Design of floors for vibration quiz

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Please answer the following 10 multiple choice questions, then click 'submit' to check the result. The pass mark for a CPD certificate is 8 out of 10, and you may retake the quiz as many times as you wish, but the questions will vary! Please note that one, two, three or all of the possible answers presented for each question may be right, and to gain a mark for that question all correct answers must be identified.

Good luck

Design of floors for vibration

Which statement below does NOT describe a characteristic of a low frequency floor?

Has a fundamental frequency greater than 3 Hz but less than 10Hz
Exhibits a near resonant response
Both steady state and transient response must be checked
Has a fundamental frequency greater than 10Hz

Which of the following statements is incorrect? Human perception to vibration:

Depends on the frequency of the vibration
Depends on the direction of vibration relative to the spine
Is higher for intermittent vibrations
Is higher with vibrations having a frequency between of 4 and 8 Hz

Which of the statements below are true with respect to the Variable Dose Value (VDV) method?

VDV’s can be used for hospital operating theatres
They relate the response factor or multiplying factor to the intermittency of vibration
VDV’s are independent of walking path length
Give the number of times that an activity can take place in a given exposure period

An engineer has designed a floor plate to a response factor of 7. The floor comprises secondary beams at 3m centres acting compositely with a 140mm composite deck. The secondary beam has a frequency of 4.5Hz. The main contractor is having difficulty in getting materials into what is a congested site, and has asked if it would be acceptable to replace the composite deck with a lightweight timber joist floor. He submits calculations that demonstrate that the same beam acting non-compositely is perfectly adequate in terms of strength, and achieves the same frequency of 4.5Hz due to a reduction in dead load of 75%. How should the engineer respond?

As long as the beam is satisfactory in terms of strength and the beam frequency remains the same or higher, then that proposal is perfectly acceptable.
Whilst your calculations demonstrate that the beam can support the change in loads, and that both the beam and system frequency are satisfactory, I have concerns about the vibration performance of the floor. The dead load of the floor construction has been reduced by 75%. Newton’s second law (acceleration = Force/Mass) suggests a four fold increase in the accelerations due to this significant reduction in dead load. The response factor has gone up from 7 to 28, which is well in excess of current practice.
No, the drawings clearly state the form of construction required.
Your proposal is acceptable provided you can offer a saving to the Client and accept design liability for your proposals.

For a traditional composite floor system, comprising a slab continuous over a number of secondary beams that in turn are supported by primary beams, what two mode shapes should the designer consider if analysing by hand?

Slab mode
Secondary beam mode
Simply supported beam mode
Primary beam mode

Which of the following statements is incorrect?

If the beams of a floor have a natural frequency of 4Hz or higher, then the floor performance is satisfactory for vibration
The frequency of the system (composed of primary and secondary beams plus slab) should be higher than 3Hz
Both primary and secondary beam mode shapes should be investigated and the mode which gives the higher deflection is more critical
If component frequencies are known then Dunkerley’s equation may be used to calculate the frequency of the system

No floor structure, and no single element within that floor structure, should have a fundamental frequency less than what?


When assessing vibrations in a floor, appropriate acceptance criteria can be referenced from where (more than one may apply)?

BS 5950: Structural use of steelwork in building
BS 6472: Guide to evaluation of human exposure to vibration in buildings
SCI publication P354 “Design of Floors for Vibration: a New Approach”
BS 6399: Loadings for buildings

Where is the magnitude of damping of most importance?

Floors with low frequency
Floors with low frequency
Resonant floors
Floors subject to group activities

What is a reasonable frequency range caused by walking?

2 Hz to 3 Hz
1 Hz to 2 Hz
2.8 Hz to 3.2 Hz
1.8 Hz to 2.2 Hz