Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 9

5/29/2015

RulesofthumbStructuralengineeringothertechnicaltopicsFAQEngTips

PreliminarydesignRulesofthumb
1.Thecostofreinforceconcrete(inplace)isusuallysomewherebetween$100/m3and$800/m3.Thisillustratesthe
factthatfora"ruleofthumb"tobeanygood,thebackgroundforitsdevelopmentneedstobeknown.Thatinturn
meansthatmostofthe"rulesofthumb"aremostapplicablebytheengineerthatcameupwiththemandthat
everybodyelsebetterbecarefulinusingthem.
2.Ifplacingconcretedirectlyfromatruckorconcretepump,placeconcreteverticallyintothefaceofconcretealready
inplace.Neverallowtheconcretetofallmorethan1to1.5metres.
3.Thepossiblespans,andassociateddepths,dependontheloadingtowhichthebeamissubjected.Thefigures
givenassume'normal'commercialbuildingloads.Theydonotapplytomoreheavilyloadedsituations(e.g.plantrooms)
ortounconventionalloadingscenarios.
4.Thisinformationisgivenwithoutprejudiceandisforguidancepurposesonly.Itissuitablefor
possiblyinitialsizingofstructuralelementsforarchitecturalschemeorcostingpurposes
foractualbuildingprojectsthesizeofstructuralelementsmustbeveri?edthroughdetaileddesignbyaquali?ed
structuralengineer.
5.Preparedrawingsproperly&accuratelyifpossiblelabeleachbarandshowitsshapeforclarity
6.Indicatepropercoverclearcover,nominalcoveroreffectivecovertoreinforcement.
7.Decidedetailedlocationofopening/holeandsupplyadequatedetailsforreinforcementsaroundtheopenings.
8.Usecommonlyavailablesizeofbarsandspirals.Forasinglestructuralmemberthenumberofdifferentsizesofbars
shallbekepttoaminimum.
9.Showenlargeddetailsatcorners,intersectionsofwalls,beamsandcolumnjointandatsimilarsituations.
10.Congestionofbarsshouldbeavoidedatpointswheremembersintersectandmakecertainthatallrein.Canbe
properlyplaced.
11.Inthecaseofbundledbars,lappedspliceofbundledbarsshallbemadebysplicingonebaratatimesuch
individualspliceswithinthebundleshallbestaggered.
12.Makesurethathookedandbentupbarscanbeplacedandhaveadequateconcreteprotection.
13.Indicateallexpansion,constructionandcontractionjointsonplansandprovidedetailsforsuchjoints.
14.Thelocationofconstructionjointsshallbeatthepointofminimumshearapproximatelyatmidornearthemid
points.Itshallbeformedverticallyandnotinaslopedmanner.
DONOT'SGENERAL:
15.Bondedreinforcementshallnotextendacrossanexpansionjointandthebreakbetweenthesectionsshallbe
complete.
16.Flexuralreinforcementpreferablyshallnotbeterminatedinatensionzone.
17.Barslargerthan36mmdia.Shallnotbebundled.
18.Lapsplicesshallbenotbeusedforbarslargerthan36mmdiaexceptwherewelded.
19.Wheredowelsareprovided,theirdiametershallnotexceedthediameterofthecolumnbarsbymorethan3mm.
20.Primarymovementjointsarerequiredtopreventcrackingwherebuildings(orpartsofbuildings)arelarge,wherea
buildingspansdifferentgroundconditions,changesheightconsiderablyorwheretheshapesuggestsapointofnatural
weakness.Withoutdetailedcalculation,jointsshouldbedetailedtopermit1525mmmovementunlessseismic
poundingisanissuethenthisshouldbeincreasedtomin200mm.Adviceonjointspacingfordifferentbuildingtypes
canbevariableandconflicting.Whilerulesofthumbareprovidedbesuretoseekguidanceofanexperiencedengineer.
Expansionjointisamovement(functional)jointwhichisinstalledtoaccommodatevolumechangeduetotemperature
changes,shrinkage,andchangeinmoisturecontent..Theothermembersofthisfamilyofjointsare:
oControl(contraction)joints
oShrinkagestrips.
AccordingtoMARKFINTELtheuseofExpansionjointsinabuildingisacontroversialissue.Thereisagreatdivergence
ofopinionconcerningtheimportanceofexpansionjointsinconcreteconstruction.Someexpertsrecommendjoint
spacing'saslowas30ftwhileothersconsiderexpansionjointsentirelyunnecessary.
Jointspacing'sofroughly100to200ftforconcretestructuresseemtobetypicalrangesrecommendedbyvarious
authorities.Forsteelstructuresaspacingof200ftisnormal.
However,thespacingismostofthetimesalsodictatedbythefollowingfactorswhichdeterminethelocationofsuch
joints:
Newbuildingadjoiningexistingbuilding
Longlowbuildingabuttinghigherbuilding
Wingsadjoiningmainstructure
Longlowconnectingwingsbetweenbuildings
Intersectionsatwingsof'L','T',or'U'shapedbuildings.
Soilstratainlengthofstructurevaryinnaturebettertohavejoints(suchsituationisveryrare)
data:text/htmlcharset=utf8,%3Cbr%20style%3D%22color%3A%20rgb(0%2C%200%2C%200)%3B%20fontfamily%3A%20Tahoma%2C%20Arial%2C

