Impact of construction-induced vibration on vibration-sensitive medical equipment: A case study

Songye Zhu, Xiang Shi, Chi Kin Randolph Leung, Li Cheng, Stephen Ng, Xiaohua Zhang, Yuhong Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Many metropolitan cities suffer from a shortage of land supply, which results in new development in areas with high building density. Construction activities, particularly piling processes, may generate excessive ground-borne vibrations. The nearby sensitive people, facilities and buildings (e.g. hospitals and healthcare institutions) are often vulnerable to such excessive vibrations. However, the impact of construction-induced vibrations on sensitive medical equipment is rarely discussed. The vibration limits commonly adopted by the construction industry are mainly with regard to structural safety, which are considerably greater than the tolerable limits for sensitive medical equipment. This case study evaluates the potential effect of ground vibrations induced by piling activities on sensitive medical equipment. The ground-borne vibrations induced by two piling methods are quantified by field measurements. The indoor floor vibrations are simulated using building models. The vibration limits for a large number of sensitive items of medical equipment are established through questionnaires to the manufacturers. The potential risk to the functionality of the concerned equipment is illustrated by comparing the tolerable vibration limits with the predicted vibration levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-920
Number of pages14
JournalAdvances in Structural Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • construction-induced vibration
  • mini-piling
  • safe separation distance
  • sheet piling
  • vibration criteria
  • vibration-sensitive medical equipment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering


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