Frederick S. Merritt (Deceased) Editor
Jonathan T. Ricketts Editor
Sixth Edition

Frederick S. Merritt (deceased) was a consulting engineer for many years, with
experience in building and bridge design, structural analysis, and construction management.
A Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a Senior Member
of ASTM, he was a former senior editor of Engineering News-Record and an
author / editor of many books, including McGraw-Hill’s Standard Handbook for
Civil Engineers and Structural Steel Designer’s Handbook.
Jonathan T. Ricketts is a consulting engineer with broad experience in general
civil engineering environmental design and construction management. A registered
engineer in several states, he is an active member of the American Society of Civil
Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Water
Works Association, and is coeditor of McGraw-Hill’s Standard Handbook for Civil

Contributors xxi
Preface xxiii
Section 1 System Fundamentals Jonathan T. Ricketts 1.1
1.1 Principles of Architecture / 1.1
1.2 Systems Design and Analysis / 1.3
1.3 Traditional Design Procedures / 1.4
1.4 Traditional Construction Procedures / 1.5
1.5 Role of the Client in Design and Construction / 1.8
1.6 Building Costs / 1.8
1.7 Major Building Systems / 1.9
1.8 Value Engineering / 1.22
1.9 Execution of Systems Design / 1.29
1.10 Building Codes / 1.36
1.11 Zoning Codes / 1.38
1.12 Other Regulations / 1.40
1.13 Systems Design by Team / 1.40
1.14 Project Peer Review / 1.41
1.15 Application of Systems Design / 1.41
Section 2 The Building Team-Managing the Building Process
Alan D. Hinklin 2.1
2.1 Professional and Business Requirements of Architectural Engineers / 2.2
2.2 Client Objectives for Buildings / 2.2
2.3 Program Definition / 2.4
2.4 Organization of the Building Team / 2.4
2.5 Client-A/E Agreement / 2.6
2.6 A/E Liability and Insurance / 2.8
2.7 Definition of Project Phases / 2.10
2.8 Scheduling and Personnel Assignments / 2.11
2.9 Accelerated Design and Construction / 2.12
2.10 Design Management / 2.13
2.11 Internal Record Keeping / 2.14
2.12 Codes and Regulations / 2.14
2.13 Permits / 2.15
2.14 Energy Conservation / 2.16
2.15 The Interior Environment / 2.16
2.16 Cost Estimating and Value Engineering / 2.18
2.17 Technical Specifications / 2.18
2.18 Upfront Documents / 2.22
2.19 Quality Control for Architects and Engineers / 2.23
2.20 Bidding and Contract Award / 2.24
2.21 Construction Scheduling / 2.24
2.22 Shop Drawing Review / 2.25
2.23 Role of Architect or Engineer During Construction / 2.26
2.24 Testing and Balancing of Building Systems / 2.29
2.25 Postconstruction Operation and Maintenance / 2.29
2.26 Record Drawings / 2.30
2.27 Follow-Up Interviews / 2.30
2.28 Management of Disputes / 2.30
2.29 Professional Ethics / 2.31
Section 3 Protection against Hazards David W. Mock 3.1
3.1 Risk Management / 3.1
3.2 Wind Protection / 3.3
3.3 Protection against Earthquakes / 3.11
3.4 Protection against Water / 3.15
3.5 Protection against Fire / 3.28
3.6 Lightning Protection / 3.48
3.7 Protection against Intruders / 3.50
Section 4 Building Materials David J. Akers 4.1
4.1 Types of Cementitious Materials / 4.1
4.2 Portland Cements / 4.2
4.3 Aluminous Cements / 4.5
4.4 Natural Cements / 4.6
4.5 Limes / 4.6
4.6 Low-Temperature Gypsum Derivatives / 4.8
4.7 Oxychloride Cements / 4.9
4.8 Masonry Cements / 4.9
4.9 Fly Ashes / 4.9
4.10 Silica Fume (Microsilica) / 4.10
4.11 Normal-Weight Aggregates / 4.11
4.12 Heavyweight and Lightweight Aggregates / 4.14
4.13 Chemical and Mineral Admixtures / 4.14
4.14 Fibers for Concrete Mixes / 4.18
4.15 Miscellaneous Admixtures / 4.19
4.16 Mortars / 4.19
4.17 Portland-Cement Concrete / 4.21
4.18 Polymer Concretes / 4.26
4.19 Concrete Masonry Units / 4.27
4.20 Brick-Clay or Shale / 4.28
4.21 Structural Clay Tile / 4.30
4.22 Ceramic Tiles / 4.32
4.23 Architectural Terra Cotta / 4.32
4.24 Properties of Building Stones / 4.32
4.25 Freezing and Thawing of Stone / 4.35
4.26 Gypsumboard / 4.35
4.27 Gypsum Lath / 4.37
4.28 Gypsum Sheathing Board / 4.37
4.29 Gypsum Partition Tile or Block / 4.37
4.30 Gypsum Plank / 4.37
4.31 Window Glass / 4.38
4.32 Glass Block / 4.40
4.33 Mechanical Properties of Wood / 4.44
4.34 Effects of Hygroscopic Properties of Wood / 4.44
4.35 Commercial Grades of Wood / 4.46
4.36 Destroyers and Preservatives / 4.48
4.37 Glues and Adhesives for Wood / 4.50
4.38 Plywood and Other Fabricated Wood Boards / 4.51
4.39 Wood Bibliography / 4.52
4.40 Types of Irons and Steels / 4.52
4.41 Properties of Structural Steels / 4.58
4.42 Heat Treatment and Hardening of Steels / 4.61
4.43 Effects of Grain Size / 4.62
4.44 Steel Alloys / 4.62
4.45 Welding Ferrous Materials / 4.68
4.46 Effects of Steel Production Methods / 4.70
4.47 Effects of Hot Rolling / 4.72
4.48 Effects of Punching and Shearing / 4.73
4.49 Corrosion of Iron and Steel / 4.74
4.50 Steel and Steel Alloy Bibliography / 4.75
4.51 Aluminum-Alloy Designations / 4.75
4.52 Finishes for Aluminum / 4.76
4.53 Structural Aluminum / 4.76
4.54 Welding and Brazing of Aluminum / 4.77
4.55 Bolted and Riveted Aluminum Connections / 4.79
4.56 Prevention of Corrosion of Aluminum / 4.79
4.57 Aluminum Bibliography / 4.80
4.58 Copper / 4.80
4.59 Brass / 4.81
4.60 Nickel Silvers / 4.82
4.61 Cupronickel / 4.83
4.62 Bronze / 4.83
4.63 Copper Bibliography / 4.84
4.64 Applications of Lead / 4.84
4.65 Lead Bibliography / 4.85
4.66 Properties of Nickel and Its Alloys / 4.85
4.67 Nickel Bibliography / 4.86
4.68 General Properties of Plastics / 4.86
4.69 Fillers and Plasticizers / 4.87
4.70 Molding and Fabricating Methods for Plastics / 4.87
4.71 Thermosetting Plastics / 4.88
4.72 Thermoplastic Resins / 4.90
4.73 Elastomers, or Synthetic Rubbers / 4.92
4.74 High-Pressure Laminates / 4.93
4.75 Reinforced Plastics / 4.93
4.76 Laminated Rubber / 4.94
4.77 Plastics Bibliography / 4.95
4.78 Porcelain Enamel on Metal / 4.96
4.79 Porcelain Bibliography / 4.96
4.80 Asphalts for Dampproofing and Waterproofing / 4.97
4.81 Bituminous Roofing / 4.97
4.82 Asphalt Shingles / 4.98
4.83 Asphalt Mastics and Grouts / 4.99
4.84 Bituminous Pavements / 4.99
4.85 Asphalt Bibliography / 4.99
4.86 Calking Compounds / 4.100
4.87 Sealants / 4.100
4.88 Gaskets / 4.101
4.89 Joint Seals Bibliography / 4.101
4.90 Vehicles or Binders / 4.102
4.91 Pigments for Paints / 4.103
4.92 Resins for Paints / 4.104
4.93 Coatings Bibliography / 4.105
Section 5 Structural Theory Akbar Tamboli, Michael Xing,
and Mohsin Ahmed 5.1
5.1 Design Loads / 5.2
5.2 Stress and Strain / 5.17
5.3 Stresses at a Point / 5.24
5.4 Torsion / 5.28
5.5 Straight Beams / 5.30
5.6 Curved Beams / 5.52
5.7 Buckling of Columns / 5.58
5.8 Graphic-Statics Fundamentals / 5.62
5.9 Roof Trusses / 5.63
5.10 General Tools for Structural Analysis / 5.67
5.11 Continuous Beams and Frames / 5.78
5.12 Load Distribution to Bents and Shear Walls / 5.101
5.13 Finite-Element Methods / 5.110
5.14 Stresses in Arches / 5.115
5.15 Thin-Shell Structures / 5.119
5.16 Cable-Supported Structures / 5.128
5.17 Air-Stabilized Structures / 5.138
5.18 Structural Dynamics / 5.140
5.19 Earthquake Loads / 5.162
5.20 Floor Vibrations / 5.183
5.21 Wiss and Parmelee Rating Factor for Transient Vibrations / 5.185
5.22 Reiher-Meister Scale for Steady-State Vibrations / 5.186
5.23 Murray Criterion for Walking Vibrations / 5.188
Section 6 Soil Mechanics and Foundations Robert W. Day 6.1
6.1 Introduction / 6.1
6.2 Field Exploration / 6.3
6.3 Laboratory Testing / 6.23
6.4 Effective Stress and Stress Distribution / 6.43
6.5 Settlement Analyses / 6.50
6.6 Bearing Capacity Analyses / 6.61
6.7 Retaining Walls / 6.76
6.8 Foundations / 6.88
6.9 Foundation Excavations / 6.96
6.10 Grading and Other Site Improvement Methods / 6.97
6.11 Geosynthetics / 6.115
Section 7 Structural Steel Construction Bruce Glidden 7.1
7.1 Codes and Specifications / 7.2
7.2 Mill Materials / 7.2
7.3 Fasteners / 7.8
7.4 Fabrication / 7.17
7.5 Quality Assurance / 7.17
7.6 Wall Bearing Framing / 7.18
7.7 Skeleton Framing / 7.20
7.8 Long-Span Framing / 7.22
7.9 Steel and Concrete Framing / 7.29
7.10 Bracing Design Considerations / 7.30
7.11 Frame Bracing / 7.31
7.12 Bracing for Individual Members / 7.36
7.13 Floor-Framing Design Considerations / 7.39
7.14 Roof Framing Systems / 7.44
7.15 Bases for ASD and LRFD / 7.44
7.16 Design Aids and References / 7.45
7.17 Serviceability Criteria / 7.47
7.18 Tension Members / 7.49
7.19 Columns and Other Compression Members / 7.50
7.20 Beams and Other Flexural Members / 7.57
7.21 Plate Girders / 7.67
7.22 Web or Flange Load-Bearing Stiffeners / 7.76
7.23 Bearing / 7.79
7.24 Combined Axial Compression and Bending / 7.80
7.25 Combined Axial Tension and Bending / 7.82
7.26 Composite Construction / 7.83
7.27 Members Subject to Torsion / 7.89
7.28 Members Subject to Cyclic Loading / 7.90
7.29 Combinations of Fasteners / 7.91
7.30 Load Capacity of Bolts / 7.91
7.31 Load Capacity of Welds / 7.93
7.32 Bearing-Type Bolted Connections / 7.96
7.33 Slip-Critical Bolted Connections / 7.100
7.34 Eccentrically Loaded Welded Connections / 7.101
7.35 Types of Beam Connections / 7.103
7.36 Beams Splices / 7.113
7.37 Column Splices / 7.114
7.38 Erection Equipment / 7.117
7.39 Clearance for Erecting Beams / 7.117
7.40 Erection Sequence / 7.119
7.41 Field-Welding Procedures / 7.120
7.42 Erection Tolerances / 7.121
7.43 Adjusting Lintels / 7.123
7.44 Corrosion of Steel / 7.124
7.45 Painting Steel Structures / 7.125
7.46 Paint Systems / 7.125
7.47 Field-Painting Steel / 7.126
7.48 Steel in Contact with Concrete / 7.127
7.49 Effect of Heat on Steel / 7.129
7.50 Fire Protection of Exterior / 7.129
7.51 Materials for Improving Fire Resistance / 7.130
7.52 Pierced Ceilings and Floors / 7.131
7.53 Fire-Resistance Ratings / 7.133
7.54 Bibliography / 7.134
Section 8 Cold-Formed Steel Construction Don S. Wolford
and Wei-Wen Yu 8.1
8.1 Material for Cold-Formed Steel Shapes / 8.2
8.2 Utilization of Cold Work of Forming / 8.7
8.3 Types of Cold-Formed Shapes / 8.8
8.4 Some Basic Concepts of Cold-Formed Steel Design / 8.10
8.5 Structural Behavior of Flat Compression Elements / 8.14
8.6 Unstiffened Cold-Formed Elements Subject to Local Buckling / 8.17
8.7 Stiffened Cold-Formed Elements Subject to Local Buckling / 8.17
8.8 Application of Effective Widths / 8.21
8.9 Maximum Flat-Width Ratios of Cold-Formed Steel / 8.22
8.10 Unit Stresses for Cold-Formed Steel / 8.22
8.11 Laterally Unsupported Cold-Formed Beams / 8.22
8.12 Allowable Shear Strength in Webs / 8.23
8.13 Concentrically Loaded Compression Members / 8.23
8.14 Combined Axial and Bending Stresses / 8.25
8.15 Welding of Cold-Formed Steel / 8.25
8.16 Arc Welding of Cold-Formed Steel / 8.26
8.17 Resistance Welding of Cold-Formed Steel / 8.31
8.18 Bolting of Cold-Formed Steel Members / 8.33
8.19 Self-Tapping Screws for Joining Sheet Steel Components / 8.40
8.20 Special Fasteners for Cold-Formed Steel / 8.41
8.21 Steel Roof Deck / 8.42
8.22 Cellular Steel Floor and Roof Panels / 8.47
8.23 Corrugated Sheets for Roofing, Siding, and Decking / 8.50
8.24 Lightweight Steel Metric Sheeting / 8.53
8.25 Stainless Steel Structural Design / 8.54
8.26 Characteristics of Preengineered Steel Buildings / 8.55
8.27 Structural Design of Preengineered Buildings / 8.56
8.28 Design of Open-Web Steel Joists / 8.57
8.29 Construction Details for Open-Web Steel Joists / 8.59
Section 9 Concrete Construction Edward S. Hoffman
and David P. Gustafson 9.1
9.1 Cementitious Materials / 9.1
9.2 Cements / 9.2
9.3 Aggregates / 9.2
9.4 Proportioning Concrete Mixes / 9.3
9.5 Yield Calculation / 9.6
9.6 Properties and Tests of Fresh (Plastic) Concrete / 9.7
9.7 Properties and Tests of Hardened Concrete / 9.8
9.8 Measuring and Mixing Concrete Ingredients / 9.10
9.9 Admixtures / 9.11
9.10 Mix Design / 9.14
9.11 Check Tests of Materials / 9.17
9.12 At the Mixing Plant-Yield Adjustments / 9.17
9.13 At the Placing Point-Slump Adjustments / 9.18
9.14 Strength Tests / 9.18
9.15 Test Evaluation / 9.21
9.16 Responsibility for Formwork / 9.22
9.17 Materials and Accessories for Forms / 9.22
9.18 Loads on Formwork / 9.22
9.19 Form Removal and Reshoring / 9.25
9.20 Special Forms / 9.26
9.21 Inspection of Formwork / 9.26
9.22 Reinforcing Bars / 9.26
9.23 Welded-Wire Fabric (WWF) / 9.28
9.24 Prestressing Steel / 9.29
9.25 Fabrication and Placing of Rebars / 9.29
9.26 Bar Supports / 9.32
9.27 Inspection of Reinforcement / 9.33
9.28 Good Practice / 9.34
9.29 Methods of Placing / 9.34
9.30 Excess Water / 9.34
9.31 Consolidation / 9.35
9.32 Concreting Vertical Elements / 9.35
9.33 Concreting Horizontal Elements / 9.36
9.34 Bonding to Hardened Concrete / 9.37
9.35 Heavy-Duty Floor Finishes / 9.37
