REDUCING NOISE ON URBAN CONSTRUCTION SITES

REDUCING NOISE ON URBAN CONSTRUCTION SITES

Work is progressing on Aertson Midtown, a 17-story, 801,095-square-foot, mixed-use urban development near Vanderbilt University that will include 350 apartments, a 180-room Kimpton Hotel and street-level retail. Crain Construction Inc. is the local general contractor for the project. We asked Frank Wilk, vice president of operations for Crain Construction, a few questions about urban work sites.

What challenges are you facing on urban construction sites?

Typically space is tight, so delivery of materials has to be carefully planned and coordinated. You also have to consider traffic and pedestrian flow around the site. We have worked with Metro and the State so permitting allows the louder work to be done during the day. We also notify the neighboring restaurants and building managers before every concrete pour so we can eliminate any surprise.

With more residents living in downtown Nashville, what noise reduction measures are you implementing on urban construction projects?

On the Aertson Midtown project, Crain Construction and our concrete contractor Charter Construction Inc. have implemented several measures to reduce noise.

We do our concrete pours at night. So we constructed an insulated mobile wall panel system, about 10 feet high, around the pump truck to contain the noise within the insulated area. We put insulated “skirts” around the blades of the concrete troweling machine. We also changed the mufflers on the gas-powered machines to reduce noise and switched the back-up alarms, setting them at the lowest level allowed by OSHA.

Tell us more about the concrete pours.

The concrete structure is a 15-month process since we are pouring floor slabs for 17 stories and hundreds of concrete columns. We average two or three night-time concrete pours each week between midnight and 2 a.m., sometimes lasting until 6 a.m. Each pour involves 30 truckloads (10 cubic yards) of concrete.

How common are noise-reducing measures or equipment in Middle Tennessee?

We haven’t seen it used before. Our goal is to be a good neighbor and that means trying to reduce the noise on the site at night. We fabricated our own insulated skirts and wall panel system because we thought it was beneficial for the project and the neighbors. We continually try to find solutions in relation to construction inconvenience as we did similarly with neighbors down the street at both the Home 2 Suites and Hilton Garden Inn sites.