Even small changes can generate vibration problems
At the 7th International Conference on Experimental Vibration Analysis for Civil Engineering Structures, Matthew Pavelchak presented his paper on Evaluation of Vibration Problems in Existing Office Buildings. A commercial office building may experience dozens of build-outs, renovations, and divisions over its service life, including revisions to architectural features, changes in occupancy, and replacement of mechanical systems.
All of these factors related to how commercial office spaces are finished and utilized can impact the perceived vibration performance by the building occupants. Often these building modifications are made without any thought or knowledge related to the properties of the structural system or the potential vibration performance issues. However, the properties of the underlying structural system can have an important impact on the potential success of various office fit outs. This paper documents some important considerations when planning, evaluating, or troubleshooting bothersome vibration performance in office occupancies. Read full whitepaper.
Here's a case of a very unlikely culprit causing rippling vibrations across an entire floor. The project shows that when excited at a resonant frequency, small forces can generate big impacts. Read Union Pacific Center Vibration Monitoring.