Ambient Vibration Test for a Multi story Residential Building and the Vibration Mitigation Measures

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    Brick-concrete buildings have been extensively used in urban and rural areas. However, this type of building, which frequently contains a shallow foundation, demonstrates poor structural integrity and is susceptible to influence from ambient vibrations. This case is especially valid for buildings that were constructed in previous eras. With the development of modern cities and the increasing demand for an enhanced quality of life, environmental interference caused by ambient vibrations has become a critical issue. In areas with soft soil, traffic is a primary source of ambient vibrations. Vehicle vibrations caused by road surface roughness or speed changes can cause vibrations throughout the foundation of a building. Therefore, the vibration of brick-concrete buildings is related not only to the excitation source of the vibration but also the soil characteristics, the foundation conditions, and the structural style. The human response to the vibrations of housing structures is closely correlated with a person's cognitive level and their current physical and psychological conditions. Thus, the potential difference in the reactions among building occupants is significant.Residents in a six story brick concrete building, which is located in an area of Shanghai with soft ground, frequently complained about the intermittent interference from vibrations, particularly residents on the upper two stories. The measures confirmed that the environmental vibrations were generated by heavy vehicles traveling on a road that was located approximately 80 m north of the building. The frequency and amplitude characteristics of the ambient vibrations and the human comfort levels for the different stories of the building were analyzed according to the "standard for allowable vibration of building engineering" (GB50868-2013). To comprehensively evaluate the impact induced by the transversely horizontal vibrations, which influences human comfort levels for the three components of building vibration, a numerical finite element model (FEM) of the building was developed and analyzed. The soil in the model was simulated as a virtual layer. According to the test results and the numerical analyses, two types of technical measures are proposed to reduce unfavorable vibrations. The paper yields the following conclusions: (1) The test results show that heavy-duty vehicles from nearby roads are the main cause of the building vibrations. The vertical component of the vibrations along the structure is almost constant; however, its lateral component is significantly amplified, which primarily influences human comfort.  (2) The measures indicate that the peak acceleration range for the top two stories is 68~70 dB, which is lower than the limit values proposed by the "standard for allowable vibration of building engineering" (GB50868-2013). The rationality of the limit values is discussed to satisfy the demand of human comfort. (3) The structural frequencies and modes are analyzed based on the assumption of a virtual layer of foundation; the simulated results correspond with the measures. The model is a reasonable tool for justifying the effect of vibration reduction measures. (4) To ensure that each story of the multi-story brick-concrete building complies with the previously recommended standard, the peak lateral acceleration should be reduced by approximately 21% and the two proposed technical measures, which are compared, should be applied.

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  • Online: August 04,2014
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