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Avalon Vista Ph.2 Preconstruction FAQ

The following is a list of FAQ's and responses provided to my office, by Minto, ahead of Avalon Vista phase 2 construction commencing. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Minto inc. should you have any questions not found here.



Vibrations and Frequently Asked Questions


Construction activities and heavy equipment associated with the Avalon Vista

Phase 2 Subdivision project will produce low intensity ground vibrations. This is

quite common and typical observed vibrations are unlikely to cause damage to

adjacent structures. The vibrations are more noticeable in this part of Orleans

because the clay soils in the area tend to carry vibrations further from the source.

Human Perception vs. Potential for Building Damage

It is important to note that people and buildings react differently to vibration.

While a person might be able to feel vibrations, it does not mean that damage to

building elements has occurred. Although tolerance levels vary considerably,

people are much more sensitive to vibrations than buildings. A person may be

able to feel vibrations that are 50 times less than the level of vibration typically

estimated to cause damage to a building or its structural components.

Construction vibrations expected under this project are more of a nuisance than

a cause of property damage. The vibrations are not expected to reach the levels

that can cause damages to homes or buildings.


Vibration Monitoring


In recognition of the potential for production of vibrations from the construction

work, Minto has implemented a vibration monitoring program to monitor

construction induced vibration levels. Vibration monitors have been installed at

adjacent properties within close proximity to the construction site. The vibrations

are monitored on a continuous basis and the contractor is required to carry out

the work in a manner to keep the vibrations, as monitored by the instruments,

below acceptable levels. The acceptable threshold of vibration levels for this

project is very conservative and are in line with the industry standards to prevent

damage to nearby properties and homes.


Vibration Levels


People (and animals) are very perceptive to a small amount of vibration.

However, without scientific instruments (seismographs), people cannot

accurately place a value on the amount of vibration generated. Human

perception of vibration is around a peak particle velocity (PPV) of between 0.2

mm/s and 0.5 mm/s. By comparison, the industry accepted PPV for residential

structures is 50 mm/s for frequencies above 40 Hz. A door slamming,

thunderstorm activity and wind all produce vibrations that we feel but are ignored

since these are “everyday” events. The acceptable PPV levels for this project

were set at 5 mm/s for frequencies less than 10 Hz and 5 mm/s to 45 mm/s for

frequencies between 10 Hz and 40 Hz (sliding log scale).


Pre-Construction Surveys


Pre-construction surveys were offered to homeowners with a building or structure

within 30 meters of the work zone. The objective of the pre-construction surveys

is to document the state of the buildings and structures prior to commencement

of construction for the purpose of documenting a baseline and resolving possible

claims by residents or building owners located in the vicinity of the construction

site. If you are more than 30 meters from the work zone and you are concerned

about vibration damage, you may wish to complete your own pre-construction

condition survey of your property. Your survey should include dated photographs

and / or video. Construction will be ongoing until the fall of 2025. It is not too late

to complete a pre-construction survey.


Cracks Do Not Equal Damage


Cosmetic cracks do not necessarily mean there is structural damage. The

average person is not aware of the stresses that a home in Canada must endure.

The Building Code requires that homes be designed to be flexible to try and

accommodate these stresses. There are many reasons for appearance of

cracks. Shortly after a new building is constructed, cracks may appear due to

drying of construction materials. In older buildings, cracks often occur as a result

of extreme environmental conditions or simply aging materials. They may also

occur due to the building settling and adjusting to external forces caused by

environmental factors.

The foundation is the strongest part of a house. Ground vibrations intense

enough to crack foundations consisting of concrete and masonry would have to

greatly exceed the accepted vibration levels for this project.


Suggestions to the Homeowner


To reduce the frustration from construction vibration you may wish to:

- Separate items in china cabinets or other display cases;

- Place tissue paper between stacked dishes such as cups and saucers;

- Ensure that furniture is not touching the walls of the home; and,

- Check picture frames and wall-hangings to ensure they are secure.


We thank residents and homeowners for their continued patience during the

construction period.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q1: Are construction induced vibrations worse in the winter?


A1: Soil conditions, particularly the frost layer in winter and the level of ground

water table, may influence the level of induced vibrations. However, the extent of

this influence is not clear. In a study of vibrations induced by buses in Winnipeg,

Sutherland (1950) reported that vibrations measured in winter, while the topsoil

was frozen, were significantly less than those measured in summer. On the other

hand, subway-induced vibrations in buildings that were measured more recently

in Toronto were found to be slightly higher in winter (while the topsoil was frozen)

than in summer. Officials of many cities in Canada indicate that vibration

complaints are more frequent during the thaw period in spring than in other

seasons.


Construction induced vibrations may vary depending on the soil conditions at any

given time of the year. However, vibrations dissipate at a rapid rate as they

radiate out from the source (i.e. construction site). In order to mitigate and control

these vibrations, monitors have been installed at several properties within close

proximity to the construction site to ensure that vibration levels are within the

project limits at all times.


Q2: Does the duration of vibration have an impact on the likelihood of

building damage?


A2: If the vibrations remain under the accepted levels, building damage is

unlikely, regardless of the vibration duration.


Q3: Why aren’t you using smaller equipment to reduce vibrations?


A3: For some work, using smaller equipment is not an option. For other works,

using smaller equipment is possible but the construction would take much longer.

Our consultant has selected the vibration limits to allow the contractor to carry

out the work within a reasonable time period while minimizing the potential for

damage to homes. Our consultant and contractors are monitoring vibrations to

keep them within acceptable limits, while trying to balance the need to minimize

the construction duration and, by extension, the length of construction disruption

to residents of the adjacent neighborhoods.


Q4: Could I get the results of the vibration monitoring?


A4: Because the vibration monitoring is continuous and includes multiple

monitoring points, the amount of data collected is extensive and not practical to

share. The highest vibration level of a specific date and location can be shared if

requested.


Q5: What do I do if I find damage?


A5: Minto Communities Inc. and General Contractor, Robert Excavating Ltd. are

required to carry liability insurance for this project. If you find damage, email your

claim to Jean-Michel Le Blanc (Minto) jleblanc@minto.com with a description of

the damage, photos and contact information.

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