The Benefits of Noise and Vibration Monitoring During Construction

Anyone who lives, works, or attends school near a construction site knows how noisy they can be. With construction activity rising across the country, it’s no wonder residents of urban areas file thousands of construction-related noise complaints annually. If the noise wasn’t bothersome enough, shaking floors and rattling windows from construction-induced vibration are a common accompaniment and can lead to costly property damage. Fortunately, many cities place regulatory limits on allowable construction noise, and, in some cases, vibration, in order to protect the public against these harms. Implementing noise and vibration monitoring is often critical to demonstrate compliance with such regulations. Whether required or not, however, it is prudent to consider noise and vibration monitoring as an important safety measure for your projects.

As acoustical consultants, we know how excessive noise can affect people in a community. In fact, the World Health Organization cites the global increase of community noise levels as a significant public health concern while the Center for Disease Control outlines the myriad health impacts from noise, including increased stress, anxiety, fatigue, elevated blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and more. For construction projects near schools or hospitals, among other locations with particularly vulnerable populations, limiting excessive noise is absolutely vital.

For many projects involving foundation work, especially those in dense urban environments, vibration monitoring is especially important due to the increased possibility of damage to neighboring properties. Typical equipment involved in foundation work includes pile drivers and rock breakers, among other heavy machinery, all of which produce considerable vibration. While this equipment can often be safely employed, the risk of causing damage remains. Whether or not damage will occur depends on many factors and can be difficult to predict. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that conditions are carefully monitored and controlled.

By monitoring noise and vibration, you are prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of your neighbors and the buildings they occupy. You also display proper due diligence and protect your project from unsubstantiated legal claims. Not unsurprisingly, the relationship between those responsible for construction and those in the surrounding community can become strained, which can lead to litigation in some cases. Monitoring can be an integral element of protection in these situations.

SM&W understands not only the importance of construction noise and vibration monitoring, but the complex phenomena governing the science of acoustics as well. Through our extensive experience of applying this knowledge to the field of design and construction, we are uniquely situated to offer this critical service. We work closely with our clients to develop practical monitoring solutions while utilizing wireless instrumentation, which enables us to instantly alert your team of an issue. We also provide comprehensive reporting and expert analysis, delivering a record of all data for the duration of monitoring. Considering the implications of neglecting this crucial safety measure, the benefits of monitoring are clear.


Interested in learning more? Read more about our Noise & Vibration Monitoring services here.


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