9.36 Concreting in Cold Weather / 9.38
9.37 Concreting in Hot Weather / 9.38
9.38 Curing Concrete / 9.39
9.39 Joints in Concrete / 9.40
9.40 Inspection of Concrete Placement / 9.41
9.41 Analyses of One-Way Floor and Roof Systems / 9.42
9.42 Two-Way Slab Frames / 9.44
9.43 Special Analyses / 9.45
9.44 Strength Design with Factored Loads / 9.45
9.45 Allowable-Stress Design at Service Loads (Alternative Design Method) / 9.47
9.46 Strength Design for Flexure / 9.49
9.47 Shear in Flexural Members / 9.53
9.48 Torsion in Reinforced Concrete Members / 9.55
9.49 Development, Anchorage, and Splices of Reinforcement / 9.58
9.50 Crack Control / 9.70
9.51 Deflection of Reinforced-Concrete Beams and Slabs / 9.71
9.52 Analysis and Design of One-Way Slabs / 9.75
9.53 Embedded Pipes in One-Way Slabs / 9.77
9.54 Standard Sizes of Joists / 9.79
9.55 Design of One-Way Concrete-Joist Construction / 9.79
9.56 Reinforcement of Joists for Flexure / 9.80
9.57 Shear in Joists / 9.81
9.58 Wide-Module Joist Construction / 9.82
9.59 Analysis and Design of Flat Plates / 9.84
9.60 Flat Slabs / 9.90
9.61 Two-Way Slabs on Beams / 9.92
9.62 Estimating Guide for Two-Way Construction / 9.93
9.63 Definitions of Flexural Members / 9.94
9.64 Flexural Reinforcement / 9.94
9.65 Reinforcement for Shear and Flexure / 9.98
9.66 Reinforcement for Torsion and Shear / 9.100
9.67 Crack Control in Beams / 9.100
9.68 Bearing Walls / 9.101
9.69 Nonbearing Walls / 9.103
9.70 Cantilever Retaining Walls / 9.103
9.71 Counterfort Retaining Walls / 9.105
9.72 Retaining Walls Supported on Four Sides / 9.106
9.73 Types of Foundations / 9.106
9.74 General Design Principles for Foundations / 9.107
9.75 Spread Footings for Walls / 9.110
9.76 Spread Footings for Individual Columns / 9.111
9.77 Combined Spread Footings / 9.112
9.78 Strap Footings / 9.114
9.79 Mat Foundations / 9.115
9.80 Pile Foundations / 9.115
9.81 Drilled-Pier Foundations / 9.117
9.82 Basic Assumptions for Strength Design of Columns / 9.118
9.83 Design Requirements for Columns / 9.122
9.84 Column Ties and Tie Patterns / 9.124
9.85 Biaxial Bending of Columns / 9.124
9.86 Slenderness Effects on Concrete Columns / 9.125
9.87 Economy in Column Design / 9.128
9.88 Deep Beams / 9.129
9.89 Shear Walls / 9.131
9.90 Reinforced-Concrete Arches / 9.133
9.91 Reinforced-Concete Thin Shells / 9.134
9.92 Concrete Folded Plates / 9.136
9.93 Slabs on Grade / 9.137
9.94 Seismic-Resistant Concrete Construction / 9.138
9.95 Composite Flexural Members / 9.138
9.96 Design Methods for Precast Members / 9.140
9.97 Reinforcement Cover in Precast Members / 9.140
9.98 Tolerances for Precast Construction / 9.140
9.99 Accelerated Curing / 9.141
9.100 Precast Floor and Roof Systems / 9.141
9.101 Precast Ribbed Slabs, Folded Plates, and Shells / 9.142
9.102 Wall Panels / 9.142
9.103 Lift Slabs / 9.144
9.104 Basic Principles of Prestressed Concrete / 9.144
9.105 Losses in Prestress / 9.145
9.106 Allowable Stresses at Service Loads / 9.147
9.107 Design Procedure for Prestressed-Concrete Beams / 9.149
9.108 Flexural-Strength Design of Prestressed Concrete / 9.149
9.109 Shear-Strength Design of Prestressed Concrete / 9.151
9.110 Bond, Development, and Grouting of Tendons / 9.153
9.111 Application and Measurement of Prestress / 9.155
9.112 Concrete Cover in Prestressed Members / 9.155
Section 10 Wood Construction John ‘‘Buddy’’ Showalter
and Thomas G. Williamson 10.1
10.1 Basic Characteristics of Wood / 10.1
10.2 Sectional Properties of Wood Products / 10.6
10.3 Design Values for Lumber and Timber / 10.10
10.4 Structural Grading of Wood / 10.11
10.5 Adjustment Factors for Structural Members / 10.11
10.6 Pressure-Preservative Treatments for Wood / 10.19
10.7 Design Provisions for Flexural Members / 10.21
10.8 Wood Compression Members / 10.28
10.9 Tension Members / 10.30
10.10 Combined Bending and Axial Loading / 10.30
10.11 Bearing Stresses / 10.32
10.12 Structural Panels / 10.33
10.13 Design Values for Mechanical Connections / 10.51
10.14 Adjustment of Design Values for Connections / 10.51
10.15 Bolts / 10.59
10.16 Lag Screws / 10.60
10.17 Split-Ring and Shear-Plate Connectors / 10.61
10.18 Wood Screws / 10.63
10.19 Nails and Spikes / 10.65
10.20 Structural Framing Connections / 10.66
10.21 Glued Fastenings / 10.66
10.22 Wood Trusses / 10.68
10.23 Design of Timber Arches / 10.72
10.24 Timber Decking / 10.73
10.25 Wood-Frame Construction / 10.76
10.26 Permanent Wood Foundations / 10.80
10.27 Post Frame and Pole Construction / 10.81
10.28 Design for Fire Safety / 10.83
10.29 Timber Fabrication and Erection / 10.85
10.30 Engineered Glued Wood Products / 10.89
Section 11 Wall, Floor, and Ceiling Systems Frederick S. Merritt 11.1
11.1 Masonry Definitions / 11.2
11.2 Quality of Materials for Masonry / 11.5
11.3 Construction of Masonry / 11.8
11.4 Lateral Support for Masonry Walls / 11.16
11.5 Chimneys and Fireplaces / 11.18
11.6 Provisions for Dimensional Changes / 11.19
11.7 Repair of Leaky Joints / 11.21
11.8 Masonry-Thickness Requirements / 11.22
11.9 Determination of Masonry Compressive Strength / 11.24
11.10 Allowable Stresses in Masonry / 11.25
11.11 Floor-Wall Connections / 11.31
11.12 Glass Block / 11.33
11.13 Masonry Bibliography / 11.34
11.14 Stud-Wall Construction / 11.35
11.15 Sheathing / 11.37
11.16 Functional Requirements of Curtain Walls / 11.37
11.17 Wood Facades / 11.38
11.18 Wall Shingles and Siding / 11.39
11.19 Stucco / 11.39
11.20 Precast-Concrete or Metal and Glass Facings / 11.40
11.21 Sandwich Panels / 11.41
11.22 Types of Partitions / 11.43
11.23 Structural Requirements of Partitions / 11.44
11.24 Plaster and Gypsumboard Construction Terms / 11.45
11.25 Plaster Finishes / 11.53
11.26 Gypsumboard Finishes / 11.62
11.27 Isolation and Control Joints in Gypsumboard Construction / 11.70
11.28 Types of Ceramic Tile / 11.72
11.29 Tile Installation Methods / 11.73
11.30 Plywood Finishes / 11.77
11.31 Other Types of Panel Finishes / 11.78
11.32 Asphalt Tiles / 11.78
11.33 Cork Tiles / 11.79
11.34 Vinyl Flooring / 11.79
11.35 Rubber Flooring / 11.80
11.36 Installation of Thin Coverings / 11.80
11.37 Carpets / 11.82
11.38 Terrazzo / 11.83
11.39 Concrete Floors / 11.84
11.40 Wood Floors / 11.84
11.41 Industrial Floors / 11.85
11.42 Conductive Flooring / 11.86
11.43 Specifications and Standards for Flooring / 11.86
11.44 Window Selection / 11.87
11.45 Window Definitions / 11.87
11.46 Modular Coordination of Windows / 11.89
11.47 Window Sash Materials / 11.89
11.48 Glazing / 11.93
11.49 Window Types / 11.98
11.50 Windows in Wall-Panel Construction / 11.106
11.51 Mechanical Operators for Windows / 11.107
11.52 Traffic Flow and Safety / 11.109
11.53 Structural Requirements for Openings and Doors / 11.110
11.54 Ordinary Doors / 11.110
11.55 Fire and Smokestop Doors / 11.118
11.56 Revolving Doors / 11.120
11.57 Large Horizontally Sliding Doors / 11.120
11.58 Large Vertically Sliding Doors / 11.121
11.59 Large Swinging Doors / 11.122
11.60 Horizontally Hinged Doors / 11.123
11.61 Radiation-Shielding Doors / 11.123
11.62 Selection of Hardware / 11.124
11.63 Effects of Codes and Regulations on Hardware / 11.125
11.64 Standards for Finishing Hardware / 11.125
11.65 Hinges and Butts / 11.126
11.66 Door-Closing Devices / 11.131
11.67 Locks, Latches, and Keys / 11.132
11.68 Window Hardware / 11.136
11.69 Inserts, Anchors, and Hangers / 11.137
11.70 Nails / 11.138
11.71 Screws / 11.139
11.72 Welded Studs / 11.141
11.73 Powder-Driven Studs / 11.143
11.74 Bolts / 11.144
11.75 Sound Production and Transmission / 11.145
11.76 Nomenclature for Analysis of Sound / 11.145
11.77 Sound Characteristics and Effects on Hearing / 11.146
11.78 Measurement of Sound / 11.149
11.79 Sound and Vibration Control / 11.151
11.80 Acoustical Performance Data / 11.162
11.81 Acoustical Criteria / 11.164
11.82 Helpful Hints for Noise Control / 11.166
11.83 Acoustics Bibliography / 11.169
Section 12 Roof Systems Dave Flickinger 12.1
12.1 Roof Decks / 12.1
12.2 Vapor Retarders / 12.2
12.3 Roof Insulation / 12.4
12.4 Low-Slope Roof Coverings / 12.5
12.5 Steep-Slope Roof Coverings / 12.13
12.6 Need for Familiarity with Roof Design / 12.17
12.7 Building Owners’ Responsibility / 12.18
12.8 Building-Code Provisions for Roofs / 12.18
12.9 Effects of Climate / 12.18
12.10 Effects of Roof Size, Shape, and Slope / 12.19
12.11 Deck Suitability / 12.20
12.12 Effects of Rooftop Traffic / 12.20
12.13 Esthetic Considerations / 12.20
12.14 Effects of Wind on Roofs / 12.21
12.15 Protected Membrane Roofs and Plaza Decks / 12.21
12.16 Preroofing Conference / 12.21
12.17 Warranties / 12.22
12.18 Roof Maintenance / 12.22
12.19 Reroofing / 12.23
12.20 Roofing Industry Associations and Related Organizations / 12.24
12.21 Roof Systems Bibliography / 12.28
Section 13 Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
Lawrence E. McCabe 13.1
13.1 Definitions of Terms of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) / 13.1
13.2 Heat and Humidity / 13.7
13.3 Major Factors in HVAC Design / 13.16
13.4 Ventilation / 13.27
13.5 Movement of Air with Fans / 13.31
13.6 Duct Design / 13.14
13.7 Heat Losses / 13.35
13.8 Heat Gains / 13.37
13.9 General Procedure for Sizing a Heating Plant / 13.41
13.10 Heating-Load-Calculation Example / 13.43
13.11 Warm-Air Heating / 13.45
13.12 Hot-Water Heating Systems / 13.49
13.13 Steam-Heating Systems / 13.53
13.14 Unit Heaters / 13.56
13.15 Radiant Heating / 13.57
13.16 Snow Melting / 13.59
13.17 Radiators and Convectors / 13.60
13.18 Heat Pumps / 13.62
13.19 Solar Heating / 13.62
13.20 Sizing an Air-Conditioning Plant / 13.65
13.21 Refrigeration Cycles / 13.69
13.22 Air-Distribution Temperature for Cooling / 13.71
13.23 Condensers / 13.72
13.24 Compressor-Motor Units / 13.73
13.25 Cooling Equipment-Central Plant Packaged Units / 13.74
13.26 Zoning / 13.76
13.27 Packaged Air-Conditioning Units / 13.76
13.28 Absorption Units for Cooling / 13.78
13.29 Ducts for Air Conditioning / 13.79
13.30 Built-Up Air-Conditioning Units / 13.82
13.31 Variable-Air-Volume (VAV) Systems / 13.82
13.32 Air-Water Systems / 13.85
13.33 Control Systems for Air Conditioning / 13.33
13.34 Heating and Air Conditioning / 13.89
13.35 Control of Computerized HVAC Systems / 13.90
13.36 Direct Digital Control / 13.92
13.37 Industrial Air Conditioning / 13.93
13.38 Chemical Cooling / 13.94
13.39 Year-Round Air Conditioning / 13.94
Section 14 Plumbing—Water-Supply, Sprinkler, and
Wastewater Systems Gregory P. Gladfelter and Brian L. Olsen 14.1
14.1 Plumbing and Fire Prevention Codes / 14.1
14.2 Health Requirements for Plumbing / 14.2
14.3 Water Quality / 14.3
14.4 Water Treatment / 14.5
14.5 Water Quantity and Pressures / 14.6
14.6 Water Distribution in Buildings / 14.7
14.7 Plumbing Fixtures and Equipment / 14.13
14.8 Water Demand and Fixture Units / 14.19
14.9 Water-Pipe Sizing / 14.21
14.10 Domestic Water Heaters / 14.29
14.11 Wastewater Disposal / 14.31
14.12 Sewers / 14.34
14.13 Wastewater-System Elements / 14.36
14.14 Waste-Pipe Materials / 14.38
14.15 Layout of Waste Piping / 14.38
14.16 Interceptors / 14.39
14.17 Piping for Indirect Wastes / 14.39
14.18 Rainwater Drainage / 14.40
14.19 Waste-Pipe Sizing / 14.43
14.20 Venting / 14.45
14.21 Plumbing-System Inspection and Tests / 14.48
14.22 Gas Supply / 14.49
14.23 Gas-Pipe Sizes / 14.50
14.24 Estimating Gas Consumption / 14.50
14.25 Gas-Pipe Materials / 14.51
14.26 Sprinkler Systems / 14.52
14.27 Automatic Sprinklers / 14.53
14.28 Types of Sprinkler Systems / 14.54
14.29 System Design / 14.59
14.30 Standpipes / 14.63
14.31 Water Supplies for Sprinkler and Standpipe Systems / 14.64
14.32 Central Station Supervisory Systems / 14.65
14.33 Additional Information / 14.65
Section 15 Electrical Systems James M. Bannon 15.1
15.1 Electrical Power / 15.2
15.2 Direct-Current Systems / 15.2
15.3 Alternating-Current Systems / 15.5
15.4 Electrical Loads / 15.12
15.5 Emergency Power / 15.14
15.6 Electrical Conductors and Raceways / 15.15
15.7 Power System Apparatus / 15.20
15.8 Electrical Distribution in Buildings / 15.29
15.9 Circuit and Conductor Calculations / 15.34
15.10 Light and Sight / 15.45
15.11 Quality of Light / 15.51
15.12 Color Rendering with Lighting / 15.54
15.13 Quantity of Light / 15.55
15.14 Lighting Methods / 15.58
15.15 Daylight / 15.60
15.16 Characteristics of Lamps / 15.60
15.17 Characteristics of Lighting Fixtures / 15.68
15.18 Systems Design of Lighting / 15.72
15.19 Special Electrical Systems / 15.73
15.20 Electrical Systems Bibliography / 15.77
Section 16 Vertical Circulation Steven D. Edgett
and Allen M. Williams 16.1
16.1 Classification of Vertical Circulation Systems / 16.1
16.2 Ramps / 16.2
