Evaluation of Wood Floor Vibration Design Criteria

by R. E. Kalkert,
J. D. Dolan, (M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structures Congress XII


In the United States, floors in wood buildings are designed according to strength and deflection criteria under static uniform loads. With the introduction of engineered joist products such as I-joists and parallel-chord trusses, the spans of modern wood floors have increased significantly. It has become evident in recent years that the conventional deflection criteria for design of SPAN/360 is insufficient to guarantee acceptable performance of long-span, light-weight floors. The high strength-to-weight and stiffness-to-weight ratios of wood material have allowed these products to be successfully used to satisfy safety requirements. Unfortunately, accompanying serviceability concerns have led to an increase in complaints that have yet to be addressed in the United States. Specifically, the primary serviceability concern pertains to annoying vibrations as a result of normal human activities. In recent years, several dynamic design criteria have been proposed to address vibrational serviceability. This paper will evaluate 6 suggested criteria in two ways. First, a design deflection factor will be determined based on specific floor dimensions and average material properties. Second, the design results of the individual criterion will be compared to the results of experimental floors to determine whether the floors are acceptable or non-acceptable. In addition to the design criteria evaluation, human perception ratings from selected experimental floors will used to determine subjective annoyance levels and thus floor acceptability.

Subject Headings: Wood floors | Wood structures | Floors | Building design | Vibration | Strength of materials | Static loads | Displacement (mechanics) | United States

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