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By

Dr Stephen Hicks
HERA Manager Structural Systems

Composite Columns and
Innovations in Composite
Floor Construction
Brief Biography
Heavy Engineering Research Association, NZ (2008 to date) - Manager
Structural Systems

Steel Construction Institute (SCI), UK (1997 to 2008) - Senior Manager
Building Engineering

Expertise
Steel-concrete Composite Construction
Floor Vibrations
Cold-formed steel structures
Product development
Development of design guidance and Standards
Structural Reliability Methods

Memberships
Member of NZS Committee P3404: Steel Structures
Chairman of SA sub-committee BD-090-06: AS5100.6 Bridge
design - steel and composite construction
Board Member and Technical Advisor to National Association of
Steel-framed Housing (NASH)
Chairman of Sustainable Steel Council
Member of European Convention for Constructional Steelwork
Technical Committee 11 Composite Structures

UK representative on CEN Subcommittee 4: Eurocode 4 - Design
of Composite Steel and Concrete Structures (CEN/TC250/SC4)
Member of UK BSI Composite Structures Committee (B/525/4)
Part 1: Human acceptance of vibration
Part 2: Design guidance for floor vibrations
Part 3: Basis of new design guidance
Part 3.1: Steady state response
Part 3.2: Transient response
Part 4: Case studies
Contents
Part 1:
Human Acceptance of Vibration
Movement of buildings
Worry it is unsafe
Being disturbed when resting
Sleeping areas such as bedrooms and hospital wards
Being disturbed whilst concentrating
Sensitive activities such as surgery
Users vary in sensitivity
Work in terms of low probability of adverse
comment
Users dont like:
Human perception of vibration
Directions of incidence to the human body
specified using the basicentric coordinate
system

Base curves are used to define the
threshold of human perception

Acceptability s Base curve Multiplying
factor

Information supplied by ISO 10137 and ISO
2631 (identical information given in USA by
ANSI S3.29 and UK by BS6472)
Supporting
surface
y
z
x
Supporting
surface
y
x
Supporting
surface
x
z
y
z
Basicentric coordinate system for vibrations
influencing humans

Threshold of human
perception defined by
base value of root-mean-
square acceleration

z-axis vibrations
a
rms

= 5 10
-3
m/s

x & y-axis vibrations
a
rms

= 3.57 10
-3
m/s


ISO 2631 frequency weighting factors for
human perception of vibration (asymptotic
approximations)
z-axis
x- & y-axis
0.1
1
1 10 100
Frequency (Hz)
W
e
i
g
h
t
i
n
g

f
a
c
t
o
r
0.1
1
1 10 100
Frequency (Hz)
W
e
i
g
h
t
i
n
g

f
a
c
t
o
r
Human perception
of vibrations
reducing
ISO 10137 Base curves (threshold of
human perception of vibrations)
z-axis
x- & y-axis
0.001
0.01
0.1
1
1 10 100
Frequency (Hz)
r
m
s

a
c
c
e
l
e
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
m
/
s

)
0.001
0.01
0.1
1
1 10 100
Frequency (Hz)
r
m
s

a
c
c
e
l
e
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
m
/
s

)
base value divided
by frequency-
weighting
Base curves only
appropriate when
only one floor
frequency is being
excited (not normal
in most practical
floors using steel,
timber or concrete)
ISO 10137 multiplying factors for low
probability of adverse comment
Place Time
Multiplying factors to base curve for 16h day 8h
night
Continuous vibration
Impulsive vibration
excitation with several
occurrences per day
Critical working areas
(e.g., some hospital
operating theatres, some
precision laboratories,
etc.)
Day 1 1
Night 1
1
Residential (e.g. flats,
homes, hospitals)
Day 2 to 4 30 to 90
Night 1.4 1,4 to 20
Quiet office, open plan
Day 2 60 to 128
Night 2 60 to 128
General office (e.g.
schools, offices)
Day 4 60 to 128
Night 4 60 to 128
Workshops
Day 8 90 to 128
Night 8 90 to 128
ISO 10137 Building vibration curves
z-axis
x- & y-axis
0.001
0.01
0.1
1
1 10 100
Frequency (Hz)
r
m
s