16.3 Stairs / 16.5
16.4 Escalators / 16.11
16.5 Elevator Installations / 16.18
16.6 Definitions of Elevator Terms / 16.19
16.7 Elevator Hoistways / 16.22
16.8 Elevator Cars / 16.26
16.9 Electric Elevators / 16.28
16.10 Hydraulic Elevators / 16.35
16.11 Planning for Passenger Elevators / 16.37
16.12 Dumbwaiters / 16.45
16.13 Conveyers and Pneumatic Tubes / 16.45
16.14 Mail Chutes / 16.47
Section 17 Construction Project Management Robert F. Borg 17.1
17.1 Types of Construction Companies / 17.1
17.2 Construction Company Organization / 17.3
17.3 Contractors’ Business Consultants / 17.6
17.4 Sources of Business / 17.7
17.5 What Constitutes the Contract Documents? / 17.9
17.6 Major Concerns with Building Codes / 17.11
17.7 Estimating, Bidding, and Costs / 17.11
17.8 Types of Bids and Contracts / 17.12
17.9 Professional Construction Managers / 17.15
17.10 Contract Administration / 17.16
17.11 Purchase Orders / 17.28
17.12 Scheduling and Expediting / 17.30
17.13 Fast Tracking / 17.34
17.14 Changes, Claims, and Dispute Resolution / 17.36
17.15 Insurance / 17.42
17.16 Construction Contract Bonds / 17.52
17.17 Trade Payment Breakdowns and Payments / 17.54
17.18 Cost Records / 17.56
17.19 Accounting Methods / 17.61
17.20 Safety / 17.62
17.21 Community Relations / 17.63
17.22 Relations with Public Agencies in Executing Construction Operations / 17.64
17.23 Labor Relations / 17.65
17.24 Social and Environmental Concerns in Construction / 17.67
17.25 Systems Building / 17.69
17.26 Basics of Successful Management / 17.70
Section 18 Communications Systems Tom Nevling 18.1
18.1 Glossary / 18.1
18.2 Grounding / 18.8
18.3 Communications Room and Communications Closet Layout / 18.10
18.4 Wiring Diagrams / 18.11
18.5 Fiberoptic Cable / 18.13
18.6 Fiberoptic Connectors / 18.16
18.7 Horizontal Cabling / 18.17
18.8 Budget / 18.20
18.9 Links / 18.26
Section 19 Construction Cost Estimating Colman J. Mullin 19.1
19.1 Composition of Project Price / 19.1
19.2 Estimating Direct Costs / 19.2
19.3 Estimating Contingency Costs / 19.7
19.4 Estimating Margin (Markup) / 19.8
19.5 Sample Estimate / 19.9
19.6 Reviewing Estimates / 19.14
19.7 Computer Estimating / 19.14
Appendix Factors for Conversion to the Metric System (SI) of Units
Frederick S. Merritt A.1
Index I.1
David J. Akers Civil Engineer, San Diego, California (SECT. 4: Building Materials)
James M. Bannon Chief Electrical Engineer, STV Incorporated, Douglassville, Pennsylvania
(SECT. 15: Electrical Systems)
Robert F. Borg Chairman, Kreisler Borg Florman General Construction Company, Scarsdale,
New York (SECT. 17: Construction Project Management)
Robert W. Day Chief Engineer, American Geotechnical, San Diego, California (SECT. 6:
Soil Mechanics and Foundations)
Steven D. Edgett Edgett-Williams Consulting Group, Mill Valley, California (SECT. 16:
Vertical Circulation)
Dave Flickinger National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), Technical Service Section,
Rosemont, Illinois (SECT. 12: Roof Systems)
Gregory P. Gladfelter Gladfelter Engineering Group, Kansas City, Missouri (SECT. 14:
Plumbing—Water-Supply, Sprinkler, and Wastewater Systems)
Bruce Glidden President, Glidden & Co., Ltd., Bridgeville, Pennsylvania (SECT. 7: Structural
Steel Construction)
David P. Gustafson Vice President of Engineering, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute,
Schaumburg, Illinois (SECT. 9: Concrete Construction)
Alan D. Hinklin Director, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SECT. 2: The Building Team)
Edward S. Hoffman President, Edward S. Hoffman, Ltd., Structural Engineers, Chicago
(SECT. 9: Concrete Construction)
Lawrence E. McCabe Chief Engineer—Mechanical STV Group, Douglassville, Pennsylvania
(SECT. 13: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning)
Frederick S. Merritt Consulting Engineer, West Palm Beach, Florida (SECT. 11: Wall, Floor,
and Ceiling Systems)
David W. Mock Gee & Jenson, West Palm Beach, Florida (SECT. 3: Protection against
Colman J. Mullin Senior Estimator, Bechtel Corporation, San Francisco, California (SECT.
19: Construction Cost Estimating)
Tom Nevling, RCDD Independent Consultant, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (SECT. 18: Communications
Brian L. Olsen Poole Fire Protection Engineering, Inc., Olathe, Kansas (SECT. 14: Plumbing—
Water-Supply, Sprinkler, and Wastewater Systems)
Jonathan T. Ricketts Consulting Engineer, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (SECT. 1: System
John ‘‘Buddy’’ Showalter American Forest & Paper Association, Washington, D.C. (SECT.
10: Wood Construction)
Akbar Tamboli, Michael Xing, Mohsin Ahmed Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers, Newark,
New Jersey (SECT. 5: Structural Theory)
Allen M. Williams Edgett-Williams Consulting Group, Mill Valley, California (SECT. 16:
Vertical Circulation)
Thomas G. Williamson APA—The Engineered Wood Association, Tacoma, Washington
(SECT. 10: Wood Construction)
Don S. Wolford Consulting Engineer, Middletown, Ohio (SECT. 8: Cold-Formed Steel Construction)
Wei-Wen Yu Univesity of Missouri–Rolla, Rolla, Missouri (SECT. 8: Cold-Formed Steel
The sixth edition of the Building Design and Construction Handbook maintains the
original objectives of previous editions which gained widespread acceptance among
users. These objectives are to provide in a single volume a compendium of the best
of the current knowledge and practices in building design and construction.
This information would be of greatest use to those who have to make decisions
affecting the selection of engineering materials and construction methods. Emphasis
is placed on fundamental principles and practical applications, with special attention
to simplified procedures. Frequent reference is made to other sources where additional
authoritative information may be obtained, such as architectural and engineering
societies, manufacturers associations, and the Internet. An extensive index
is provided to assist the reader in locating topics within the book.
Many new contributors and sections have been added in this edition to provide
the reader with the latest developments and knowledge in the building industry.
These developments include the expansion of data technology and communication
systems within the building system, revisions to wind and seismic loadings, and an
expansion of the information on fire sprinkler systems. To present the necessary
information in a single volume, obsolete and less-important information in the earlier
editions has been deleted.
The editor is very grateful to the contributors, not only for their care, skill, and
knowledge used in preparing the sections, but also for their considerable sacrifices
of personal time to prepare the sections.
Jonathan T. Ricketts
Jonathan T. Ricketts
Consulting Engineer
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Sociological changes, new technology in industry and commerce, new building
codes, other new laws and regulations, inflationary economies of nations, and advances
in building technology place an ever-increasing burden on building designers
and constructors. They need more and more knowledge and skill to cope with the
demands placed on them.
The public continually demands more complex buildings than in the past. They
must serve more purposes, last longer, and require less maintenance and repair. As
in the past, they must look attractive. Yet, both building construction and operating
costs must be kept within acceptable limits or new construction will cease.
To meet this challenge successfully, continual improvements in building design
and construction must be made. Building designers and constructors should be alert
to these advances and learn how to apply them skillfully.
One advance of note to building design is the adaptation of operations research,
or systems design, developed around the middle of the twentieth century and originally
applied with noteworthy results to design of machines and electronic equipment.
In the past, design of a new building was mainly an imitation of the design
of an existing building. Innovations were often developed fortuitously and by intuition
and were rare occurrences. In contrast, systems design encourages innovation.
It is a precise procedure that guides creativity toward the best decisions. As
a result, it can play a significant role in meeting the challenges posed by increasing
building complexity and costs. The basic principles of systems design are presented
in this section.
A building is an assemblage that is firmly attached to the ground and that provides
total or nearly total shelter for machines, processing equipment, performance of
human activities, storage of human possessions, or any combination of these.
*Revised and updated from the previous edition by the late Frederick S. Merritt.
Building design is the process of providing all information necessary for construction
of a building that will meet its owner’s requirements and also satisfy public
health, welfare, and safety requirements. Architecture is the art and science of
building design. Building construction is the process of assembling materials to
form a building.
Building design may be legally executed only by persons deemed competent to
do so by the state in which the building is to be constructed. Competency is determined
on the basis of education, experience, and ability to pass a written test of
design skills.
Architects are persons legally permitted to practice architecture. Engineers are
experts in specific scientific disciplines and are legally permitted to design parts of
buildings; in some cases, complete buildings. In some states, persons licensed as
building designers are permitted to design certain types of buildings.
Building construction is generally performed by laborers and craftspeople engaged
for the purpose by an individual or organization, called a contractor. The
contractor signs an agreement, or contract, with the building owner under which
the contractor agrees to construct a specific building on a specified site and the
owner agrees to pay for the materials and services provided.
In the design of a building, architects should be guided by the following principles:
1. The building should be constructed to serve purposes specified by the client.
2. The design should be constructable by known techniques and with available
labor and equipment, within an acceptable time.
3. The building should be capable of withstanding the elements and normal usage
for a period of time specified by the client.
4. Both inside and outside, the building should be visually pleasing.
5. No part of the building should pose a hazard to the safety or health of its
occupants under normal usage, and the building should provide for safe evacuation
or refuge in emergencies.
6. The building should provide the degree of shelter from the elements and of
control of the interior environment—air, temperature, humidity, light, and acoustics—
specified by the client and not less than the minimums required for safety
and health of the occupants.
7. The building should be constructed to minimize adverse impact on the environment.
8. Operation of the building should consume a minimum of energy while permitting
the structure to serve its purposes.
9. The sum of costs of construction, operation, maintenance, repair, and anticipated
future alterations should be kept within the limit specified by the client.
The ultimate objective of design is to provide all the information necessary for the
construction of a building. This objective is achieved by the production of drawings,
or plans, showing what is to be constructed, specifications stating what materials
and equipment are to be incorporated in the building, and a construction
contract between the client and a contractor. Designers also should observe construction
of the building while it is in process. This should be done not only to
assist the client in ensuring that the building is being constructed in accordance
with plans and specifications but also to obtain information that will be useful in
design of future buildings.
Systems design comprises a logical series of steps that leads to the best decision
for a given set of conditions. The procedure requires:
Analysis of a building as a system.
Synthesis, or selection of components, to form a system that meets specific
objectives while subject to constraints, or variables controllable by designers.
Appraisal of system performance, including comparisons with alternative systems.
Feedback to analysis and synthesis of information obtained in system evaluation,
to improve the design.
