Structural Isolation Bearings

Building isolation bearings are used to isolate entire buildings or elements such as walls, floor plates, or columns. Bearings are normally bespoke, designed to accept the specific loads and have the correct isolation characteristics. A typical application would be to prevent vibration from a nearby railway or underground line carrying into a building structure, resulting in undesirable noise.

Isolation bearings can either be elastomeric (typically natural rubber) or helical metal spring. The nature of the vibration will dictate which type is required.

Why use Isolation Bearings?

Vibration originating from sources such as railway lines can carry into buildings and cause undesirable noise. By supporting the entire or part of a structure on bearings, the transmission path is broken. Isolation bearings can be much more cost effective than extensive ‘box-in-box’ measures which also consume interior space and make the building less flexible in the future.

Mason bearings can last the lifespan of the structure without need for inspection or maintenance. We offer complete support from concept through to site quality assurance.

Design and Support

We have an engineering approach to supporting structural isolation projects. We provide comprehensive support from the outset, since introducing bearings will likely require significant support to the design team.

Anything that crosses the line of isolation will have to be reviewed, not only the fundamental structural design but creating and maintaining isolation gaps, internal partitions, façade supports, services and fire detailing are a few examples we can help with, using our extensive experience from previous projects.

We also provide full onsite support, ensuring that the installation goes as planned and working with any sub-contractor who could affect the isolation.

We are proud of our approach to bearing design. Our bearings, whether spring or rubber, can last the life of the structure with zero requirements for maintenance or inspection. This is done through the essential principle of maintaining low material stress and strain characteristics, comprehensive testing and exacting fabrication.

We would be happy to discuss our engineering in detail. Our warranties are simple documents but supported by extensive testing and quality documentation for every bearing we manufacture.

Case Study Example

See the following video for an example structural isolation project, the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, London.

Documents & Files

Further Details

Please see the links below for more details on our rubber and spring bearing solutions.

Elastomeric Isolation Bearings

Elastomeric bearings can be made from a variety of materials and are very effective against most medium to high frequency vibration sources. The material choice depends on the environment, but natural rubber is the most common choice due to its low dynamic stiffness.

Spring Isolation Bearings

Spring bearings are used to isolate against low frequency vibration sources and impact. They can be made using single or multiple springs and low natural frequencies of less than 2.0Hz can be achieved.