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Vibration Serviceability Design of Staircases

Slender staircases are a frequent architectural feature, especially in public spaces. Although significant progress has been made in recent years in designing vibration serviceable floors, similar guidance for staircases is currently limited, resulting in low confidence in the design and often lively and unfit for purpose structures.

This project aims to develop guidance for designing vibration serviceable staircases exposed to human-induced dynamic loading. This will be achieved through a combined experimental and numerical study having the following objectives: (1) to develop a reliable force model for ascending/descending stairs, (2) to verify the model on as-built stair structures available for this study, and (3) to suggest tentative vibration tolerance limits.

To quantify the dynamic force induced while ascending and descending stairs a continuous force will be measured using a motion capture system VICON, available in the Gait Lab in the School of Engineering. The data collected could be used to develop a mathematical model for the dynamic force, taking care of inter- and intra-subject variabilities in the force induced. The model will then be verified on a number of as-built stairacases exposed to single and multi-person traffic. In addition, inteviews of stair users about their perception of vibration on lively stairs will be conducted to establish vibration perception and tolerance limits for the structures investigated.

For more information please contact Dr Stana Zivanovic.