The prime advantage of the procedure is that, through comparisons of alternatives
and data feedback to the design process, systems design converges on an
optimum, or best, system for the given conditions. Another advantage is that the
procedure enables designers to clarify the requirements for the building being designed.
Still another advantage is that the procedure provides a common basis of
understanding and promotes cooperation between the specialists in various aspects
of building design.
For a building to be treated as a system, as required in systems design, it is
necessary to know what a system is and what its basic characteristic are.
A system is an assemblage formed to satisfy specific objectives and subject to
constraints and restrictions and consisting of two or more components that are
interrelated and compatible, each component being essential to the required performance
of the system.
Because the components are required to be interrelated, operation, or even the
mere existence, of one component affects in some way the performance of other
components. Also, the required performance of the system as a whole, as well as
the constraints on the system, imposes restrictions on each component.
A building meets the preceding requirements. By definition, it is an assemblage
(Art. 1.1). It is constructed to serve specific purposes. It is subject to constraints
while doing so, inasmuch as designers can control properties of the system by
selection of components (Art. 1.9). Building components, such as walls, floors,
roofs, windows, and doors, are interrelated and compatible with each other. The
existence of any of thee components affects to some extent the performance of the
others. And the required performance of the building as a whole imposes restrictions
on the components. Consequently, a building has the basic characteristics of a
system, and systems-design procedures should be applicable to it.
Systems Analysis. A group of components of a system may also be a system.
Such a group is called a subsystem. It, too, may be designed as a system, but its
goal must be to assist the system of which it is a component to meet its objectives.
Similarly, a group of components of a subsystem may also be a system. That group
is called a subsubsystem.
For brevity, the major subsystems of a building are referred to as systems in this
In a complex system, such as a building, subsystems and other components may
be combined in a variety of ways to form different systems. For the purposes of
building design, the major systems are usually defined in accordance with the construction
trades that will assemble them, for example, structural framing, plumbing,
electrical systems, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
In systems analysis, a system is resolved into its basic components. Subsystems
are determined. Then, the system is investigated to determine the nature, interaction,
and performance of the system as a whole. The investigation should answer such
questions as:
What does each component (or subsystem) do?
What does the component do it to?
How does the component serve its function?
What else does the component do?
Why does the component do the things it does?
What must the component really do?
Can it be eliminated because it is not essential or because another component
can assume its tasks?
See also Art. 1.8.
Systems design of buildings requires a different approach to design and construction
than that used in traditional design (Art. 1.9). Because traditional design and construction
procedures are still widely used, however, it is desirable to incorporate as
much of those procedures in systems design as is feasible without destroying its
effectiveness. This will make the transition from traditional design to systems design
easier. Also, those trained in systems design of buildings will then be capable
of practicing in traditional ways, if necessary.
There are several variations of traditional design and construction. These are
described throughout this book. For the purpose of illustrating how they may be
modified for systems design, however, one widely used variation, which will be
called basic traditional design and construction, is described in the following and
in Art. 1.4.
In the basic traditional design procedure, design usually starts when a client
recognizes the need for and economic feasibility of a building and engages an
architect, a professional with a broad background in building design. The architect,
in turn, engages consulting engineers and other consultants.
For most buildings, structural, mechanical, and electrical consulting engineers
are required. A structural engineer is a specialist trained in the application of scientific
principles to the design of load-bearing walls, floors, roofs, foundations, and
skeleton framing needed for the support of buildings and building components. A
mechanical engineer is a specialist trained in the application of scientific principles
to the design of plumbing, elevators, escalators, horizontal walkways, dumbwaiters,
conveyors, installed machinery, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. An
electrical engineer is a specialist trained in the application of scientific principles
to the design of electric circuits, electric controls and safety devices, electric motors
and generators, electric lighting, and other electric equipment.
For buildings on a large site, the architect may engage a landscape architect as
a consultant. For a concert hall, an acoustics consultant may be engaged; for a
hospital, a hospital specialist; for a school, a school specialist.
The architect does the overall planning of the building and incorporates the
output of the consultants into the contract documents. The architect determines what
internal and external spaces the client needs, the sizes of these spaces, their relative
locations, and their interconnections. The results of this planning are shown in floor
plans, which also diagram the internal flow, or circulation, of people and supplies.
Major responsibilities of the architect are enhancement of the appearance inside
and outside of the building and keeping adverse environmental impact of the structure
to a minimum. The exterior of the building is shown in drawings, called elevations.
The location and orientation of the building is shown in a site plan. The
architect also prepares the specifications for the building. These describe in detail
the materials and equipment to be installed in the structure. In addition, the architect,
usually with the aid of an attorney engaged by the client, prepares the construction
The basic traditional design procedure is executed in several stages. In the first
stage, the architect develops a program, or list of the client’s requirements. In the
next stage, the schematic or conceptual phase, the architect translates requirements
into spaces, relates the spaces and makes sketches, called schematics, to illustrate
the concepts. When sufficient information is obtained on the size and general construction
of the building, a rough estimate is made of construction cost. If this cost
does not exceed the cost budgeted by the client for construction, the next stage,
design development, proceeds. In this stage, the architect and consultants work out
more details and show the results in preliminary construction drawings and outline
specifications. A preliminary cost estimate utilizing the greater amount of information
on the building now available is then prepared. If this cost does not exceed
the client’s budget, the final stage, the contract documents phase, starts. It culminates
in production of working, or construction, drawings and specifications,
which are incorporated in the contract between the client and a builder and therefore
become legal documents. Before the documents are completed, however, a final
cost estimate is prepared. If the cost exceeds the client’s budget, the design is
revised to achieve the necessary cost reduction.
In the traditional design procedure, after the estimated cost is brought within the
budget and the client has approved the contract documents, the architect helps the
owner in obtaining bids from contractors or in negotiating a construction price with
a qualified contractor. For private work, construction not performed for a governmental
agency, the owner generally awards the construction contract to a contractor,
called a general contractor. Assigned the responsibility for construction of the
building, this contractor may perform some, all, or none of the work. Usually, much
of the work is let out to specialists, called subcontractors. For public work, there
may be a legal requirement that bids be taken and the contract awarded to the
lowest responsible bidder. Sometimes also, separate contracts have to be awarded
for the major specialists, such as mechanical and electrical trades, and to a general
contractor, who is assigned responsibility for coordinating the work of the trades
and performance of the work. (See also Art. 1.4.)
Building design should provide for both normal and emergency conditions. The
latter includes fire, explosion, power cutoffs, hurricanes, and earthquakes. The design
should include access and facilities for disabled persons.
As mentioned in Art. 1.3, construction under the traditional construction procedure
is performed by contractors. While they would like to satisfy the owner and the
building designers, contractors have the main objective of making a profit. Hence,
their initial task is to prepare a bid price based on an accurate estimate of construction
costs. This requires development of a concept for performance of the work
and a construction time schedule. After a contract has been awarded, contractors
must furnish and pay for all materials, equipment, power, labor, and supervision
required for construction. The owner compensates the contractors for construction
costs and services.
A general contractor assumes overall responsibility for construction of a building.
The contractor engages subcontractors who take responsibility for the work
of the various trades required for construction. For example, a plumbing contractor
installs the plumbing, an electrical contractor installs the electrical system, a steel
erector structural steel, and an elevator contractor installs elevators. Their contracts
are with the general contractor, and they are paid by the general contractor.
Sometimes, in addition to a general contractor, the owners contracts separately
with specialty contractors, such as electrical and mechanical contractors, who perform
a substantial amount of the work required for a building. Such contractors are
called prime contractors. Their work is scheduled and coordinated by the general
contractor, but they are paid directly by the owner.
Sometimes also, the owner may use the design-build method and award a contract
to an organization for both the design and construction of a building. Such
organizations are called design-build contractors. One variation of this type of
contract is employed by developers of groups of one-family homes or low-rise
apartment buildings. The homebuilder designs and constructs the dwellings, but
the design is substantially completed before owners purchase the homes.
Administration of the construction procedure often is difficult. Consequently,
some owners seek assistance from an expert, called a professional construction
manager, with extensive construction experience, who receives a fee. The construction
manager negotiates with general contractors and helps select one to construct
the building. Managers usually also supervise selection of subcontractors. During
construction, they help control costs, expedite equipment and material deliveries,
and keep the work on schedule (see Art. 17.9). In some cases, instead, the owner
may prefer to engage a construction program manager, to assist in administrating
both design and construction.
Construction contractors employ labor that may or may not be unionized. Unionized
craftspeople are members of unions that are organized by construction
trades, such as carpenter, plumber, and electrician unions. Union members will
perform only the work assigned to their trade. On the job, groups of workers are
supervised by crew supervisors, all of whom report to a superintendent.
During construction, all work should be inspected. For this purpose, the owner,
often through the architect and consultants, engages inspectors. The field inspectors
may be placed under the control of an owner’s representative, who may be titled
clerk of the works, architect’s superintendent, engineer’s superintendent, or resident
engineer. The inspectors have the responsibility of ensuring that construction meets
the requirements of the contract documents and is performed under safe conditions.
Such inspections may be made at frequent intervals.
In addition, inspections also are made by representatives of one or more governmental
agencies. They have the responsibility of ensuring that construction meets
legal requirements and have little or no concern with detailed conformance with
the contract documents. Such legal inspections are made periodically or at the end
of certain stages of construction. One agency that will make frequent inspections
is the local or state building department, whichever has jurisdiction. The purpose
of these inspections is to ensure conformance with the local or state building code.
During construction, standards, regulations, and procedures of the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration should be observed. These are given in detail in
‘‘Construction Industry. OSHA Safety and Health Standards (29CFR1926/1910),’’
Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402.
Following is a description of the basic traditional construction procedure for a
multistory building:
After the award of a construction contract to a general contractor, the owner
may ask the contractor to start a portion of the work before signing of the contract
by giving the contractor a letter of intent or after signing of the contract by issuing
a written notice to proceed. The contractor then obtains construction permits, as
required, from governmental agencies, such as the local building, water, sewer, and
highway departments.
The general contractor plans and schedules construction operations in detail and
mobilizes equipment and personnel for the project. Subcontractors are notified of
the contract award and issued letters of intent or awarded subcontracts, then are
given, at appropriate times, notices to proceed.
Before construction starts, the general contractor orders a survey to be made of
adjacent structures and terrain, both for the record and to become knowledgeable
of local conditions. A survey is then made to lay out construction.
Field offices for the contractor are erected on or near the site. If desirable for
safety reasons to protect passersby, the contractor erects a fence around the site and
an overhead protective cover, called a bridge. Structures required to be removed
from the site are demolished and the debris is carted away.
Next, the site is prepared to receive the building. This work may involve grading
the top surface to bring it to the proper elevations, excavating to required depths
for basement and foundations, and shifting of utility piping. For deep excavations,
earth sides are braced and the bottom is drained.
Major construction starts with the placement of foundations, on which the building
rests. This is followed by the erection of load-bearing walls and structural
framing. Depending on the height of the building, ladders, stairs, or elevators may
be installed to enable construction personnel to travel from floor to floor and eventually
to the roof. Also, hoists may be installed to lift materials to upper levels. If
needed, temporary flooring may be placed for use of personnel.
As the building rises, pipes, ducts, and electric conduit and wiring are installed.
Then, permanent floors, exterior walls, and windows are constructed. At the appropriate
time, permanent elevators are installed. If required, fireproofing is placed for
steel framing. Next, fixed partitions are built and the roof and its covering, or
roofing, are put in place.
Finishing operations follow. These include installation of the following: ceilings;
tile; wallboard; wall paneling; plumbing fixtures; heating furnaces; air-conditioning
equipment; heating and cooling devices for rooms; escalators; floor coverings; window
glass; movable partitions; doors; finishing hardware; electrical equipment and
apparatus, including lighting fixtures, switches, outlets, transformers, and controls;
and other items called for in the drawings and specifications. Field offices, fences,
bridges, and other temporary construction must be removed from the site. Utilities,
such as gas, electricity, and water, are hooked up to the building. The site is landscaped
and paved. Finally, the building interior is painted and cleaned.
The owner’s representatives then give the building a final inspection. If they find
that the structure conforms with the contract documents, the owner accepts the
project and gives the general contractor final payment on issuance by the building
department of a certificate of occupancy, which indicates that the completed building
meets building-code requirements.
Article 1.4 points out that administration of building construction is difficult, as a
result of which some clients, or owners, engage a construction manager or construction
program manager to act as the owner’s authorizing agent and project
overseer. The reasons for the complexity of construction administration can be seen
from an examination of the owner’s role before and during construction.
After the owner recognizes the need for a new building, the owner establishes
project goals and determines the economic feasibility of the project. If it appears
to be feasible, the owner develops a building program (list of requirements), budget,
and time schedule for construction. Next, preliminary arrangements are made to
finance construction. Then, the owner selects a construction program manager or
an architect for design of the building. Later, a construction manager may be chosen,
if desired.
The architect may seek from the owner approval of the various consultants that
will be needed for design. If a site for the building has not been obtained at this
stage, the architect can assist in site selection. When a suitable site has been found,
the owner purchases it and arranges for surveys and subsurface explorations to
provide information for locating the building, access, foundation design and construction,
and landscaping. It is advisable at this stage for the owner to start developing
harmonious relations with the community in which the building will be
During design, the owner assists with critical design decisions; approves schematic
drawings, rough cost estimates, preliminary drawings, outline specifications,
preliminary cost estimates, contract documents, and final cost estimate; pays designers’
fees in installments as design progresses; and obtains a construction loan.
Then, the owner awards the general contract for construction and orders construction
to start. Also, the owner takes out liability, property, and other desirable insurance.
At the start of construction, the owner arranges for construction permits. As
construction proceeds, the owner’s representatives inspect the work to ensure compliance
with the contract documents. Also, the owner pays contractors in accordance
with the terms of the contract. Finally, the owner approves and accepts the completed
One variation of the preceding procedure is useful when time available for construction
is short. It is called phase, or fast-track, construction. In this variation,
the owner engages a construction manager and a general contractor before design
has been completed, to get an early start on construction. Work then proceeds on
some parts of the building while other parts are still being designed. For example,
excavation and foundation construction are carried out while design of the structural
framing is being finished. The structural framing is erected, while heating, ventilation,
and air-conditioning, electrical, plumbing, wall, and finishing details are
being developed. For tall buildings, the lower portion can be constructed while the
upper part is still being designed. For large, low-rise buildings, one section can be
built while another is under design.
