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Air and Noise Pollution 49049 Group Project-1

Table of Content
Abstract 1
Keyword 1
Introduction 1
Air Pollution 1
Noise Pollution 2
Literature review 3
Impact of Construction Noise 3
Cause and impact of Air pollution 3
Mitigation Control for Construction Noise 4
Main findings 5
Discussion 7
Discussion on noise pollution 10


Since the beginning of the urban cities development, constructions sites had a significant
impact on the environment. Many construction sites generate pollutions involve air, noise,
water and soil. Building constructions have a direct effect from its equipment use and
operational activities. Such negative impacts affect firstly the people involved such as
workers, owners and communities and secondly the environment where construction is taken
place. Furthermore, construction sites are not limited to buildings and houses only but it's far
greater than this as it includes civil work such as bridges, tunnels, infrastructure, sewer
systems and more. Previous studies have shown that emission calculated during the various
stages of construction but it was not focussed on the demolition and the foundation phase
which play about 26% major role in pollution compared to its after stages. The listed
pollution control methods in this report can aid construction planners and contractors to
assess the risks by emission analysis, supplementary planning guidance(SPG) and control
techniques to prevent air and noise pollution created due to it construction activities. The
results show that the proper equipment usage, optimal transportation methods, correct use of
PPE and emission controllers can be used to achieve a sustainable construction with
minimum pollution and highest safety to health.

Constructions, Demolishing, Environmental protection agency, Asbestos, local councils,
legislations, Noise Control Regulation, Work Health & Safety, Air monitoring, Emission rate

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Air Pollution
With increasing population and its needs, it is also required to consider the environmental
impacts from its consumption. It is also necessary to assess and reduce as much pollution as
possible to develop and eco friendly environment. Due to such increase in population and to
accommodate their needs building construction need to be carried out. Building construction
also produce pollution by the means of construction activities which includes dust from earth
work (excavation), construction, demolition, landfill, equipment operation and the
transportation. Thereby to achieve a sustainable environment it is vital that we understand the
sources of air pollution, levels of environmental hazard and ways to minimise and control air
Most of the pollution caused by construction is considered from its material usage but the
dust generated due to construction is neglected which can cause a major problem on the
health of worker and the surrounding environment. Air pollution being of due importance
from the very first stages of construction remains unidentified due to limitation of its
knowledge of its cause and control. Here, we undertake the study of possible air pollution
caused due to the reconstruction of UTS building 2 and its possible controls that could be
adopted to reduce the air pollution.

Noise Pollution
Construction sites don’t stop at the erection of new structure or building but it also involves
the demolishing of an existing structure and/or building, where in this activity the amount of
pollutant increases dramatically as it involves disturbance of dust, noise, hazardous materials
such as lead paint & asbestos fibres and solid materials.
To determine the impact of construction noise during the demolition phase and the building
phase, the construction site at Building 2 of University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) has
been assessed. The historic building was established in 1980s and the demolition process was
completed in 2017. Construction for a new building has begun since March 2017.

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Building 2 is surrounded by at least five academic buildings of UTS which are frequently
used by thousands of students during the construction process. There are also residential
buildings nearby the construction site. According to Interim Construction Noise Guideline,
construction sites like Building 2 require extra consideration. Site investigation has been
carried out to assess the level of noise and the impact this brings to public. A sound level

meter (model testo 816-1) has been borrowed to record the sound pressure level at the site in

Figure 1: testo 816-1

Literature review
Impact of Construction Noise
Exposure to unwanted or loud noise for too long can cause harm to the ear and can make
people deaf. The commencement of deafness can be slow and not realised till damages has
occurred. Often labours don't realise that their hearing is being ruined, in most cases they are
used to be exposed to such noises as part of their work that it becomes normal for them to
work under these circumstances as a result their ears have already been damaged that the
surrounding noise does not seem as loud as once used to be(G, 2015). Sometimes, too, people
will deny that they are having trouble hearing. It is important employees ensure audiometric
tests are conducted if their employers are exposed to noise. As required by the NSW WHS
Regulations, this assessment can help to prevent workers from suffering of either temporary
or permanent hearing loss( NSW 2011).
We should always Try to move noisy machinery away from workers. If this cannot be done,
people in the noisy zone should wear WorkCover-approved ear muffs or plugs. They'll cut
down the noise by 20 to 30 per cent. Earmuffs or plugs must be worn all the time the wearer
is in the noisy zone - wearing them for only part of a noisy shift reduces the protection.
The impact of noise on human health has arisen as a progressively substantial issue that
validates significant management effort. The Guidelines for Construction Noise (WHO 1999)
and The Health Effects of construction Noise identify the significant health effects of
exposure to construction noise.

