A Unified Approach to Vibration Serviceability Assessment of Floors

Grants and Contracts Details


With the use of lighter construction materials, more slender architectural designs, and relatively less inherent damping of structures, human induced vibration serviceability has become a dominant design criterion for structural engineers all over the world. Annoying vibrations on structural floors, footbridges, theatres, staircases and stadiums sometimes create significant problems for the occupants and facility owners. While the most economical solution is to predict and avoid potential problems during the design stage, reliable predictions of occupant induced vibrations are difficult to obtain using computer modeling and simplified hand calculation approaches. There are many uncertainties in the vibration design process, such as occupancy loading, modelling of structural and non-structural elements, and vibration tolerance thresholds for human comfort and sensitive equipment operation. Despite previous research efforts in these areas, these uncertainties still require further examination to enhance reliability of vibration serviceability assessment at the design stage. The proposed research project is a unique collaboration between experts in the field of vibration serviceability from the US, UK and Qatar. The QNRF-NPRP funding mechanism is an excellent way to bring together for the first time a pan-continental team to tackle some of the fundamental problems with prediction of structural vibration serviceability. The program of fundamental research proposed is intended subsequently to feed into design guidance that will be developed under the auspices of relevant standards bodies and professional institutions in the US, UK and Qatar. The key objectives associated with this work are two-fold. Firstly, new load modelling approaches will be developed appropriate for floor structures in office and commercial buildings. These will be based on probabilistic models because human induced dynamic forces are quite variable and thus difficult to reliably model using traditional deterministic approaches. Secondly, improved models of typical floor structures will be developed through a program of experimental modal analysis and finite element modelling and updating of in-service floor structures. The results of the study will be disseminated as appropriate in high impact international journals and via special technical sessions at high profile international conferences. In addition, workshops will be organized in Qatar to ensure rapid dissemination to practicing engineers in the region. The investigators are also well-placed to pursue opportunities for development of design guides and standards worldwide.
Effective start/end date2/10/168/10/19


  • Qatar University: $141,589.00


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