1/9

5/29/2015

RulesofthumbStructuralengineeringothertechnicaltopicsFAQEngTips

Differenttypeoffoundationsinstructure(i.e.buildingfoundedpilesandraft)

21.Actualconcretedeflectionsareinfluencedbymanyfactorswhichcannotbefullytakenintoaccount.
Tensilestrengthofconcreteachangeinstrengthfrom2.7to2.1canincreasedeflectionsby50%
Modulusofconcrete+/20%
Earlyconstructionloading
Shrinkagewrapping
Alwaysrememberloadcanonlybeestimatedandevendeadloadscannotusuallybecalculatedtowithin5%accuracy.
Withthisinmindnotcalculationneedhavemorethan2significantfigures.

22.Forhighrisksfacilitiessuchaspublicandcommercialtallbuildings,designconsiderationsagainstextremeevents
(bombblast,highvelocityimpact)isveryimportant.Itisrecommendedthatguidelinesonabnormalloadcasesand
provisionsonprogressivecollapsepreventionshouldbeincludedinthecurrentBuildingRegulationsandDesign
Standards.Requirementsonductilitylevelsalsohelpimprovethebuildingperformanceundersevereloadconditions.

Concrete:
InitialEstimations:
"Todesignevenasimplysupportedbeam,thedesignerneedstoguessthebeamsizebeforehecanincludeitsself
weightintheanalysis."

BEAMS:
OVERALLDEPTHOFBEAMS:
MEMBERSPAN/OVERALLDEPTHRATIOreinforcedMaxrecommendedspanSPAN/OVERALLDEPTHRATIO
Prestressed/posttensionedMaxrecommendedspan
RectangularBEAMwidth>250mmorspan/15butlessthan5D.10TO14(con't2026)8m(con't12m)13
2012m(con't15m)
Flangedbeams1218(con't1821)
cantilever265m
Bandbeams(b?3D)orspan/51820812253014(18mcon't)
FornonbandbeamsConcretebeams:2to1depthtowidthratio
thewidth(b)ofarectangularbeamshouldbebetween1/3and2/3oftheeffectivelength(d).Thelargerfractionis
usedforrelativelylargerdesignmoments.
BandwidthL/4toL/3maxatslabsoffit(Lforaveragetransversespan)Iwouldnormallytaperthesidesoftheband
witha1to1.5'taperfortheL/25ora2'taperfortheL/33tosaveweightbutthatdependsonformworkcosts)
BanddepthL/25toL/30(Lforlongitudinalspan)

NotesNote:
1.Beamsneedmoredepthtofitsufficientreinforcinginsectionsocheckdetailingearly
2.Themaximumspanslistedherearenotabsolutelimits.Longerspansarepossiblewitheverytype,butmaynotbe
economical.Asaruleofthumbforestimatesofthicknessabovethespanondeflectionratio'sshouldbemultipliedby
"maximumrecommendedspan"/"actualspan")
3.Thehighernumberaregivenforlightloadings(about1.5kpa)andthelowernumbersforheavyloadings(about
10kpa)
data:text/htmlcharset=utf8,%3Cbr%20style%3D%22color%3A%20rgb(0%2C%200%2C%200)%3B%20fontfamily%3A%20Tahoma%2C%20Arial%2C

