One of the civil engineering settings, for which vibration monitoring is most useful, is building construction. Defining the element to monitor and the way that monitoring is to be carried out is an extremely complex task, for which the following factors come into play:
- Monitoring can take place either for structures that are under construction, especially for monitoring possible structural damage and preventing subsidence, or for adjacent buildings or structures. In the latter case, it is crucial to define the intended use of the respective buildings. For office buildings or monuments, it makes more sense to have monitoring conducted for evaluating possible structural damage; whereas for residential buildings, monitoring should center around vibrations that might be disturbing for nearby residents.
- Monitoring may, or should be conducted continuously and permanently, particularly in cases where the focus is on assessing possible structural damage. Alternatively, however, it may be carried out using spot measurements or measurements taken over brief periods if the focus is on disturbances for nearby residents. In the latter case, it is advisable to define key junctures during construction phases, usually pre-construction, during, and post-construction.
- Sensor networks can be composed of various types of sensors. In some cases, measuring a building’s vibrations by placing a single sensor at a characteristic point may be enough, especially if the goal is to assess disturbances. But for evaluating possible structural damages of a high-rise, you would have to place no less than a series of sensors at key points of the same building, such as the building’s foundations and its top floor.
- The system needs to have the capacity to handle acceptability limits for various vibrations, according to the measuring point or type of structure on which the sensors are installed.
That’s why defining a suitable monitoring system does not imply one single solution, but can instead vary over time, during the various phases of the particular project.
The GEA system’s hardware and software are highly versatile, so as to allow the solution to be used in a range of settings. This versatility also ensures that the monitoring system administrator can more conveniently and properly configure the system during the various phases of construction, thus minimizing the costs of hardware and software customization.