Brüel & Kjær monitors noise at Vancouver

Eleven permanent, unattended, outdoor noise monitoring terminals were installed in a variety of locations within key trade corridors in the port
Eleven permanent, unattended, outdoor noise monitoring terminals were installed in a variety of locations within key trade corridors in the port
With better insight about its noise contribution, the port authority is more efficiently and knowledgeably able to address complaints
With better insight about its noise contribution, the port authority is more efficiently and knowledgeably able to address complaints

Complaints from neighbours were on the rise at the Port of Vancouver. The port authority wanted to accurately measure port related noise emissions and share the credible information with the public so it turned to monitoring expert, Brüel & Kjær.

To help tackle the issue, eleven permanent, unattended, outdoor noise monitoring terminals were installed in a variety of locations within key trade corridors in the port. The unattended system is able to efficiently obtain the data needed to address the port’s noise management challenges.

The Port of Vancouver holds evidence-based discussions about its noise emissions. With better insight about its noise contribution, the port authority is more efficiently and knowledgeably able to address complaints and actively engage with the public. The port authority is also able to track noise emissions and identify noise trends over time. In addition, online public access to its noise data is improving community relations and aligning perceived noise impact with actual noise levels from port activities.

The port authority also wanted to determine how much noise  port-related activity produced compared to other community noise sources. A specific  project involved the use of portable noise terminals, also linked to the real-time Sentinel system, to quantify why some vessels  caused greater community annoyance than others.

The community concerns related to a low-frequency rumbling emanating from the vessel’s auxiliary on board generators. The successful investigation involved the direct collaboration from terminal operators and shipping line owners, in addition to port staff.  Noise levels were measured and compared with community complaints over the course of several months capturing over 40 individual vessel calls. It turned out that the loudest sound levels were not generating the most complaints. Instead, complaints were based on other sound characteristics such as frequency, primarily in the 40-160 Hz range.

Brüel & Kjær offers different products and services that help ports manage their noise emissions. Its Sentinel and Sentinel On Demand monitoring services and permanent and portable Noise Monitoring Terminals, all deliver noise data that ports use to prove regulatory compliance, maximise productivity, limit environmental impact and reduce community annoyance.

A key benefit of Sentinel is that it can monitor more than just noise. It also monitors weather, air quality, dust and vibration in one integrated system that saves time and costs associated with monitoring and reporting. For ports in particular, the ability to monitor a variety of noxious gas emissions with Sentinel is a huge advantage.

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