2/9

5/29/2015

RulesofthumbStructuralengineeringothertechnicaltopicsFAQEngTips

Commonbandbeamwidthsare1200,1800and2400
bForflangedsectionswiththeratiooftheflangetotheribwidthgreaterthan3,
theTablevalueforbeamsshouldbemultipliedby0.8.
cFormembers,otherthanflatslabpanels,whichsupportpartitionsliableto
bedamagedbyexcessivedeflectionofthemember,andwherethespan
exceeds7m,theTablevalueshouldbemultipliedby7/span.
dForflatslabswherethegreaterspanexceeds8.5m,theTablevalueshouldbe
multipliedby8.5/span.
eThevaluesmaynotbeappropriatewhentheformworkisstruckatanearly
ageorwhentheconstructionloadsexceedthedesignload.Inthesecasesthe
deflectionmayneedtobecalculatedusingadviceinspecialistliterature.
Sizing:
Fornoncantilevers:d(mm)=span(mm)/26+300,roundtheresulttonearest25mm.
Forcantilevers:d(mm)=span(mm)/7+300,roundtheresulttonearest25mm.
Fornoncantilevers:
Ifspan<6000mm,b(mm)=300
If6000<span<9000,b=350
If9000<span<12000,b=400
Forcantilevers,b(mm)=300
EarthquakeLoading:
ThetotalearthquakeloadonabuildingiscalledtheBaseShear,V.EstimatethisloadingVas,
V=0.1W,whereWisthetotalweightofthebuilding.
1.Beamsectionsshouldbedesignedfor:
Momentvaluesatthecolumnface&(notthevalueatcentrelineasperanalysis)
Shearvaluesatdistanceofdfromthecolumnface.(notthevalueatcentrelineasperanalysis)
Momentredistributionisallowedforstaticloadsonly.
2.Usehighergradeofconcreteinmostofthebeamsthataredoublyreinforced.
3.WheneverpossibletrytouseTbeamorLbeamconceptsoastoavoidcompressionreinforcement.
4.Useamin.of0.2%forcompressionreinforcementtoaidincontrollingthedeflection,creepandotherlongterm
deflections.
5.Lengthofcurtailmentshallbecheckedwiththerequireddevelopmentlength.
6.KeepthehigherdiameterbarsawayfromtheN.A(i.e.layernearesttothetensionface)sothatmax.Leverarmwill
beavailable.
7.Themaximumareaofeitherthetensionorcompressionreinforcementinahorizontalelementis4%ofthegross
crosssectionalareaoftheconcrete.
8.Shearwhereshearstress(v)isconsideredtobecritical,itcanbecalculatedasfollows:
23.v=V/bdforbeamsideallyitshouldbelessthan2N/mm2toavoidcongestion,butthismaynotbepossiblefor
transferbeamswheresheariscritical.
24.Wheresplicesareprovidedinbars,theyshallbe,asfaraspossible,awayfromthesectionsofmaximumstresses
andshallbestaggered.
25.Werethedepthofbeamsexceeds750mmincaseofbeamswithouttorsionand450mmwithtorsionprovideface
rein.
26.Deflectioninslabs/beamsmaybereducedbyprovidingcompressionreinforcement.
27.Onlyclosedstirrupsshallbeusedfortransverserein.Formemberssubjectedtotorsion/"compatibilitytorsion"and
formemberslikelytobesubjectedtoreversalofstressesasinSeismicforces.
28.Toaccommodatebottombars,itisgoodpracticetomakesecondarybeamsshallowerthanmainbeams,atleastby
50mm.

SLABS:
OVERALLSLABDEPTH:
Spantodepthratio's:
Oneway:
Single:L/24
Continuous:L/30
Cantilever:L/7
Twoway:
Single:L/28
Continuous:L/36

data:text/htmlcharset=utf8,%3Cbr%20style%3D%22color%3A%20rgb(0%2C%200%2C%200)%3B%20fontfamily%3A%20Tahoma%2C%20Arial%2C

3/9

5/29/2015

RulesofthumbStructuralengineeringothertechnicaltopicsFAQEngTips

Note:
Themaximumspanslistedherearenotabsolutelimits.Longerspansarepossiblewitheverytype,butmaynotbe
economical.
forflatplatesandflatslabswithdroppanels,thelongerofthetwoorthogonalspansisusedinthedeterminationof
thespantodepthratio,whileforedgesupportedslabs,theshorterspanisused.
minimumfireresistancenormallyrequireadepthofatleast125mm,150isbestforfittingthereoin.
Thehigherspantodepthratiosareforlightloadings(about1.5kPa)andthelowerspantodepthratio'sforheavy
loadings(about10kpa).Thespansassumeroughly1.50kPaforsuperimposeddeadloading(SDL).
Notes
Fortwowayspanningslabs(supportedonbeams),thecheckontheratioofspan/effectivedepthshouldbecarriedout
ontheshorterspan.Forflatslabs,thelongerspanshouldbetaken.
Forflangedsectionswiththeratiooftheflangetotheribwidthgreaterthan3,theTablevalueforbeamsshouldbe
multipliedby0.8.
Formembers,otherthanflatslabpanels,whichsupportpartitionsliabletobedamagedbyexcessivedeflectionofthe
member,andwherethespanexceeds7m,theTablevalueshouldbemultipliedby7/span.
Forflatslabswherethegreaterspanexceeds8.5m,theTablevalueshouldbemultipliedby8.5/span.
Thevaluesmaynotbeappropriatewhentheformworkisstruckatanearlyageorwhentheconstructionloadsexceed
thedesignload.Inthesecasesthedeflectionmayneedtobecalculatedusingadviceinspecialistliterature.

