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Volume :30 Issue : 2 2003      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Urban development and construction noise: A study in metropolitan Kuwait

Auther : P.A. KOUSHKI, N. KARTAM AND N. AL-MUTAIRI

Civil Engineering Department, Kuwait University, P.O.Box 5969, Safat 13060, Kuwait, Fax. (965) 481-7524, E-mail: parviz@kuc01.kuniv.edu.kw

ABSTRACT

A major side-effect of the rapid socio-economic and infrastructural developments of the affluent State of Kuwait over the last three decades has been the increase in the level of noise pollution in metropolitan Kuwait. Despite the existence of ample research in other nations linking noise exposure to stress, annoyance and long-term pathological side-effects, no study of construction-related noise has been performed as yet in the State of Kuwait. This research project was undertaken in an attempt to narrow this informational gap. The specific objectives of the study were to: a) measure and analyze noise pollution levels at various construction sites in Metropolitan Kuwait. b) examine the relationship between construction project characteristics and the level of generated noise, and c) determine the level of awareness of construction workers regarding noise and its impacts on human health and welfare.

A systematic, randomly selected sample of 26 large, medium, and small construction projects were monitored for noise. Noise levels were measured for 15-20 minutes at three distances: 5, 10 & 15 meters from the noise source, during both morning and afternoon periods. These measurements were repeated three times at each distance and for each period of the day, totaling over 80 hours of noise monitoring at the selected construction sites. The overall mean equivalent noise level, Leq was found to be nearly 80 dBA at 5 meters; 77 dBA at 10-meters; and 75 dBA at the 15-meter distance from the noise source. A correlation analysis was then performed to examine the degree of association between construction project characteristics and generated noise. The result of a test of significant difference indicated that the mean measured Leqs showed significant variations statistically by distance, project size, construction stage, and the amount of machinery/ equipment in operation.

Keywords: Construction noise; noise measurement; development and noise; Kuwait.

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