Improving a current method for predicting walking-induced floor vibration

  • Nguyen, T.H. (Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology) ;
  • Gad, E.F. (Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology) ;
  • Wilson, J.L. (Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology) ;
  • Haritos, N. (Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne)
  • Received : 2011.02.17
  • Accepted : 2012.05.01
  • Published : 2012.08.25


Serviceability rather than strength is the most critical design requirement for vibration-vulnerable floor constructions. Annoying vibrations due to normal walking activity have been observed more frequently on long-span lightweight floor systems in office and commercial retail buildings, raising the need for the development of floor vibration design procedures. This paper highlights some limitations of one of the most commonly used guidelines AISC/CISC DG11, and proposes improvements to this method. Design charts and approximate closed form formulas to estimate the walking response are developed in which various factors relating to the dynamic characteristics of both the floor and the excitation are considered. The accuracy of the proposed formulas and other proposals found in the literature is examined. The proposed modifications would be significant, especially with long-span floors where vibration levels may be underestimated by the current design procedure. The application of the proposed prediction method is illustrated by worked examples that reveal a good agreement with results obtained from finite element analyses and experiments. The presented work would enhance the accuracy and maintain the simplicity and convenience of the design guideline.


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