Construction cost of a building usually is a dominant design concern. One reason
is that if construction cost exceeds the owner’s budget, the owner may cancel the
project. Another reason is that costs, such as property taxes and insurance, that
occur after completion of the building often are proportional to the initial cost.
Hence, owners usually try to keep that cost low. Designing a building to minimize
construction cost, however, may not be in the owner’s best interests. There are
many other costs that the owner incurs during the anticipated life of the building
that should be taken into account.
Before construction of a building starts, the owner generally has to make a
sizable investment in the project. The major portion of this expenditure usually
goes for purchase of the site and building design. Remaining preconstruction costs
include those for feasibility studies, site selection and evaluation, surveys, and program
The major portion of the construction cost is the sum of the payments to the
general contractor and prime contractors. Remaining construction costs usually consist
of interest on the construction loan, permit fees, and costs of materials, equipment,
and labor not covered by the construction contracts.
The initial cost to the owner is the sum of preconstruction, construction, and
occupancy costs. The latter covers costs of moving possessions into the building
and start-up of utility services, such as water, gas, electricity, and telephone.
After the building is occupied, the owner incurs costs for operation and maintenance
of the buildings. Such costs are a consequence of decisions made during
building design.
Often, preconstruction costs are permitted to be high so that initial costs can be
kept low. For example, operating the building may be expensive because the design
makes artificial lighting necessary when daylight could have been made available
or because extra heating and air conditioning are necessary because of inadequate
insulation of walls and roof. As another example, maintenance may be expensive
because of the difficulty of changing electric lamps or because cleaning the building
is time-consuming and laborious. In addition, frequent repairs may be needed because
of poor choice of materials during design. Hence, operation and maintenance
costs over a specific period of time, say 10 or 20 years, should be taken into account
in optimizing the design of a building.
Life-cycle cost is the sum of initial, operating, and maintenance costs. Generally,
it is life-cycle cost that should be minimized in building design rather than construction
cost. This would enable the owner to receive the greatest return on the
investment in the building. ASTM has promulgated a standard method for calculating
life-cycle costs of buildings, E917, Practice for Measuring Life-Cycle Costs
of Buildings and Building Systems, as well as a computer program and user’s guide
to improve accuracy and speed of calculation.
Nevertheless, a client usually establishes a construction budget independent of
life-cycle cost. This often is necessary because the client does not have adequate
capital for an optimum building and places too low a limit on construction cost.
The client hopes to have sufficient capital later to pay for the higher operating and
maintenance costs or for replacement of undesirable building materials and installed
equipment. Sometimes, the client establishes a low construction budget because the
client’s goal is a quick profit on early sale of the building, in which case the client
has little or no concern with future high operating and maintenance costs for the
building. For these reasons, construction cost frequently is a dominant concern in
The simplest building system consists of only two components. One component is
a floor, a flat, horizontal surface on which human activities can take place. The
FIGURE 1.1 Vertical section through a one-story building with basement shows location
of some major components. (Reprinted with permission from F. S. Merritt and J. Ambrose,
‘‘Building Engineering and Systems Design,’’ 2d ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.)
other component is an enclosure that extends over the floor and generally also
around it to provide shelter from the weather for human activities.
The ground may serve as the floor in primitive buildings. In better buildings,
however, the floor may be a structural deck laid on the ground or supported above
ground on structural members, such as the joist and walls in Fig. 1.1. Use of a
deck and structural members adds at least two different types of components, or
two subsystems, to the simplest building system. Also, often, the enclosure over
the floor requires supports, such as the rafter and walls in Fig. 1.1, and the walls,
in turn, are seated on foundations in the ground. Additionally, footings are required
at the base of the foundations to spread the load over a large area of the ground,
to prevent the building from sinking (Fig. 1.2a). Consequently, even slight improvements
in a primitive building introduce numerous additional components, or subsystems,
into a building.
More advanced buildings consist of numerous subsystems, which are referred to
as systems in this book when they are major components. Major subsystems generally
include structural framing and foundations, enclosure systems, plumbing,
lighting, acoustics, safety systems, vertical-circulation elements, electric power and
signal systems, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC).
Structural System. The portion of a building that extends above the ground level
outside it is called the superstructure. The portion below the outside ground level
is called the substructure. The parts of the substructure that distribute building
loads to the ground are known as foundations.
Foundations may take the form of walls. When the ground under the building
is excavated for a cellar, or basement, the foundation walls have the additional task
of retaining the earth along the outside of the building (Fig. 1.1). The superstructure
in such cases is erected atop the foundation walls.
FIGURE 1.2 Commonly used foundations:
(a) foundation wall on continuous footing; (b)
individual spread footing for a column; (c) pile
footing for a column.
The footing under a wall (Fig. 1.2a)
is called a continuous spread footing.
A slender structural member, such as a
column (Fig. 1.2b), usually is seated on
an individual spread footing. When the
soil is so weak, however, that the spread
footings for columns become very large,
it often is economical to combine the
footings into a single footing under the
whole building. Such a footing is called
a raft, or mat, footing or a floating
foundation. For very weak soils, it generally
is necessary to support the foundations
on piles (Fig. 1.2c). These are
slender structural members that are
hammered or otherwise driven through the weak soil, often until the tips seat on
rock or a strong layer of soil.
The foundation system must be designed to transmit the loads from the superstructure
structural system directly to the ground in such a manner that settlement
of the completed building as the soil deflects will be within acceptable limits. The
superstructure structural system, in turn, should be designed to transmit its loads
to the foundation system in the manner anticipated in the design of the foundations.
(See also Sec. 6.)
In most buildings, the superstructure structural system consists of floor and roof
decks, horizontal members that support them, and vertical members that support
the other components.
The horizontal members are generally known as beams, but they also are called
by different names in specific applications. For example:
Joists are closely spaced to carry light loads.
Stringers support stairs.
Headers support structural members around openings in floors, roofs, and walls.
Purlins are placed horizontally to carry level roof decks.
Rafters are placed on an incline to carry sloping roof decks.
Girts are light horizontal members that span between columns to support walls.
Lintels are light horizontal beams that support walls at floor levels in multistory
buildings or that carry the part of walls above openings for doors and windows.
Girders may be heavily loaded beams or horizontal members that support other
beams (Fig. 1.3).
Spandrels carry exterior walls and support edges of floors and roofs in multistory
Trusses serve the same purposes as girders but consists of slender horizontal,
vertical, and inclined components with large open spaces between them. The
spaces are triangular in shape. Light beams similarly formed are called openweb
joists (Fig. 1.6d).
Floor and roof decks or the beams that support them are usually seated on loadbearing
walls or carried by columns, which carry the load downward. (The horizontal
members also may be suspended on hangers, which transmit the load to
FIGURE 1.3 Structural-steel skeleton framing for a multistory building.
(Courtesy of the American Institute of Steel Construction.)
other horizontal members at a higher level.) The system comprising decks, beams,
and bearing walls is known as load-bearing construction (Fig. 1.1). The system
composed of decks, beams, and columns is known as skeleton framing (Fig. 1.3).
Both types of systems must be designed to transmit to the foundations vertical
(gravity) loads, vertical components of inclined loads, horizontal (lateral) loads, and
horizontal components of inclined loads. Vertical walls and columns have the appropriate
alignments for carrying vertical loads downward. But acting alone, these
structural members are inadequate for resisting lateral forces.
One way to provide lateral stability is to incorporate in the system diagonal
members, called bracing (Fig. 1.3). Bracing, columns, and beams then work together
to carry the lateral loads downward. Another way is to rigidly connect beams
to columns to prevent a change in the angle between the beams and columns, thus
making them work together as a rigid frame to resist lateral movement. Still another
way is to provide long walls, known as shear walls, in two perpendicular
directions. Lateral forces on the building can be resolved into forces in each of
these directions. The walls then act like vertical beams cantilevers) in transmitting
the forces to the foundations. (See also Art. 3.2.4.)
Because of the importance of the structural system, the structural members
should be protected against damage, especially from fire. For fire protection, bracing
FIGURE 1.4 Roofs composed of plane surfaces: (a) flat roof; (b) shed roof; (c) pitched roof;
(d) hipped roof; (e) gambrel roof; (?) mansard roof; (g) monitored roof; (h) sawtooth
roof. (Reprinted with permission from F. S. Merritt and J. Ambrose, ‘‘Building Engineering and
Systems Design,’’ 2d ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.)
may be encased in fire-resistant floors, roofs, or walls. Similarly, columns may be
encased in walls, and beams may be encased in floors. Or a fire-resistant material,
such as concrete, mineral fiber, or plaster, may be used to box in the structural
members (Fig. 1.6c).
See also Secs. 7 to 11.
Systems for Enclosing Buildings. Buildings are enclosed for privacy, to exclude
wind, rain, and snow from the interior, and to control interior temperature and
humidity. A single-enclosure type of system is one that extends continuously from
the ground to enclose the floor. Simple examples are cone-like tepees and dome
igloos. A multiple-enclosure type of system consists of a horizontal or inclined top
covering, called a roof (Fig. 1.1), and vertical or inclined side enclosures called
Roofs may have any of a wide variety of shapes. A specific shape may be
selected because of appearance, need for attic space under the roof, requirements
for height between roof and floor below, desire for minimum enclosed volume,
structural economy, or requirements for drainage of rainwater and shedding of snow.
While roofs are sometimes given curved surfaces, more often roofs are composed
of one or more plane surfaces. Some commonly used types are shown in Fig. 1.4.
The flat roof shown in Fig. 1.4a is nearly horizontal but has a slight pitch for
drainage purposes. A more sloped roof is called a shed roof (Fig. 1.4b). A pitched
roof (Fig. 1.4c) is formed by a combination of two inclined planes. Four inclined
planes may be combined to form either a hipped roof (Fig. 1.4d) or a gambrel roof
(Fig. 1.4e). A mansard roof (Fig. 1.4?) is similar to a hipped roof but, composed
of additional planes, encloses a larger volume underneath. Any of the preceding
roofs may have glazed openings, called skylights (Fig. 1.4b), for daylighting the
building interior. The roofs shown in Fig. 1.4c to ? are often used to enclose attic
space. Windows may be set in dormers that project from a sloped roof (Fig. 1.4c).
Other alternatives, often used to provide large areas free of walls or columns, include
flat-plate and arched or dome roofs.
Monitored roofs are sometimes used for daylighting and ventilating the interior.
A monitor is a row of windows installed vertically, or nearly so, above a roof (Fig.
FIGURE 1.5 Types of exterior wall construction: (a) concrete-block wall; (b) wood-framed
wall; (c) precast-concrete curtain wall.
1.4g). Figure 1.4h illustrates a variation of a monitored roof that is called a sawtooth
The basic element in a roof is a thin, waterproof covering, called roofing (Sec.
12). Because it is thin, it is usually supported on sheathing, a thin layer, or roof
deck, a thick layer, which in turn, is carried on structural members, such as beams
or trusses. The roof or space below should contain thermal insulation (Fig. 1.6c
and d).
Exterior walls enclose a building below the roof. The basis element in the walls
is a strong, durable, water-resistant facing. For added strength or lateral stability,
this facing may be supplemented on the inner side by a backing or sheathing (Fig.
1.5b). For esthetic purposes, an interior facing usually is placed on the inner side
of the backing. A layer of insulation should be incorporated in walls to resist
passage of heat.
Generally, walls may be built of unit masonry, panels, framing, or a combination
of these materials.
Unit masonry consists of small units, such as clay brick, concrete block, glass
block, or clay tile, held together by a cement such as mortar. Figure 1.5a shows a
wall built of concrete blocks.
Panel walls consist of units much larger than unit masonry. Made of metal,
concrete, glass, plastics, or preassembled bricks, a panel may extend from founBUILDING
dation to roof in single-story buildings, or from floor to floor or from window
header in one story to window sill of floor above in multistory buildings. Large
panels may incorporate one or more windows. Figure 1.5c shows a concrete panel
with a window.
Framed walls consist of slender, vertical, closely spaced structural members,
tied together with horizontal members at top and bottom, and interior and exterior
facings. Thermal insulation may be placed between the components. Figure 1.5b
shows a wood-framed exterior wall.
Combination walls are constructed of several different materials. Metal, brick,
concrete, or clay tile may be used as the exterior facing because of strength, durability,
and water and fire resistance. These materials, however, are relatively expensive.
Consequently, the exterior facing is made thin and backed up with a less
expensive material. For example, brick may be used as an exterior facing with wood
framing or concrete block as the backup.
Exterior walls may be classified as curtain walls or bearing walls. Curtain walls
serve primarily as an enclosure. Supported by the structural system, such walls
need to be strong enough to carry only their own weight and wind pressure on the
exterior face. Bearing walls, in contrast, serve not only as an enclosure but also to
transmit to the foundation loads from other building components, such as beams,
floors, roofs, and other walls (Fig. 1.5a and b). (See also Sec. 11.)
Openings are provided in exterior walls for a variety of purposes, but mainly
for windows and doors. Where openings occur, structural support must be provided
over them to carry the weight of the wall above and any other loads on that portion
of the wall. Usually, a beam called a lintel is placed over openings in masonry
walls (Fig. 1.5a) and a beam called a top header is set over openings in woodframed
A window usually consists of transparent glass or plastics (glazing) held in place
by light framing, called sash. The window is fitted into a frame secured to the
walls (Fig. 1.5a). For sliding windows, the frame carries guides in which the sash
slides. For swinging windows, stops against which the window closes are built into
the frame.
Hardware is provided to enable the window to function as required. For movable
windows, the hardware includes grips for moving them, locks, hinges for
swinging windows, and sash balances and pulleys for vertically sliding windows.
The main purposes of windows are to illuminate the building interior with daylight,
to ventilate the interior, and to give occupants a view of the outside. For retail
stores, windows may have the major purpose of giving passersby a view of items
displayed inside. (See also Sec. 11.)
Doors are installed in exterior walls to give access to or from the interior or to
prevent such access. For similar reasons, doors are also provided in interior walls
and partitions. Thus, a door may be part of a system for enclosing a building or a
component of a system for enclosing interior spaces.
Systems for Enclosing Interior Spaces. The interior of a building usually is compartmented
into spaces or rooms by horizontal dividers (floor-ceiling or roof-ceiling
systems) and vertical dividers (interior walls and partitions). (The term partitions is
generally applied to non-load-bearing walls.)
Floor-Ceiling Systems. The basic element of a floor is a load-carrying deck.
