Posted: 7th October 2021
Environmental monitoring describes how we regularly review the quality of an environment. During activities such as demolition or construction, where there is the potential for significant adverse impacts on the local environment, monitoring can help to reduce adverse effects to health, stress, and quality of life. Here are four things you can do to keep construction workers and the community safe, and why an environmental noise consultant may just be your most helpful ally.
Demolition and construction can create particles with unwanted physiochemical properties. Known as PM10, PM2.5, and PM1, these particles are often concentrated with silicon, aluminium, and other harmful substances. Studies show that they increase by around 57 times during building works. Breathing in coarse and fine particulates can result in respiratory difficulties, dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Particulate monitoring helps site managers to view the volume, density, and type of particulates, enabling the correct protective strategies to be implemented.
Environmental noise management involves determining the types of noise and their potential impact in the local area. At the early stage of the development noise mapping and scenario modelling can be used, following procedures in BS 5228-1:2009+A1:2014, to determine the likelihood of adverse impacts on nearby residents. Appropriate mitigation strategies can then be developed accordingly. Once work has started on site, noise monitoring can be used to confirm that construction noise remains within the required limits. Modern noise monitoring equipment allows data to be viewed in real-time online, and warning alerts are automatically triggered when noise levels are getting close to the limit or have exceeded the levels. An amber alert email sent to the site manager, advising they are close to the agreed noise limit, allows them to investigate the source of the noise and put measures in place to ensure they stay within the Local Authority approved criteria.
Nitrogen (N), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Ozone (O3) are all produced by Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM). Each of these gasses can have a range of negative environmental and health implications, including the emission of greenhouse gasses, airway inflammation, and the exacerbation of existing respiratory illnesses. NRMM emissions frequently interact with Particulate Matter (PM), resulting in a toxic gas that can cause long-term contamination. It is likely that air monitoring will soon become mandatory, and contractors can take important steps by planning to minimise emissions and monitoring operational sites.
Groundborne vibrations can cause a host of problems, ranging from nuisance to occupants, to structural damage to buildings. The impact of vibration depends upon multiple variables, such as the type of soil, the cause of the vibration, and its frequency. Similar to nose assessments, vibration from construction and demolition works can be modelled and the potential impact assessed in accordance with BS 5228-2:2009+A1:2014. Potential problems can be identified and steps are taken to minimise them. On-site vibration monitoring with real-time online results, automatic email and SMS warning alerts allow you to stay within your agreed Local Authority criteria and minimise your environmental impact on nearby occupants.
While many providers are familiar with monitoring for particulate matter and similar emissions, environmental noise and vibration are equally important problems. ACA Acoustics can help by providing a detailed noise and vibration assessment as a part of your construction management plan. Once construction or demolition works have commenced on-site, we can provide noise, vibration, and dust monitoring to ensure that your projects are compliant.
For more information, please give us a call, or fill out our online contact form to request a callback.
Image Source: Pixabay