The Hallam Road project involves the removal of a dangerous and congested level crossing in Hallam, a south-eastern suburb of Melbourne, by building a rail bridge over the busy main road. Covering a 2km section of the Pakenham rail line, the project is a rail over road exercise that includes a rail bridge and a new station with facilities for 2200 passengers.
The work site covers a large area and multiple environments. In the north-east, the Pakenham line goes through a wetlands area, home to the Dwarf Galaxias - a vulnerable species whose protection is a priority for the project. There are also protected species of woodland and wetland grasses in the area.
Other areas of the site are residential, and this is where the SIteHive real-time environmental management comes into play.
Mobile, automated devices allow the team to monitor noise and dust over a large area
The Hallam team has SiteHive Hexanodes set up alongside works in the north-east and south-west residential areas, providing data on both noise and dust. All the information is visible in SIteHive cloud software, which the environmental team uses to manage the impact of the works.
Mat Boomsma, Environment Manager - SEPA Hallam, says the SiteHive Hexanodes were very easy to set up. “We assembled the frame with a solar panel and hooked in the battery, and that was it - we were operational in a few minutes.”
The SiteHive Hexanodes are also very mobile, which allows the team to put them where they are needed at any time.
Mat explains, “We have them where the works are, and near factories where there is sensitive equipment, and where the residences are. If things change we can move them really easily. For example, we just moved one because of some earthworks and it just provided data immediately.”
To stay within the appropriate noise limits for the project, the team models the noise that’s likely to be caused based on the type of equipment they will be using. They then use SiteHive to manage to those levels.
Mat says that the actuals have been about 10% lower than the modelling, which has been very useful to know. “The real-time monitoring gives us confidence in our modelling. The more modelling and monitoring we do, the more confidence we have in achieving out requirements.”
A live and continuous record of site events provides assurance
SiteHive provides the team with a full record of what’s happening on site, including images and sound recordings of any noise exceedances. The team has also set up alerts, which come directly to them when there is an exceedance.
“All that information means we can go back and listen to the sound and look at the photos, and then label the exceedances easily,” explains Mat. “Having access to the full historical record is great. It gives us a lot of certainty because we know that if we have to respond to resident complaints or the EPA, for example, we have all the information at hand.”
Traditionally, the team used external consultants to do their noise and dust monitoring, but SiteHive allows them to manage it themselves. This has made things much faster, and also delivered significant cost savings.
Mat says, "With SiteHive it’s quick and easy - we can see the exceedances and manage them immediately. It’s great having real time data, rather than having to go back to a consultant for it. In the past it might take a week to get a report; now we have the data immediately."