Construction Noise & Vibration

With large infrastructure projects being constructed in densely populated areas, the need for control of construction noise and vibration has become increasingly important. However, there is a practical limit to the level of control that can be implemented on most projects.

Wilkinson Murray is able to provide advice on likely noise and vibration levels to be generated and methods of reducing these levels to comply with limits set by authorities and to meet community expectations. The firm can also provide noise and vibration monitoring services for construction projects, both attended or unattended monitoring. Wilkinson Murray is equally familiar with surface construction sites and underground tunneling methods.

When Leightons were bidding the Kowloon Southern Link project in Hong Kong, one of the contentious issues was ground-borne noise levels generated by tunnel boring machines. Wilkinson Murray was engaged to predict the levels, based on experience in Sydney, and to present the levels to the client. The client was reassured by this work and Leightons were awarded the contract.

Kowloon Southern Link


Wilkinson Murray was brought into the Kowloon Southern Link project because of our particular expertise on ground-borne noise from tunnelling. The firm’s responsibility regarding this issue has been to predict ground-borne noise levels in advance of construction and to interpret ongoing monitoring and continually update the predictions.

This involvement has given confidence to Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) that ground-borne noise will be properly managed, including at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Wilson Acoustics Limited is working beside Wilkinson Murray to predict and control noise from surface operations associated with the tunnelling process.



Lend Lease's vision for Barangaroo South – the southern 7.5 hectares of the 22-hectare former container port – is to become the greenest global residential and business centre in the world. Wilkinson Murray has prepared comprehensive Construction Noise and Vibration Management Assessments and Management Plans for the project.

The site, located on Sydney Harbour, is exposed to the western part of the city and so careful management of noise and vibration during the lengthy construction period is critical to the success of the project. Wilkinson Murray is now developing a customised monitoring system to aid in the management of construction emissions.

Cross City Tunnel


This project involved the construction of 2.5km of road tunnels under Sydney’s CBD and nearby areas. The construction works included tunneling by roadheader with surface works at four main construction sites.
With the need for much of the work to be carried out 24 hours a day, noise and vibration from the project required close management.

Wilkinson Murray provided noise and vibration prediction services, advice on practical methods of control and ongoing noise and vibration monitoring.

Epping Chatswood tunnel


This project involves twin underground rail tunnels extending over 13km across the northern suburbs of Sydney. Wilkinson Murray was commissioned to design vibration and ground-borne noise mitigation measures to meet stringent criteria applying to buildings on the surface, and to assist in the control of construction noise and vibration.

The control of vibration from the TBM operations during construction presented major challenges, but the project proceeded unimpeded by response to noise and vibration.

Cronulla Line


Wilkinson Murray were engaged by the construction team to undertake assessment of various operational and construction noise components across this 8km duplication of track between Sutherland and Cronulla. Wilkinson Murray’s assessment of barrier sections and finishes at the request of the contractor enabled changes to the design without compromising environmental commitments to Regulators and the community.

Our ongoing involvement during construction resulted in the preparation over 30 assessments by project’s end. A feature of Wilkinson Murray’s service was our ability to prepare assessment reports within limited timeframes.

St Vincents Hospital


This facility is currently being constructed adjacent to the existing Garvan Institute of Medical Research (in which Wilkinson Murray has previously been involved) and there is a need to protect the research animals from the effect of noise and vibration.

Noise and vibration limits have been set and monitoring is currently being carried out during the excavation. In addition, the animals are being closely observed as a check on the suitability of the limits set.

warragamba dam


Wilkinson Murray was responsible for long-term noise monitoring during major earthworks to upgrade Warragamba Dam which supplies Sydney with much of its water. Residential areas were located close to the works and the control and monitoring of noise formed an important part of environmental management.

Lane Cove Tunnel


Wilkinson Murray was engaged to assist Thiess John Holland through the critical approvals phase for this project as we had clearly demonstrated, on previous construction projects, our ability to provide work of a suitable standard and within a tight time-frame to satisfy the regulatory requirements.

Of particular importance was the ability to accurately predict the potential impacts from tunneling using roadheaders, as these would operate 24-hours, six days per week in order to meet the proposed opening date.

The measurements undertaken to date indicate very close correlation between predicted and measured noise levels which confirmed the expectations that construction works would be quite audible in some properties for some periods. Purpose-built acoustic sheds were designed and installed at the surface work sites to allow 24-hour ingress and egress to the tunnel.

Northside Storage Tunnel


A water storage tunnel was constructed in Sydney to collect water during heavy rain, to allow the water to be stored and treated through sewerage treatment plants at a later time. A site was established at Tunks Park on Sydney Harbour close to an expensive residential area with low background noise levels. Spoil during tunneling was removed through a specially designed acoustic shed and transported by barge across Sydney Harbour.

Wilkinson Murray was commissioned to predict noise levels from the operation, provide detailed noise mitigation designs (including an acoustic shed), provide community consultation services and monitor noise levels during the works.





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