The Vibration Engineering Section collaborated with consultant WSP-Parsons Brinckerhoff in a “crowd loading experiment” held in the Guildhall in Exeter, which is undergoing massive refurbishment. The experiment was undertaken with the permission and supervision of ISG, the principle contractors for the site.
Participants were asked to congregate around the column heads of the ground floor and move from one position to another; in the meantime, strains in the columns supporting the 1st floor were measured, using vibrating wire strain gauges.
This type of experiment is designed to ascertain how much load a certain structure can support in a real-life situation. The results will be compared with the designed values largely dictated by codified assumptions such as the Euro Codes. The end game is to propose alternative design values for procedures and practices.