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P076 Vibrations of floors

New publication on vibrations of floors dispels the misconception that steel framed floors have difficulty in achieving serviceability performance requirements.

Design guide on the vibration of floors popularly referred to as P076, was published by The Steel Construction Institute in 1989. This first publication on the subject provided design guidance on the vibration of office floors caused by internal pedestrian traffic. Since then, a common misconception has arisen that steel-framed floors sometimes have difficulty in achieving the serviceability requirements given in the appropriate performance Standards BS 6472 and HTM2045.

Through a comprehensive series of vibration tests, which have been undertaken on a variety of building types over the last nine years, it has been shown that all of the floors tested easily satisfied the appropriate performance requirements for office, laboratory and operating theatre environments (New Steel Construction, June 2005 and November /December 2005). However, the results showed that P076 was very conservative.

Through extensive back-analysis of the measurements made on these floors, SCI will shortly be unveiling a revision to P076, Design guide on the vibration of floors – Second Edition, which will remove the conservatism that presently exists and provide guidance on other types of floor that were not covered in the original publication.

The new publication will provide design guidance for all floor and building types which use a structural steel frame. It will cover the human perception of vibration and the criteria by which it is assessed. The concepts of floor response, including the primary and secondary beam mode shapes, and the different types of excitation produced by occupant-induced vibration will be explained. A simple design procedure will be set out which shows how to calculate the floor acceleration, weight it to reflect human perception, and compare it with the acceptance levels in the current performance Standards.

The revised edition has been prepared by Dr Stephen Hicks and Paul Devine, both of The Steel Construction Institute and Professor Aleksandar Pavic of Sheffield University. It will be available in early October.

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