Don’t miss UK Construction Week
UK Construction Week, the largest gathering of the UK’s built environment community announces its return to Birmingham NEC from 10 – 12 October 2017, where it will host the most popular event in the construction calendar. Set to be its biggest yet with nine specialist shows under one roof, the show already has a stellar line up of speakers secured from Urban Splash, NHS, Heathrow, Cast Consultancy, Kier and Network Rail.
In the face of change and political uncertainty, UK Construction Week’s main stage will host debates on the industry’s leading issues and trends, including the housing shortage, diversity, how to tackle the skills crisis, building in a pre and post Brexit Britain, and adopting modern methods of construction. Commanding audiences of more than 300, the panel discussions will be anchored by leading journalists and industry commentators including architect and TV star George Clarke, award winning broadcaster Steph McGovern and renowned architecture critic Tom Dyckhoff, while the individual shows will explore sector-specific issues and solutions.
Offsite construction will be a major theme, with a new dedicated offsite theatre and awards programme supported by Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA) and Structural Timber Association (STA). As the industry continues to embrace the latest technologies that allow it to build quicker, more efficiently and at a quality not achievable before, the show will feature hundreds of exhibitors specialising in offsite, including Portakabin, Containex, and Wernick Group, making it the perfect opportunity for visitors to find out why offsite construction will become the way to build in the future.
Nathan Garnett, Event Director at Media 10, which runs the show, said: “The UK’s construction industry is more topical than ever. Not only is it at the forefront of political debate and public opinion, it’s also clear that we’re moving towards a new age of innovation and change with topics such as off-site construction, modular and BIM driving so many conversations. This will be our biggest event to date, and we’re looking forward to bringing the industry together to debate, learn and do business, as well as showcase a diverse range of products and services.”
One of UK Construction Week’s main aims is to act as a showcase for innovation in the industry, whether it’s new ways of working, sustainable products or evolving technologies. The Innovation Trail will bring visitors the latest products, services and innovations that are changing the way we build and have never previously been showcased in the UK. Companies can apply for their product to feature on the Innovation Trail by visiting the website.
A number of new, specialist awards will also feature at this year’s event. These include: Low Carbon Vehicles Awards, BIM Awards, Offsite Awards and the WAN Transport, Concrete in Architecture and Adaptive Reuse Awards. The UK’s best companies in the industry will also be recognised at the Construction Enquirer Awards on the opening night of the show.
Consisting of Build Show, Timber Expo, Civils Expo, Plant & Machinery Live, Energy 2017, Smart Buildings 2017, Surface & Materials Show (featuring Kitchens & Bathrooms Live), HVAC 2017 and Grand Designs Live, UK Construction Week caters for the entire spectrum of the industry from builders, architects, innovators and consultants, each show provides exhibitors with the opportunity to network alongside decision makers and purchasers while showcasing their services and products to thousands of visitors.
Running into the evening, entertainment will include a casino night at the Genting International Casino with exclusive discounts for exhibitors and visitors, a dodgeball tournament and the return of the popular beer and ale festival.
As one of the leading voices of the construction industry, UK Construction Week 2017 will deliver its most comprehensive and diverse show to date with support from leading associations including The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Construction Products Association (CPA) and Builders Merchants Federation (BMF).
Find out more at UK Construction Week 2017
Why engineers must always consider human-induced vibration
Human induced vibration, or more accurately vibrations caused by human footfall, often conjures images of Millennium Bridge-style swaying or collapsing buildings.
But in reality, the ‘damage’ caused by human-induced vibrations is less likely to ruin a structure and more likely to cause discomfort in people. Though not as dramatic as a structural failure, any good engineer wants to make sure the people using their structures, be it bridges or buildings or anything in between, can do so safely and comfortably. This is why human-induced vibration must be considered within the design process.
Resonance v Impulse
There are two ways that human-induced vibrations affect structures: resonant, and impulse or transient response. Put simply, resonance occurs when Object A vibrates at the same natural frequency as Object B.
Object B resonates and begins to vibrate too. Think singing to break a wine glass! Although the person singing isn’t touching the glass, the vibrations of their voice are resonating with the glass’s natural frequency, causing this vibration to get stronger and stronger and eventually, break the glass. In the case of a structure, resonance occurs when the pedestrian’s feet land in time with the vibration.
On the other hand, impulse or transient vibration responses can be a problem on structures where its natural frequencies are too high for resonance to occur, such as where the structure is light or stiff. Here the discomfort is caused by the initial “bounce” of the structure caused by the footstep and is a concern on light or stiff structures.
Engineers must, of course, design to reduce the vibration effects caused by either impulse or resonance.
Potential impacts from human induced vibration
Human induced vibration can lead to a number of effects upon the structure and its users. These include:
- Interfering with sensitive equipment Depending on the building’s purpose, what it houses can be affected by the vibrations of people using the building. Universities and laboratories, for example, may have sensitive equipment whose accuracy and performance could be damaged by vibrations. Even in ordinary offices the footfall vibration can wobble computer screens, upsetting the workers.
- Swaying bridges One of the most famous examples of human-induced resonance impacting a structure occurred with the Millennium Bridge. As people walked across the bridge, the footsteps caused the bridge to sway, and everybody had to walk in time with the sway because it was difficult not to. Thankfully, this feedback can only occur with horizontal vibrations so building floors are safe from it, but footbridges need careful checking to prevent it.
- Human discomfort According to research, vibrations in buildings and structures can cause depression and even motion sickness in inhabitants. Tall buildings sway in the wind and footsteps can be felt, even subconsciously by the occupants. It has been argued that modern efficient designs featuring thinner floor slabs and wider spacing in column design mean that these new builds are not as effective at dampening vibrations as older buildings are.
- Jeopardising structural integrity The build-up of constant vibrations on a structure can, eventually, lead to structural integrity being compromised. A worse-case scenario would be the complete collapse of the structure and is the reason some bridges insist that marching troops break step before crossing. Crowds jumping in time to music or in response to a goal in a stadium are also dynamic loads that might damage an under-designed structure.
How to avoid it
As mentioned, modern designs that favour thinner slabs and wider column spacing are particularly susceptible to all forms of vibration, human-induced or otherwise, but short spans can also suffer due to their low mass. Using sophisticated structural engineering software is an effective method for engineers to test for and mitigate footfall and other vibrations at the design stage.