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More than S$1.3m to be disbursed in effort to reduce construction noise

A total of 41 applications to the Quieter Construction Fund have been approved since it was introduced in April 2014, says the National Environment Agency. 

SINGAPORE: More than S$1.3 million has been committed to be disbursed under the Quieter Construction Fund (QCF), with 41 applications approved since the fund was introduced in April 2014, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on Wednesday (Mar 23).

As of March 2016, the QCF has received a total of 85 applications from construction companies for the co-investment of quieter construction equipment, noise control equipment and innovative noise reduction solutions, NEA said in its press release.

The QCF subsidises such equipment to encourage companies to reduce the impact of construction noise on the public. 

The fund reimburses companies for up to 50 per cent of the cost of purchase or leasing of supported quieter construction equipment and techniques, and aims to encourage companies to take up quieter construction solutions which are not readily adopted by the industry due to the higher costs involved.

NEA said about half of the approved applications were for the use of perimeter noise barriers, which is an effective noise mitigation measure for sites near to residential buildings and noise sensitive premises such as schools and hospitals.

With a more widespread use of noise barriers and other quieter construction solutions, the agency said it has observed significant reduction in feedback related to construction noise, as well as a reduction in the number of violations of NEA's permissible noise limits.

The NEA received 14,900 pieces of feedback on construction noise last year, down from 16,600 in 2013. Likewise, violations of permissible noise limits dropped to 330 cases in 2015, down from 483 cases in 2013.  

QCF EXTENDED, FUNDING INCREASED

In view of the encouraging take-up rate of the QCF, NEA said it will be extending the application period by two more years until Mar 31, 2018.

In addition, NEA will be increasing the funding caps for supported quieter construction equipment and techniques under the QCF.

Currently, the maximum grant that can be disbursed to each project site is capped at S$100,000, or 5 per cent of the project contract value, whichever is lower. Starting Apr 1 this year, the funding cap will be increased to S$200,000.

The maximum disbursable funding for the buying or leasing of quieter construction equipment has likewise been increased from S$50,000 to S$150,000 and from S$6,000 to S$9,000, respectively, depending on equipment cost, NEA said.  

The funding enhancements were introduced following consultation with the Singapore Construction Association on how more companies can be encouraged to adopt quieter construction solutions, the press release said.