Cause and impact of Air pollution

Causes of Dust pollution in construction site:

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● Cement silos: when the cement is unloaded from the baggage it creates pollution due
to the particulate emissions caused due to sudden unloading of large quantity of
material in to the mixing vessel.
● The batching plant: It is responsible to form a concrete by mixture of sand aggregate
causes dust being it transferred from one or more hoppers comprising of varied size of
aggregates this causes a large-scale flow of harmful dust gases due to the bulk
movement of air passing through the material handling equipment.
● Crushing plant: which is responsible to crush the rocks by grinding process into
smaller particles also cause dust and noise emission.
● Material Transportation: The cement mix produced at the batching plant is
transported to the construction site with help of various modes of transportation which
causes pollution from its method of operation and movement of material(Sandanayake,2018).
● Demolition: The destruction activities of existing building cause dust particulates,
asbestos, silica emission and diesel engine exhaust gases.
● Earthworks: The excavation process, landscaping, land filling and removing of
material cause dust and noise pollution.
● Construction: the construction activities produces dust particulate staples less than
10 microns in diameter.
Causes Gaseous emission:
● Continuous usage of cranes, diesel engines and other electric equipment causes
emission of hazardous gases.
● Transportation of construction waste, burning of waste material cause emission of
carbon gases on sites
● Deposition of the soil and carbon particles and dust blames
● Exhaust gas emission cause hazardous effect on human health.
● Health related complaints from the local people and workers caused due to irritation.
● Degradation and performance of sensitive receivers installed on sites.
● Effects on land and water quality
● Rise in concentration of particulate matters due to dust generation.

Figure 3: Workers wearing PPE.

Figure 4: Noise isolation wall.

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Main findings

Mitigation control for Air pollution on construction site:

1. Emission analysis at the construction stage.

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2. If dealing with the hazardous material while construction and demolition

comply it with safety standard and its mitigation techniques.
3. Construction barriers provide a potential shield to prevent spreading of dust.
4. Use of air pressure within the site to maintain the flow of air to drain away
dangerous air.
5. Regular cleaning of construction sites and road.
6. Limit the working hours of construction site
Proposed: Monday to Friday 8:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.
7. Use of SPG (Supplementary planning guidance) during construction and
demolition activities which reduce emission of dust, PM10, PM2.5, and aims to
control NOx.
7.1. SPG includes activities such as preparation of
● Preparation of air quality statement including the risk assessment
● For each stages of work activities determining the dust emission levels.
● For each level of risk identified document its impact on the health and the
surrounding environment.
● Evaluate the best possible methods to control and monitor.
● Constantly analyse progress.
8. Accurate identification of the major potential sources by calculation
8.1.Emission due to transportation

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Where, ETGHG is the greenhouse gas emission

Qj is quantity of fuel type in kL.
ECj is energy content factor for fuel()

Detail of material being used and transportation distances respectively

8.2.Emission due to equipment usages

Where, EFi is the emission element factor

LF is the load factor

Equipment type, fuel used and usage hours.

Now, we will use the above data and methods to obtain information regarding the emissions from
each activity performed and their respective emissions during its use for construction of UTS building

Mitigation Control for Construction Noise

So how do we control the level of noise from construction sites and what are the key points
that are used in today’s construction industry to eliminate the damages and control the risk of
noise pollution?

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Constructions companies shall endeavor to eliminate and control noise in the workplace, by
effectively managing the risk of noise-induced hearing loss and other health related noise
effects, this can be done by:
● The use of personal protective equipment PPE consisting of approved ear muffs with
a rating of 31db(A) and the addition of approved ear plugs if required and training in
its use and maintenance.
● Move any noisy machinery/equipment as far as possible from the workers.
● Isolated behind sound-absorbent walls or curtains any noisy machinery/equipment
that can’t be moved or relocated.
● Limit the time the source of noise is used and work during the recommended working
hours as per the Interim Construction Noise Guideline and local council guidelines.
● All plant and equipment used on site will comply with the Environmental Authority’s
● Equipment not in use will be switch off and not be left idling.
● Site Personnel are not to work more than 8 hours per day 5 days per week when
exposed to steady noise at 85db(A). as outlined in safe work Australia guides.

Discussion on Air pollution
After analyzing the given above data for the stages of construction it was found that the foundation
stage caused about 26% of direct emission of dust pollutant while it was 6% for the structure
construction phase. Remaining 74% and 94% constituted to the indirect sources of emission for the
foundation and the structure phase. Thus, it is important to take necessary steps to reduce
emissions by monitoring and preparing an appropriate construction plan with optimum use of
material, equipment and transport vehicles from the very foundation phase which will decrease the
emissions by a greater level.

