Assessment Approaches

There are a variety of assessment approaches required where MAC may provide assistance within Noise and Vibration discipline. The approach taken for a particular project is typically determined by the consent authority or the type of development that is proposed. MAC provide acoustic consulting services and assessments for the following types of projects:

Development Applications and Approvals

MAC provide acoustic consulting services for a variety of diverse projects for the planning approvals sector. Primarily, MAC provide noise reports to accompany environmental assessments that are submitted to regulatory authorities and include Development Applications to Councils, and Environmental Impact Assessments (ie DA’s, SEE, EIS, REF etc) for submission to the Environment Protection Authority or the Department of Environment and Planning.

The areas may include Development Applications for industrial and commercial projects, residential developments or the extractive industry. Our assessments typically cover a comprehensive range of acoustical areas, including operational noise, sleep disturbance, transportation noise (ie road and rail noise), noise emission from demolition or construction and vibration associated with the development. The key noise policies applicable to environmental approvals include:

  • Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA’s), Noise Policy for Industry (NPI), 2017 – Primarily required for assessing operational noise emissions from commercial or industrial developments to surrounding receivers.
  • Department of Planning (DPI) 2008, Development Near Rail Corridors and Busy Roads - Interim Guideline- typically adopted to assess road or rail noise intrusion to proposed residential or commercial dwellings/developments.
  • NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change – NSW Interim Construction Noise Guideline (ICNG), July 2009. Adopted when assessing construction or demolition activities or management plans associated with a commercial, industrial or residential development (ie high rise construction or linear infrastructure (ie roads rail etc).
  • NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water – NSW Road Noise Policy (RNP), March 2011. Adopted to assess and quantify potential any additional road noise generated by a project/development whether a commercial enterprise or from a linear transport infrastructure project.

Construction Noise, Vibration Assessment and Management

Construction noise and vibration is often associated with large linear infrastructure projects, although should also be considered for all developments (industrial, commercial or residential) where construction (or demolition) noise and vibration emissions may pose as an impact to the community.

This includes projects such as minor road works, to streetscape improvements or utilities upgrades. The key noise policies applicable to Construction Noise and Vibration Assessments include:

  • Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA’s), Noise Policy for Industry (NPI), 2017;
  • NSW Environment Protection Authority – NSW Environmental Noise Management – Industrial Noise Policy (INP), January 2000 and relevant application notes;
  • NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change – NSW Interim Construction Noise Guideline (ICNG), July 2009;
  • Standards Australia AS 2436-2010 Guide to Noise Control on Construction, Maintenance and Demolition Sites;
  • Standards Australia AS1055:2018 (AS1055) – Description and Measurement of Environmental Noise: Parts 1, 2 and 3;
  • Department of Climate Change and Water (DECCW), Assessing Vibration: A Technical Guideline 2009;
  • British Standard BS 7385:Part 2-1993 “Evaluation and measurement for vibration in buildings Part 2”.

Noise and Vibration Monitoring Assessments

Noise and Vibration Monitoring Assessments 

MAC regularly conduct both operator attended and unattended noise and vibration monitoring for a variety of projects, including determining compliance with Consent/Project Approval Conditions or an Environmental Protection Licence (EPL). Generally, operator attended monitoring is the preferred approach for determining compliance for a project, while unattended monitoring is conducted as a management tool or to establish trends in ambient levels over a longer time period that may form part of a site’s conditions of consent.

MAC have a fleet of noise and vibration monitoring instrumentation that allows for flexibility with monitoring at short notice and all equipment carries appropriate and current NATA (or manufacturer) calibration certificates. In addition to this, MAC have several real time monitoring systems that can be used to monitor long term noise and vibration levels. The units are capable of being installed in remote locations (ie with no mains power) and can be enabled to send email or text notifications that noise criteria has been exceeded so that effective management measures can be initiated by the end client to reduce potential impacts to the community.

Several relevant standards pertaining to noise and vibration monitoring primarily include:

  • Standards Australia AS 1055:2018, Acoustics - Description and measurement of environmental noise; and
  • AS IEC 61672.1-2004-Electroacoustics - Sound level meters – Specifications.

Noise Modelling Assessments

Primarily MAC adopt proprietary 3D noise modelling software (DGMR iNoise) noise modelling software to quantify noise emissions from projects. The modelling is a comprehensive and contemporary approach to completing assessment and allows for a variety of factors to be included in assessments that may be overlooked by more simplistic base calculation approaches. The modelling takes into account three-dimensional digital terrain, full octave or third-octave noise source data, ground types, attenuation from barrier or buildings and atmospheric information (weather) to predict noise levels at multiple receivers simultaneously.

The modelling calculation methods are in accordance with ISO 9613-1 ‘Acoustics – Attenuation of sound during propagation outdoors. Part 1: Calculation of the absorption of sound by the atmosphere’ and ISO 9613-2 ‘Acoustics – Attenuation of sound during propagation outdoors. Part 2: General method of calculation’ and includes corrections for meteorological conditions in accordance with CONCAWE.

Noise and Vibration Management Plans

MAC have been involved with completion of Noise and Vibration Management Plans for both Operation or Construction for multiple projects and scenarios.

MAC can provide a management plan for your project which includes realistic and feasible management measures to maintain compliance or to reduce potential noise and vibration impacts within the community surrounding the project. The management plans can include noise monitoring programs so that direct measurement of construction works can be completed to accurately identify the noise contribution of the project against criteria.

Contact MAC today to discuss your acoustic or noise assessment project needs.