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Vibration Monitoring
The Importance of Vibration Monitoring

Piles are the permanent foundation support to many structures in certain areas of the UK, whether they are bridge abutments for major infrastructure, a hospital, school, factory or residential development.

As such, it is vital to know the likelihood of disruption that could be caused by installing piles, so as to minimise or alleviate it. An increasingly key aspect of project management during construction is to understand the impact of ground-borne vibration on the surrounding community.

  • Driven piling involves displacing soil as the pile penetrates ground. The energy produced by the piling hammer to achieve this will result in a degree of ground vibration. Yet vibration’s magnitude generated by well-managed driven piling operations can be kept well within limits and is unlikely to cause structural damage.
  • Complains out of anxiety that structural damage might occur can be allayed by good communication and demonstration of vibration monitoring at sensitive locations.
  • When planning a new project, a thorough site investigation must be carried out. This will then determine the piling operation’s suitability and highlight areas of concern. Vibration criteria can be detailed in the piling specification.
  • To ensure conformance, the use of vibration-monitoring equipment during driving is generally employed by the contractor or an independent third party.

In instances where known issues are specific to a particular region or site, the vibration criteria may outline monitoring of the operation so as to manage the change to procedures, like hammer fall height or frequency, working hours to avoid disruption at certain times of the day, or the introduction of pre-drilling.

There is little doubt that the operation of a continuous flight auger or bored piling rig creates less vibration than a driven piling operation, though on sites underlain by weak soils, the extra wheeled transport and tracked excavators associated with the technique will create noticeable levels of vibration, which would also benefit from vibration monitoring.

Remote vibration monitoring allows the industry to dispel myths and understand the potential for damage caused by driven piling and appreciate some of the precautionary measures that take place at the planning stages, plus manage the change of operational procedures should problems occur.

Over many years the Aarsleff team have built up a reputation for expertise and integrity when it comes to providing technically innovative solutions to civil engineering foundation problems.

Areas of involvement include road construction, water treatment facilities, canals, coastal protection and major rail projects like the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, where Aarsleff manufactured and installed hundreds of 60 mm square section precast concrete piles, the only project of its type in Europe.

Our engineers welcome the chance to work with project designers from early stages to ensure a value engineered option incorporating optimal performance to meet design load demands and programme.

For more information about Aarsleff Ground Engineering or to send in your enquiry, call 01636 611140 and speak to a member of our expert team today, or drop us an email