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Commercial construction activities include building: 

  • shops 
  • supermarkets 
  • offices 
  • warehouses 
  • factories.

The general environmental duty applies to all construction sites. This means if you manage or control construction and demolition activities you must understand and proactively manage the risks of harm from noise to people and the environment.

Under the Environment Protection Act 2017, you must not emit unreasonable noise from construction sites at any time of day.

Construction noise can be unreasonable if it goes on for too long or is excessive under the circumstances.  The unreasonable noise guidelines explain the concept of unreasonable noise and the pathways for assessing if construction noise is unreasonable. They also cover how unreasonable noise works with the general environmental duty and provide case study examples of compliance, enforcement and resolution of noise pollution events. 

Construction – guide to preventing harm to people and the environment (publication 1820) explains to how to manage the risks in construction and what actions you can take to comply with the law.

Managing noise from commercial and industrial construction sites

The Civil construction, building and demolition guide (publication 1834) provides information to help government and industry manage noise impacts from commercial construction sites. This guide is also relevant for demolition on commercial and industrial land, including when land is being redeveloped for residential use.

Our advice for normal working hours for commercial construction

The Civil construction, building and demolition guide (publication 1834), advises normal working hours for commercial construction and demolition site noise are: 

  • weekdays – 7 am to 6 pm  
  • Saturday – 7 am to 1 pm.

The guidelines do allow for some flexibility for work hours, depending on the circumstances of the noise. For example, quiet work like painting in the evening. 

Read more about construction noise

Noise guidance for business: Residential construction 

Noise guidance for business: Land development 

Construction noise 

Reviewed 8 May 2023