Ground-Borne Noise and Vibration in Buildings Caused by Rail Transit

Ground-borne noise and vibration from rail transit systems can be a significant source of community intrusion. The annoying aspects caused by the resulting building vibration include perceptible vibration; audible noise re-radiated by vibrating room surfaces; and rattling of windows, pictures, and objects on shelves. Current criteria for acceptable levels of building vibration are based on American National Standard, ANSI S3.29-1983, "Guide to the Evaluation of Human Exposure to Vibration in Buildings" and International Organization for Standardization, ISO 2631-2:2003, "Mechanical Vibration and Shock -- Evaluation of Human Exposure to Whole-body Vibration -- Part 2: Vibration in Buildings (1 Hz to 80 Hz)" plus general practices and experience with new transit systems over the past 30 years. As stated in the ANSI guide, "There are many and complex factors determining human response to vibration, and a paucity of consistent quantitative data concerning man's perception of vibration and his reaction to it." Current criteria for acceptable levels of building vibration have not been verified in independent field tests. Research is needed to measure human responses to ground-borne noise and vibration in buildings. Such research will provide a sound basis for feasible and reasonable vibration control measures. Rail system designers and mitigation specialists also need guidance on consideration of vibration-sensitive building uses (e.g., concert halls, recording studios) and research/medical activities (e.g., electron microscopy, laser surgery). The objective of this research is to develop proposed criteria for acceptable levels of rail-transit-generated, ground-borne noise and vibration in buildings.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project D-12

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  USA  20590

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Parker, Stephan

  • Performing Organizations:

    Acentech Incorporated

  • Principal Investigators:

    Zapfe, Jeffrey

  • Start Date: 20050916
  • Actual Completion Date: 20091130
  • Source Data: RiP Project 10734

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463060
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transit Cooperative Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project D-12
  • Files: RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:15PM