Annoyance caused by railway vibration and noise in buildings
This thesis is concerned with the annoyance caused by railway-induced building vibration and railway noise. A review of previous studies was conducted to examine current knowledge. The review enabled identification of areas in which there was insufficient information on which to base a prediction of the reaction to railway vibration and noise in buildings. Deficiencies in current knowledge formed the basis of a programme of experimental work which was conducted to investigate how the annoyance produced by railway-induced building vibration is affected by the number of trains, the vibration magnitude, the vibration frequency, the direction of vibration and the presence of noise. Two laboratory experiments were concerned with how annoyance caused by railway-induced building vibration depends on the magnitude of vibration and on how often trains pass. A trade-off was determined between the number of trains and the vibration magnitude which indicated a fourth power relation between magnitude and duration. The relation supports the use of the vibration dose value as a method of vibration assessment. Two further experiments were conducted to determine the subjective equivalence of noise and vibration and to investigate the interaction and combined effects of the two stimuli. The results suggest that vibration does not influence the assessment of noise but that the assessment of vibration can be increased or reduced by the presence of noise, depending on the relative magnitudes of the vibration and noise. A fifth experiment was performed to investigate the influence on annoyance of vibration frequency, vibration magnitude and vibration direction. Vibration frequency weightings were determined to describe subjective response to whole-body vibration at low magnitudes such as occurs in buildings. The results indicate that the weightings in British Standard 6841 (1987) provide a reasonable approximation to the frequency dependence of response to whole-body vibration at low magnitudes. In the final experiment the previous findings were combined to provide a general method of predicting the relative annoyance from complex conditions of railway vibration and noise. The method was shown to provide a more accurate prediction of the relative annoyance from railway vibration and noise than methods based on the influence of noise or vibration alone.