a
c
c
e
l
e
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
m
/
s

)
0.001
0.01
0.1
1
1 10 100
Frequency (Hz)
r
m
s

a
c
c
e
l
e
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
m
/
s

)
Curve 1
Curve 4
Curve 8
Part 2:
Design guidance for floor vibrations
General design guidance (UK)
SCI P 076 AD 253, 254 & 256
AISC/CISC DG11
General design guidance (USA &
Canada)
Floor vibration research and
development for steel-framed floors
1997 1999 UK Department of Environment, Transport and the
Regions (DETR) Partners in Innovation project Design guidance &
interpretation of Cardington composite frame tests
2001-2004 EC project through the European Coal and Steel
Community (ECSC) entitled Generalisation of criteria for floor
vibrations for industrial, office, residential and public building and
gymnastic halls
2004 2005 UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Partners
in Innovation project Holistic Assessment of the vibration
sensitivity of lightweight floor for various use patterns
2003 2006 EC project for through the Research Fund for Coal
and Steel (RFCS) entitled "High quality acoustic and vibration
performance of lightweight steel constructions
2007-2008 EC project through RFCS entitled "Human-induced
vibration of steel structures

Multi-Input Multi-Output (MIMO)
modal testing of operating theatre
Walking tests
Summary of work between 1997 and
2008
In situ vibration tests on a wide variety of steel-framed composite
floors undertaken in UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg,
Finland and Sweden (including long-span beams, standard UBs and
UCs, slim floors beams and light steel frame floors)
Tests undertaken on floors within different environments (offices,
hospitals, retail, residential, dance-floors, gymnasium)
Comparison of test data with existing design guidance showed that,
although floor frequencies compared favourably with predictions, the
predicted floor response was very variable (particularly AISC/CISC
DG11)
Finite element models of tested floors constructed to understand in
situ behaviour
To enable comparisons to be made with ISO 10137:
General method for evaluating floor response from finite element model outputs
developed
Simplified methods (conservative), which are amenable to hand calculations (one
approach based on FE models using general method)
New design guide on the vibration of steel-
framed floors
SCI P354
General approach using
the results from computer
models (can actually be
applied to any floor, stairs,
etc. made from any
material)
Based on a modal
superposition approach

Simplified (conservative)
approach using hand
calculations - for walking
activities only!
Based on FE models of
composite floors with regular
grids

Simplified design guidance
(walking only) developed from
partners on EC projects
JRC-ECCS Publication ArcelorMittal
Design guide for vibrations on
concrete floors
Modal
superposition
method (very
similar to SCI
P354)
Simplified and
approximate
method (for hand
calculations)
Concrete Centre CCIP-016 (2006)
Part 3:
Basis of new design guidance
SCI P354 Design of Floors for
Vibration
Multiplying factors
Multiplying factors in ISO 10137
dont cover all environments within
buildings
Supplementary multiplying factors
recommended in SCI P354 (based on
measured floor performance together
with historical evidence)
Assessments cf. measurements on 103 LSF
residential floors in Finland
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
8 13 18 23 28 33
Fundamental frequency [Hz]
I
S
O

f
a
c
t
o
r
accepted
not accepted
Multiplying factor = 16 for
vibrations within dwellings
Place Multiplying factor
Office 8
Shopping mall 4
Dealing floor 4
Stairs Light use (e.g. offices) 32
Stairs Heavy use (e.g. public buildings,
stadia)
24
vibrations within residential dwellings 16
Recommended multiplying factors to supplement ISO
10137 based on excitation from a single person
Damping
For design, it is recommended that the
following damping values may be
assumed:
, = 1.1%
for bare unfurnished floors.
, = 3.0%
for floors in normal use.
, = 4.5%
for a floor with partitions, where the designer is
confident that partitions will be appropriately located
to interrupt the relevant modes of vibration.

Floor loading should be taken as
expected loading, i.e. what will be
present in service.
Generally dead loads plus a
maximum of 10% of partitions and
live loads.

