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Vibration control in a repurposed building

Corporate organisation

New York, USA

Office floor to lab conversion

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Project Overview Challenge The Solution The Result Testimonial

The project

Following the recent refurbishment of an existing building, our customer’s building floors were repurposed from office space to a life science laboratory, which was a significant change of use. The floors, originally constructed using a composite steel-concrete system and spanning up to 15 metres, required adjustments to meet the requirements of this new use.

Our customer wanted to ensure vibrations were adequately managed, without any structural interventions, to a standard that would be commensurate with a high-performance lab environment.

The challenge

Footfall analysis indicated the refurbished floor response (R) factors were around 11 at the highest hotspots, as shown in the contour plot above. To bring this value of vibration in a repurposed building to meet a far more stringent requirement and make it suitable for lab use, vibration mitigation was required.

The customer’s specifications deemed traditional solutions, such as structural interventions and tuned mass dampers, impractical. The CALMFLOOR active mass damper (AMD) solution proved to be better suited to a repurposed building, given its swift deployment and simple installation process.

Our challenge was to demonstrate that a conventional low-frequency floor could be transformed to accommodate the demands of a standard laboratory, which typically necessitates heavy, deep, short-span and high-frequency floors.

The solution

CALMFLOOR’s innovative technology is designed to deliver seamless, transformative vibration control in repurposed buildings, in this case, changing office space use into laboratory use, with significant improvements in vibration performance.

The image below illustrates how 13 CALMFLOOR units (shown as purple diamonds) strategically positioned across our customer’s floor would provide active vibration control. We showed how this technology would achieve a considerable reduction of almost 80% in response.

CALMFLOOR demonstrated huge potential for realising substantial reductions in both cost and embodied carbon to achieve vibration control in this repurposed building environment. Moreover, this elegant solution would upgrade the floor’s vibration performance to stringent, lab-quality performance criteria.

The result

The study of CALMFLOOR’s AMD technology in use in our customer’s environment proved beyond doubt to be a versatile vibration control solution that would enhance the vibration performance of the existing floors. It was clear that deploying our technology would enable a highly effective conversion to a new use without any structural modifications.

The ease of deployment and fast-fit installation of CALMFLOOR units fulfills the brief of meeting stringent vibration criteria for the repurposing of any floors. The evidence that an 80% reduction in vibration responses would give our customer an efficient solution that not only upgrades vibration performance to meet lab-quality criteria, but also delivers substantial cost savings and environmental benefits.

Following a conversion from office space to a life science laboratory, we set out to evidence the impact CALMFLOOR active vibration control would make to the repurposed building. We showed that deploying a number of CALMFLOOR active mass damper (AMD) units would reduce the existing floor vibration response factor from 11 to comply with far more stringent, lab quality criteria.

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