1.Provideamaxspacingof250mm(8")formainreinforcementinordertocontrolthecrackwidthandspacing.
2.Amin.of0.24%shallbeusedfortheroofslabssinceitissubjectedtohighertemperature.Variationsthanthefloor
slabs.Thisisrequiredtotakecareoftemp.Differences.
3.Spansaredefinedasbeingfromcentrelineofsupporttocentrelineofsupport.Althoughsquarebaysaretobe
preferredongroundsofeconomy,architecturalrequirementswillusuallydictatethearrangementoffloorlayoutsandthe
positioningofsupportingwallsandcolumns.Pinnedsupportsareassumed.
4.Particularattentionisdrawntotheneedtoresolvelateralstability,andthelayoutofstairandservicecores,which
canhaveadramaticeffectonthepositionofverticalsupports.Servicecorefloorstendtohavelargeholes,greaterloads
butsmallerspansthanthemainareaoffloorslab.
5.Eliminatingdropsresultsinsimplerfalseworkandformworkarrangements,enablesrapidfloorconstructionand
givingmaximumflexibilitytotheoccupier.
6.Thebenefitsofusinginsituconcreteflatslabconstructionshouldbeinvestigatedattheconceptualdesignstage.
Considernotonlythebenefitsintermsofpotentialdesignefficienciesbutalsothemajoradvantagesfortheoverall
constructionprocess,notablyinsimplifyingtheinstallationofservicesandthesavingsinconstructiontime.
7.Tooptimisetheslabthickness,considerallfactorssuchasthemethodofdesign,thepresenceorabsenceofholes,
theimportanceofdeflections,andpreviousexperience.
8.Deflectionswillgenerallybegreatestatthecentreofeachpanel.However,aspartitionsmaybeplacedalong
columnlines,itisusualtocheckdeflectionsherealso.Thepossibleeffectofdeflectionsoncladdingshouldalsobe
consideredcarefully.Edgethickenings,upstandanddownstandbeamsshouldbeavoided,astheydisruptthe
constructionprocess.
9.Thereisevidencethatearlystrikingandearlyloadingthroughrapidfloorconstructionhassomeimpactonlong
termdeflections.
10.Thinflatslabconstructionwillalmostcertainlyrequirepunchingshearreinforcementatcolumns.
11.Minimumrecommendedthicknessforslabsforfireis120mm
12.Drapeslabtendonstohighpointsatthefacesofthebandsattheslabsoffitandrunflatoverbandwidthat
minimumtopcover,exceptatendcolumnswheretheyaredrapedtothecenterlineofthecolumnandcentroidofthe
slab(Dslab/2fromthetopsurface).
13.Whenopeningsinfloorsorroofsarerequiredsuchopeningsshouldbetrimmedwherenecessarybyspecialbeams
orreinforcementsothatthedesignedstrengthofthesurroundingfloorisnotundulyimpairedbytheopening.Due
regardshouldbepaidtothepossibilityofdiagonalcracksdevelopingatthecornersofopenings.Theareaof
reinforcementinterruptedbysuchopeningsshouldbereplacedbyanequivalentamount,halfofwhichshouldbeplaced
alongeachedgeoftheopening.Forflatslabs,openingsinthecolumnstripsshouldbeavoided.
14.Whenisitanadvantagetousefabricmeshinsuspendedconcreteslabs?
Designingslabswithmeshreinforcementisapropositionthatcanproducesubstantialcostsavingswhenconsiderationis
giventothefollowingpoints.
a)Meshshouldbesufficientforshrinkagecontrolwithoutadditionalreinforcement.
data:text/htmlcharset=utf8,%3Cbr%20style%3D%22color%3A%20rgb(0%2C%200%2C%200)%3B%20fontfamily%3A%20Tahoma%2C%20Arial%2C

