Post #452: Construction noise barriers should be mandated under Town code

Posted on November 9, 2019

As long as I’m on the topic of noise …

John Pott (of Vienna Citizens for Responsible Development) talked to the people who live next to one of the Falls Church mixed use developments.  Universally, they said that the construction made their lives hellish.  Mostly, it was the unrelenting high noise levels from the construction equipment.

So it’s a pretty good bet that construction noise will make life tough for the neighborhoods as these MAC projects go up. 

And, as with noise abatement in the MAC streetscape, there are simple things that the Town could do that could make a big difference.  Mainly, the Town could require temporary construction noise barriers instead of standard chain-link fence. 

It’s not like this is something exotic.  Google “construction noise barrier” to see that in many areas, this is standard operating procedure.  Most use mass-loaded vinyl or some similar substance.  (Again, Google it, it’s a standard approach to noise control).

The issue of keeping the sidewalks open during construction has already come up.  I don’t think that one has been formally addressed.  So this is now the second thing that the Town could write into the code to help mitigate the problems caused by construction.  And this one matters greatly to those most strongly affected by these new MAC buildings.

How about it, Town of Vienna?  Do something tangible for the MAC-adjacent neighborhoods.  Write in construction noise barriers as a standard in the MAC and other commercial code.  And ask that Sunrise proffer that if they get to build their assisted living facility at 380 Maple West.  

Addendum:  Since I wrote this, I’ve been informed that buildings four floors and taller likely will have to have construction wind screens.  These are an insurance (safety) measure for workers at that height, but also serve to limit the dust from construction at that level.