Left: Close-up of TMD components. Allan Raun/Thornton Tomasetti. Right: Allan Raun of Thornton Tomasetti performing a commissioning inspection of one of the TMDs. Courtesy Boris Milman/Milman & Associates.

Pearson International Airport, Terminal 3 Tuned Mass Dampers



When floor vibrations at Pearson International Airport’s Terminal 3 departure level caused occupant discomfort and were suspected of causing the terrazzo floor finish to crack, we were called in to analyze the origin of the vibration and devise a solution. We designed three tuned mass dampers (TMDs) that could fit under the floor of the departures check-in area. We also performed on-site supervision of installation and commissioning.

Each of the three TMDs consisted of two tons of steel plates with isolation springs and energy-dissipating dashpot dampers. They were designed to fit into the limited space between the ceiling of the arrivals area and the floor of the departures check-in area. The TMD springs and dashpots were assembled off-site while the steel plates were passed over the luggage conveyer belt by hand to fully assemble the TMDs on-site in a very confined space.

We provided on-site supervision of installation and commissioning, including development of specifications, supervision and analysis of the testing data. The commissioning testing, which involved full-scale testing with a large shaker, clearly demonstrated that the TMDs are effective and meet all specification requirements.

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