The figures below show the non-CO2 emission distribution for different equipments obtained from
the emission analysis. The excavators has the highest percentage of emission because of continuous
operation for long period of time. The corresponding emission level that affect the environment are
shown below which depicts the individual contribution of the equipments to the emission levels of
hydrocarbons(HC), Carbon-monoxides(CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), Sulphur dioxide(SO2) and

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particulate matter for GHG and non-GHG emissions. The X-axis depicts the particulate emission type
whereas the Y-axis depicts the quantity in tonnes.

GHG emission from construction equipments

Non-GHG emission quantities

On further examination of the data obtained from the bill of materials, scheduled deliveries,
procurement data sheets, time sheets for material usage and weekly data from the sensors we
obtain a detailed output of the equipments in operation, material, number of units utilized,
construction activities like: concreting, excavation, loading of material and their emissions which can
be then sorted according to its impacts and severity to air pollution for mitigation purposes.

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Fig. Combined table for construction material equipment and mission

Finally, we are able to achieve a detailed plan for the construction site which provides detail on the
use of transport vehicles required for various tasks at the specific interval, the plan for disposal of
construction waste, operations required for the landfill after demolition for its reuse, repair and
recycle. Information is also obtained with regards to the activities which can be controlled by
adopting methods and tools of controlling the emissions and the activities which are uncontrolled
and needs to be mitigated by some other possible methods.

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Discussion on noise pollution

The data was recorded at 5:15pm on 29/05/2018. Since it was approaching the end of
working hours, it can be considered that the workload has been reduced and the noise level
was lower than the average level.

Figure 2: Data collected using testo 816-1

Compared to demolition, the construction process might be less impactful. However, noise
from the machine operation will have a negative impact on the surrounding environment.
Exposure to too much noise for too long can make people deaf. The onset of deafness can be
slow. Often workers don't realize that their hearing is being destroyed. They may think they
have got used to the noise on the work site, but they have not, and it is because that their ears
have been damaged to the level that the surrounding noise does not seem as loud as it used to.
People sometimes will deny that they are having trouble hearing. We should always try to
move noisy machinery away from workers. If this cannot be done, people in the noisy zone
should wear earmuffs or plugs approved by NSW Workplace Health & Safety Regulations

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which can cut down the noise by 20 to 30 per cent. Earmuffs or plugs must be worn all the
time the wearer is in the noisy zone - wearing them for only part of a noisy shift reduces the
protection. The Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW has published an
Interim Construction Noise Guideline on 2017 which specifies the assessment method and
allowable noise level. According to this guideline, for a major construction project such as
the site at Building 2, noise level during recommended standard hours (Monday to Friday 7
am to 6 pm, Saturdays 8am to 1pm, no work on Sundays or public holidays) should not
exceed Background + 10 dB(A) or LAeq 75 dB(A). The calculation has shown the maximum
sound pressure level exceeds the background sound level by 28.7dB which indicates that the
site has violated the Noise Guide. According to Safe Environments, detailed noise
assessments are only recommended if the noise levels measured are above 80 dB(A) which
was not met during this recording. However, excessive noise should be reported to UTS:
Building Services for the protection of student.
Because of the potential hearing loss caused by exposure to noise, it is vital to protect
ourselves from it. Using Hierarchy of Control (elimination, substitution, isolation,
engineering, administration and personal protective equipment) to reduce noise is necessary
for working and studying areas such as UTS. While construction sites can be regulated by
existing laws and regulations, traffic noise comes from the high volume of daily traffic which
is uncontrollable. Although it will affect students’ studying and learning process at the
campus, there is little that can be done to reduce the noise from its source. Protection such as
noise barriers needs to be placed to minimise the noise from entering the study area.

During the preliminary assessment of Building 2, it was found that the surrounding areas may
have been exposed to excessive noise from the construction site. Although according to
previous sections, the peak noise level of 77.9 dB(A) does not exceed the limit by Australian
guidelines, workers should be protected with PPE and it is employers’ responsibility to
ensure that their employees do not suffer either temporary or permanent hearing loss.
Students and residents in the affecting areas should also apply appropriate measures to
protect themselves.

Air pollution is a critical factor which cannot be neglected due to its harmful causes to
environment and humankind. In this report it turns out that dust emissions are generated
mainly in the foundation phase of construction due to material handling, demolition and use
of equipments for prolonged period without taking necessary precautions or proper
construction plan considering the environmental aspects. This paper also provides light on the
emission rates from the equipment and material usage which can be helpful for routing the
transport and revising the construction plan for minimal waste of energy and maximum
reduction in pollution. Thus, with the help of the listed control methods, SPG and emission
analysis plan for air and noise pollution we can build green and sustainable buildings for
future being it an environment friendly approach.


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