Excessive levels of vibration in office floors have become a common source of complaint by occupants and building owners in recent years. The need for large open-space working areas, the availability of light and high-strength building materials, the use of computer-aided design and lighter building contents due to paperless offices are the main factors causing the problem. The evaluation and assessment of floor vibrations as related to human perception and comfort are therefore important issues to consider.
In recent years, there has been an increase in demand for buildings that are fast to construct, have large uninterrupted floor areas and are flexible in their intended final use. Modern design and construction techniques enable steel construction to satisfy these demands and deliver structures which are competitive in terms of overall cost. For most multi-storey commercial buildings , straightforward steel construction will meet the required vibration performance criteria without modification.
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Some people head into work with every intention of having a productive day, only to find themselves sleepy and unable to focus. All that planned productivity grinds to an unavoidable halt. Nor is it just work stress, a spreadsheet migraine, or general frustration with the human condition. Studies have shown that one cause of vague drowsiness, low mood, and stymied concentration is spending time in a constantly moving building… i. Feeling relieved about your fifth-floor cubicle? Not so fast. Even low-frequency vibrations—those below 1 Hz or one cycle per second caused by wind or traffic—can, over time, lead to something called Sopite syndrome , a mild form of motion sickness characterized by dizziness, feelings of depression, decreased motivation, and fatigue. This, incidentally, is why babies can be soothed with gentle rocking.