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Construction and maintenance noise

Construction noise and household DIY noise

Some disruption should be expected from building sites.

We allow construction areas to have higher noise levels than other activities because:

  • noise is necessary to complete building renewal projects
  • it serves an economic good for Auckland
  • construction and building projects take place for a limited period.

Most loud noises on building and construction sites comply with Auckland Unitary Plan (PDF 462KB) guidelines. Permitted loud activities could include:

  • sawing
  • hammering
  • the use of heavy vehicles.

Loud music on building sites is not considered construction noise so it is not allowed at higher levels.

Construction work can happen at any time, but noise is restricted to the following levels and times:

​Location ​Times
​Within the CBD

Monday to Friday: 6.30am to 10.30pm - construction noise up to 80 dBA leq* is permitted.

Saturday: 7am to 11pm – construction noise up to 85 dBA leq is permitted.

Sunday: 9am to 7pm - construction noise up to 80 dBA leq is permitted.

All other times: Construction work is permitted in the CBD at night, but a lower permitted level of 55 dBA leq applies, which may exclude some noisier activities.

Slightly lower noise levels may apply to longer duration construction projects, for details see part E25 of the Auckland Unitary Plan.

​Residential areas

Monday to Friday

  • 6.30am to 7.30am: Noise level of 60 dBA leq applies – generally allows for arrival to site and preparation for work.
  • 7.30am to 6pm: Construction work can proceed at high noise levels, up to 75 dBA leq.
  • 6pm to 8pm: Construction work can continue but with a slight reduction in permitted noise level (70 dBA leq). Some types of high impact noise are more likely to breach at this time.

Saturday

7.30am to 6pm: Construction work can proceed at high noise levels, up to 75 dBA leq.

Noise is limited to 45 dBA leq outside these hours, preventing most noisy work.

Sunday and public holidays

7:30am to 6pm: Construction work only permitted at a limited noise level (55 dBA leq).

All other times - Noise is limited to 45 dBA leq outside these hours, preventing most noisy work.

​Commercial and industrial areas
  • Permitted at any time, depending on what is nearby.
  • Not permitted at night near residential activities, hospitals, hotels, hostels, accommodation, and other noise sensitive activities.
  • May also depend on resource consent conditions or permits.

  *Unit that measures sound pressure and energy over time.

Home, vehicle and garden maintenance

The construction and maintenance noise rules do not apply when the noise is associated with normal residential household activities like home handyman work undertaken intermittenly and at reasonable times.

This exemption does not apply to contractor and commercial activities, like work on construction sites and projects.

We assess all construction and maintenance noise complaints on a case-by-case basis.

Vibration

Vibration from building sites can often be felt by neighbours and may cause concern. Although vibrations are felt, it is uncommon for them to be strong enough to cause damage to property or breach council rules.

The most common exceptions are with pile driving and heavy rock breaking activities.

Vibrations from a digger working on an adjacent residential property would not normally be sufficient to breach the vibration standards in the Auckland Unitary Plan (PDF 462KB).

If the vibrations are such that structural damage is likely, we can visit and assess the vibration when it is happening.

Damage to property from vibration is a matter of civil dispute. If damage has occurred and you are seeking compensation, contact the person responsible, and/or your insurance company.


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