For protection against wear, esthetic reasons, foot comfort, or noise control, a floor
covering often is placed over the deck, which then may be referred to as a subfloor.
Figure 1.6a shows a concrete subfloor with a flexible-tile floor covering. A hollowcold-
formed steel deck is incorporated in the subfloor to house electric wiring.
FIGURE 1.6 Examples of floor-ceiling and roof-ceiling systems. (a) Concrete structural slab
carries hollow-steel deck, concrete fill, and flexible tile flooring. (b) Acoustical-tile ceiling
incorporating a lighting fixture with provisions for air distribution is suspended below a floor.
(c) Insulated roof and steel beams are sprayed with mineral fiber for fire protection. (d) Insulated
roof and open-web joists are protected by a fire-rated suspended ceiling.
In some cases, a subfloor may be strong and stiff enough to span, unaided, long
distances between supports provided for it. In other cases, the subfloor is closely
supported on beams. The subfloor in Fig. 1.6a, for example, is shown constructed
integrally with concrete beams, which carry the loads from the subfloor to bearing
walls or columns.
The underside of a floor or roof and of beams supporting it, including decorative
treatment when applied to that side, is called a ceiling. Often, however, a separate
FIGURE 1.6 (Continued)
ceiling is suspended below a floor or roof for esthetic or other reasons. Figure 1.6b
shows such a ceiling. It is formed with acoustical panels and incorporates a lighting
fixture and air-conditioning inlets and outlets.
Metal and wood subfloors and beams require fire protection. Figure 1.6c shows
a roof and its steel beams protected on the underside by a sprayed-on mineral fiber.
Figure 1.6d shows a roof and open-web steel joists protected on the underside by
a continuous, suspended, fire-resistant ceiling. As an alternative to encasement in
or shielding by a fire-resistant material, wood may be made fire-resistant by treatment
with a fire-retardant chemical.
Fire Ratings. Tests have been made, usually in conformance with E119, ‘‘Standard
Methods of Tests of Building Construction and Materials,’’ developed by
ASTM, to determine the length of time specific assemblies of materials can withstand
a standard fire, specified in E119. On the basis of test results, each construction
is assigned a fire rating, which gives the time in hours that the assembly can
withstand the fire. Fire ratings for various types of construction may be obtained
from local, state, or model building codes or the ‘‘Fire Resistance Design Manual,’’
published by the Gypsum Association.
Interior Walls and Partitions. Interior space dividers do not have to withstand
such severe conditions as do exterior walls. For instance, they are not exposed to
rain, snow, and solar radiation. Bearing walls, however, must be strong enough to
FIGURE 1.7 Types of partitions: (a) non-load-bearing; (b) gypsumboard on metal studs; (c)
gypsumboard face panels laminated to a gypsum core panel; (d) concrete bearing wall, floors,
and beams. (Reprinted with permission from F. S. Merritt and J. Ambrose, ‘‘Building Engineering
and Systems Design,’’ 2d ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.)
transmit to supports below them the loads to which they are subjected. Usually,
such interior walls extend vertically from the roof to the foundations of a building
and carry floors and roof. The basic element of a bearing wall may be a solid core,
as shown in Fig. 1.7d, or closely spaced vertical framing (studs), as shown in Fig.
Non-load-bearing partitions do not support floors or roof. Hence, partitions may
be made of such thin materials as sheet metal (Fig. 1.7a), brittle materials as glass
(Fig. 1.7a), or weak materials as gypsum (Fig. 1.7c). Light framing may be used
to hold these materials in place. Because they are non-load-bearing, partitions may
be built and installed to be easily shifted or to be foldable, like a horizontally sliding
door. (see also Sec. 11.)
Wall Finishes. Walls are usually given a facing that meets specific architectural
requirements for the spaces enclosed. Such requirements include durability under
indoor conditions, ease of maintenance, attractive appearance, fire resistance, water
resistance, and acoustic properties appropriate to the occupancy of the space enclosed.
The finish may be the treated surface of the exposed wall material, such as
the smooth, painted face of a sheet-metal panel, or a separate material, such as
plaster, gypsumboard, plywood, or wallpaper. (See also Sec. 11.)
Doors. Openings are provided in interior walls and partitions to permit passage
of people and equipment from one space to another. Doors are installed in the
openings to provide privacy, temperature, odor and sound control, and control passage.
Usually, a door frame is set around the perimeter of the opening to hold the
door in place (Fig. 1.8). Depending on the purpose of the door, size, and other
factors, the door may be hinged to the frame at top, bottom, or either side. Or the
door may be constructed to slide vertically or horizontally or to rotate about a
vertical axis in the center of the opening (revolving door). (See also Sec. 11.)
Hardware is provided to enable the door to function as required. For example,
hinges are provided for swinging doors, and guides are installed for sliding doors.
Locks or latches are placed in or on doors to prevent them from being opened.
Knobs or pulls are attached to doors for hand control.
FIGURE 1.8 Example of door and frame.
Builder’s Hardware. This is a general
term applied to fastenings and devices,
such as nails, screws, locks, hinges, and
pulleys. These items generally are classified
as either finishing hardware or
rough hardware (Sec. 11).
Plumbing. The major systems for conveyance
of liquids and gases in pipes
within a building are classified as
plumbing. Plumbing pipes usually are
connected to others that extend outside
the building to a supply source, such as
a public water main or utility gas main,
or to a disposal means, such as a sewer.
For health, safety, and other reasons, pipes of different types of plumbing systems
must not be interconnected, and care must be taken to prevent flow from one system
to another.
The major purposes of plumbing are: (1) to convey water and heating gas, if
desired, from sources outside a building to points inside where the fluid or gas is
needed, and (2) to collect wastewater and storm water in the building, on the roof,
or elsewhere on the site and convey the liquid to sewers outside the building.
For these purposes, plumbing requires fixtures for collecting discharged water
and wastes; pipes for supply and disposal; valves for controlling flow; drains, and
other accessories. For more details, see Sec. 14.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC). Part of the environmental
control systems within buildings, along with lighting and sound control, HVAC is
often necessary for the health and comfort of building occupants. Sometimes, however,
HVAC may be needed for manufacturing processes, product storage, or operation
of equipment, such as computers. HVAC usually is used to control temperature,
humidity, air movement, and air quality in the interior of buildings.
Ventilation is required to supply clean air for breathing, to furnish air for operation
of combustion equipment, and to remove contaminated air. Ventilation, however,
also can be used for temperature control by bringing outside air into a building
when there is a desirable temperature difference between that air and the interior
The simplest way to ventilate is to open windows. When this is not practicable,
mechanical ventilation is necessary. This method employs fans to draw outside air
into the building and distribute the air, often through ducts, to interior spaces. The
method, however, can usually be used only in mild weather. To maintain comfort
conditions in the interior, the fresh air may have to be heated in cold weather and
cooled in hot weather.
Heating and cooling of a building interior may be accomplished in any of a
multitude of ways. Various methods are described in Sec. 13.
Lighting. For health, safety, and comfort of occupants, a building interior should
be provided with an adequate quantity of light, good quality of illumination, and
proper color of light. The required illumination may be supplied by natural or
artificial means.
Daylight is the source of natural illumination. It enters a building through a
fenestration, such as windows in the exterior walls or monitors or skylights on the
Artificial illumination can be obtained through consumption of electrical energy
in incandescent, fluorescent, electroluminescent, or other electric lamps. The light
source is housed in a luminaire, or lighting fixture. More details are given in Sec.
Acoustics. The science of sound, its production, transmission, and effects are applied
in the building design for sound and vibration control.
A major objective of acoustics is provision of an environment that enhances
communication in the building interior, whether the sound is created by speech or
music. This is accomplished by installation of enclosures with appropriate acoustic
properties around sound sources and receivers. Another important objective is reduction
or elimination of noise—unwanted sound—from building interiors. This
may be accomplished by elimination of the noise at the source, by installation of
sound barriers, or by placing sound-absorbing materials on the surfaces of enclosures.
Still another objective is reduction or elimination of vibrations that can annoy
occupants, produce noise by rattling loose objects, or crack or break parts or contents
of a building. The most effective means of preventing undesirable vibrations
is correction of the source. Otherwise, the source should be isolated from the building
structure and potential transmission paths should be interrupted with carefully
designed discontinuities.
Electric Power and Communication Systems. Electric power is generally bought
from nearby utility and often supplemented for emergency purposes by power from
batteries or a generating plant on the site. Purchased power is brought from the
power lines connected to the generating source to an entrance control point and a
meter in the building. From there, conductors distribute the electricity throughout
the building to outlets where the power can be tapped for lighting, heating, and
operating electric devices.
Two interrelated types of electrical systems are usually provided within a building.
One type is used for communications, including data, telephone, television,
background music, paging, signal and alarm systems. The second type serves the
other electrical needs of the building and its occupants. For more details, see Sec.
15 and 18.
In addition to conductors and outlets, an electrical system also incorporates devices
and apparatus for controlling electric voltage and current. Because electricity
can be hazardous, the system must be designed and installed to prevent injury to
occupants and damage to building components.
For more details, see Sec. 15.
Vertical-Circulation Elements. In multistory buildings, provision must be made
for movement of people, supplies, and equipment between the various levels. This
may be accomplished with ramps, stairs, escalators, elevators, dumbwaiters, vertical
conveyors, pneumatic tubes, mail chutes, or belt conveyors. Some of the mechanical
equipment, however, may not be used for conveyance of people.
A ramp, or sloping floor, is often used for movement of people and vehicles in
such buildings as stadiums and garages. In most buildings, however, stairs are installed
because they can be placed on a steeper slope and therefore occupy less
space than ramps. Nevertheless, federal rules require at least one handicap accessible
entrance for all new buildings.
FIGURE 1.9 Vertical-circulation elements: (a) stairs; (b) electric traction elevator; (c) hydraulic
A stairway consists of a series of steps and landings. Each step consists of a
horizontal platform, or tread, and a vertical separation or enclosure, called a riser
(Fig. 1.9a). Railings are placed along the sides of the stairway and floor openings
for safety reasons. Also, structural members may be provided to support the stairs
and the floor edges. Often, in addition, the stairway must be enclosed for fire
Escalators, or powered stairs, are installed in such buildings as department
stores and transportation terminals, or in the lower stories of office buildings and
hotels, where there is heavy pedestrian traffic between floors. Such powered stairs
consist basically of a conveyor belt with steps attached; an electric motor for moving
the belt, and steps, controls, and structural supports.
Elevators are installed to provide speedier vertical transportation, especially in
tall buildings. Transportation is provided in an enclosed car that moves along
guides, usually within a fire-resistant vertical shaft but sometimes unenclosed along
the exterior of a building. The shaft, or the exterior wall, has openings, protected
by doors, at each floor to provide access to the elevator car. The car may be suspended
on and moved by cables (Fig. 1.9b) or set atop a piston moved by hydraulic
pressure (Fig. 1.9c).
More information on vertical-circulation elements is given in Sec. 16.
Intelligent Buildings. In addition to incorporating the major systems previously
described, intelligent buildings, through the use of computers and communication
equipment, have the ability to control the total building environment. The equipment
and operating personnel can be stationed in a so-called control center or the
equipment can be monitored and controlled remotely via a computer, modem and
telephone line. Various sensors and communication devices, feeding information to
and from the control center, are located in key areas throughout the building for
the purposes of analyzing and adjusting the environment, delivering messages during
emergencies, and dispatching repair personnel and security guards, as needed.
To conserve energy, lighting may be operated by sensors that detected people
movement. HVAC may be adjusted in accordance with temperature changes. Ele1.22
vators may be programmed for efficient handling of variations in traffic patterns
and may be equipped with voice synthesizers to announce floor stops and give
advice in emergencies. In addition, intelligent buildings are designed for ease and
flexibility in providing for changes in space use, piping, electrical conductors, and
installed equipment. See also Arts. 3.5.12 and 3.7.2.
(F. S. Merritt and J. Ambrose, ‘‘Building Engineering and Systems Design,’’ 2nd
Ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.)
As indicated in Art. 1.3, the client in the initial design phase develops a program,
or list of requirements. The goal of the designers is to select a system that meets
these requirements. Before the designers do this, however, it is advisable for them
to question whether the requirements represent the client’s actual needs. Can the
criteria and standards affecting the design be made less stringent? After the program
has been revised to answer these questions, the designers select a system. Next, it
is advisable for the designers to question whether the system provides the best
value at the lowest cost. Value engineering is a useful procedure for answering this
question and selecting a better alternative if the answer indicates this is desirable.
Value engineering is the application of the scientific method to the study of
values of systems. The major objective of value engineering in building design and
construction is reduction of initial and life-cycle costs (Art. 1.6). Thus, value engineering
has one of the objectives of systems design, in which the overall goal is
production of an optimum building, and should be incorporated in the systemsdesign
The scientific method, which is incorporated in the definitions of value engineering
and systems design, consists of the following steps:
1. Collection of data and observations of natural phenomena
2. Formulation of a hypothesis capable of predicting future observations
3. Testing of the hypothesis to verify the accuracy of its predictions and abandonment
or improvement of the hypothesis if it is inaccurate
Those who conduct or administer value studies are often called value engineers,
or value analysts. They generally are organized into an interdisciplinary team for
value studies for a specific project. Sometimes, however, an individual, such as an
experienced contractor, performs value engineering services for the client for a fee
or a percentage of savings achieved by the services.
Value Analysis. Value is a measure of benefits anticipated from a system or from
the contribution of a component to system performance. This measure must be
capable of serving as a guide in a choice between alternatives in evaluations of
system performance. Because generally in comparisons of systems only relative
values need be considered, value takes into account both advantages and disadvantages,
the former being considered positive and the latter negative. It is therefore
possible in comparisons of systems that the value of a component of a system may
be negative and subtracts of systems from the overall performance of the system.
System evaluations would be relatively easy if a monetary value could always
be placed on performance. Then, benefits and costs could be compared directly.
Value, however, often must be based on a subjective decision of the client. For
example, how much extra is an owner willing to pay for beauty, prestige, or better
community relations? Will the owner accept gloom, glare, draftiness, or noise for
a savings in cost? Consequently, other values than monetary must be considered in
value analysis. Such considerations require determination of the relative importance
of the client’s requirements and weighting of values accordingly.
Value analysis is the part of the value-engineering procedure devoted to investigation
of the relation between costs and values of components and systems and
alternatives to these. The objective is to provide a rational guide for selection of
the lowest-cost system that meets the client’s actual needs.