4/9

5/29/2015

RulesofthumbStructuralengineeringothertechnicaltopicsFAQEngTips

b)Thestructuralsystemshouldbepredominantlya"onewayslab"system,withextrabarsatthemaximummoment.
c)Lappingofmeshshouldbeminimal.
d)Lappinglocationsshouldbeclearlydocumentedsoastoeliminateanypossibilityoftopandbottomlapsbeing
coincidentandsoastomaximiseusageandminimisecutting.
e)Lappingshouldbeachievedusingbarsplicessothateachmeshremainsinthesameplane.
f)Meshlengthsshouldbefactorofthesheetlengthpreferablyusingfullsheetstominimisewastage.
PRESTRESS:
1.Maximumlengthofslab
50m,bondedorunbounded,stressedfrombothends.
25m,bonded,stressedfromoneendonly.
2.Meanprestress
TypicallyP/A:
Slabs:0.72.5mPa
Beams:1.03.0mPa
3.CoverTakeminimumcovertobe25mm.
4.Allowsufficientcoverfor(atleast)nominalbendingreinforcementoverthecolumns,inbothdirections(typically
T16barsineachdirection).
5.Effectofrestrainttofloorshortening
Allconcreteelementsshrinkduetodryingandearlythermaleffectsbut,inaddition,prestressingcauseselastic
shorteningandongoingshrinkageduetocreep.Stiffverticalmemberssuchasstabilitywallsrestrainthefloorslabfrom
shrinking,whichpreventstheprestressfromdevelopingandthusreducingthestrengthofthefloor.Thisshouldbe
consideredinthedesignofthestabilitysystemorallowedforinthemethodofconstruction

COLUMNS:
1.Usehighergradeofconcretewhentheaxialloadispredominant.
2.Goforhighersectionpropertieswhenthemomentispredominant.
9.Restrictthemaximum%ofreinforcementtoabout3%.Inaninsitucolumntheabsolutemaximumreinforcement
is6%or10%atlaps.
3.Approximatemethodforallowingformoments:multiplytheaxialloadfromthefloor
Immediatelyabovethecolumnbeingconsidered)by:
1.25interiorcolumns(allowsforpatternloading)
1.50edgecolumns
2.00cornercolumns
Buttrykeepthecolumnstoconstantsizeforthetoptwostoreys.
4.Preliminarysizingbesttoaimforcoulmnswith1to2%reinfcoing
oColumnH/1020,
oedgecolumnsH/79,
ocornercolumnH/68
oAccanbeestimatedforstockycolumnsbyAc=N/15(1%reo),Ac=18(2%reo)orN/20(3%reo)forN32
concrete.(Ninnewtons)
5.Acolumnshouldhaveminimumsection200250sq,ifitisnotanobligatorysizecolumn.
6.Inaddition,allcolumnsshallbedesignedforminimumeccentricityequalto[(unsupportedlengthofcolumn
/500)+(lateraldimension/30]subjecttominimumeccentricityof20mm.
7.Areinforcedcolumnshallhaveatleastsixbarsoflongitudinalreinforcementforusingintransversehelical
reinforcement.forCIRCULARsections.
8.Aminfourbarsoneateachcornerofthecolumninthecaseofrectangularsections.
9.Keepouterdimensionsofcolumnconstant,asfaraspossible,forreuseofforms.
10.Whendoesacolumnchangetowall?generallythisconsideredatabout4timesthethickness,howeverforfire
purposesifthefirecangettoallfoursidesitshouldbeconsideredasacolumn.
11.Forserviceloadkeepthetotalstressabout0.3fc'forgravityloadkeepthisabout0.15f'c.
12.
REINFORCEDCONCRETECOLUMNS:
Sizing:
Forpreliminarydesignusesquarecolumns.
Ifthebuildingheightis3storiesorless:
data:text/htmlcharset=utf8,%3Cbr%20style%3D%22color%3A%20rgb(0%2C%200%2C%200)%3B%20fontfamily%3A%20Tahoma%2C%20Arial%2C

5/9

5/29/2015

RulesofthumbStructuralengineeringothertechnicaltopicsFAQEngTips

Ifbeamspan<6000mm,h(mm)=300
If6000<beamspan<9000,h=350
If9000<beamspan<12000,h=400
Ifthebuildingheightis4to9stories:
Ifbeamspan<6000mm,h(mm)=400
If6000<beamspan<9000,h=500
If9000<beamspan<12000,h=600

