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Vibration Monitoring Guide - Part 1

Part 1: Monitoring Overview

Why are vibrations monitored? What are the types and sources of construction vibration? How are vibrations reported?

Why Monitor Construction Vibrations

  • Risk Management

    Avoid excessive vibrations that can lead to property damage, litigation, project delays, and increased costs

  • Construction Control

    Inform construction engineers of excessive vibrations so they can take mitigating actions

  • Compliance and Community Relations

    Provide documentation to satisfy regulatory agencies and manage relations with neighboring property owners

  • Legal Defense

    Help resolve damage claims

Rosslyn Station

Sources of Construction Vibration

Transient Vibrations

  • Blasting
  • Impact Pile Driving
  • Dynamic Compaction
  • Crack and Seal Equipment
Transient Vibrations Plotted

Continuous Vibrations

  • Vibratory Compaction
  • Vibratory Pile Driving
  • Excavation Equipment
  • Pavement Rubblizing
Continuous Vibrations Plotted

Reporting Construction Vibration

  • Ground vibration propagates in waves.
  • The wavefronts cause particle motion.
  • Vibration monitors measure the velocity and frequency of particle motion.
  • Velocity is reported in inches per second. Higher velocities are more damaging.
  • Frequency is reported in Hz. Lower frequencies are more damaging.

Vibration Limit Chart

  • The limit chart plots particle velocity against frequency.
  • Points falling above the limit line are considered potentially damaging.
  • Points falling below the limit line are considered non-damaging.
  • The limit chart was developed for transient vibrations (blasting). Limits for continuous vibrations are typically 2 to 5 times more restrictive.


Histogram & Waveform Event Reports

Vibration Limit Chart
Vibration Histogram Report

  • The histogram report, useful to demonstrate that the site is actively monitored, shows the peak particle velocity measured during successive time periods.
Vibration Event Report

  • The waveform event report shows a single event, typically triggered by a limit exceedance.