Engineers Australia

Low level construction vibrations in residential structures

Dr David Heath & Don Raisbeck

The first part of the presentation will examine the response of residential structures to low level vibrations by reviewing a comprehensive experimental program, which included a unique shaking-table study of a full-scale single-storey brick-veneer house subjected to 500+ vibrations, with Peak Particle Velocities (PPVs) ranging from 0.2 mm/s to about 400 mm/s (with interesting observations). The structural response, generated by low to extreme levels of vibration, will be compared with those experienced close to mines and quarries. An innovative technique for assessing structural response will also be presented.

The second part of the presentation will review typical regulations used to govern the limits of construction vibrations. The effect of these regulations will be examined in a number of circumstances where blasting, excavation, piling, dynamic compaction and tunnelling have resulted in vibrations in residential structures. Environmental considerations affecting attenuation and human responses to low level vibrations are introduced. Both ground vibrations and air-blast vibrations will be covered.

Speaker biography

Dr David Heath MIEAust, Director, AEFAC
Since completing his PhD, entitled “The response of residential structures to blast vibrations and environmental loads”, David has investigated over 1000 cases of building movement, focusing primarily on environmental causes of damage, and has developed innovative techniques of assessing structural response.

Don Raisbeck FIEAust, FASCE, CPEng, Principal Geotechnical Engineer (p/t) SKM
Don has more than forty years geotechnical experience, and has performed many forensic investigations related to the impact of vibrations, and other construction activities, on residential properties.

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