We are thrilled to share that Marshall Day Acoustics has been named winner of the 2022 Hugh Vivian Taylor Award for our work encompassing the management of low frequency port noise in New Zealand and Australia. The award is presented by the Australian Association of Acoustical Consultants and recognises efforts in providing innovation, promoting consulting and advancing the field of acoustics.
Our submission outlined three examples of how we have been working on improving the way low frequency port noise is managed in both Australia and New Zealand: control of exhaust noise on the Rio Class container ships; establishment of a New Zealand Ship Noise Register; and a study of low frequency noise for the NSW EPA around the Port Botany precinct.
Chris Day was honoured to accept the award on behalf of the whole team, stating “I was particularly delighted to accept the award on behalf of Craig Fitzgerald, Matthew Ottley and the wider team as I had started the work twenty-five years ago trying to address this issue with Ports of Auckland but progress was stifled. It took the persistence of the young chaps to finally get all the ports together and act collectively, and thus, they succeeded.”
Rio Class Container Ships
The arrival of the Rio Class container ships at New Zealand ports in 2019 resulted in a surge of community complaints about low frequency ‘rumble’. MDA supported Port Otago and the wider New Zealand ports environment forum to quantify the issue, identify a solution and engage with the operator, Maersk. The solution was the installation of a reactive ship silencer on 6 of the Rio ships.
New Zealand Ship Register
MDA partnered with Ports of Auckland to introduce a New Zealand Ship Noise Register, designed as a collective database to aid in the identification of noise profiles from individual ships in most of the major ports in New Zealand. This endeavour enables quantification of noise emissions for benchmarking purposes, identification of noisy ships, engagement with vessel owners to encourage noise mitigation (e.g. fitting a reactive silencer), and management of berthing arrangements for known noisy ships.
Port Botany Noise Study
NSW EPA and NSW Ports registered a significant increase in noise complaints from the community living in the Port Botany area during 2020 and 2021. In response, MDA was commissioned to investigate a low frequency noise surrounding Port Botany in south-eastern Sydney. Noise monitoring was correlated with ships in Port. The study focused specifically on low frequency noise, with the regulator (NSW EPA) drawing together the port operators, the community and private industry with a transparent publication of the outcomes. A summary of the study outcomes can be found here.
MDA is extremely grateful to have accepted this award for the fourth time; having previously won in 2019 for the Ian Potter Southbank Centre project; in 2016 for the development of IRIS software; and in 2015 for the Philharmonie de Paris.