Clifton and Hotwells
Improvement Society (CHIS)

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Construction Site Management

This is a Bristol City Council document based on BS5228 copyright HMSO written as a guide to developers
Noise is probably one of the greatest causes of complaint from construction works. From piling operations in order to create basements to the long-term use of hand tools in small refurbishment, noise can have a serious impact on neighbours. For this reason the Council has adopted a specific policy on acceptable hours of operation for all construction sites and may require you to keep within specified noise levels. The Council's policy on hours of work is as follows:
Monday to Friday 8am-6pm
Saturday 8am-1 pm
No work outside these times and including Bank and Public Holidays unless by prior agreement with the Council.

There are two ways that the Council can control noise from construction sites. The first and our preferred way is to agree with you in advance hours of work, noise levels and other precautions. This allows you to understand our requirements in good time, and price and manage your work accordingly, and is called a 'Prior Consent'. This is not a legal requirement and it is your choice to seek this consent. However, if you do have a consent, it is a legal requirement to comply with its conditions. If no consent is in place and the Council receives complaints the Council will consider alternative legal powers in the Control of Pollution Act, 1974. The Council also has legal powers under the Environmental Protection Act, 1990 and the Clean Air Act, 1993.

The Council will investigate any complaints and if justified serve a legal notice. The requirements of this notice will prevent further disturbance. There are industry codes of practice that we will expect you to follow. You must comply with BS 5228: Noise Control on Construction and Open Sites, Part 1 Code of Practice for Basic information and Procedures for Noise Control and Part 2 Guide to Noise Control Legislation for Building Sites, including Road Construction and Maintenance. Where piling works are to be carried out, the Code as it applies to piling operations must be adhered to. We can provide you with details of how to obtain these codes. It is expected that you take all reasonable steps to reduce noise as much as possible. This is also a requirement in law called `Best Practicable Means'. The Council must be satisfied that all means of managing and reducing noise and vibration that can be practicably applied at reasonable cost have been implemented.

For your general guidance


On long term and or potentially noisy projects you are advised to carry out a noise survey before works begin. This will be used to set acceptable noise levels and included in any formal agreement between the Contractor and the Council. For piling and other operations that may give rise to high vibration levels a vibration assessment may be advisable. This information will enable you to determine work methods, types of plant to be used and noise and vibration mitigation measures for the site. We encourage you to monitor noise and vibration levels regularly and to keep written records so that deviations from agreed levels can be detected early and control measures identified. This will assist in evaluating complaints and safeguarding your business against claims arising. Sound levels should be monitored using methods contained in Appendix `B' of BS 5228: Part 1 and equipment meeting the specifications of BS 5969:1981 (1989).


The work site levels established by the Council, either by agreement or enforcement, relate to recorded background levels. These levels will normally relate to a 10 hour LAeq and may also include 1 minute LAeq. The suitability of specific noise limits is highly dependent upon the individual site.
The factors to be considered include: Noise measurements should be taken with a Class I Integrating Logging Sound Meter calibrated (before and after) with a Class I Acoustic Calibrator. LAeq and LAmax F noise levels should be recorded together with a record of the noise events principally affecting noise level at the time of the monitoring.


Appropriate levels of vibration should be considered having regard to occupiers and users of buildings and the structural integrity of buildings. BS 6472 applies with regard to levels affecting users of buildings. Guidance on the levels of vibration, which may cause building damage are contained in BS 7385: Part 2. Where complaints are received you should consider the need for monitoring at neighbouring premises.


Unfortunately some contractors still burn waste materials on site. Apart from causing nuisance to neighbours, increasing air pollution, it is also against the law. There are also other sources of air pollution that regularly give rise to complaint. Badly maintained vehicles pumping out diesel fumes, dust from grinding and sand blasting can also give rise to serious complaint. We expect Contractors to comply with the relevant legislation and will give you advice on how to do this. For instance:


By the time construction begins you should be aware of all the hazards and potential hazards that may be present on the site. Apart from the normal health and safety concerns in either demolition or construction (when you should contact the Health and Safety Executive for advice), there are a number of environmental hazards that you should have considered.


