Structures + Buildings

News and announcements about specific structures and buildings, and related structural engineering news.

Changes to the Wind Load Chapter of ASCE 7

The reorganization of the wind loads section, addition of tabulated wind pressure data, and the new base for mapped wind speeds in the new edition of ASCE 7 should simplify calculations of some wind loads and create more uniform reliability in the design of structures.

Steel moment frames 101: What to consider when creating wide-open spaces

A building’s stability is a critical design element that structural engineers must understand. Structures dating back thousands of years have typically relied upon one of, or a combination of, three system types for stability: shearwall, braced frame, and/or moment frame. This article provides an introduction to the "wide-open spaces-friendly" moment-frame system in steel-framed structures.

Diaphragms for seismic loading—A philosophy for analysis and design

As all structural engineers familiar with building design know, diaphragms constitute an integral part of the lateral load resisting system. When the load under consideration is seismic, the diaphragms themselves often constitute a majority of the inertial mass, as well as the means of delivering inertial forces to the vertical elements of the seismic load resisting system (SLRS). While building codes have paid careful attention to diaphragm design, this area remains rife with ambiguity and differing opinions. This article will not put an end to such debate, of course, but will serve as one example of a coherent philosophy of diaphragm design for seismic loading.

Structural failures that changed engineering

The cause of structural failures can vary from human misjudgments to flawed materials and acts of nature. However, we must glean something positive from each occurrence to improve our practice of engineering.

Blast-resistant design for buildings

The 1995 attack on the Oklahoma City Murrah Building served as a major impetus to raise government interest in blast protection for facilities in the United States. In response, the federal Interagency Security Committee (ISC) addressed the issue promptly by developing a blast-resistance standard outlining new criteria for design. Subsequently, the horrific structural collapses of Sept. 11, 2001, refocused attention and emphasis on design for extraordinary loads.

Effect of deflection on flatness of elevated slabs

Why floors need to be measured prior to form removal.

Clearing the confusion on ‘plain concrete’

This month, Structural Engineer launches a new column, The builder's engineer" by Tim Garrison, an award-winning author, public speaker, and professional engineer. The column...

Section 1602.1 Definitions (Diaphragm, flexible) and Section 1617.5.3 Horizontal Distribution

Section 1602.1 Definitions (Diaphragm, flexible) and Section 1617.5.3 Horizontal Distribution

Structural innovation and sustainability

"Structural” often isn’t the first word that comes to mind when talking about LEED or other sustainability issues. However, this does not need to...

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