Two people monitoring 20 construction sites

Good vibrations for Rambölls in Karlstad

Today, vibration monitoring is a widely applied routine precaution to avoid structural damages and environmental disturbance, and not just in the largest construction projects.

In and around Karlstad, a pleasant county in western Sweden, the challenging geological conditions at hand frequently call for thorough vibration monitoring. Stationed in Karlstad, Per Holmquist works for the global Ramböll group:

“Most of our projects are relatively small. We are only two consultants here in Karlstad, but right now we are monitoring some 40 sensors at nearly 20 different construction sites from one central system. Most projects involve the construction of new apartment buildings, construction and renovation of plumbing systems. Due to the geological characteristics in this area, we are often assigned in conjunction with earthmoving and soil compaction as well as blasting or piling.

Most often, Ramböll is called in at short notice when the engineer on site is confronted with a specific problem.

Vibrations, air blasts and noise

“Our clients are very much aware of the potential risks, and keen to do the right thing. So, as soon as they encounter a problem they ask us to carry out a more detailed risk analysis, including the inspection of surrounding buildings. Then we position the sensor units and set up the project in our central monitoring system. Ideally, we would prefer to be involved earlier, like a month ahead, but they know that we can set up a system in just a few hours.”

The multifunctional system is mainly applied for vibration monitoring, but also air blast and occasionally noise measurement. Should the set limits be exceeded, SMS alerts are distributed automatically.

The sites are usually monitored continuously throughout the construction project, and the cumulated data automatically generates any required statistics and reports.

Worldwide engineering company

Founded in Denmark in 1945, Ramböll employs some 13,000 engineering, design and consultancy specialists at 300 local offices in 35 countries.

Ramböll’s Karlstad vibration unit was established in 2012, and their business is growing steadily ever since. Their main clients are a growing number of municipal government offices, as well as the local subsidiaries of Sweden’s major construction companies as well as smaller local contractors. They are all keen to avoid any damages to surrounding buildings.

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