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Excellence in Construction Noise and Vibration Management

This page outlines in more detail the broad range of construction projects that we have worked on recently.

Crossrail C300/410, BAM Nuttall Ferrovial Kier Joint Venture (JV)
This commission included 600 attended Best Practicable Means (BPM) audit surveys and over 250,000 hours of unattended noise and vibration monitoring across 10 major construction sites in central London operating on a 24/7 basis, as well as minor temporary sites. Monitoring locations included commercial premises, churches, recording studios, education facilities and residential dwellings. This commission also involved the production of 11 Section 61 applications and participation in the cumulative noise management process. Tunnelling and spray concrete lining works carried the risk of disturbance at sensitive receptors above the route through ground-borne noise and vibration. The management and monitoring of ground-borne noise and vibration were assisted by real time levels and alerts, which allowed the phasing of the works to times when the sensitivity was lower (e.g. conducting works when the recording studio was not in use). This reduced the potential for delays in having to limit works as the result of complaints. Other BPM advice included designing down construction noise through methodology, such as removal of large sections of concrete rather than breaking them on site. This allowed demolition works to be completed in a six-week period with only one complaint, despite being close to high sensitivity residential receptors. Noise monitoring reporting was enhanced across all of the construction sites through the development of an app to allow site staff to record all observations, noise levels and images of site activity following receipt of a noise alert from the monitoring system. Use of this technology and the unattended real-time alerting proved very effective in managing Section 61 consent compliance, BPM issues and informing the complaints handling procedure, as well as facilitating a rapid response to complaints. At Bond Street station, CCTV was used in conjunction with automated noise monitoring equipment to improve the ability to identify noise sources. This enabled better targeting of noise reduction training and enabled the identification of noise being generated off-site at nearby construction sites. This project involved working closely with the contractor and end client to reduce potential impacts and effects at high profile and high sensitivity sites during 24/7 working. Favourable feedback was received on the project: “Anderson Acoustics had to overcome a significant number of technical challenges. The work they undertook is, no doubt, industry leading.” – Colin Cobbing, Lead Noise and Vibration Specialist, Crossrail Ltd.

Crossrail C501 Moorgate Shaft, BAM Nuttall Kier JV
This commission included unattended noise and vibration monitoring for all construction works, Section 61 applications and BPM advice. Through the predicted noise levels, commitment to BPM and a noise and vibration management plan (including a real-time monitoring regime with alerting), the Section 61 application was given consent for extended construction hours despite the site being near residential receptors. With the proposed BPM (including a ten metre high noise barrier) the anticipated impact was reduced and the extended working hours reduced the overall programme length. The development of a noise and vibration web platform for the reporting and management of monitoring data streamlined the reporting of the measurements and the reporting of the cause of exceedances. The Contractor used the web interface to explain the cause of the exceedances of the Section 61 consent limit and the works during exceedances. Stakeholders were allowed access to the reporting so they could review the compliance with the consent and project criteria. This project included the production of 6-month ‘look-aheads’ of contractors’ predicted cumulative construction noise, to enable noise insulation and temporary re-housing to be arranged in advance to a suitable timescale if required. Alternatively, the works and BPM could be revised to avoid the need for temporary re-housing or noise insulation. The works for this project also involved re-baselining the ambient noise levels where the baseline provided by Crossrail (using the lowest measured ambient noise levels) was not suitable for effective alerting of construction noise levels. The noise monitoring system used cloud-based computing which allowed any member of the team to have access to web pages detailing real-time noise levels, historical noise data and amber (warning of a potential breach) and red (indicating a breach) alerts. The amber alerts were used effectively by site staff to amend the works to help avoid breaches of the Section 61 consented noise limits.

Crossrail C511 Whitechapel, BAM Nuttall Kier JV
This commission included unattended vibration monitoring for the construction works. Four Section 61 applications with 14 variations and 8 dispensations were produced to allow the consent of the works. The vibration monitoring and alerts allowed rapid response and investigation at nearby sensitive residential receptors. The modelled construction noise levels were collated as part of the process of management of cumulative construction noise from Crossrail contractors to allow noise insulation to be arranged in advance or works to be amended to avoid exceedance of the noise limits.

