Damping assessment of lightweight timber floors under human walking excitations
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Vibrations on timber floors are among the most common serviceability problems in social housing projects. The presence of low damping levels on these floors could cause excessive vibrations in a range of frequency and amplitude that generate discomfort in users. This study focuses on the influence of the damping ratio in the dynamic serviceability of social housing timber floors due to walking excitations. More than 60 human-walking vibration tests were conducted on both laboratory and in-situ timber floors. The floors were instrumented with accelerometers, and fundamental modal damping ratios were estimated by applying Enhanced Frequency Decomposition Domain (EFDD) and Subspace Stochastic Identification (SSI) methods. The vibration dose value (VDV) was used to estimate the dynamic serviceability of floors. The results indicated that timber floors had an impulsive-type vibration response, with fundamental damping ratios between 1.9% and 14.8%, depending on their constructive characteristics. The in-situ floors had damping ratios between two to three times greater than the laboratory floors due to the presence of non-structural elements. Finally, it was possible to demonstrate that the floors with the highest damping ratios reached lower vibration dose values and, therefore, a better dynamic serviceability performance.