Results from vibration tests in research courtyard

Note: Q&A session on test results available to researchers Feb. 19 at 1 pm in Richard Jones Hall 4340.

OHSU Design & Construction has received the results from the noise and vibration test for the planned Center for Radiochemistry Research that took place on Feb. 11. The test was performed between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m, and test activities included drilling and hammering in the courtyard (for geotechnical testing), roto-hammer drilling into the MRB façade, coring into the MRB façade, and soil compaction by “jumping-jack” compactor.

The team monitored resulting vibration and noise levels at 11 locations in six rooms across the building. The rooms were 125, 171, 227, 219, 621, and 921. Additionally, ultrasonic sound was measured in room 327.

In summary, the results showed no “egregious” impacts from those activities that will be necessary to construct the facility. The noise testing revealed that the associated sound levels are manageable. All of the activities were audible; however, while noise levels were elevated from some activities, they were similar to the levels that occur with normal use of the laboratories (talking, opening and closing doors, etc).

Little to no impact was seen from the geotechnical exploration from either drilling or test hammering. A careful examination of the data reveals some degree of impact, but not significantly different from the existing background conditions. Similar results were seen from the roto-hammer drilling and coring into the facade. Again, the impact appeared to be similar to background conditions.

Unlike the two above activities, the jumping-jack compactor caused significant impact. This was identified within minutes after it started, and the work was immediately terminated. The compactor caused vibration levels to breach the “1,000uin/sec” limit commonly accepted as a warning level for sensitive research, even at distant locations (171) and at the very top of the building (921). This is a clear impact that would be felt by both people and research subjects and would likely interfere with many kinds of benchtop research. It was determined that this and similar methods cannot be used for actual construction work.

Data from the full set of results are available. Interested OHSU faculty and staff can email Dan Van Brabant at in order to receive the login credentials to access the online portal.

A Q&A session has been scheduled with the noise and vibration consultant for Thursday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m. in Richard Jones Hall, room 4340 to discuss the full results of the test and answer any questions researchers might have regarding impacts during construction. All are invited to attend.