Tips for Structural Engineers

Post-Tensioned Concrete vs. Reinforced Concrete

Using post-tensioned concrete may seem like a daunting task for engineers who are more comfortable with traditional reinforced concrete design.  However, post-tensioned concrete certainly allows for designs that cannot be achieved with traditional mild steel reinforced concrete, and improvements in construction methods have eliminated previous problems with corrosion of the steel strands.  PT concrete can allow for thinner and longer…read more →

Tips for Designing with Post-tensioned Concrete

Have you wanted to jump into the world of PT design, but have hesitated due to a lack of experience on the subject?  Typical undergraduate or even graduate engineering course work may offer a brief overview of PT design, but a thorough, in-depth education on this design method is not commonplace in most universities.  However, there are many resources available…read more →

Analysis of Post-Installed Adhesive Anchors Near Abandoned Holes

Using post-installed adhesive anchors is commonplace in concrete construction and especially in renovations of concrete structures.  However, field conditions can often dictate changes to the original design, and anchors are often relocated due to unforeseen circumstances.  If you have been a design engineer for any length of time, you have undoubtedly encountered the situation where a hole was misdrilled, or…read more →

Buckling Restrained Braced Frames – Schedule and Notes

For the seasoned seismic designer, Buckling Restrained Braced Frames may be a familiar structural system, however, some structural engineers may not be quite as familiar with their use.  These prefabricated, or manufactured brace elements consist of a steel core and a buckling-restraining system, and they exhibit robust cyclical performance and have large ductility capacity.  Their use in seismic applications has…read more →

New Design Approach Recommended for Chevron Braced Frames

Chevron braced frames are popular among steel frame design engineers due to the convenient nature of their flexible geometry which allow for wall openings and movable workpoints along the frame beam.  The connections of such configurations are typically left to a contracted connection designer who, in the past, has considered these gusseted bracing connections to be designed in ‘isolation’ apart…read more →

What’s the difference? OMF vs IMF vs SMF

Are you able to quickly recall the different code requirements for Intermediate Moment Frames and Special Moment Frames?  For many engineers who don’t design in seismically active regions every day, anything beyond a standard R=3 seismic design might require some study on the current requirements for drift and strength design in moment frame construction.  However, even if seismic design requirements…read more →

The Chevron Effect – Useful Resources for EORs

Do you often utilize chevron braced frames in your steel building designs?  The flexible geometry of a chevron brace makes these configurations very common because of the ability to shift the workpoint of the bracing connection along the length of the frame beam; thus allowing for wall openings in the structural wall.  However, the Chevron Effect was more recently identified…read more →

2015 NDS for Wood Construction – Now Including Cross-laminated Timber

Have you seen some of the new mid to high-rise structures that are using cross-laminated timber?  While the product has been used in Europe since the 1990s, it has more recently become available in the US and Canada.  Now, with the incorporation of this new wood product in the 2015 NDS for Wood Construction, you can expect its availability to…read more →

Horizontal and Vertical Masonry Movement Joints

When designing with structural masonry and/or architectural brick veneer, are you certain you are following the best practices in regards to control or expansion joint placement in your design?  Are you appropriately noting these movement joints on drawings and explaining in the specification to ensure the mason will follow your directions to prevent unnecessary cracks or failure?  With so many…read more →