Noise & Vibration Database


Concerns about vibrations during the use of driven pile foundations across the United States have been raised by promoters of cast-in-place foundations such as auger cast piles and drilled shafts as their way of gaining market share. Typically, these concerns regarding vibrations and/or noise generated during driven pile installation are mostly used in urban environments. However, experience has shown that vibration and/or noise concerns are often overstated and distract from the advantages of driven piles, such as known integrity as noted in the PDCA slogan "Driven Piles are Tested Piles". The following picture of driven pile installation around a brick masonry façade for a historic building in Charleston, SC illustrates this point. Proper precautions allowed driven piles to be successfully installed in extreme close proximity to the unreinforced façade on this project, which was part of a teaching hospital complex with many older historic homes also nearby.

Although experience has shown that noise and vibration concerns can be managed, it is difficult to illustrate this concept based on the available information. Therefore, the PDCA, in conjunction with the Citadel and WPC, has developed a pile driving vibration case history database. In addition, a bibliography of technical literature relating to driven pile vibrations has been compiled. Both the database and bibliography are intended to assist pile driving contractors, project engineers, developers, and owners with regards to these environmental issues and aid in future research.

As driven pile noise case histories become available, the database will be expanded to include this data.

The PDCA Vibration Database currently contains 23 individual vibration case histories and over 1800 individual pile-ground vibration measurements relating to pile driving vibrations. Information included in the database includes peak particle velocity (PPV) data with regard to vibration frequency and distance to the driven pile, pile type, pre-auger information, impact and vibratory hammer data (e.g. rated energy), measured energy (i.e. PDA results), relevant soil data, and pre/post condition survey data. As noise case history becomes available, this data will be added to the database.
The PDCA Vibration Database case history data is contained within a Microsoft Access™ database file. Although this database file is intended to be used with Microsoft Access™ software, the file and data contained within can be opened with Microsoft Excel™. Please consult the instructions for these software programs for additional details on how to use these programs.

View the PDCA database.

As part of the development of the vibration and noise database, PDCA and the Citadel conducted a literature survey to find relevant technical literature relating to driven pile vibrations. A bibliography of technical literature related to driven pile vibrations can be downloaded here.

Contributing Information
The PDCA vibration and noise database is an ongoing effort. Any contribution of case history data relating to pile driving vibrations and/or noise will greatly assist in the continued growth of the database and ongoing research efforts. Please support the PDCA and the driven pile by sending your case history vibration and/or noise data to the PDCA and the Citadel. Download convenient template for vibration data entry in Microsoft Excel format. In addition, please contact us if you know of relevant technical literature not noted on the provided bibliography. To contribute case history data or to get more information regarding the PDCA vibration and noise database and research efforts, please contact :

Stevan A. Hall
PDCA Executive Director
P.O. Box 66208
Orange Park, Florida 32065
Phone: 904.215.4771
 The PDCA would like to thank the following people and organizations who have provided case history data:
  • Mr. Bill Wright, PE, WPC Inc.
  • Mr. Reg Christopher, PE, WPC Inc.
  • Mr. John Linscott, H.B. Fleming Inc.
  • Mr. Van Hogan, Ed Waters and Sons, Inc.
  • Mr. Michael Derry, PE, GZA Geoenvironmental, Inc.
  • Mr. Syed Ashraf, PE, Gannett Fleming
  • Mr. Chuck Blakeman
  • Mr. Russ Taylor, Foundation Pile
  • Mr. Les Chernauskas, PE, Geosciences Testing and Research, Inc.
  • Mr. Leo Hart, Geosciences Testing and Research, Inc.
  • Mr. Van E. Komurka, P.E., Wagner Komurka Geotechnical Group, Inc.
  • Dr. Charles Dowding, Northwestern University

The data provided in the PDCA database has been collected from a variety of contributors. The information contained in this database is intended to allow contractors, engineers, and designers to make reasonable assessments regarding the potential effects of vibrations and/or noise related to driven pile projects. The PDCA is not responsible for the accuracy of the provided case history data or its use.