10 Dec 2019

How can you reduce noise pollution on site?

Reducing noise pollution of construction site generators
 
  • Written By

    Dougie Brown, National Service Manager
    UK

  • Published in

    UK

How can you reduce noise pollution on site?

From noisy neighbours to nearby music venues, we experience noise pollution on a daily basis. Though some kinds are more preventable than others, noise pollution from construction sites must be controlled and regulated to ensure disturbances are kept to a minimum.

There are rules and regulations around noise emissions that impact all construction sites in any location, including the Noise Emissions in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoor Regulations 2001. This piece of legislation is very thorough, covering the 57 types of outdoor machinery that may be used on construction sites, including power generators. 

Unregulated noise can disturb areas close to construction sites and may even lead to hearing damage that could prevent construction workers from operating safely. With councils able to step in under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 when sites exceed certain sound levels, subsequent construction delays could result in missed deadlines and penalties.

So, with generators often responsible for a sizeable amount of a construction site’s overall noise pollution, and power output often needed around the clock, what can you do? Here are four steps that you should consider for tackling noise pollution on site.

1 – Measures to reduce engine noise

The careful specification and manufacture of a generator is hugely important in the reduction of noise produced by the package. Sound emitting from generator engines is a contributor to construction site sound emissions, so it’s important you take steps to reduce this noise before the installation on site. 

There are several noise suppression measures that can be integrated in the generator’s design. For example, additional insulating material helps reduce the amount of sound from the generator. Airflow through the enclosure and compartmentalisation are also factors that aid noise reduction.

 

2 – The right exhaust system

Engine fumes must be released via an exhaust, but this can lead to another issue. Namely, that sound produced by the generator engine can escape directly via this route.

Silencers are fitted to suppress this noise source, reducing engine noise at the point the exhaust leaves the enclosure. Attenuation boxes can be installed above the canopy after the generators are put in place. Furthermore, sound absorbing walls can be built around the generator further reducing noise on your site.  

 

3 – Measures for the cooling system

Noise derived from the generators’ cooling system is another contributor to on site noise pollution. Yet the good news is that this noise can be reduced by multiple methods, depending on whether the fan is driven by belts or powered electrically.

There are slightly fewer measures you can take with belt-driven systems, with the main consideration being the choice of fan. For instance, the shape of its blades and whether they have serrated edges can affect how much they disturb the air, which in turn creates the sound. 

The same measures can be taken with electrically powered cooling fans. However, what sets this cooling system apart is that you can control fan speed and the fan will turn off completely when power demand and ambient conditions allow , such as during the night or at points of low activity. When the fan is slowed or powered down completely, noise from this part of the system is no longer an issue.

 

4 – Choosing the optimal location

While system specification is a crucial part of controlling noise pollution, there are other simple on site steps you can take to further prevent it. For example. the location of the generator system is an important factor in ensuring noise doesn’t pollute places nearby. If generators are placed further away from residential areas and moved closer to where the work is taking place, the nuisance and potentially harmful effects of the noise are reduced. 

 

The all-round solution

In today’s market, there a plenty of options available for high-performance generator systems with excellent sound-proofing measures in place. Aggreko, for instance, can provide efficient generator solutions manufactured with noise-reducing measures, together with ongoing servicing for sites where noise pollution may be an issue.

Our experts ensure that the generators are installed on your construction site with all sound-proofing and noise-reducing measures taken into account. With a generator system that adheres to noise pollution regulations, your construction site will not be subject to complaints from surrounding residents, or subject to unexpected fines that may result from breaching important regulations.


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  • Read other blogs in the extra comes as standard series here.
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