Opera Lane Development Cork, Vibration Monitoring

Bowen Construction
Project Architects


When it was proposed to demolish the former Irish Examiner's offices and adjacent properties located off St. Patricks St. in Cork and construct a sizeable mixed use development in its stead, concern arose with respect to the potential for adverse vibration transmission to adjacent sensitive buildings. This potential concern was not only limited to piling and other heavy construction works being conducted in such close proximity to historic and sensitive buildings, but was also due to the fact that a few of the existing building commercial spaces were being retained. This naturally required both demolition and construction works to be carried out on building elements that were to remain structurally connected to these existing commercial spaces.

Vibration Monitoring

In order to ensure that these and other adjacent sensitive spaces were not adversely impacted by the demolition/construction works and that the building structures housing these areas were not damaged, AWN carried out continuous construction vibration monitoring at four different locations along three different bordering streets (Academy Street, St. Patricks Street and William Street). Instantel Minimate Plus vibration monitors were installed and tri-axial geophone sensor heads were bolted to the walls in the most structurally sensitive locations of these buildings. Vibration monitoring was then conducted on a continual basis during the entire construction phase.

Control Measures

During the course of this monitoring, a strategy was adopted for whenever measured vibration levels approached pre-established maximum limits. Construction activities were first halted and the source(s) of the vibration identified. The identified activities were then subsequently modified in a manner such that they would impart less impact force into the ground or structure.

This constant monitoring-and-modifying process provided not only a safe and reliable management method for the builder but also an effective limit controller for the adjacent commercial properties.

Construction work on this project commenced in 2007 and was safely completed in 2010.

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