buckets banging on hard ground, generators thrumming, reversing beepers piercing the night air – it all turns into noise.
This increase in night-time noise commonly leads residents to complain.
Here’s what you need to know about noise, before authorising night works.
Most city councils do not allow any audible noise between 6.30 pm and 6.30 am on weekdays and Saturday, or at any time on Sundays and public holidays. The exception is if you have been granted a pre-arranged development approval.
If you carry out night works in accordance with this pre-approval, you are exempt from nuisance offences for noise. However, it is still your responsibility to take “all reasonable and practical measures to minimise and manage that nuisance”.
Another exception to the night-time noise ban is where the ongoing site works may cause a major traffic hazard, or in situations that involve continuous work, such as a concrete pour.
Note too that each state has different guidelines. For example, sometimes the restrictions apply between 7 pm and 6 am – so you should check with your local council before proceeding.
Another consideration before starting construction site night-works is the importance of communicating with neighbouring residents and business owners. Distributing leaflets explaining the hours and duration of operation may help to prevent complaints.
Establish which neighbours will be most impacted by the noise and inform them of:
To work out the projected impact on neighbours, the project team should:
According to Brisbane City Council guidelines, to help minimise building noise at night you can:
This final step is where working with an experienced noise control team such as Flexshield will add benefit.
As Australia’s industrial noise control specialists, Flexshield have a wide range of proven soundproofing solutions for construction sites, including:
Combining exceptional acoustic attenuation and absorption materials and available in 3 different surface mass densities, the sonic curtain is deployed where serious noise control is required.
Available with convenient hire or buy options, they are quick and easy to erect and dismantle and should be part of your night works ‘armoury’.
“We use these curtains mostly during night construction works to minimise noise impacts to residents. Feedback from the residents is that the screens help and they appreciate us trying to minimise noise impacts.”
Jenny Butler, Environmental Manager, Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade Project, Lendlease.