As a common source of environmental noise in China and many developing countries worldwide, construction work provokes many complaints and deterioration in acoustic climate quality. This paper describes research to obtain an improved understanding of people's community response to, and evaluation of, construction noise in three central cities of Zhejiang province, China. This involved carrying out a social survey using standard questionnaires developed by the International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise (ICBEN). A dose-response relationship model is established using a quadratic polynomial regression analysis based on construction noise exposure measurements from 40 construction sites in Hangzhou, Ningbo and Wenzhou. The results of the study indicate that the majority of people have a negative attitude to construction noise; the noise ranges between 60 dB and 80 dB (compared with 50 dB–70 dB traffic noise in Tianjin), with the percentage of highly annoyed people affected increasing from 15%-20% to 30%–40% over the range. There also different levels of annoyance depending on the time of day, and the location and activities of those affected. Other cultural differences are also apparent both between Ningbo/Wenzhou and the more urbane citizens of Hangzhou, and the Chinese people and their more noise-tolerant EU and Vietnam counterparts. The findings of this study provide a new perspective for the study of construction noise that can help local governments have an improved understanding of how residents react to construction noise for the purpose of selecting construction noise-mitigation projects and introducing construction noise-control regulations.