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Shock and Vibration
Volume 17 (2010), Issue 4-5, Pages 631-639

Vibration Analysis and Design of a Structure Subjected to Human Walking Excitations

M. Setareh and M. Lovelace

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Received 18 June 2010; Accepted 18 June 2010

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Annoying building floor vibrations have become a serious serviceability issue. This is mainly due to decrease in the system mass resulting from the use of higher strength materials; use of computer-assisted design and the Load and Resistance Factor Design Method to optimize the structure based on the strength requirements; fewer partitions and more innovative designs by architects achieving long, column free spans resulting in a reduction in the natural frequency and damping. This paper provides details of the vibration analysis and design of a novel office building. Three-dimensional computer models of the structure were created and various modifications were made to the original structure, designed based on static loads, to reduce the possible excessive floor vibrations when subjected to walking excitations. Tuned mass dampers were also designed as a back-up vibration control system. A series of dynamic tests were conducted on the building floor to identify the dynamic properties of the structure and these were then used to update the original computer model. Finally, various forcing functions representing human walks and the updated computer model of the structure were used to evaluate the accuracy of the walking excitation force models to predict the structural response. Conclusions are made on the validity of each forcing function studied here.