Floor loading
Load-time function (for walking at
2.0 Hz), into the first three
harmonic components
-0.6
-0.4
-0.2
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0 0.5 1 1.5
%

o
f

p
e
r
s
o
n
'
s

w
e
i
g
h
t

Time (sec)
Decomposition of the load-time
function, into the first three
harmonic components
-0.5
-0.4
-0.3
-0.2
-0.1
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0 0.5 1 1.5
F
o
u
r
i
e
r

c
o
e
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
t

(
%

o
f

p
e
r
s
o
n
'
s

w
e
i
g
h
t
)

Time (sec)
First harmonic
Second harmonic
Third harmonic
Fourier coefficients for walking
activities after Rainer et al.
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Frequency (Hz)
F
o
u
r
i
e
r

c
o
e
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
t
,
o
n
Harmonic, n
1
2
3
4

Fourier coefficients for
synchronized crowd movement
after Ellis & Ji
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
2
0 2 4 6 8 10
F
o
u
r
i
e
r

c
o
e
f
f
i
c
i
e
n
t

Frequency (Hz)
High impact aerobics
Normal jumping
High jumping
Activity frequency
= 1.5 to 2.8 Hz
Floor type
For excitation from walking
Low frequency floor has a fundamental
natural frequency, f
1
< 10 Hz
High frequency floor has a fundamental
natural frequency, f
1
> 10 Hz
For other excitations
Depends on highest harmonic
Type of response vs Floor type
Low frequency floors
Steady-state response (at harmonics of
excitation frequency).
Transient response (as higher modes
may dominate the response).
High frequency floors
Transient response (at frequencies of
the floor).
Part 3:
Basis of new design guidance
3.1 - Steady-state response
Steady-state response
Steady-state response
When a cyclic force (e.g. a walking activity) is applied to
a structure, it will begin to vibrate.
If the cyclic force is applied continuously the motion of
the structure will reach a steady-state (constant
amplitude and frequency); this condition is known as
resonance.
Resonance can occur even if the frequency of the floor
is above a minimum design value (due to components
of the walking activity exciting the floor).
These components from the walking activity occur
because the force versus time graph is made up of
many different sine curves.

e,n
is the mode shape amplitude, from the unity or mass
normalised FE output, at the point on the floor where the
excitation force F
h
is applied

r,n
is the mode shape amplitude, from the unity or mass
normalised FE output, at the point where the response is to
be calculated
F
h
is the excitation force for the hth harmonic, where F
h
=
o
h
Q. [N]
M
n
is the modal mass of mode n (equal to 1 kg if the mode
shapes are mass normalised) [kg]
D
n,h
is the dynamic magnification factor
W
h
is the appropriate code-defined weighting factor for human
perception of vibrations, which is a function of the
frequency of the harmonic under consideration hf
p
.
h h n,
n
h
n r, n e, h n, r, e, peak, w,
W D
M
F
a =
Steady-state response per
mode/harmonic
Excitation force
o
h
is the Fourier coefficient of the hth harmonic
Q is the static force exerted by an average person
(normally taken as 76 kg 9.81 m/s = 746 N).
Harmonic Excitation
Frequency range
hf
p
(Hz)
Design value of
coefficient
o
h

Phase
angle
|
h

1 1.8 to 2.2 0.436(hf
p
0.95) 0
2 3.6 to 4.4 0.006(hf
p
+ 12.3) -t/2
3 5.4 to 6.6 0.007(hf
p
+ 5.2) t
4 7.2 to 8.8 0.007(hf
p
+ 2.0) t/2
~0.4
~0.1
~0.1
~0.1
Q F
h h
o =
Dynamic magnification factor
h is the number of the hth harmonic
|
n
is the frequency ratio (taken as f
p
/f
n
)
, is the damping ratio
f
p
is the frequency corresponding to the first
harmonic of the activity
f
n
is the frequency of the mode under
consideration
( ) ( )
2
2
2
2
2
2
,
2 1
n n
n
h n
h h
h
D
,| |
|
+
=
Square-root sum of squares (steady-
state):

= =
|
|
.
|

\
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
H
h
N
n
W D
M
F
a
1
2
1
h h n,
n
h
n r, n e, r e, rms, w,
2
1

