Forum: Take extra noise-suppressing measures during renovation

Workers fix windows at a house in Toa Payoh on June 22, 2020.
Workers fix windows at a house in Toa Payoh on June 22, 2020.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Recently, a unit just two floors below mine started carrying out what sounded like major renovations.

The loud hacking and drilling went on for three days, and those of us at home could hardly hear one another.

What exacerbated the situation was that one of my family members was working from home (WFH). The noise made it impossible to focus, and all office work practically ground to a halt during those few days.

When I spoke to the manager in my management office, he dutifully produced the relevant estate by-laws, and pointed me to a notice informing residents about the unit's renovation works. His message was clear - we had to just suffer in silence.

Though circuit breaker measures have been relaxed, WFH is very much encouraged by the authorities as an effective measure against the spread of Covid-19.

Many corporations still insist that their employees continue to operate from home.

Perhaps, the authorities could come up with an advisory to guide renovation works in private estates to accommodate WFH employees.

While renovation works cannot be stopped, anyone carrying out hacking, drilling and other noisy works should be required to take additional noise-suppressing measures, such as the installation of sound barriers and other deadening materials.

Ong Kim Bock

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2020, with the headline 'Take extra noise-suppressing measures during renovation'. Print Edition | Subscribe