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Timber Floor Vibration

B. White

Controlling vibration is a key design requirement for timber floors, as it is with any building material. New products and design techniques have allowed designers to create lighter and longer span floor systems, which cater to the demands of developers and occupants but can have potential vibration performance challenges. Vibration is a perceptive quality which varies with source and observer characteristics. Methods exist to quantify the likely perception of floor vibration. The client should always be consulted early to determine their performance expectations, particularly with more complex floor systems. These expectations can then inform risk and cost discussions to help determine the performance targets and thus inform the design of the floor.

This technical note is intended to provide a high- level overview of floor vibration and directs readers to more detailed design guidance which is publicly available. The technical note covers types of vibration and design parameters, preliminary design methods for timber frame and CLT floors, and an introduction to the use of finite element analysis as a tool for assessing floor vibration.

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