All work on asbestos must comply with Legislation, HSE Approved Codes of Practice and Guidance current at the time of the works. Before starting works, a survey should be undertaken to identify all potentially hazardous materials. These may include asbestos, lead and lead-based products, polychlorinated biphenyl's (PCBs), anthrax spores (in horsehair used as plaster reenforcement), fuel/heating oil tanks (above and below ground); battery cells and coolants used in air conditioning units. The survey work should be carried out in accordance with all relevant legislation together with HSE Approved Codes of Practice and Guidance, Government Guidelines and industry best practice. It is your responsibility to remove all such materials correctly using a licensed contractor. Further details are available from the Health and Safety Executive.


For any new development land contamination would have normally been identified in the planning phase of the project. You should obtain and review copies of any investigations that have been carried out on the site. You will need to satisfy yourself and the Council that a thorough assessment has been made of potential risks to If any contamination or ground gas is identified or suspected during the course of the works, you should seek advice and undertake further specific investigations. To enable classification of the waste for disposal purposes you should arrange for the testing of samples of excavated waste material An assessment should be undertaken of the potential for unexploded bombs to be present on the site. This should include consultation with the Home Office and the Council. Any suspect devices encountered must be notified to the Police, all work immediately ceased and the site evacuated.


All wastes must be removed off site using a registered waste carrier and sent to sites authorised to receive it. Disposal must be in accordance with relevant legislation. All waste documentation - Transfer Notes and Consignment Notes - must be completed and held on site. You should refer to the HMSO publication `Waste Management Duty of care Code of Practice' (1996) for further guidance. You should take steps to minimise waste generated on site by:


This is a common source of complaint and potentially very hazardous. You will need to ensure that the site and surrounding carriageways and footpaths are kept clean. Steps you can take to reduce mud from traffic include the following:


All works on the highway must be in accordance with the Roads and Streetworks Act, with particular reference to the Code of Practice `Safety at Street Works and Road Works'. You should consult the Council's Highways Management Group before starting any works that affect the highway. The date works are due to start and their duration, the area affected and methods of construction to be used need to be considered and agreed. If you will be carrying out works requiring any of the following you will need to obtain the appropriate licence(s): For each of these a set of standard conditions exists which you must comply with. As licence-holder you will be responsible for any accidents or injury arising from the exercise of the licence. The Council must be indemnified against any accidents or injuries, claims or demands arising directly or indirectly from any work operations covered by this licence. Your public liability (Third Party) insurance must provide cover of not less than 5,000,000 for any accident or series of accidents arising out of any one event and the indemnity otherwise shall be unlimited. You must take precautions to prevent damage to roads and footpaths. You will be responsible for any damage caused by your activities to roads, kerbs or footpaths close to the site. You will be required to pay a deposit to cover damage to the highway resulting from any building works pursuant to the licence issued. Any excess will be refunded or, should costs exceed the deposit you will be required to pay the balance.


A scaffold licence is required for any building works where scaffolding is to be used.


Hoardings are required wherever building works are undertaken unless you apply to the Highways Management Group for a dispensation. The following conditions will apply to any licence:


The highway must be kept free from obstruction as far is reasonably practicable. Where it is essential to your works to store materials on the highway you must identify an area and obtain a licence from the Council. Subject to licence you must ensure that the approved area:


No fan shall be fixed at a lower level than 2.50 metres from the surface of the footway and, if it projects nearer than 0.5 metres to the outer edge of the kerb then it shall not be fixed at a height lower than 5.90 metres above the surface of the carriageway.


Proper precautions must be taken to prevent building materials, water or any other substance falling on the public way, either by fixing adequate sheeting or other means. No cradle, ropes or other tackle must be lowered to a height less than 2.5 metres above the surface of the footway.


Vehicles crossing the footway may only do so at a suitable crossover. A standard residential crossover is not suitable for commercial vehicles. Where it is necessary for traffic to cross the footway you will need to provide temporary crossovers that meet the following minimum requirements and seek further advice from the Highways Management Group:


At regular intervals and on completion of the works, spillages must be cleared from the highway leaving it in a clean condition. Temporary and diverted footways must be accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs and reasonable pedestrian routes should be available throughout the construction period.


The Council, in agreement with the police, may require you to use a `planned route' for lorries regularly visiting the site. Lorries entering or leaving the site may only cross footways under the control of a banksman and those waiting to enter or leave the site must switch off their engines. All vehicles must enter and leave the site in a forward direction.


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