The Environment Protection (Residential Noise) Regulations 2018 (the Regulations) governs the noise from construction/alteration of large apartment buildings and mixed used developments, aligning the requirements with those applying to other multi-storey developments in these areas (for example, retail or office). It exempts these premises from the prohibited items and times if the building:
- will have at least 4 stories above ground when complete or 2 stories below ground; and
- is in a non-residential zone (for example business zones and special purpose zones – but not a mixed-use zone (MUZ) as this is a residential type); and
- is not occupied (if an existing building under alteration).
These premises are still subject to the general unreasonable noise provisions of the Environment Protection Act 1970 (the Act) (s.48A(3)), but are not subject to the automatic prohibited times in the table (s.48A(5)).
The Noise control guidelines (Publication no.1254) for commercial construction sites apply to these sites. This guideline sets working hours and noise management expectations.
In addition to unreasonable noise controls under the Act and the guidelines, local laws and permit conditions can be used to apply times for the site.
This enables councils and industry to apply the same flexibility as for equivalent scale commercial construction, but still protects people living in entirely residential areas from early morning weekend work.