Experimental Evaluation of the Influence of Human-Structure Interaction for Vibration Serviceability

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Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities





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The effects of human-structure interaction on the dynamic performance of occupied structures have long been observed. The inclusion of the effects of human-structure interaction is important to ensure that the dynamic response of a structure is not overestimated. Previous observations, both in service and in the laboratory, have yielded results indicating that the effects are dependent on the natural frequency of the structure, the posture of the occupants, and the mass ratio of the occupants to the structure. These results are noteworthy, but are limited in their application,because the data are sparse and are only pertinent to a specific set of characteristics identified in a given study. To examine these characteristics simultaneously and consistently, an experimental test structure was designed with variable properties to replicate a variety of configurations within a controlled setting focusing on the effects of passive occupants. Experimental modal analysis techniques were employed to both the empty and occupied conditions of the structure and the dynamic properties associated with each condition were compared. Results similar to previous investigations were observed, including both an increase and a decrease in natural frequency of the occupied structure with respect to the empty structure, as well as the identification of a second mode of vibration. The damping of the combined system was higher for all configurations. Overall, this study provides a broad data set representing a wide array of configurations. The experimental results of this study were used to assess current recommendations for the dynamic properties of a crowd to analytically predict the effects of human-structure interaction. The experimental results were used to select a set of properties for passive, standing occupants and develop a new model that can more accurately represent the behavior of the human-structure system as experimentally measured in this study.

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