Total steady-state root-mean-
square acceleration
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5
Frequency (Hz)
R
e
s
p
o
n
s
e
First Harmonic
Second Harmonic
Third Harmonic
Fourth Harmonic
Total
Typical steady-
state response
versus pace
frequency
Part 3:
Basis of new design guidance
3.2 Transient response
Transient response
Transient response
For the case when a structure possess a
sufficiently high frequency, so that it is out of
the range of the first four harmonic
components of the pace frequency (where
most of the excitation energy is concentrated
i.e., o
1
+ o
2
+ o
3
+ o
4
~ 0.7), the floor will
exhibit a transient response.
In this case, the response is dominated by a
train of impulses, which correspond to the heel
impacts. As a consequence, successive peaks
and decays typify the overall dynamic
response of a floor of this type.
Transient response

e,n
is the mode shape amplitude, from the unity or mass
normalised FE output, at the point on the floor where the
impulse force F
I
is applied

r,n
is the mode shape amplitude, from the unity or mass
normalised FE output, at the point where the response is to
be calculated
F
I
is the excitation force [Ns]
M
n
is the modal mass of mode n (equal to 1 if the mode shapes
are mass normalised) [kg]
W
n
is the appropriate code-defined weighting factor for human
perception of vibrations, which depends on the direction of
the vibrations on the human body using the basicentric
coordinate system and the frequency of the mode under
consideration f
n
.
n
I
W
M
F
f a
n
n r, n e,
2
n n r, e, peak, w,
1 2 , =
Transient excitation force
f
p
is the pace frequency
f
n
is the frequency of the mode under
consideration
Q is the static force exerted by an average
person (normally taken as 76 kg 9.81 m/s
= 746 N)
700
60
3 . 1
43 . 1
Q
f
f
F
n
p
I
=
Total transient acceleration
Superposition of modal responses:




Calculate root-mean-square (rms)

( )
n
2 2
n
n
I
1
n r, n e,
2
n
1
n r, e, w, , e w,
n
1 2 sin 1 2
) ( ) (
W e t f
M
F
f
t a t a
t f
N
n
N
n
r


,
, ,

=
=
=
=

( )
}
=
p
1
0
2
r e, w, p rms w,
f
dt t a f a
Typical transient response versus
pace frequency
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5
Frequency (Hz)
R
e
s
p
o
n
s
e
Evaluation of Response factors
For z-axis vibration:
For x- and y-axis vibration:
005 . 0
rms w,
a
R =
00357 . 0
,rms w
a
R =
If R s Multiplying factor from ISO 10137 or SCI P354, floor is acceptable
Contour plots on floor plan
Assessment at
every point over
the floor area can
show hotspots of
response factors
and help with
architectural
layouts

Excitation and response points
(useful for sensitive areas)
+
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14
P
r
e
d
i
c
t
e
d

r
e
s
p
o
n
s
e
Measured response
Floor H1
Floor H2
Floor H3
Floor H4
Floor H5
Part 4:
Case studies
Framing layout of St Richards Hospital UK
Slimflor floor
48% saving on steel
weight!
Verification of predictions through
testing on floor



Measured mode shape
R = 0.29
Worst-case acceleration-time trace measured
in operating theatre
Project Bay size
(m)
Overall
slab
depth
(mm)
Beam depth
Sec/Pri (mm)
f
0
(Hz)
R
Hospital 1
(bare)
11.37.2 300 625/571
Cellular beam
9.01 0.25
(2.70)
Hospital 1
(finished)
11.37.2 300 625/571
Cellular beam
6.38 0.34
(0.70)
Hospital 2 157.5 175 457152UB/70
0 Cellular beam
4.88 0.58
(4.76)
St Richards
Hospital
5.95.5 335+80
screed
300ASB153/- 9.5 0.29
(1.10)
Sunderland
Royal Infirmary
6.85.7 337 300ASB185/- 9.6 0.54
(1.16)
Measurements taken on steel-framed floors in
operating theatre areas
General approach now
implemented within commercial
software such as Oasys GSA
One Shelley Street, Sydney, Australia
Icon Hotel, Dubai, UAE

Conclusions
Acceptance criteria for vibrations in buildings given in ISO
10137 and ISO 2631.
New design guidance based 11-years of research conducted
in UK and Europe.
New design guidance based on actual measured
performance of floors as opposed to subjective
assessments.
Application of general method of design has been simplified
through incorporation within software
Methodology has been in use within the UK since 2004 and
is now being used internationally.