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Floor Vibrations

Human activities like walking, running and dancing - and operating machines - can introduce floor vibrations due to resonance.

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Human activities like walking, dancing or running may generate frequency acting forces in a construction.

The frequencies are in general in the range 1.0 to 3.0 Hz (1/s) - normally below the most common resonance frequencies for floor constructions.

Typical resonate frequencies in wooden beam floors are

  • Joist span 3 m : 12 Hz
  • Joist span 6 m : 9 Hz
  • Joist span 9 m : 7 Hz
  • Joist span 12 m : 6 Hz
  • Joist span 18 m : 5 Hz

Wooden floor beams - resonate frequencies vs. joist span

Resonate frequencies in concrete floors on the ground depends on the materials in the ground below. Typical resonate frequencies ranges 10 - 100 Hz

  • Sand : 15 - 25 Hz
  • Clay, wet : 15 Hz
  • Clay, hard : 30 Hz
  • Gravel : 20 - 25 Hz
  • Limestone : 35 - 45 Hz
  • Solid rock : 40 - 50 Hz

Example - Running Cadence

The force frequency - f  - for a "everyday" runner with cadence 150 steps pr. minute can be calculated

f = (150 1/min) (1 / 60 min/s)

  = 2.5 (1/s, Hz)

The force frequency - f  - for a "elite" runner with cadence 200 steps pr. minute can be calculated

f = (200 1/min) (1 / 60 min/s)

  = 3.3 (1/s, Hz)

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Related Topics


Room acoustics and acoustic properties, decibel A, B and C, Noise Rating (NR) curves, sound transmission, sound pressure, sound intensity and sound attenuation.

Noise and Attenuation

Noise is usually defined as unwanted sound - noise, noise generation, silencers and attenuation in HVAC systems.

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