“More and more people are living and working in high-rises and office blocks, but the true impact of vibrations on them is currently very poorly understood,” states Alex Pavic, Professor of Vibration Engineering at the University of Exeter.
“Humans spend 90 per cent of their lives in buildings which vibrate non-stop, but there is still very little reliable information about the effect of structural vibration.”
To fill this lacuna, a £7 million study will look at the effects of skyscrapers on human inhabitants, with a particular focus on potential roles triggering motion-sickness, sleepiness and even depression.
When you’re in a skyscraper, you may feel stable but, in fact, the building is probably slightly moving in response to wind or external forces like nearby construction. This is especially true in buildings constructed after the 1970s, when floor slabs became thinner and lighter. Alongside wider spaces between columns, this means newer buildings tend to not dampen vibrations as well as older ones.
The study will be housed in specially-built simulators in Exeter and Bath.
H/T The Telegraph