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Title: Field and laboratory studies into the human response to groundborne vibration : exposure-response relationships, perceptual dimensions, and models of annoyance
Author: Woodcock, J. S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 9835
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2013
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With proposed increases in both freight and passenger railway in the United Kingdom and the European Union and the building of new high speed lines, there has been an increase in interest in recent years in the human response to vibration in residential environments. As with exposure to environmental noise, exposure to environmental vibration can result in adverse effects such as annoyance and sleep disturbance. However, unlike exposure to environmental noise, well established relationships to evaluate annoyance caused by vibration in residential environments do not exist. In order to predict and control annoyance caused by vibration from environmental sources, a better understanding is needed of how humans perceive vibration and how their perception relates to measureable, quantifiable features of the vibration exposure. In the work presented in this thesis, the human response to vibration is considered on both a community and individual level. The first major aim of this work is to develop statistically robust exposure-response relationships for the human response to railway and construction induced vibration in residential environments. This is achieved via a large scale field survey in which 1431 questionnaires were conducted with residents in their own homes along with extensive vibration measurements at internal and external positions. Analysis of the data collected through this field survey shows that all of the vibration exposure descriptors advocated in national and international standards are equally well correlated with annoyance due to railway induced vibration. Using a grouped regression model, exposure-response relationships describing the proportion of respondents expected to express annoyance above a given threshold are derived for railway and construction induced vibration in terms of a variety of vibration exposure descriptors. The second major aim of this work is to investigate the perception of railway induced vibration on an individual level by investigating the salient dimensions of the perception of whole body vibration. This is achieved via a subjective laboratory test in which paired comparisons of similarity and annoyance are conducted using fourteen measured railway vibration stimuli. Through multidimensional scaling analysis, it is shown that the perception of railway induced vibration is dependent on up to four perceptual dimensions. These dimensions relate to energy in the 16 Hz 1/3 octave band, energy in the 32 Hz 1/3 octave band, the duration of the train passage, and the modulation frequency of the envelope of the signal. These perceptual dimensions are related to single figure Perceived Annoyance Ratings (A) by the following relationship: $A=-0.40+4.57{{\ddot{X}}_{RMS,16Hz}}+3.18{{\ddot{X}}_{RMS,32Hz}}+0.02{{T}_{10dB}}+0.02f{}_{\bmod }$. Finally, the single figure Perceived Annoyance Ratings are related to categorical ratings of annoyance via a logistic regression model.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Built and Human Environment ; Energy ; Health and Wellbeing