Over 50 firms applied to Quieter Construction Fund

Over 50 firms applied to Quieter Construction Fund
Crack inducers allow excess cement to be lifted easily from piles with less noise than the traditional method of using excavators.

MORE THAN 50 construction companies have applied for funding to invest in quieter equipment.

The National Environment Agency's (NEA) $10 million Quieter Construction Fund (QCF) was launched in April last year and a total of more than $400,000 has been disbursed to 14 firms so far.

The fund defrays up to 50 per cent of the purchasing cost or the lease of noise-reducing hardware, up to a cap of $50,000.

The NEA revealed that complaints and public feedback about construction noise had risen from 14,900 in 2010 to 19,800 in 2012, due to growth in building projects.

However, this number fell to 16,600 in 2013 and 16,000 last year.

The NEA attributed the drop to its revised guidelines that came into effect in September 2011.

They required construction work to cease from 10pm on Saturdays and the eve of public holidays to 7am on Mondays or the day after public holidays.

The NEA's principal engineer for pollution control, Mr Khairul Samsudin, said it is too early to attribute the fall in complaints to the launch of the fund.

However, noise-reduction equipment has helped companies raise their productivity.

"We are able to carry out our operations very smoothly without the authorities stopping us," said Mr David Liaw, managing director of construction firm Guan Chuan.

Work is disrupted when a complaint about noise is lodged, as the authorities have to investigate the matter.

Mr Liaw added: "Quieter construction technology is a very costly investment and the fund allows us to explore more options for noise reduction on-site."

The company, which specialises in silent piling, received $50,000 from the NEA to purchase a new machine.

At construction firm HSL Ground Engineering, investing in quieter options for piling has led to not only noise reduction but also a saving of 20 per cent on cost and an increase in productivity by 50 per cent.

"The traditional method of piling, which requires the use of a hydraulic breaker, is noisy, labour intensive and slower," said executive director Chris Teo.

HSL received $15,000 from the QCF last year to purchase crack inducers, which allow them to lift excess cement from piles instead of hacking it away with an excavator, which is noisier. Background story

The NEA revealed that complaints and public feedback about construction noise had risen from 14,900 in 2010 to 19,800 in 2012, due to growth in building projects.

However, this number fell to 16,600 in 2013 and 16,000 last year. The NEA attributed the drop to its revised guidelines that came into effect in September 2011.

Background story

The NEA revealed that complaints and public feedback about construction noise had risen from 14,900 in 2010 to 19,800 in 2012, due to growth in building projects.

However, this number fell to 16,600 in 2013 and 16,000 last year. The NEA attributed the drop to its revised guidelines that came into effect in September 2011.

miranday@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on March 31, 2015.
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