Vibration Isolation of Building Foundations

Many factors can cause unwanted vibration that transmits into the building structure, and living areas as secondary airborne noise. These unwanted vibrations are even more frequent in highly populated areas due to above or underground rail lines and industrial areas. Vibration isolation of buildings is key to limiting these unwanted vibrations.

Real estate costs due to scarcity in major metropolitan areas continue to rise. The lower cost property development near railway lines gives developers an opportunity to construct buildings in otherwise less desirable locations where the buildings may be subject to unwanted vibration from the environment.

Regupol® and Regufoam® have been developed to isolate vibrations in buildings. With 20 unique products, all with varying load ranges and proven performance, demanding projects with different load range issues can be solved.

On-site testing has proven that Regupol and Regufoam routinely outperform the minimum specifications and sound isolations in many projects.

The isolation achieved with Regupol and Regufoam has been documented to consistently perform at a high level. Post construction testing and measurements have revealed long lasting isolation effects within the structure.

In cooperation with acoustic engineers, Regupol America has also developed custom products for particularly demanding project requirements.


Benefits

  • Customized solutions deliver the right material choice for your individual project
  • Wide choice of products for the most economical and technically precise solution
  • Engineering support and proven product performance

Considerations

The vibration caused by the source may spread throughout the building structure: it is perceived as noticeable vibration and can spread as secondary airborne sound. In the worst case scenario structural damage to the building or damage to sensitive equipment and machinery can be caused.

Why use vibration isolation?

  • Health protection of occupants
  • Compliance with building codes
  • Protection of sensitive equipment inside the building
  • Enhanced market value of land and building

Structure-borne sound refers to vibration which continue through a solid medium, such as soil, rock and the building structure.

The protection of buildings against vibrations can be achieved through different measures:

  • Vibration-reducing measures at the place of the emission, e.g. a mass-spring system in a railway track.
  • Interruption of the transmission of the vibration in the transmission area, e.g. through a below-ground slot wall or by shielding the underground building structure.
  • Shock and structure-borne sound decoupling at the place of immission, underneath the building foundations and at the exterior side of the basement walls at the earliest. This is the measure most commonly used.
vibration diagram

Railway tracks are one of the most frequent causes of vibration emission, therefore the majority of the interfering frequencies are between 25 and 100 Hz. Vibrations in this frequency range are highly problematic, as they can lead to building component resonances and thus to secondary sound effects.

Resilient bedding of buildings reduces the transmission of vibrations in the structure by using isolation materials with specific technical characteristics. Depending on the frequency Regupol and Regufoam can reduce the sound level from 10 to even 25 dB.


The decision of which measures to take always depends on various factors and must be taken based on the individual case.

The vibration at the place of immission (within the building) depends on these four factors:

  • Nature of the frequency of the emission source
  • The transmission via the specific ground
  • The foundation design and coupling of the building
  • The continuation of the vibrations within the building structure.

As a rule, the existing situation should be assessed by taking vibration measurements. With the help of complex, computer-assisted calculation models the expert consultants can then come up with a forecast for the property and define the solution using Regupol and Regufoam, which can be an economically and technically sound.


  • Type of excitation (railway traffic, industry, etc.)
  • Level of excitation
  • Composition of the frequency components
  • Traveling through the ground
  • Coupling of the building
  • Elastic decoupling
  • Impact of floor slabs (building component resonances)
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  • Vibrations and secondary airborne sound to be expected in the building (e.g. on finished floor)

Related Products

Regupol® and Regufoam® are remarkably stable under high static and dynamic loads. Great dimensional stability, high resilience, and durability make them the leading products in the area of heavy-duty floating floors.

Both product ranges have been used for sound and vibration isolation applications worldwide and have achieved technical approvals in many countries, including the very demanding and stringent German Technical Approval for building and construction materials.