Crossrail C828 Ilford Depot, Volker Fitzpatrick
This commission included attended and unattended noise and vibration monitoring for all construction works. Eight Section 61 applications and eight dispensations were produced for the works. Attended and unattended noise monitoring surveys were used to evaluate the baseline noise levels provided by the client, to take into account the operation of trains at the depot so as not to have ongoing exceedances resulting from measured ambient noise levels varying from the minimum levels used in the Crossrail assessments. Understanding the temporal operations at the depot was key to not attributing apparent exceedances of noise levels to construction works when depot operational activities were the cause of the exceedance.

Thames Tideway West, BAM Nuttall Morgan Sindall Balfour Beatty JV
This commission included baseline noise monitoring, live unattended noise and vibration (and airborne particulates) monitoring for seven construction sites. Advice on BPM was given to apply for an extension of working hours for excavation and muck out activities (including the use of an acoustic shed over the shaft and an enclosed conveyor system) to help to reduce the programme duration. Three Section 61 applications have been produced to date. Future works include underwater noise monitoring. The Thames Tideway Environmental Statement and Code of Construction Practice require bespoke reporting that Anderson Acoustics has developed to meet agreements between the client and the local authorities.

Great Western Electrification, AMEY
This commission included 156 attended noise and BPM surveys and 44 attended vibration surveys in an operational rail environment. We have reviewed five Section 61 applications and worked with eight local authorities on the route. To work within a live operational infrastructure environment, we extended our quality management system to obtain Achilles RISQS certification and seven of our consultants became Personal Track Safety (PTS) certified.

Rampion Wind Farm, VolkerInfra
This commission included continuous, unattended noise monitoring and alerts for horizontal drilling operations. This project commenced with an emergency Section 61 application when the local authority notified their requirement for the works to be covered for 24/7 working. With the Section 61 consent in place, VolkerInfra could commence successful drilling on a 24/7 basis. Alerts informed the client if there was a risk of exceeding the consented noise limits and allowed them to amend works accordingly to stay within consented noise limits.

London City Airport Runway Overlay and Taxi Widening, Lagan Construction
Lagan Construction International contracted Anderson Acoustics to assess the noise arising from the planned runway works. As part of the Section 61 consent, continuous noise monitoring was requested with weekly reports to be issued to London Borough of Newham (LBN) as confirmation of compliance and evidence that the works were being undertaken within the agreed noise limits. The scope of our involvement on this project was quickly extended beyond continuous unattended noise monitoring with weekly reporting, to include night-time attended BPM and noise surveys at multiple locations with residential receptors surrounding the airport. Following the initial Section 61 consent, we also undertook further assessments to cover the main works, as well as dispensations and variations for minor changes to the overall timescale, as and when additional works were requested by London City Airport. We liaised directly with LBN to explain the noise issues around the planned works, as well as to demonstrate how to apply, prioritise and implement BPM. Compliance with strict noise limits at night was a challenge, particularly given the scale and type of construction works involved. The runway resurfacing included several stages, including milling of the existing runway surface, laying of the new tarmac surface and cleaning of the runway prior to handover back to the airport for their daytime operations using multiple road sweepers. This required the scheduling of specific works throughout different periods of the night, so the concurrent operation of plant was minimised wherever possible to comply with the noise limits at the residential receptors, which were set at 55 dB LAeq(15 mins).

Twickenham Station Redevelopment, Osborne Construction
Osborne instructed Anderson Acoustics to undertake construction noise management and monitoring for a 162-week programme consisting of two unattended noise and two unattended vibration monitors, with associated live reporting and audio recording from exceedances at this high sensitivity site. With Section 61 consent and the monitoring regime in place, the local authority was satisfied the works could proceed under appropriate control measures despite local opposition to the scheme and thus the construction.

If you would like more information about any of the projects listed and how we can apply our expertise to your requirements, do get in touch.

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