Developing The Port of Vancouver’s Port Noise Rating Methodology


  • Mark Bliss BKL Consultants Ltd.
  • Gary Mak BKL Consultants Ltd.


The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority manages Canada’s largest port, the Port of Vancouver, encompassing federal port waters, lands, and shorelines in and around Vancouver, BC. In total, port-managed areas border 16 municipalities. As urban densification has increased near port operations, so too has the potential for port-related noise to disturb nearby communities.

Between 2013 and 2015, to better understand port-related noise in nearby communities and address community noise concerns, the port installed 11 permanent noise monitoring terminals (NMTs) along the north and south shores of Burrard Inlet and at Roberts Bank. The NMTs continually log sound data in or near communities potentially affected by port noise.

In order to provide value from this data to the port and its stakeholders, BKL developed a Port Noise Rating (PNR) metric which relates the measured sound pressure levels to the potential annoyance in the surrounding population using noise modelling and census data. The PNR metric provides a useful way for the port to interpret the significance of measured noise levels, changes over time, and differences between NMTs. However, the accuracy of this approach depends on many noise source modelling assumptions due to the complex noise environments that exist throughout the port’s jurisdiction.

This paper summarizes the methodology BKL developed in partnership with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to calculate and present the PNR, including NMT configuration, local housing and population review, noise source identification, data analysis, and noise modelling.

Author Biography

Mark Bliss, BKL Consultants Ltd.

Principal at BKL Consultants Ltd.

Additional Files



How to Cite

Bliss M, Mak G. Developing The Port of Vancouver’s Port Noise Rating Methodology. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2019 Oct. 16 [cited 2024 May 23];47(3):80-1. Available from:



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada