Construction Noise Management: Hong Kong Reviews and International Best Practices
Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32797
Construction Noise Management: Hong Kong Reviews and International Best Practices

Authors: Morgan Cheng, Wilson Ho, Max Yiu, Dragon Tsui, Wylog Wong, Yasir A. Naveed, C. S. Loong, Richard Kwan, K. C. Lam, Hannah Lo, C. L. Wong


Hong Kong is known worldwide for high density living and the ability to thrive under trying circumstances. The 7.5 million residents of this busy metropolis live primarily in high-rise buildings which are built and demolished incessantly. Hong Kong residents are therefore affected continuously by numerous construction activities. In 2020, the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department (EPD) commissioned a feasibility study on the management of construction noise, including those associated with renovation of domestic premises. A key component of the study focused on the review of practices concerning the management and control of construction noise in metropolitans in other parts of the world. To benefit from international best practices, this extensive review aimed at identifying possible areas of improvement in Hong Kong. The study first referred to the United Nations “The World’s Cities in 2016” Report and examined the top 100 cities therein. The 20 most suitable cities were then chosen for further review. Upon further screening, 12 cities with more relevant management practices were selected for further scrutiny. These 12 cities include: Asia – Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Guangzhou, Singapore; Europe – City of Westminster (London), Berlin; North America – Toronto, New York City, San Francisco; Oceania – Sydney, Melbourne. Subsequently, three cities, namely Sydney, City of Westminster, and New York City, were selected for in-depth review. These three were chosen primarily because of the maturity, success, and effectiveness of their construction noise management and control measures, as well as their similarity to Hong Kong in certain key aspects. One of the more important findings of the review is the importance of early focus on potential noise issues, with the objective of designing the noise away wherever practicable. The study examined the similar yet different construction noise early focus mechanisms of these three cities. This paper describes this landmark, worldwide and extensive review on international best construction noise management and control practices at the source, along the noise transmission path and at the receiver end. The methodology, approach, and key findings are presented succinctly in this paper. By sharing the findings with the acoustics professionals worldwide, it is hoped that more advanced and mature construction noise management practices can be developed to attain urban sustainability.

Keywords: construction noise, international best practices, noise control and noise management

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