What causes Vibration in construction?
As part of demolition, earthworks or construction activities, heavy machinery is used which has potential to produce ground borne vibration through movement or associated processes. Ground borne vibration is monitored and assessed in three axis (backwards and forward, side to side and up and down) depending on the direction of the vibration. The most common cause of vibration on construction sites is piling operations or vibratory rollers used to compact material.
How do you reduce vibration in construction?
The main measure is to follow Best Practicable Means and to choose lower vibratory piling operations, such as rotary bored piling. Physical measures could be used, such as trenching, but this is usually a last resort.
How much vibration is too much for buildings?
We follow the recommendations and criteria given in BS 5228 in order to inform assessments of likely impact of vibration on buidlings. Within this standard, a variable limit of 15 mm/s (depending on the structure) is given beyond which cosmetic damage may be possible, such as cracking plaster. However, these limits are variable and directly relate to the dominant frequency of the wave causing the vibration. All sites and operations are different and so a bespoke approach is required. Limits also apply to human perception and whether the level of vibraiton, although not likely to cause any damage to the building, is acceptable.
What are the allowable vibration limits for buildings?
Levels above 15 mm/s, depending on the structure and frequency, have the potential to cause cosmetic damage. BS 5228 states Minor damage is possible at vibration magnitudes which are greater than twice those given here, and major damage to a building structure can occur at values greater than four times the tabulated values.
Can construction vibration damage my house?
Yes potentially. The most likely damage would be cosmetic, for example plaster cracking or an odler brick wall falling down. Structural damage is highly unlikely given the level of vibration needed for this but it would be dependent on the ground conditions on the frequency of the vibration.
What We Offer
Here at E3P we offer a variety of acoustic services and Vibration Assessments is just of one these services. If you would like to discuss with the Acoustics team more about the services we offer, please contact us today for more details.