VSimulators: Human factors simulation for motion and serviceability in the built environment

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Architecture and Civil Engineering

Abstract

VSimulators is a worldwide unique facility for exploring how people experience motion and vibrations in the build environment, such as sway in tall buildings, vibration of lively floors, or movement of footbridges. The facility consists of a pair of simulators located at the Universities of Bath and Exeter providing complementary capability in mimicking motion and environmental factors in the built environment. Using hydraulic actuators driving a climate controlled room, the Bath machine can simulate biaxial movement at ultra-low frequencies with large amplitudes primarily to study comfort and health of occupants in tall and super tall buildings which are proliferating in cities across the world. The Exeter machine uses a 6-axis electric 'hexapod' actuation system supporting a rigid 4 meter square platform. This will simulate multi-axis motion primarily to study comfort of humans using footbridges, floors and grandstands vibrating in response to occupant dynamic forces. The Bath machine will incorporate peripheral video displays of internal and external environment, systems for sophisticated environmental control and measurement of occupant physiological and psychological reactions, while the Exeter machine will use sophisticated virtual reality and full capability for force identification and motion capture of occupants. Using shared equipment (e.g. treadmills, inertial sensors, optical motion capture) and technical support the complementary capabilities will be applied to research human-structure interaction (based upon human comfort, well-being and productivity), assisted mobility and rehabilitation and populate a spectrum of vibration serviceability guidance.
The facility will provide a worldwide unique capability available to researchers and practitioners from a range of industries and backgrounds. Together with this multi-disciplinary network of people, VSimulators' unique capability will transform what research we are able to do and how we carry out that research.
 
Description Aoppearance on BBC Radio 4 "Inside Science" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Appearanced on BBC Radio 4's Inside Science, talking about VSimulators and how it related to well-being in buildings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Futurebuild stand and talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Stand at Futurebuild exhibition event
and Presentation session - VSimulators: Human centred design for the next generation of sustainable buildings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.futurebuild.co.uk/
 
Description Newspaper article -Telegraph 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article in the Daily Telegraph:
Wobbly skyscrapers may trigger motion-sickness and depression, warn experts
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/03/19/wobbly-skyscrapers-may-trigger-motion-sickness-depres...
 
Description Television interview - BBC Breakfast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Appearance on BBC Breakfast A Darby and A Pavic, talking about vibrations in buildings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description VSimulators Roadmaping workshop: Putting People at the Centre of Built Environment Design, For Better Living and Working 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact VSimulator roadmapping workshop: Putting People at the Centre of Built Environment Design, For Better Living and Working, with the aim of collaboratively mapping the future demands from buildings and structure, by placing human occupants at the centre of the design process. We have identified additional key sectors where we need to actively engage for future research conversations, such as End Users, Planners, Well Being professionals, Sustainability representatives, lawyers, insurance providers, NHS representative and patients, data science experts and education providers, drawing on their experiences in exploring building design from a more holistic approach.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020