Identification of Low-Frequency Forces Induced by Footsteps on Lightweight Floors
Journal article, 2016
Despite many advantages of wooden buildings, low-frequency noise disturbance, mainly from human footsteps on timber floors, is a major hindrance for widespread application of wood in multi-storey buildings. In many cases the impact noise evaluations of the wooden floors according to ISO 140-7 and ISO 717-2 standards do not correspond to subjective experiences. This study aims to investigate the characteristics of footstep forces to support further studies related to discrepancies between standard evaluations and low-frequency noise disturbances in lightweight buildings. Transient footstep forces in vertical direction made by different walkers and different footwear on two floor structures were measured and compared. The vertical footstep forces were then compared with the impact forces made by a standard tapping machine. Analysis revealed that footstep forces contain large amplitudes at low frequencies (20 < f < 50) which are not included in the standard evaluation procedure. Therefore, by extending the frequency range of the standard measurements down to 20 Hz and designing an accurate adaptation term for evaluations, a better correlation between standard impact noise evaluations and acoustic performance of the lightweight buildings might be achieved.