Measurement Scales. For the purposes of value analysis, it is essential that characteristics
of a component or system on which a value is to be placed be distinguishable.
An analyst should be able to assign different numbers, not necessarily
monetary, to values that are different. These numbers may be ordinates of any one
of the following four measurement scales: ratio, interval, ordinal, nominal.
Ratio Scale. This scale has the property that, if any characteristic of a system
is assigned a value number k, any characteristic that is n times as large must be
assigned a value number nk. Absence of the characteristic is assigned the value
zero. This type of scale is commonly used in engineering, especially in cost comparisons.
For example, if a value of $10,000 is assigned to system A and of $5000
to system B, then A is said to cost twice as much as B.
Interval Scale. This scale has the property that equal intervals between assigned
values represent equal differences in the characteristic being measured. The scale
zero is assigned arbitrarily. The Celsius scale of temperature measurements is a
good example of an interval scale. Zero is arbitrarily established as the temperature
at which water freezes; the zero value does not indicate absence of heat. The boiling
point of water is arbitrarily assigned the value of 100. The scale between 0 and
100 is then divided into 100 equal intervals called degrees (C). Despite the arbitrariness
of the selection of the zero point, the scale is useful in heat measurement.
For example, changing the temperature of an objective from 40C to 60C, an
increase of 20C, requires twice as much heat as changing the temperature from
45C to 55C, an increase of 10C.
Ordinal Scale. This scale has the property that the magnitude of a value number
assigned to a characteristic indicates whether a system has more, or less, of the
characteristic than another system has or is the same with respect to that characteristic.
For example, in a comparison of the privacy afforded by different types of
partitions, each may be assigned a number that ranks it in accordance with the
degree of privacy that it provides. Partitions with better privacy are given larger
numbers. Ordinal scales are commonly used when values must be based on subjective
judgments of nonquantifiable differences between systems.
Nominal Scale. This scale has the property that the value numbers assigned to
a characteristic of systems being compared merely indicate whether the systems
differ in this characteristic. But no value can be assigned to the difference. This
type of scale is often used to indicate the presence or absence of a characteristic
or component. For example, the absence of a means of access to equipment for
maintenance may be represented by zero or a blank space, whereas the presence
of such access may be denoted by 1 or X.
Weighting. In practice, construction cost usually is only one factor, perhaps the
only one with a monetary value, of several factors that must be evaluated in a
comparison of systems. In some cases, some of the other characteristics of the
system may be more important to the owner than cost. Under such circumstances,
the comparison may be made by use of an ordinal scale for ranking each characteristic
and then weighting the rankings in accordance with the importance of the
characteristic to the owner.
As an example of the use of this procedure, calculations for comparison of two
partitions are shown in Table 1.1. Alternative 1 is an all-metal partition and alternative
2 is made of glass and metal.
In Table 1.1, characteristics of concern in the comparison are listed in the first
column. The numbers in the second column indicate the relative importance of each
characteristic to the owner: 1 denotes lowest priority and 10 highest priority. These
are the weights. In addition, each of the partitions is ranked on an ordinal scale,
with 10 as the highest value, in accordance with the degree to which it possesses
each characteristic. These rankings are listed as relative values in Table 1.1. For
construction cost, for instance, the metal partition is assigned a relative value of 10
and the glass-metal partition a value of 8, because the metal partition costs a little
less than the other one. In contrast, the glass-metal partition is given a relative value
of 8 for visibility, because the upper portion is transparent, whereas the metal
partition has a value of zero, because it is opaque.
To complete the comparison, the weight of each characteristic is multiplied by
the relative value of the characteristic for each partition and entered in Table 1.1
as a weighted value. For construction cost, for example, the weighted values are
8  10  80 for the metal partition and 8  8  64 for the glass-metal partition.
The weighted values for each partition are then added, yielding 360 for alternative
1 and 397 for alternative 2. While this indicates that the glass-metal partition is
better, it may not be the best for the money. To determine whether it is, the weighted
value for each partition is divided by its cost, yielding 0.0300 for the metal partition
and 0.0265 for the other. Thus, the metal partition appears to offer more value for
the money and would be recommended.
Economic Comparisons. In a choice between alternative systems, only the differences
between system values are significant and need to be compared.
Suppose, for example, the economic effect of adding 1 in of thermal insulation
to a building is to be investigated. In a comparison, it is not necessary to compute
the total cost of the building with and without the insulation. Generally, the value
analyst need only subtract the added cost of 1 in of insulation from the decrease
in HVAC cost to obtain the net saving or cost increase resulting from addition of
insulation. A net saving would encourage addition of insulation. Thus, a decision
can be reached without the complex computation of total building cost.
In evaluating systems, value engineers must take into account not only initial
and life-cycle costs but also the return the client wishes to make on the investment
in the building. Generally, a client would like not only to maximize profit, the
difference between revenue from use of the building and total costs, but also to
ensure that the rate of return, the ratio of profit to investment, is larger than all of
the following:
Rate of return expected from the type of business
Interest rate for borrowed money
Rate for government bonds or notes
Rate for highly rated corporate bonds
The client is concerned with interest rates because all costs represent money that
must be borrowed or that could otherwise be invested at a current interest rate. The
client also has to be concerned with time, measured from the date at which an
investment is made, because interest cost increases with time. Therefore, in economic
comparisons of systems, interest rates and time must be taken into account.
(Effects of monetary inflation can be taken into account in much the same way as
An economic comparison usually requires evaluation of initial capital investments,
salvage values after several years, annual disbursements and annual revenues.
Because each element in such a comparison may have associated with it an
expected useful life different from that of the other elements, the different types of
costs and revenues must be made commensurable by reduction to a common basis.
This is commonly done by either:
1. Converting all costs and revenues to equivalent uniform annual costs and income
2. Converting all costs and revenues to present worth of all costs and revenues at
time zero.
Present worth is the money that, invested at time zero, would yield at later
times required costs and revenues at a specified interest rate. In economic comparisons,
the conversions should be based on a rate of return on investment that is
attractive to the client. It should not be less than the interest rate the client would
have to pay if the amount of the investment had to be borrowed. For this reason,
the desired rate of return is called interest rate in conversions. Calculations also
should be based on actual or reasonable estimates of time periods. Salvage values,
for instance, should be taken as the expected return on sale or trade-in of an item
Cost of operation, maintenance, repairs, property taxes, and insurance are included
in the annual costs. The present-worth method is used for the comparison, with
interest rate i  8%.
Conversion of all costs and revenues to present worth must be based on a common
service life, although the two units have different service lives, 10 and 20
years, respectively. For the purpose of the conversion, it may be assumed that
replacement assets will repeat the investment and annual costs predicted for the
initial asset. (Future values, however, should be corrected for monetary inflation.)
In some cases, it is convenient to select for the common service life the least
common multiple of the lives of the units being compared. In other cases, it may
be more convenient to assume that the investment and annual costs continue indefinitely.
The present worth of such annual costs is called capitalized cost.
For this example, a common service life of 20 years, the least common multiple
of 10 and 20, is selected. Hence, it is assumed that unit 1 will be replaced at the
end of the tenth period at a cost of $300,000 less the salvage value. Similarly, the
replacement unit will be assumed to have the same salvage value after 20 years.
The calculations in Table 1.2 indicate that the present worth of the net cost of
unit 2 is less than that for unit 1. If total cost during the twenty year period were
the sole consideration, purchase of unit 2 would be recommended.
ASTM has developed several standard procedures for making economic studies
of buildings and building systems, in addition to ASTM E917 for measuring lifecycle
costs, mentioned previously. For example, ASTM E964 is titled Practice for
Measuring Benefit-to-Cost and Savings-to-Investment Ratios for Buildings and
Building Systems. Other standards available present methods for measuring internal
rate of return, net benefits, and payback. ASTM also has developed computer programs
for these calculations.
Value Analysis Procedure. In building design, value analysis generally starts with
a building system or subsystem proposed by the architect and consultants. The client
or the client’s representative appoints an interdisciplinary team to study the system
or subsystem and either recommend its use or propose a more economical alternative.
The team coordinator sets goals and priorities for the study and may appoint
task groups to study parts of the building in accordance with the priorities. The
value analysts should follow a systematic, scientific procedure for accomplishing
all the necessary tasks that comprise a value analysis. The procedure should provide
an expedient format for recording the study as it progresses, assure that consideration
has been given to all information, some of which may have been overlooked
in development of the proposed system, and logically resolve the analysis into
components that can be planned, scheduled, budgeted, and appraised.
The greatest cost reduction can be achieved by analysis of every component of
a building. This, however, is not practical, because of the short time usually available
for the study and because the cost of the study increases with time. Hence, it
is advisable that the study concentrate on those building systems (or subsystems)
whose cost is a relatively large percentage of the total building (or system) cost,
because those components have possibilities for substantial cost reduction.
During the initial phase of value analysis, the analysts should obtain a complete
understanding of the building and its major systems by rigorously reviewing the
program, proposed design and all other pertinent information. They should also
define the functions, or purposes, of each building component to be studied and
estimate the cost of accomplishing the functions. Thus, the analysts should perform
a systems analysis, as indicated in Art. 1.2, answer the questions listed in Art 1.2
for the items to be studied, and estimate the initial and life-cycle costs of the items.
In the second phase of value analysis, the analysts should question the costeffectiveness
of each component to be studied. Also, by use of imagination and
creative techniques, they should generate several alternative means for accomplishing
the required functions of the component. Then, in addition to answers to the
questions in Art. 1.2, the analysts should obtain answers to the following questions:
Do the original design and each alternative meet performance requirements?
What does each cost installed and over the life cycle?
Will it be available when needed? Will skilled labor be available?
Can any components be eliminated?
What other components will be affected by adoption of an alternative? What
will the resulting changes in the other components cost? Will there be a net
saving in cost?
In investigating the possibility of elimination of a component, the analysts also
should see if any part of it can be eliminated, if two parts or more can be combined
into one, and if the number of different sizes and types of an element can be
reduced. If costs might be increased by use of a nonstandard or unavailable item,
the analysts should consider substitution of a more appropriate alternative. In addition,
consideration should be given to simplification of construction or installation
of components and to ease of maintenance and repair.
In the following phase of value analysis, the analysts should critically evaluate
the original design and alternatives. The ultimate goal should be recommendation
of the original design and alternative, whichever offers the greatest value and costsavings
potential. The analysts also should submit estimated costs for the original
design and the alternative.
In the final phase, the analysts should prepare and submit to the client or the
client’s representative who appointed them a written report on the study and resulting
recommendations. Also, they should submit a workbook containing detailed
backup information.
Value engineering should start during the conceptual phase of design. Then, it
has the greatest impact on cost control and no cost is involved in making design
changes. During later design phases, design changes involve some cost, especially
when substitution of major subsystems is involved, but the cost is nowhere near as
great as when changes are made during construction. Such changes should be
avoided if possible. Value engineering, however, should be applied to the project
specifications and construction contract. Correction of unnecessary and overconservative
specifications and contract provisions offers considerable potential for cost
(E. D. Heller, ‘‘Value Management: Value Engineering and Cost Reduction,’’
Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass.; L. D. Miles, ‘‘Techniques of Value Analysis and
Engineering,’’ McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., New York; A Mudge, ‘‘Value Engineering,’’
McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New York; M. C. Macedo, P. V. Dobrow,
and J. J. O’Rourke, ‘‘Value Management for Construction,’’ John Wiley &
Sons, Inc., New York.)
The basic traditional design procedure (Art. 1.3), which has been widely used for
many years, and commonly used variations of it have resulted in many excellent
buildings. It needs improvement, however, because clients cannot be certain that
its use gives the best value for the money or that the required performance could
not have been attained at lower cost. The uncertainty arises because historically:
1. Actual construction costs often exceed low bids or negotiated prices, because of
design changes during construction; unanticipated delays during construction,
which increase costs; and unforeseen conditions, such as unexpectedly poor subsurface
conditions that make excavation and foundation construction more expensive.
2. Construction, operation, or maintenance costs are higher than estimated, because
of design mistakes or omissions.
3. Separation of design and construction into different specialties leads to underestimated
or overestimated construction costs and antagonistic relations between
designers and builders.
4. Construction costs are kept within the client’s budget at the expense of later
higher operating, maintenance, and repair costs.
5. Coordination of the output of architects and consultants is not sufficiently close
for production of an optimum building for the client’s actual needs.
One objective of systems design is to correct these defects. This can be done
while retaining the desirable features of traditional procedures, such as development
of building design in stages, with progressively more accurate cost estimates and
frequent client review. Systems design therefore should at least do the following:
1. Question the cost effectiveness of proposed building components and stimulate
generation of lower-cost alternatives that achieve the required performance. This
can be done by incorporating value engineering in systems design.
2. More closely coordinate the work of various design specialists and engage building
construction and operation experts to assist in design.
3. Take into account both initial and life-cycle costs.
4. Employ techniques that will reduce the number of design mistakes and omissions
that are not discovered until after construction starts.
Systems Design Procedure. Article 1.2 defines systems and explains that systems
design comprises a rational, orderly series of steps that leads to the best decision
for a given set of conditions. Article 1.2 also lists the basic components of the
procedure as analysis, synthesis, appraisal, and feedback. Following is a more formal
Systems design is the application of the scientific method to selection and assembly
of components or subsystems to form the optimum system to attain specified
goals and objectives while subject to given constraints and restrictions.
The scientific method is defined in Art. 1.8. Goals, objectives, and constraints
are discussed later.
Systems design of buildings, in addition to correcting defects in traditional design,
must provide answers to the following questions:
1. What does the client actually want the building to accomplish (goals, objectives,
and associated criteria)?
2. What conditions exist, or will exist after construction, that are beyond the designers’
3. What requirements for the building or conditions affecting system performance
does design control (constraints and associated standards)?
4. What performance requirements and time and cost criteria can the client and
designers use to appraise system performance?
Collection of information necessary for design of the building starts at the inception
of design and may continue through the contract documents phase. Data
collection is an essential part of systems design but because it is continuous
throughout design it is not listed as one of the basic steps.
For illustrative purposes, the systems design procedure is shown resolved into
nine basic steps in Fig. 1.10. Because value analysis is applied in step 5, steps 4
through 8 covering synthesis, analysis, and appraisal may be repeated several times.
Each iteration should bring the design closer to the optimum.
In preparation for step 1, the designers should secure a building program and
information on existing conditions that will affect building design. In step 1, the
designers use the available information to define goals to be met by the system.
