The University of Southampton
Engineering and the Environment

Research project: Prediction of groundborne noise and vibration in buildings

Currently Active: 
Yes

Groundborne noise and vibration transmitted to the occupants of buildings is difficult to accurately predict. This project aims to reduce the uncertainty of the prediction methods currently employed by noise and vibration consultants across the world.

Project Overview

Diagram of groundborne noise and vibration transmission from an underground railway.
Diagram of groundborne

The approach of the project so far has been to model buildings using the Finite Element Analysis technique.

This has been validated by modelling two case study buildings in London, for which vibration measurements have been obtained. Acceptable agreement was found between the measurement and predicted data, notwithstanding the limitations of the available vibration measurement data and information on the building geometries.

With a ‘generic’ building type, a parametric study has been conducted in order to investigate the influence of various parameters on the propagation of noise and vibration through the building structure. A view of the ‘generic’ building model is given in the below figure.

View of model for ‘generic’ building parametric study.
View of model

Parameters investigated so far for the ‘generic’ concrete frame building have included:

  • Number of storeys in the building
  • Height of storeys
  • Width and length of building
  • Size and depths of concrete floor slabs
  • Size and configuration of supporting columns
  • The characteristics of the input force

Some interesting trends have already been observed and presented at the International Workshop for Railway Noise in Uddevalla, Sweden 2013. Further results have also been published in the project’s second year report.

Additional work over the next two years will include the examination of other building types, the inclusion of room acoustics effects, and the investigation of ground and foundation parameters.

Associated research themes

Railway noise and vibration

Related research groups

Dynamics Group

Staff

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