Building vibration: mechanical systems vibration isolation

All buildings—from hotels to offices to laboratories—house at least some rotating machinery. These are the mechanical / electrical / plumbing (MEP) systems that form the guts of the facility, and these machines inevitably create vibrations. You've seen mechanical equipment isolated on springs or rubber pads to reduce the forces that gets transmitted to the structure. 

Machine vibration isolation schemes fail for all kinds of reasons, ranging from conceptual problems to bad hardware selections to poor installation. So, how can you tell if mechanical systems' isolators are working? A formal test is expensive and requires a lot of planning and coordination. However, there's a very simple way to identify grossly-under-performing isolators: just give them a kick. See the video below; if your machinery "floats" freely on the springs, then there's a good chance that the isolators are helping.