REINFORCEDCONCRETEWALLS:
1.WallsH/3045
2.GenerallyH/50isagoodstartingpointfortiltpanels
3.Expansionjointspacing's
Concretelargethermaldifferences25m(e.g.forroofs)otherwisereferbelow
AuthorSpacing
Lewerenz(1907)75ft(23m)forwalls.
Hunter(1953)80ft(25m)forwallsandinsulatedroofs,30to40ft(9to12m)foruninsulatedroofs.
Billig(1960)100ft(30m)maximumbuildinglengthwithoutjoints.Recommendsjointplacementatabruptchanges
inplanandatchangesinbuildingheighttoaccountforpotentialstressconcentrations.
Wood(1981)100to120ft(30to35m)forwalls.
IndianStandardsInstitution(1964)45m(?148ft)maximumbuildinglengthbetweenjoints.
PCA(1982)200ft(60m)maximumbuildinglengthwithoutjoints.
ACI350R83120ft(36m)insanitarystructurespartiallyfilledwith
liquid(closerspacing'srequiredwhennoliquidpresent).
4.Movementjointsshouldbeprovidedtominimisetheeffectsofmovementcausedbyshrinkage,temperature
variations,creepandsettlement.Theeffectivenessofamovementjointdependsontherelocation,movementjoints
shoulddividethebuildingintoanumberofindividualsections.Movementjointsshouldpassthroughthewholestructure
abovegroundinoneplane.Thestructureshouldbeframedbothsidesofthejoint.
5.Shearwallsareessentiallyverticalcantilevers,andmaybesizedassuchthereforeaspantodepthratioof7is
reasonableforashearwall.However,atthisaspectratioitishighlylikelythattensionwillbedevelopedatthebaseand
thisrequiresjustificationinthedesign(seeFigure2.15).Padfoundationsshouldbedesignedtoresistoverturningand
pilesmayberequiredtoresisttension.Thewallshouldbecheckedtoensurethatitis'short',theminimumpractical
thicknessis200mm.Thewallshouldbe'braced',i.e.thereshouldbeanothershearwallintheorthogonaldirection.

RETAININGWALLS:
1.Approximatethicknessh/1014
2.Forcantileversheetpileretainingwalls,thepenetrationbelowthebottomshouldequalapproximatelythe
unsupportedheightabove.
3.Tshapedwithhoriz.fill:Footinglength
o0.46*heightwith1/3infrontofexposedface.
4.Lshapedwithhoriz.fill:
oFootinglength~0.65*heightwithalloffootingattoe.
oFootinglength~0.55*heightwithalloffootingatheel.
5.Retainingwallsshouldbeattemptedwith"traditional"dimensionsfirst,andmakeeveryefforttocorrectlysize
andbalancetheheelandtoe.Therearegoodreasonswhytheseshapes(toetoheelfrom0.45ofheightto0.55,etc)
aresocommonlyfound.Stability,sliding,etcareeasytosatisfywithanoversizedheelortoe,butthestrengthofthese
memberswillbeverydifficulttoachieve.

SLABONGRADE:
TypicalapplicationRatingofsubgradeMinimumthicknessofpavement
DomesticMediumgood100mm(4")
poor125mm(5")
Commercial/Institutional/Barnsupto5kPaMediumtogood130mm(5")
poor150mm(6")
Industrial/gasstations/garagesupto20kpaMediumtogood180mm(7")
poor200mm(8")
1.Withthefollowingreinforcement:
data:text/htmlcharset=utf8,%3Cbr%20style%3D%22color%3A%20rgb(0%2C%200%2C%200)%3B%20fontfamily%3A%20Tahoma%2C%20Arial%2C

6/9

5/29/2015

RulesofthumbStructuralengineeringothertechnicaltopicsFAQEngTips

1.Withthefollowingreinforcement:
100mmonelayerSL72WWF6x6W1.4xW1.4
125150mmonelayerSL82WWF6x6W2.9xW2.9
180mmonelayerSL92WWF6x6W2.9xW2.9
200mmtwolayers(SL72)WWF6x6W1.4xW1.4
2.Jointsspacing:
Ruleofthumbis24to36timesthethickness(givesthespacinginmm/inches).
Keepthethicknessvariationto5mm(1/4")/+10mm(3/8"),andthesubgradeasflataspossiblewithnoabrupt
changegreaterthan15mm(1/2")inabout1.2m(4').Thiskeepsthe"sudden"restraintpotentialdown.
3.Forslabs180mmgreateracrackinitiatorissuggested.
4.Nogreaterthan21m(70')betweenDowelsawnjoints
5.Nogreaterthan8m(27')betweenjoints
6.Makeyourjointpatternassquareaspracticableandwithnomorethana2to1ratiooflengthtowidth.
7.AlwayscheckwithclientattopreferredJointssystem
8.Forsmallmediumprojects
Maxareainpour:600m^2(60000sqft)
Maxjointsspacingforexternalexpansionjoints4050m,internalstoppourslabjoints:60m(200').
9.Forlargeproject
Maxareainpour:800m^2aimfor600m^2(60000sqft)
Maxjointsspacingforexternalexpansionjoints60m(200'),internalstoppourslabjoints:80m(250')

