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Building Vibration Study

In November 2012, the Facilities Management Department engaged a structural engineering firm, Bliss & Nyitray (BNI), Inc., to investigate reports of unusual building movement received primarily from the occupants of the MARC building and Academic Health Centers 1-3. BNI performed extensive building plans review, field investigation, and building occupant interviews in each building. At the time, AHC-4 had just been completed and was not occupied, and AHC-5 was still under construction, so neither building was included in the study. A geotechnical engineering firm, Kaderabek Company (KACO) was also hired to monitor and record vibrations using sensitive equipment in the MARC and AHC-3. Both consultants concluded the building movements were the result of nearby limestone quarry blasting operations, that the vibrations caused by the blasting were well below state limits and industry standards as having the potential to damage buildings, and that there was no apparent damage to any FIU buildings as a result of these vibrations.

Please click on the link to view the original March 2013 final report from Bliss & Nyitray, as well as KACO’s final report.

In September 2015, the Facilities Construction Department re-engaged BNI to walk the buildings, perform a field investigation, and conduct occupant interviews. This time the MARC, newly completed MANGO, and all five Academic Health Centers were included in the study. It is important to note that, as with the 2013 study, BNI found no noticeable signs of any new cracking in any of the buildings that were previously studied, nor any changes to the cosmetic cracking previously identified in 2013.

Please click here to view BNI’s updated final report covering the 2015 study.

If you would like more information on blasting operations and weekly blasting schedules in Miami-Dade County, please visit the Miami-Dade Limestone Products Association website.

You can also read more about the State Fire Marshall’s regulations regarding Construction Materials Mining Activities by clicking here.

Lastly, blasting by other industries is also permitted and is regulated by permit. The Miami-Dade County Code of Ordinances- Chapter 13: Explosives governing those operations can be found here.

The Facilities Management Department recognizes the need to continually monitor this phenomena and we will continue to do so as part of our normal maintenance responsibilities. Please continue to help us by monitoring and recording the vibrations you experience using the FIU Building Movement Investigation Form, and email them to kvasque@fiu.edu. We will use your feedback to monitor any significant changes that may warrant further in-depth study.

Please click here to download the FIU Building Movement Investigation Form.

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