Coastal Protection Scheme, Lowestoft Beach – Noise and Vibration Prediction/Monitoring

Noise and Vibration Monitoring

Following work as the consulting noise and vibration engineers on the Hopton-on-Sea coastal protection scheme, IEC were instructed to carry out noise and vibration monitoring for the coastal  protection scheme at Lowestoft South Beach.

The works involved the excavation for and placement of rock armour to form a sea defence scheme.  Rock was imported from Scandinavia by sea to a mooring area off Hopton on-Sea and then transhipped to a smaller barge and discharged at high tide on Lowestoft beach.  Rock was retrieved at low tide and transported using large dump trucks. The rock was then moved from the unloading point and distributed along the causeway before being placed by large excavators at times of low tide.


A significant element of work was the breaking out of the existing ramp and driving of steel sheet piles to form a new ramp. The piles were in excess of 10 metres in length and driven using a crane mounted vibrating piling hammer.

Rock deliveries were carried out at high tide (sometimes at night) which had the potential to cause sleep disturbance from impulsive noise events associated with handling 3-6t pieces of rock armour. Night-time monitoring was carried out during these events and recommendations made on appropriate and reasonable noise mitigation measures.

Ground-Borne Vibration

Ground-borne vibration from the piling works were also continuously monitored. Although the measured levels of vibration were perceptible to the occupants of nearby commercial and residential property, at no time were limits exceeded and hence all levels of vibration generated were safe with regard to the integrity of the structures monitored.

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Independent Environmental Consultancy Limited was established in 2005 and provides noise, vibration and air quality consultancy services. The company is a member of the Association of Noise Consultants and consultants are Corporate Members of the Institute of Acoustics, Institution of Environmental Sciences and Institute of Air Quality Management.

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