STEELBUILDINGS(NONCOMPOSITE)
Choiceofbeamsystem
ElementTypicalSpan/depthTypicalSpan(m)Span/depth
Maximumspan
Plategirder101225m(80')
FloorJoist(steelonly)1769m(2030')
CastellatedUB's*14171220m(4070')
Rooftrusses(pitch>20)141517m(55')
SpaceFrames1530100m(300')
Primarybeams(supportedbycolumns)101512m(40')
Secondarybeams(supportedbyotherbeams)152510m(33')
Portalframeleg354060m(200')
Simplespanrafter2430m(100')
Simplespanroofbeam1525m(80')
Con'tbeamorjoist.85*simplespanvalue
*AvoidifhighpointloadsincreaseIreqby1.3Asaruleofthumb,thedefectionofacastellatedbeamisabout25%
greaterthanthedeflectionofanequivalentbeamwiththesamedepthbutwithoutwebopenings.
Expansionjoints
Steelindustrialbuildings100mtypical150mmaximumc/c.
Steelcommercialbuildings50mtypical100mmaximumc/c
Steel/Tiltupbuilding50mtypical
Steelroofsheeting20mc/cdowntheslope,nolimitalongtheslope.
1.Deeperischeaper.Allotherthingsbeingequal,adeeperwideflangebeamwillbemoreeconomicalthana
shallowerone.Thereareexceptionstothisrule,butitisgenerallycorrect.
2.Onecommonmisconceptionisthatallsteelmembershaveanactualdepthequaltotheirnominaldepth.
3.Thebracesmaybedesignedforacapacityof2%oftheforceresistedbythecompressionportionofthebeam.
4.Cantilever"onetothree".
Cantileveredsteelbeamsarecommonlyusedtosupportarchitecturalfeatures,givingtheillusionofanunsupported
or"flying"edge.Howfaristoofarforacantilevertostickout?Generallyspeaking,ifacantileverexceeds1/3ofthe
totalbackspan,economyislostandmayleadtodesigndifficulties.Soifyourbeamhasa9m(30')backspan,tryto
keepanadjacentcantilevertolessthan3m(10')long.
data:text/htmlcharset=utf8,%3Cbr%20style%3D%22color%3A%20rgb(0%2C%200%2C%200)%3B%20fontfamily%3A%20Tahoma%2C%20Arial%2C

7/9

5/29/2015

RulesofthumbStructuralengineeringothertechnicaltopicsFAQEngTips

5.TRUSS:
Anoptimaldepth/spanratioforaplanartrussisapproximately1/10.AlthoughforcesintheCHORDSdecrease
withincreasingdepth,forcesintheWEBarepracticallyUNCHANGEDandincreasingthedepthincreasesthelengthsof
thesemembers.ApproximatelyhalfthewebmembersareinCOMPRESSIONandincreasingtheirlengthsreducestheir
efficiencyduetotheincreasedsusceptibilitytoBUCKLING.
6.Strutsandties
Slendernesslimits:
Membersresistingloadotherthanwind:8#180
Membersresistingselfweightandwindonly:8#250
Membersnormallyactingasatiebutsubjecttoloadreversalduetowind:8#350

STORIESLATERALLOADRESISTINGSYSTEM
<30Rigidframe
30to40Framesheartruss
41to60Belttruss
61to80Framedtube
81to100Trusstubew/interiorcolumns
101to110Bundledtube
111to140Trusstubewithoutinteriorcolumns

