Structural dynamics with GSA

29 August 2019

Structural dynamics is a type of structural analysis which covers the behaviour of a structure subjected to dynamic (actions having acceleration) loading.

Dynamic loads include movement of people, wind, waves, traffic, earthquakes, and blasts. Dynamic analysis for simple structures can be carried out manually, but for complex structures finite element analysis can be used to calculate the mode shapes and frequencies, which GSA software allows us to do. GSA software enables us as structural engineers to determine the vibration response of sensitive floors with improved accuracy.

This video shows a typical floor structure of one of our projects, the NHS Blood and Transplant Laboratory Extension. This floor is designed to meet the NHS vibration criteria using a steel/concrete composite solution. At the design stage of vibration-sensitive buildings, it is necessary to assess the expected levels of vibration in relation to the intended use of the building, and design the structure accordingly. For hospitals, the most onerous performance criteria apply to night wards and operating theatres, and in these locations vibration issues often govern floor design.

Using GSA enables optimum early-stage design, as well as ensuring sustainable design. It allows us to find the lightest, most shallow or environmentally friendly steel beam sections to carry the required load and/or the ideal quantity of reinforcement in concrete slabs and walls (also the most economical!). At Integral Engineering Design we have genuine concerns about the climate change challenges ahead and this is one feature we rely upon to ensure we reduce our use of material resources by only using what is necessary.

Beata Zarzycka