Noise & Vibration Management

Managing construction noise and vibration at London Bridge station

Major Infrastructure Programmes such as the Thameslink Programme will inevitably generate noise and vibration and aside from the built heritage and town planning aspects, this was our most significant impact. As part of our vision to deliver a sustainable programme, we committed to implement robust controls to keep these impacts to a minimum.

Impact Assessment

During the early stages of the Thameslink Programme the potential impacts and effects of noise and vibration were considered within the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as part of the planning process. The purpose of the EIA was to aid planning decisions by identifying and assessing the likely significant environmental effects of a scheme and describing the measures to avoid, reduce or is possible, remedy significant adverse effects.  During construction the project tackled the complexity of delivering a multifaceted infrastructure development in a densely populated area of London whilst keeping impacts to a minimum. We did this through a comprehensive set of project specific policies, procedures and systems that were developed to mitigate impacts during both the construction and operation of the scheme.

Avoiding significant advert effects of noise and vibration

The Thameslink Programme Noise and Vibration Policy set out the broad approach adopted, with the underlying principle being to avoid significant adverse effects of noise and vibration arising from either construction or operation of the scheme, wherever and whenever reasonably practicable. Control measures were then developed in accordance with a defined mitigation hierarchy.

The TLP Noise and Vibration policy and controls were embedded into Thameslink’s Programmes IS014001 Environmental Management System which enabled us to successfully manage noise and vibration risks through the following:

Impacts Register

Identifying noise as a key impact for the TLP in our Environmental Impacts Register.

Inductions and Toolbox Talks

Our new starter’s induction programme included a Consents, Sustainability and Property induction which highlighted noise and vibration as a key impact from the TLP and the importance of managing this risk in design and construction works. For our work sites noise and vibration risks were regularly briefed to site staff via toolbox talks

Design and construction

Noise and vibration mitigation were embedded in our design and construction process in line with our policies, procedures and best practice guidance.

Control Plans

Noise and Vibration Management Plans were established as part of our project management process.

Section 61’s

All our works required a section 61 which was prepared by our suppliers and reviewed by our Noise and Vibration Specialist.

Notifications

Clear, concise and advanced notification of our works with our neighbours. Where different suppliers were working in the same location the suppliers and communications teams worked together to develop and co-ordinate a joint notification.

Noise and vibration inspections

Undertaken by our supply chain and Consents and Sustainability Team.

Audits

Noise and vibration audits regularly featured in our annual audit plans.

Incidents and Complaints

All incidents were investigated according to our incident procedure and corrective measures put in place. Any significant incidents were communicated across the TLP via our health and safety cascade. Our complaints were managed swiftly by our suppliers, NR Consents and Sustainability teams and NR Communications Teams in accordance with our complaints procedure.

Performance

Our performance in relation to noise and vibration was formally reviewed every 6 months with our Executive team as part of our ISO14001 Management Review. All best practice and lessons learnt were shared with the TLP and our supply chain.

Resources

The TLP had a dedicated Noise and Vibration Specialist who provide technical expertise and guidance across the programme and supply chain. We also employed a Night time Noise and Nuisance officer during our most significant construction periods to oversee works and liaise direct with our neighbours.

Outcomes and awards

As a result of this regime the project has been very successful in gaining trust so that consent applications were granted, including, for example, necessary extended working hours overnight and at weekends. As an indicator of the success of this approach, the project was awarded the Noise Abatement Society ‘John Connell Silent Approach’ Award.

Further information

For more information on this Learning Legacy case study please email contact@thameslinkprogramme.co.uk