European Federation of Foundation Contractors

Grand Palais

Noise on Construction Sites

Due to the increasingly difficult legal situation regarding the realization of projects in inner city areas, the National Department of Specialized Foundation Engineering (Bundesfachabteilung Spezialtiefbau, BFA) of the German Construction Industry Association (Deutscher Industrieverband) has decided to create a leaflet dedicated to the topic of noise at construction sites.

The leaflet is primarily intended for developers, planners, and construction companies. The goals of the leaflet is to raise their awareness of this topic and to provide practical advice on how to deal with this topic since the proactive planning of a construction project that takes these problems into account can help achieve a balance between the interests of the various parties.

Noise at a construction site, which is unavoidable under certain circumstances, a viable consensus must be reached as early as possible with the affected local residents.

Court orders or orders from public officials issued during the construction work as a result of noise complaints are particularly critical. They almost always lead to additional costs, and in many cases to construction delays.


  1. Construction noise: Brief overview of the obligations and responsibilities of selected parties involved in the construction

1.1       Developer/client

1.2       Planners/managers

1.3       Construction contractors

  1. Noise – The most important facts
  2. Construction noise in construction projects (incl. a diagram of an “ideal process”)

3.1       Planning phase

3.2       Tendering phase

3.3       Construction phase

  1. Brief description of the current legal situation

(Laws, court judgments, legal uncertainties for participants)

  1. Laws and regulations on the subject of construction noise

5.1         Public law/building codes

5.2         Civil law aspects of construction noise

5.3          Fines and penalties resulting from construction noise

5.4         Occupational safety, trade association regulations (brief information only!)

5.6          Other regulations relating to the topic of construction noise

  1. Aspects relating to contract awarding (public company/private company)
  2. Construction noise prediction
  3. Possibilities for reducing noise
  4. Compilation of relevant laws, regulations, and information materials
  5. Compilation of relevant court decisions
  6. Limitation of liability, copyrights/ancillary copyrights

To produce a solid foundation for creating a noise prediction, noise measurements must be taken by an independent expert at the construction site for almost all construction methods used in specialized foundation engineering, and the measured values must be collected in a database. The values obtained from the measurements clearly indicate that the motors & fans of all large pieces of equipment used for specialized foundation engineering produce peak noise levels. There is a greater need for action to reduce base noise levels regardless of the construction method used.

Construction Noise


At this point in time, it can be stated as a preliminary conclusion that, like in the Explosive Ordnance leaflet, the person responsible for the noise is the developer and that the developer or his or her vicarious agents must create a noise management plan in the early project phases.


Uwe Hinzmann

Chairman of German Federation of Foundation Contractors

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