Construction noise: when can work be carried out on construction sites? – knowledge

In purely industrial areas, the maximum level emitted by construction sites during the day is a maximum of 65 decibels – plus a tolerance of five decibels. In purely residential areas, the maximum value of 55 dB – plus the tolerance of five dB – may not be exceeded during the day. Photo: dpa / Frank Rumpenhor / t

There are also drawbacks to Germany’s construction boom: residents sometimes have to prepare for months of dirt and noise. Those affected often have only limited options in combating construction noise.

Noise is annoying, and too much noise makes you sick. When gardeners and party-goers have to be quiet for too long, construction workers can keep working at full speed. But what is allowed and what is forbidden?

Legal breaks

Legal breaks depend on state emissions control laws and municipal ordinances. As a rule, in Germany there is a midday rest from 1 pm to 3 pm, a night rest from 10 pm to 7 am as well as an all-day rest on Sundays and public holidays. In purely residential areas, a 35 decibels (dB) limit may apply to recreational noise at night.

However, in the case of the noise of the construction site, the situation is completely different. Because construction noise is inevitable. In general, citizens have to bear the noise on the construction site. However, the legislator sets noise protection rules for builders and construction companies.

Basically, it should be quieter between 8pm and 7am than during the day. If neighbors complain, the building control authority will first dispatch noise reduction inspectors and plan operations at the construction site accordingly. In the event of violations, the authorities impose conditions.

Maximum permissible noise levels

In 1970, the Legislative Council passed the General Administrative Regulations (AVV) for protection against building noise. They specify the maximum permissible values ​​​​of noise – the so-called values ​​\u200b\u200bof the absorption index. Depending on the time of day or on commercial and industrial areas as well as residential or mixed areas, different threshold values ​​apply.

In addition, these officials – builders, contractors, and site managers – are legally obligated to use construction machinery and equipment as quietly as possible. Their use must be planned efficiently, noise must be protected as best as possible and, if necessary, movable walls must be constructed to protect against noise.

Forced measures to reduce construction noise

Coercive measures to reduce background noise include notices of fines, in particularly serious cases, as well as criminal charges of bodily harm and a mandatory construction moratorium.

According to the Ministry of Transport in Baden-Württemberg, the authority responsible for emissions control verifies that the “interference reference values” of AVV creation noise are exceeded in the event of a complaint. If this is the case, measures to reduce construction noise can be ordered.

“If the customer does not comply with this order repeatedly and stubbornly, the operation of the construction site can be temporarily banned in such a case,” the ministry’s website says.

Industrial area or residential area

Guidelines against construction noise depend on the type of development. In purely industrial areas, the maximum level emitted by construction sites during the day is 65 decibels plus five decibels.

In purely residential areas “32. Decree on the implementation of the Federal Act on Immigration Control. “Residents must withstand construction on the construction site from 7 in the morning until 8 in the evening. There is no lunch break. The continuous noise level must not exceed a maximum value of 55 decibels during the day – this also applies to days Sat However, there is a tolerance for another five decibels.

Construction noise at night

Night work is also generally permitted in residential areas. However, noise pollution on the construction site at night should be less than during the day (maximum 40 dB plus a tolerance of five dB).

Reduced rent due to construction noise

Whether tenants can charge a rent reduction due to construction noise depends on the individual situation. One of the critical factors is whether construction work can be expected in your area. If so, the claim is void. For example, renters in the city are expected to experience higher levels of noise than those who live in the countryside.

Courts rule quite differently in the case of construction noise and rent cuts. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) as the highest court in a decision that denied tenants the right to reduce noise in rent (Judgment April 29, 2020, Az.: VIII ZR 31/18).


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