Upgrade noisy outdated construction practices

For too long, HDB flat dwellers have been forced to endure the ear-splitting noise caused by jackhammers.

With new building technology in this day and age, it is surprising that the contractors hired by public agencies still use traditional jackhammers in close proximity to residential units, heedless of the noise and dust generated.

It may be that we need to start with an understanding of basic empathy.

I urge those working at construction sites in or near occupied buildings to do things in a better way, to continuously improve, and to use best practices or innovative practices. One system worth of emulation is Hong Kong's Quality Powered Mechanical Equipment system.

Singapore's authorities, architects and engineers could use their influence to effect change, compelling contractors to look beyond their outdated practices and alter the mindset of "we have always done it this way".

There is enough evidence of potential harm to justify the National Environment Agency setting tougher noise standards for compliance and robust enforcement to eradicate the problem and protect the public.

Loong Chik Tong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2018, with the headline 'Upgrade noisy outdated construction practices'. Print Edition | Subscribe