In Victoria, construction activities are a part of daily life. Whether we live in the suburbs or work in the city, there’s usually some kind of construction happening nearby. It’s important to understand the types of noise that might occur, the impact it can have and ways to manage it.
Common sources of noise coming from construction sites include:
- earth moving machinery, such as bulldozers, loaders, excavators
- vibratory rolling – machinery rolled over a surface to make it compact
- pile driving – boring steel and concrete into the ground
- rock breaking – machines used to break up rock and concrete
- diesel generators
- power tools and other machinery
- site radios
- heavy vehicle movement to, from and at the site
- loud voices.
How construction noise impacts people
Noise from construction-related works can disturb everyday activities requiring mental concentration, like reading or studying. Out-of-hours construction works can disturb sleep. Loud and ongoing noise can impact the quality of people’s lives and cause stress. This risk is greatest when there’s poor management of construction noise, and it happens near sensitive receivers, such as:
- schools, kindergartens and child care centres
- hospitals and other sensitive areas.
Other types of sensitive receiver locations are where the environmental values in the Environment Reference Standard for ambient sound apply.
If unreasonable construction noise is impacting on you, report it.
For more information, see Noise and your health.
Find out about the different working hours and requirements to manage noise, and how to report noise by construction type.
About construction noise
Commercial construction can include building works for:
The Civil construction, building and demolition guide (publication 1834) provides information about managing noise from the construction of commercial buildings. For more information, see Noise guidance for businesses: Commercial construction.
The Civil construction, building and demolition guide (publication 1834) provides information about managing noise that is relevant to:
- land development for commercial and industrial subdivisions
- urban redevelopment
- large-scale residential subdivisions.
This includes land preparation and infrastructure work such as earth moving, building roads and installing drains and sewers.
For more information, see Noise guidance for businesses: Land development.
The Civil construction, building and demolition guide (publication 1834) provides information about managing noise from all scales of residential construction and demolition including:
- large-scale residential construction in residential zones
- large-scale multi-storey residential apartments in non-residential zones
- building individual houses or small unit developments
- home renovation and extension
For more information, see Noise guidance for businesses: Residential construction.
Report noise from residential construction and demolition to your local council.
The Environment Protection Regulations 2021 (the Regulations) apply to construction activities for the repair or maintenance of an existing residence.
The Regulations prohibit noise from construction equipment, if neighbouring residents can hear it in their home, on:
- weekdays – before 7 am and after 8 pm
- weekends – before 9 am and after 8 pm.
This includes power tools and vehicles.
Like other noise from residences, noise from home repair or maintenance may be unreasonable at any time. This includes if noise is too loud, continues for too long or happens too often. This law applies to homeowners, tenants and tradespeople.
Find out about how reduce noise from construction activities when renovating, maintaining or repairing your home.
Report noise from repair or maintenance of an existing residence to your local council.
Read more about construction noise
Reviewed 24 November 2021