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Construction site noise mitigation using sonic curtains

Supplier: Flexshield
05 June, 2017

Noise especially that caused by construction equipment, is a growing problem in our modern cities.

Noise is considered a major cause of sleep disturbances. Poor sleep has been proven to be a contributing cause of serious medical conditions both in adults and children. Sound frequencies as low as 30dB can affect rest but construction machinery like a roller registers at 74dBA at 15m from the source. 

That is why responsible and experienced companies like Lendlease consider the social impacts of their works not just the economical. The founder of Lendlease said in 1973 "Companies must start justifying their worth to society, with greater emphasis placed on environmental and social impact rather than just straight economics." Noise pollution is a huge problem across Australia and is only increasing as the economy grows. Noise pollution impacts residents nearby construction sites continually, but the problem is accentuated at night. Noisy night works makes residents disgruntled and unhappy which in turn ruins business reputation. Construction companies also have to abide by the law. State governments stipulate strict EPA and Codes of Practise regarding the dB measurements allowed in certain hours depending on the zoning of the property.

For example, Environmental Protection (Noise) Policy 2008 Schedule 1 Section 8 Acoustic Quality Objectives states that when the sensitive receptor is a childcare/kindergarten, the acoustic quality objective when ‘open for business other than when the children usually sleep' is 35 dBA. ‘When the children are usually asleep' the acoustic quality objective is 30 dBA. And so it goes on, there are policies for dwelling indoors, dwelling outdoors, library and educational institution, school or playground (outdoors), hospital surgery or other medical institution- during visiting hours and anytime other than visiting hours, commercial and retail activity etc. If these policies are not adhered to, projects can be forced to stop work, costing millions. Companies can also face huge fines and court prosecution if they fail to comply.

Earlier this month, Lendlease Environmental Manager contacted Flexshield seeking to purchase another 20 Sonic Curtain Panels for the Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade project. Kingsford Smith Drive connects the Brisbane Inner City Bypass with the Gateway Motorway and essentially the Brisbane Airport. Any disruptions to traffic flow on this road would cause chaos and delays throughout the city therefore all major works have to be completed at night.

Lendlease has hired and purchased Flexshield Sonic Curtain Panels for many years now. They have received feedback from residents saying the sonic curtains certainly do help reduce the noise and residents really appreciate them trying to minimise the noise impact Flexshield Sonic Curtain panels not only make happy residents but happy workmen. These curtains are light weight, fully transportable, available in a range of sizes, quickly and easily erected, environmentally friendly and also fire and weather proof. These temporary noise curtains can be erected anywhere. They are ideal as hoardings encompassing the entire site, or around mobile plant such as site generators, drilling operations or jack hammering. Strategically placed eyelets and hook and loop joiners allow for multiple configurations and cover areas.

Flexshield's Sonic Curtains have been acoustically designed to contain a wide range of noise frequencies. They not only form a sound barrier but they also absorb the noise. NATA lab testing (AS ISO 354-2006) results show a 26dB reduction at 1000Hz. Site Noise Mitigation is essential to combat existing and future complaints – and to avoid EPA Penalty Infringement Notices. Steps must be taken to reduce noise levels, ideally at the source. For more information, visit our website and download the Site Noise Mitigation Handbook.