“Construction work does not mix well with sensitive MRI equipment.”
In Australia, remote vibration monitoring really pays off
Renzo Tonin & Associates is a leading Australian consulting firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Kuwait. The company provides a full range of acoustic services including noise, vibration and structural dynamics and is frequently involved in major infrastructure projects. Says senior engineer Darren Tardio:
“As a full service consultancy we often oversee entire projects, from the drawing board to completion. Our clients can be construction contractors and developers, but also communities, authorities, forensic and legal investigators and so forth.”
The company is often assigned as experts in conjunction with community disputes, insurance claims and legal cases. Not only building damages, other issues
handled by Renzo Tonin and Associates include environmental noise and human comfort. They are also involved in the management and protection of sensitive electronic equipment. Darren Tardio says:
“Personally, I am most frequently involved in vibration monitoring to avoid structural damage and ensure human comfort in both residential and commercial buildings. I was also recently working on a project where vibrations from a construction site below a hospital were feared to affect the precision of extremely sensitive
MRI and nuclear medicine equipment.
“In another case we were called in when tenants in a residential building complained about intermittent vibrations and structure-borne noise. These were suspected to be caused by cars passing too fast over construction joints and drainage grates in an underground car park”.
Pinpointing problem areas
This problem occurred in several locations throughout the building, so Darren and his team installed several Sigicom vibration sensors between the residential and car park areas to pinpoint the exact problem areas. The units were synchronized to ensure that alarm notifications could be correlated, and to get the most out of the post analysis of the gathered information.
A correlation was found between certain areas and event times. This information was used to identify the major causes and exact locations of the vibration sources.
“Being able to setup the equipment quickly and view data remotely really pays off, as it keeps us from spending many hours on-site”, says Darren Tardio. “It has helped us avoid the risks commonly associated with receiving erroneous data at the conclusion of monitoring programs. The fact that we could change measurement standards and post-analyze transients (waveforms) remotely enabled us to efficiently monitor both structural damage and evaluate criteria related to human comfort without visiting the site numerous times.”
At the same time, the SMS alarm system provides clients and site contractors transparent control of site works, risks and responsibilities, further saving time spent communicating information.
“This feature is now a major selling point and is very much appreciated by many of our clients”, says Darren Tardio.