Noise and Vibration Monitoring for Construction Sites

Anyone who has lived or worked at or near a construction site is familiar with the sound of pile driving, or the mechanical driving of specialized poles (piles) into the earth to provide foundational support for buildings. Pile driving is never a quiet job, and depending on the nature of the soil, the size of the structure, and the types of piles, the noise of the work may continue at high decibels over a prolonged period of time.

Commercial pile driving contractors often find themselves working in an area that is already built up with homes, offices, hospitals, schools, or government offices. Noise regulations that protect these interests may result in litigation if preemptive measures are not taken. Construction companies benefit from data collection that proves that pile driving noise falls within legal limits. Noise and vibration management and compliance monitoring may also be requirements of permit acquisition.

Vibration and noise data collection also benefits construction site neighbors who feel that close proximity to loud noise will damage their ability to work and live properly and comfortably. For example, a courthouse may require a degree of noise regulation in order to clearly hear arguments and conduct a fair trial. A hospital may request a level of calm to aid in patient welfare and recovery, and a school may need silence during class hours so that students can concentrate on lessons.

The vibrations produced by pile driving may also be a concern to those working in labs with delicate equipment that is highly susceptible to damage. With supporting data, construction site neighbors can require sites to modify their work methods or hours to mitigate the problems of noise and vibration pollution.

All groups with an interest in sound level and vibration monitoring can take of advantage of Crystal Instruments’ handheld data collector, the CoCo-80. The CoCo has two to eight input channels which can be connected both to a sensor to test ground vibration or to a microphone to test environmental noise levels.

The CoCo-80 can be used to evaluate the noise levels from construction activities. Processing allows the user to examine the average overall noise level as well as viewing statistical data, such as the loudest 5%, 10%, or 50%. Using this statistical data in conjunction with overall levels helps to ensure short periods of high intensity noise is not lost among a long monitoring period of relatively low noise.

To learn more about the CoCo-80, click here.