Exercise-induced building vibrations: a modern-day happening
Keywords:structural acoustics, structural engineering, vibrations, building vibrations, exercises, gymnasium, aerobics, floor vibrations, structural elements, tuned mass dampers
AbstractRhythmic exercises in a small gymnasium on the top storey of a recently constructed office tower in downtown Ottawa were considered responsible for producing annoying vibrations in the upper floors of the 26-storey concrete building. The gymnasium was built and operated by a tenant which leased the top half of the office tower. The exercises, jumping, jumping jacks, side-to-side stepping, etc., were part of a corporate aerobics class which began each day at noon. The 1-hour class was generally well attended containing upwards of 50 participants. However, as in most office buildings, not all employees broke for lunch at the same time. Those who worked while the aerobics class was in progress found the induced floor vibrations in the upper storeys of the building highly annoying. For operational reasons, management wanted the aerobics classes to continue but not at the expense of staff productivity. They, therefore, sought schemes to reduce the dynamic response of the floors to the rhythmic activities taking place in the gymnasium. This paper briefly describes the investigation that was undertaken (i) to identify the structural elements within the building undergoing resonant or near-resonant behaviour during the classes and (ii) to recommend appropriate remedial measures (tuned mass dampers, stiffening of floor elements) to rectify the situation
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