Latest News: Silent Piling Reduces Construction Noise Pollution

June 10th, 2019

Silent Piling Reduces Construction Noise Pollution

A decade ago, complaints about levels of noise from a construction site may have been addressed with raised eyebrows and a ‘what do you expect?’ response, but in recent times society has started to pile on the pressure on noise polluters, having become more aware of the perils of not just air pollution, but also noise as a pollutant. Construction contractors can no longer close their ears to what is going on.

This is particularly true since recent studies have shown that noise can have adverse effects on many aspects of our physical and mental health and has been shown to have well-established links to everything from cardiovascular disease to depression. Studies by both Barts Hospital and the London School of Medicine have also linked pollution emanating from road traffic noise to Type 2 diabetes.

Construction noise

Britain’s councils receive more complaints about noise than anything else under their control, so it is little wonder that any noise coming from a construction site is likely to result in complaints and attempts to silence equipment. This band of noise pollution falls under the banner of ‘neighbourhood noise’. It is something noted by HSE as being a peril on construction sites but, as HSE points out, there are ways to reduce such noise pollution, and not just through restrictions on the hours that equipment can be operated on site. As HSE notes, there are ways to switch to equipment that does not cause such noise-polluting impacts.

Sheet Pile driving and construction noise pollution reduction

Pile-driving has long been associated with noise pollution on construction sites, with conventionally prefabricated sheet piles having been traditionally hammered or vibrated into the ground. The percussive or vibratory energy resulting from such action inevitably creates excessive impacts, but there are other options to use for sheet-pile driving, which are on offer from Sheet Piling UK.

Enter the ‘Silent Piler’ from Giken, which aims to deliver silent, vibration-free sheet pile installation. This is achieved via the press-in method, which is ideal for operation in areas where environmental noise pollution would cause real issues. This method sees the Silent Piler clamping previously installed piles and generating a reaction force from their negative skin friction and interlock resistance. The reaction provides the press-in force that enables other piles to be hydraulically jacked into the ground, pressing them in, rather than forcing them down into the ground. As well as reducing noise pollution, this sheet piling method minimises damage to the ground-based environment and there are ways to operate, even if no previously installed piles exist on site.

Giken Sheet Pile Press
Kowan ZU100 Silent Sheet Pile Press


What is needed for this type of piling?

Just one crane can often be enough to pitch piles, but the Silent Piler has a self-moving system, so does not need support from a crane during the piling operation. Even if a site requires a large job radius for pitching, this method allows just a relatively light-weight crane to be used. Using Sheet Piling UK’s press-in technology, pile driving can be both vibration-free and noise-free.

Other Sheet Piling advantages

As well as offering reduced environmental impacts, this press-in method for sheet piling eliminates working at height and also means sites can operate free from time-limits on their piling hours. There is no machine instability and the impacts of temporary works are minimised. Pile alignment is accurate and various aesthetics are available in terms of sheet pile finish.

Controlling the ‘noise’

Social media has the ability to quickly spread negativity about construction noise and new noise impacts being noted every few months. These range from delaying reading age in children, to poor memory and comprehension. We also live in an age in which mental health is never out of the news and noise is known to affect mental health. For all of these reasons, it pays to consider silent pile-driving technology. Sheet Piling UK has many choices of silent piler available, so just get in touch to find out more.

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Sheet Piling (UK) Limited is one of the UK's leading piling contractors. Owning and operating a comprehensive range of specialist piling equipment Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd also carry extensive stocks of new and used piles enabling rapid reaction to any urgent requirements or emergency situations.