Review Category : Articles

When damaged cold-formed steel members or connections are identified, it is imperative they are assessed to determine the extent of the compromise to the structural integrity and the load carrying ability. Often, such assessment has to be made quickly to contain the propagation of damage to adjacent members and to protect the public welfare. Replacement of material is always an option. However, it may not be the most economical or expeditious solution.

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How Should the SER Respond?

Structural Engineers of Record (SER) should all be well trained by insurance providers and legal professionals to avoid the realm of means and methods of construction – that sometimes grey area where the contractor is responsible for temporarily supporting partially erected structural elements even though they may not fully understand the statics of force transfer, temporary construction loads, and effects of environmental loads that may occur.

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According to Wikipedia, a New Year’s resolution is a tradition in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their lives. According to Urban Dictionary, a New Year’s resolution is a goal that you propose then forget about the next day. With that in mind, I would like to offer nine New Year’s resolutions to improve your life as a structural engineer. Most of them you already know but, like any good resolution, you just need a gentle reminder.

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Tendon Repairs and Modifications

Post-tensioning is the most significant development in the concrete construction industry since steel reinforcement was first employed in the mid-1800s. Post-tensioning (PT) delivers roughly four times the tensile strength compared to conventional reinforcement and significantly reduces (or eliminates) concrete cracking, thus enabling thinner slab construction – reducing the environmental impacts, saving material and labor costs, and shortening construction schedules. Post-tensioning also brings a host of seismic advantages to a structure and enables architects to employ concrete in artful shapes and sizes once thought impossible.

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Flat plate voided concrete slab systems have been used for many years in Europe and other parts of the world. These systems are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. This is due to many inherent benefits which include reduced self-weight (resulting in smaller column sizes and foundations as well as smaller seismic forces); larger allowable superimposed loads for given span lengths; economical longer spans; reduced floor-to-floor heights; and accelerated construction schedules.

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Part 1

Structural engineers are not traditionally involved in the analysis or design of building fire safety. When they are, their focus is generally on structural fire protection and, with some exceptions, their scope is limited to ensuring compliance with prescriptive building code requirements for the fire resistance ratings of different building elements.

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Utilizing Force Transfer Around Openings

The lateral force-resisting system tends to be one of the most challenging aspects of the structural design of a building. In today’s wood-framed construction, designers consistently see larger buildings combined with bigger and more numerous window and door openings. This construction trend usually translates into reduced areas for lateral resistance throughout the structure.

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