Footfall-Induced Vibration: From Spider Webs to Structural Bays
Halloween is approaching and our “spider senses” are tingling at Acentech. Spiders share one thing with acoustical consultants: we are both on the lookout for vibrations….
A wide spectrum of academic, corporate and healthcare institutions have facilities that are sensitive to noise and vibration. Unfortunately, sources of potentially disruptive noise and vibration abound. Acentech’s consultants can help address noise and vibration both at the source and at the receiver. Noise and vibration challenges can generally be categorized as follows:
Environmental disturbances come into the building from the outside world. Common sources are rail and subway lines, roads, industrial facilities and active construction sites. It is critical that the magnitude of these disturbances be understood ahead of time to reduce complex mitigation strategies by the client. Our input on ground-borne and airborne sources can help assist in key decisions for structural and façade designs. In some cases, we work with the client in identifying the best site for their most noise and vibration-sensitive needs.
Building system disturbances can be produced by the mechanical and electrical systems that serve the building. We work with the design team and clients in identifying noise and vibration-sensitive zones early on in design, and tackle vibration isolation and noise control features to meet the design specifications.
Building systems with outdoor components (rooftop equipment, etc.) will generate sound into the surrounding community. Early evaluation of the site and its surrounding neighborhood is critical in selecting the appropriate noise control strategies and meeting the applicable noise regulations.
Occupant-related disturbances happen as people move about the building. Something as simple as people walking on the floor can produce potentially offensive vibration if the building is not designed or planned properly.
For sensitive receivers, isolation is the key, either through advanced vibration isolation systems or robust partitions, floors and ceilings. As many types of equipment are susceptible to noise and vibration impacts, it is common to accommodate particularly sensitive items in specially-designed quiet rooms or on low-vibration “islands”. Acentech provides our expertise to clients and architects to recommend the appropriate isolation system or construction method to protect sensitive equipment and facilities.