Although the adverse effects from vibrations are experienced by fewer people than with noise, harsh vibrations can pose a risk to people’s health, like broken sleep and vibrations syndrome. It can also result in building damage due to cracking.
As awareness for the potential harm of vibrations grows, so does the demand to have it monitored and controlled. We even have the capability to undertake trial blastings to help inform prospective tunnelling and quarrying operations.
Examples of the types of assessment include:
- Ground motion due to vehicle traffic, construction vehicles, pile driving, or blasting
- Building motion resulting from vehicle traffic, wind effects,activities in buildings, machinery, earthquakes
- In-vehicle ride quality
- Floor and bridge deck responses caused by walking, dancing and other activities
The measured vibrations are assessed against recognised criteria for the perception of people living or working nearby, or the potential for cosmetic damage to buildings, such as cracking in wallboards. Assessments ensure that the measured vibrations are within acceptable limits, and inform the selection of measures to reduce or eliminate the vibrations if required.
Road construction vibrations
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) commissioned WSP Research to develop a reliable and user-friendly method of gauging the potential impact of ground vibrations caused by road construction activity, all from the comfort of a desk.
As research into the impacts of vibration is relatively new to NewZealand and our road building, WSP Research additionally recommended that NZTA create a vibration-risk map. Vibration readings are now taken on roading projects all over New Zealand and incorporated with existing NZTA data. By creating this map, NZTA will have a much clearer idea of what they need to plan for in future road construction, before they even take a step onsite.