Construction noise in a compact city like Hong Kong can be a significant problem. On this page you can learn about how the Environmental Protection Department is managing construction noise, the roles of construction noise permits and noise emission labels, and a code of good practice to which the Department is encouraging adherence.
Noise Management in Hong Kong
As in many densely populated cities around the world, noise is a significant environmental problem in Hong Kong. The small geographical size of the urban areas means that buildings are always very close to each other, and that commercial and residential premises are mixed together. So when new construction or renovations are underway, noise can be very disturbing. Since the Noise Control Ordinance came into effect in 1989, the Environmental Protection Department has worked to reduce this problem by carefully managing construction noise. The aim is to strike a balance between the needs of the construction industry and social harmony.More on noise management measures throughout Hong KongText of the Noise Control Ordinance
Construction Noise Permits
Construction Noise is mainly controlled under a construction noise permit system. A construction noise permit must be obtained from the Environmental Protection Department for either of the following two situations:
- Using specified powered mechanical equipment or carrying out prescribed construction work in Designated Areas, or carrying out general construction work using powered mechanical equipment, from 7 pm to 7 am on weekdays, and any time on Sundays and public holidays.
- Carrying out percussive piling from 7 am to 7 pm on any day other than a public holiday.
You should note that percussive piling is prohibited from 7 pm to 7 am on weekdays and any time on Sundays and public holidays. Applications for construction noise permits must be submitted to the Environmental Protection Department for assessment and approval before the commencement of the work. The respective application forms are available online, and can also be submitted electronically.Construction Noise Permit application formsConstruction Noise Permit e-Application
Noise Emission Labels
The Noise Control Ordinance also provides for the control of noise from hand-held percussive breakers and air compressors. Breakers that weigh more than 10 kilograms and air compressors that can supply compressed air at 500 kilopascals or above must be fitted with noise emission labels when being used for construction work. When applying for a noise emission label, you should provide:
- An EEC type-examination certificate, an EC Declaration of Conformity or a noise testing report issued by a corporate member of the UK Institute of Acoustics certifying that the
equipment complies to noise emission standards.
- A trade leaflet or brochure for the equipment, if available.
- Other relevant information such as the equipment's date of manufacture.
Application forms are available online and should be submitted at one of the Environmental Protection Department's Customer Service Counters. Applications can also be made online.More on Noise Emission LabelsNoise Emission Label application formNoise Emission Label e-ApplicationCustomer Service Counter locations
A Code of Practice
The Environmental Protection Department also published a Code of Practice to encourage the reduction of noise and implementation of good management practices within the construction industry. The primary aim of the Code is to support the senior management of construction firms in complying with the Noise Control Ordinance. The Code covers measures such as:
- Issuing policy statements on the prevention of noise pollution.
- Conducting systematic periodic reviews of practice.
- Appointing and empowering a senior management as a noise control officer.
- Establishing a notification system for construction noise incidents that have generated or may generate complaints.
The objective is to ensure that the need for a tranquil environment will be considered as part of the construction process.More on the Code of Good Practice (pdf file)
If you have further enquiries about the Construction Noise Permits or Noise Emission Labels applications, please contact Environmental Protection Department's Customer Service Centre at 2838 3111 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.