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- PublicationNonstructural Partitions and Floor Vibration ServiceabilityNonstructural vertical partitions and cladding can have a significant effect on the vibration serviceability of floor systems. A typical modern office building, consisting of steel–concrete composite floor systems, was created to investigate the potential beneficial effects of integrating nonstructural partitions into structural floor systems to reduce floor vibrations due to walking excitation. Two models of this building are presented: one to represent the completed building with an open-plan layout and another with partitions added in a beneficial pattern to enhance the floor’s vibration performance. The addition of nonstructural partitions successfully reduced floor accelerations due to walking excitation and helped the floor to satisfy the vibration serviceability criterion for office floors. The potential of vertical full-height nonstructural partitions and cladding to transmit vibrations between floors was also investigated. A vibration transmission simulation was conducted on the finite-element (FE) model to quantify vibration transmission between floors through the structural frame and nonstructural vertical partitions and cladding. The results were then compared with experimental results previously recorded on the floors of a real-life Charles Institute Building in Dublin, Ireland, featuring the same type of partitions but with a different structural frame. It was concluded that both the FE model and the real-life building featuring structural elements and full-height partitions have the potential to transmit a significant level of vibrations between two adjacent floors. The results presented in this paper will be of interest to design engineers and researchers in the area of vibration serviceability of floor systems because it highlights the potential of nonstructural elements to reduce the floor vibration response to acceptable levels, as well as their ability to transmit vibrations between floors.
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