Vibration control of a cluster of buildings through the Vibrating Barrier

Alessandro Tombari, Garcia Espinosa, Nicholas Alexander, Pierfrancesco Cacciola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
259 Downloads (Pure)


A novel device, called Vibrating Barrier (ViBa), that aims to reduce the vibrations of adjacent structures subjected to ground motion waves has been recently proposed. The ViBa is a structure buried in the soil and detached from surrounding buildings that is able to absorb a significant portion of the dynamic energy arising from the ground motion. The working principle exploits the dynamic interaction among vibrating structures due to the propagation of waves through the soil, namely the structure–soil–structure interaction. In this paper the efficiency of the ViBa is investigated to control the vibrations of a cluster of buildings. To this aim, a discrete model of structures-site interaction involving multiple buildings and the ViBa is developed where the effects of the soil on the structures, i.e. the soil-structure interaction (SSI), the structure-soil-structure interaction (SSSI) as well as the ViBa-soil-structures interaction are taken into account by means of linear elastic springs. Closed-form solutions are derived to design the ViBa in the case of harmonic excitation from the analysis of the discrete model. Advanced finite element numerical simulations are performed in order to assess the efficiency of the ViBa for protecting more than a single building. Parametric studies are also conducted to identify beneficial/adverse effects in the use of the proposed vibration control strategy to protect cluster of buildings. Finally, experimental shake table tests are performed to a prototype of a cluster of two buildings protected by the ViBa device for validating the proposed numerical models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-236
Number of pages18
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Early online date23 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2018


  • Cluster of buildings
  • Seismic vibration control
  • Shake table testing
  • Structure-soil-structure interaction
  • ViBa
  • Vibrating Barrier


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