7.Avoidoverwelding:
Aweldneverneedstoexceedtheconnectedpartstrength.
Excessiveweldingcancauseseriousproblems(distortion,cracking,etc.).Thiscanleadtoexpensiverepairsoreven
rejections.
Selectfilletweldsoverfullpenetrationgrooveweldswhenpossible.
Smallandlongfilletweldsaremoreeconomicalthanlargeandshortwelds.
Keepweldsizesat6mm.orlessforfilletwelds(accommodatesasinglepass)increaselengthifneeded.
8.Boltsworkinmostconnections.
Specifysnugtightboltedjoints,ratherthanbearingjoints.
Don'tjustfillupbeamwebswithboltrows.Usetheappropriatenumberofrowsforstrengthrequirements.
Providefortolerances.Useoversized,shortslotted,andlongslottedholesinboltedconnectionsifpermittedfor
connectionstoconcrete,andleaveextraspaceforweldedconnections.
9.Usesinglesidedconnections,sheartabs,orsingleangleswhereverpossible.
10.Orientcolumnsinmomentframessothatmomentconnectionsaretothecolumnflangeswheneverpossible.
11.Showconnectionconceptsinsufficientrealisticdetailtoaccuratelydepictwhatthefinishedconnectionmaylook
like.Makeembeddedplatesaminimum6in.to8in.largerthanrequiredforconnectionsasaruleofthumb.Fieldfixes
forembeddedplatesthataremislocatedaretimeconsumingandexpensive.
12.Ruleofthumb:Themorepiecesthereareinaconnectiondetail,themoreexpensiveitistofabricateanderect.
13.Donotovereconomizeconnections.Iftheoverallconnectionconfigurationisvirtuallythesame,reducingthe
amountofweldorboltcountinasinglenonrepetitiveconnection,byevenalargepercentage(e.g.,inexcessof25%to
30%),willprobablyincreasetheoveralltimeandexpenseoftheproject.Repeatingconnectionswillreduceconnection
design,detailing,layout,fabrication,anderectioncostsduetothereducedlearningcurve.
14.Whenshowingstiffenersorotherplatematerial,usepopularflatbarsizes
Selectmembersizeswithsufficientdepthtoprovidereasonableconnections.
Useheaviercolumnstoeliminatestiffenerplatesand/orwebdoublerplatesatmomentconnectionsifpossible.
Standardizemembersizesasmuchaspossible.Steelmayoftenbepurchasedatlowercostsinbulkquantities.Ifa
millorderisrequired,theremaybeaminimumorder.
Donotreinforcebeamwebpenetrationsifnotabsolutelynecessary.
15.Reviewmembersizesforconnectioneconomy:
Preferably,asupportingbeamshouldhaveatleastthesamedepthasthesupportedbeam.
16.SUMMARYFORECONOMICFABRICATION
Therateoferectionofsteelinastructureiscontrolledbyfivemainfactors:
data:text/htmlcharset=utf8,%3Cbr%20style%3D%22color%3A%20rgb(0%2C%200%2C%200)%3B%20fontfamily%3A%20Tahoma%2C%20Arial%2C

8/9

5/29/2015

RulesofthumbStructuralengineeringothertechnicaltopicsFAQEngTips

(a)Connectionsimplicity
(b)Numberofmembers
(c)Numberofboltsand/oramountoffieldwelding
(d)Sizeandefficiencyoferectioncrew,andtheequipmentattheirDisposal
(e)Timelysupplyofsteel.
17.Theuseofthetransportationlengthmayhavetobecurtailedtoavoiddamageduringtransportationtrytokeep
memberlengthslessthan15m.
18.Oneruleofthumbfor?lletweldsonbothfacesoppositeeachotheristomakethegussetthicknesstwicetheweld
size.

19.Simpleconnectionsusegrade8.8,20mmdiameterboltsfinplates}t=8mmforUB's<457mmdeeppartial
depthendplates}t=10mmforUB's>457mmdeepwebcleats}
20.Momentconnectionsusegrade8.8,20mmor24mmdiameter.Assumeendplatethicknessequaltoboltdiameter
(25thickwithM24)
21.Holdingdownboltsassumegrade4.6wherepossible.
Standardsizes:M16x300
M20x450,600
M24x450,600
M30x450,600
M36x450,600,750

22.Welded
Use6mmfilletwherepossible.
Relativecosts:6mmfilletindownhandposition1.0
6mmfilletinverticalposition2.0
6mmfilletinoverheadposition3.0
Foreachadditionalrunmultiplyaboveby1.75.
Note:6mmweld1run
Singlebuttweldin10mmplate6.0
Foreach5mmofplatethicknessmultiplyaboveby4.0.

data:text/htmlcharset=utf8,%3Cbr%20style%3D%22color%3A%20rgb(0%2C%200%2C%200)%3B%20fontfamily%3A%20Tahoma%2C%20Arial%2C

9/9