Goals. These state what the building is to accomplish, how it will affect the
environment and other systems, and how other systems and the environment will
affect the building. Goals should be generalized but brief statements, encompassing
all the design objectives. They should be sufficiently specific, however, to guide
generation of initial and alternative designs and control selection of the best alternative.
A simple example of a goal is: Design a branch post-office building with 100
employees to be constructed on a site owned by the client. The building should
harmonize with neighboring structures. Design must be completed within 90 days
and construction within 1 year. Construction cost is not to exceed $500,000.
When systems design is applied to a subsystem, goals serve the same purpose
as for a system. They indicate the required function of the subsystem and how it
affects and is affected by other systems.
Objectives. With the goals known, the designers can advance to step 2 and
define the system objectives. These are similar to goals but supply in detail the
requirements that the system must satisfy to attain the goals.
FIGURE 1.10 Basic steps in systems design in addition to collection of necessary information.
In listing objectives, the designers may start with broad generalizations that they
later develop at more detailed levels to guide design of the system. Some objectives,
such as minimization of initial costs, life-cycle costs and construction time, should
be listed. Other objectives that apply to the design of almost every building, such
as the health, safety, and welfare objectives of the building, zoning, and Occupational
Safety and Health Administration regulations, are too numerous to list and
may be adopted by reference. Objectives should be sufficiently specific to guide
the planning of building interior spaces and selection of specific characteristics for
the building and its components: appearance, strength, durability, stiffness, operational
efficiency, maintenance, and fire resistance. Also, objectives should specify
the degree of control needed for operation of systems provided to meet the other
At least one criterion must be associated with each objective. The criterion is a
range of values within which the performance of the system must lie for the objective
to be met. The criterion should be capable of serving as a guide in evaluations
of alternative systems. For example, for fire resistance of a wall, the criterion
might be 2-hr fire rating.
In addition to establishing criteria, the designers should weight the objectives in
accordance with the relative importance of the objectives to the client (Art. 1.8).
These weights should also serve as guides in comparisons of alternatives.
System Constraints. In step 2 of systems design, the designers should also
define constraints on the system. Constraints are restrictions on the values of design
variables that represent properties of the system and are controllable by the designers.
Designers are seldom completely free to choose any values desired for
controllable variables because of various restrictions, which may be legal ones such
as building or zoning code requirements, or may be economic, physical, chemical,
temporal, psychological, sociological, or esthetic requirements. Such restrictions
may fix the values of the controllable variables or establish a range in which they
must lie.
At least one standard must be associated with each constraint. A standard is a
value or range of values governing a property of the system. The standard specifying
a fixed value may be a minimum or maximum value.
For example, a designer may be seeking to determine the thickness of a loadbearing
brick wall. The local building code may state that such a wall may not be
less than 8 in thick. This requirement is a minimum standard. The designer may
then select a wall thickness of 8 in or more. The requirements of other systems,
however, may indicate that the wall thickness may not exceed 16 in. This is a
maximum standard. Furthermore, bricks may be available only in nominal widths
of 4 in. Hence, the constraints limit the values of the controllable variable, in this
case wall thickness, to 8, 12, or 16 in.
Synthesis. In step 3, the designers must conceive at least one system that satisfies
the objectives and constraints. For this, they rely on their past experience,
knowledge, imagination, and creative skills and on advice from consultants, including
value engineers, construction experts, and experienced operators of the type
of facilities to be designed.
In addition, the designers should select systems that are cost-effective and can
be erected speedily. To save design time in selection of a system, the designers
should investigate alternative systems in a logical sequence for potential for achieving
optimum results. The following is a possible sequence:
1. Selection of an available industrialized building, a system that is preassembled
in a factory. Such a system is likely to be low cost, because of the use of massBUILDING
production techniques and factory wages, which usually are lower than those
for field personnel. Also, the quality of materials and construction may be better
than for custom-built structures, because of assembly under controlled conditions
and close supervision.
2. Design of an industrialized building (if the client needs several of the same type
of structure).
3. Assembling a building with prefabricated components or systems. This type of
construction is similar to that used for industrialized buildings except that the
components preassembled are much smaller parts of the building system.
4. Specification of as many prefabricated and standard components as feasible.
Standard components are off-the shelf items, readily available from building
supply companies.
5. Repetition of the same component as many times as possible. This may permit
mass production of some nonstandard components. Also, repetition may speed
construction, because field personnel will work faster as they become familiar
with the components.
6. Design of components for erection so that building trades will be employed on
the site continuously. Work that compels one trade to wait for completion of
work by another trade delays construction and is costly.
Models. In step 4, the designers should represent the system by a model that
will enable them to analyze the system and evaluate its performance. The model
should be simple, consistent with the role for which it is selected, for practical
reasons. The cost of formulating and using the model should be negligible compared
with the cost of assembling and testing the actual system.
For every input to a system, there must be a known, corresponding input to the
model such that the responses (output) of the model to that input are determinable
and correspond to the response of the system to its input. The correlation may be
approximate but nevertheless close enough to serve the purposes for which the
model is to be used. For example, for cost estimates during the conceptual phase
of design, use may be made of a cost model that yields only reasonable guesses of
construction costs. The cost model used in the contract documents phase, however,
should be accurate.
Models may be classified as iconic, symbolic, or analog. The iconic type may
be the actual system or a part of it or merely bear a physical resemblance to the
actual system. This type is often used for physical tests of performance, such as
load or wind-tunnel tests or adjustments of controls. Symbolic models represent
by symbols the input and output of a system and are usually amenable to mathematical
analysis of a system. They enable relationships to be generally, yet compactly,
expressed, are less costly to develop and use than other types of models,
and are easy to manipulate. Analog models are real systems but with physical
properties different from those of the actual system. Examples include dial watches
for measuring time, thermometers for measuring heat changes, slide rules for multiplying
numbers, flow of electric current for measuring heat flow through a metal
plate, and soap membranes for measuring torsion in an elastic shaft.
Variables representing input and properties of a system may be considered independent
variables. These are of two types:
1. Variables that the designers can control or constraints: x1, x2, x3, . . .
2. Variables that are uncontrollable: y1, y2, y3, . . .
Variables representing system output or performance may be considered dependent
variables: z1, z2, z3. . . .
The dependent variables are functions of the independent variables. These functions
also contain parameters, which can be adjusted in value to calibrate the model
to the behavior of the actual system.
Step 4 of systems design then may be resolved into four steps, as indicated in
Fig. 1.10:
1. Select and calibrate a model to represent the system for optimization and appraisal.
2. Estimate values for the uncontrollable, independent variables.
3. Determine values for the controllable variables.
4. Determine the output or performance of the system from the relationship of
dependent and independent variables by use of the model.
Systems with large numbers of variables may sometimes be optimized by a
process called simulation, which involves trial and error with the actual system or
a model. In simulation, the properties of the system or model are adjusted with a
specific input or range of inputs to the system, and outputs or performance are
measured until an optimum result is obtained. When the variables are quantifiable
and models are used, the solution usually can be expedited by use of computers.
The actual system may be used when it is available and accessible and changes in
it will have little or no effect on construction costs. For example, after installation
of air ducts, an air-conditioning system may be operated for a variety of conditions
to determine the optimum damper position for control of airflow for each condition.
Suboptimization is a trial-and-error process in which designers try to optimize
a system by first optimizing its subsystems. It is suitable when components influence
each other in series. For example, consider a structural system consisting only
of roof, columns, and footings. The roof has a known load (input), exclusive of its
own weight. Design of the roof affects the columns and footings, because its output
equals the load on the columns. Design of the columns loads only the footings.
Design of the footings, however, has no effect on any of the other structural components.
Therefore, the structural components are in series and they may be designed
by suboptimization to obtain the minimum construction cost or least weight
of the system.
Suboptimization of the system may be achieved by first optimizing the footings,
for example, designing the lowest-cost footings. Next, the design of both the columns
and the footings should be optimized. (Optimization of the columns alone
will not yield an optimum structural system, because of the effect of the column
weight on the footings.) Finally, roof, columns, and footings together should be
optimized. (Optimization of the roof alone will not yield an optimum structural
system, because of the effect of its weight on columns and footings. A low-cost
roof may be very heavy, requiring costly columns and footings, whereas the cost
of a lightweight roof may be so high as to offset any savings from less-expensive
columns and footings. An alternative roof may provide optimum results.)
Appraisal. In step 5 of systems design, the designers should evaluate the results
obtained in step 4, modeling the system and applying the model. The designers
should verify that construction and life-cycle costs will be acceptable to the client
and that the proposed system satisfies all objectives and constraints.
During the preceding steps, value analysis may have been applied to parts of
the building. In step 6, however, value analysis should be applied to the whole
building system. This process may result in changes only to parts of the system,
producing a new system, or several alternatives to the original design may be proposed.
In steps 7 and 8, therefore, the new systems, or at least those with good
prospects, should be modeled and evaluated. During and after this process, completely
different alternatives may be conceived. As a result, steps 4 through 8 should
be repeated for the new concepts. Finally, in step 9, the best of the systems studied
should be selected.
(R. J. Aguilar, ‘‘Systems Analysis and Design in Engineering, Architecture Construction
and Planning,’’ Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: R. L. Ackoff
and M. W. Saseini, ‘‘Fundamentals of Operations Research,’’ John Wiley & Sons,
Inc., New York; K. I. Majid, ‘‘Optimum Design of Structures,’’ Halsted Press/Wiley,
New York; E. J. McCormick, ‘‘Human Factors in Engineering,’’ McGraw-Hill Publishing
Company, New York; F. S. Merritt and J. A. Ambrose, ‘‘Building Engineering
and Systems Design,’’ 2nd Ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York; R.
DeNeufville and J. H. Stafford, ‘‘Systems Analysis for Engineers and Managers,’’
McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New York; L. Spunt, ‘‘Optimum Structural Design,’’
Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.)
Many of the restrictions encountered in building design are imposed by legal regulations.
While all must be met, those in building codes are the most significant
because they affect almost every part of a building.
Building codes are established under the police powers of a state to protect the
health, welfare, and safety of communities. A code is administered by a building
official of the municipality or state that adopts it by legislation. Development of a
local code may be guided by a model code, such as those promulgated by the
International Conference of Building Officials, Inc., Building Officials and Code
Administrators International, Inc., and Southern Building Code Congress International,
In general, building-code requirements are the minimum needed for public protection.
Design of a building must satisfy these requirements. Often, however, architects
and engineers must design more conservatively, to meet the client’s needs,
produce a more efficient building system, or take into account conditions not covered
fully by code provisions.
Construction drawings for a building should be submitted to the building-code
administrator before construction starts. If the building will meet code requirements,
the administrator issues a building permit, on receipt of which the contractor may
commence building. During construction, the administrator sends inspectors periodically
to inspect the work. If they discover a violation, they may issue an order
to remove it or they may halt construction, depending on the seriousness of the
violation. On completion of construction, if the work conforms to code requirements,
the administrator issues to the owner a certificate of occupancy.
Forms of Codes. Codes often are classified as specifications type or performance
type. A specification-type code names specific materials for specific uses and specifies
minimum or maximum dimensions, for example, ‘‘a brick wall may not be
less than 6 in thick.’’ A performance-type code, in contrast, specifies required performance
of a construction but leaves materials, methods, and dimensions for the
designers to choose. Performance-type codes are generally preferred, because they
give designers greater design freedom in meeting clients’ needs, while satisfying
the intent of the code. Most codes, however, are neither strictly specifications nor
performance type but rather a mixture of the two. The reason for this is that insufficient
information is currently available for preparation of an entire enforceable
performance code.
The organization of building codes varies with locality. Generally, however, they
consist of two parts, one dealing with administration and enforcement and the other
specifying requirements for design and construction in detail.
Part 1 usually covers licenses, permits, fees, certificates of occupancy, safety,
projections beyond street lines, alterations, maintenance, applications, approval of
drawings, stop-work orders, and posting of buildings to indicate permissible live
loads and occupant loads.
Part 2 gives requirements for structural components, lighting, HVAC, plumbing,
gas piping and fixtures, elevators and escalators, electrical distribution, stairs, corridors,
walls, doors, and windows. This part also defines and sets limits on occupancy
and construction-type classifications. In addition, the second part contains
provisions for safety of public and property during construction operations and for
fire protection and means of egress after the building is occupied.
Many of the preceding requirements are adopted by reference in the code from
nationally recognized standards or codes of practice. These may be promulgated
by agencies of the federal government or by such organizations as the American
National Standards Institute, ASTM, American Institute of Steel Construction,
American Concrete Institute, and American Institute of Timber Construction.
Code Classifications of Buildings. Building codes usually classify a building in
accordance with the fire zone in which it is located, the type of occupancy, and the
type of construction, which is an indication of the fire protection offered.
The fire zone in which a building is located may be determined from the community’s
fire-district zoning map. The building code specifies the types of construction
and occupancy groups permitted or prohibited in each fire zone.
The occupancy group to which a building official assigns a building depends
on the use to which the building is put. Typical classifications include one- and
two-story dwellings; apartment buildings, hotels, dormitories; industrial buildings
with noncombustible, combustible, or hazardous contents; schools; hospitals and
nursing homes; and places of assembly, such as theaters, concert halls, auditoriums,
and stadiums.
Type of construction of a building is determined, in general, by the fire ratings
assigned to its components. A code usually establishes two major categories: combustible
and noncombustible construction. The combustible type may be subdivided
in accordance with the fire protection afforded major structural components and the
rate at which they will burn; for example, heavy timber construction is considered
slow-burning. The noncombustible type may be subdivided in accordance with the
fire-resistive characteristics of components.
Building codes may set allowable floor areas for fire-protection purposes. The
limitations depend on occupancy group and type of construction. The purpose is
to delay or prevent spread of fire over large portions of the building. For the same
reason, building codes also may restrict building height and number of stories. In
addition, to permit rapid and orderly egress in emergencies, such as fire, codes limit
the occupant load, or number of persons allowed in a building or room. In accordance
with permitted occupant loads, codes indicate the number of exits of adequate
capacity and fire protection that must be provided.
Like building codes, zoning codes are established under the police powers of the
state, to protect the health, welfare, and safety of the public. Zoning, however,
primarily regulates land use by controlling types of occupancy of buildings, building
height, and density and activity of population in specific parts of a jurisdiction.
Zoning codes are usually developed by a planning commission and administered
by the commission or a building department. Land-use controls adopted by the
local planning commission for current application are indicated on a zoning map.
It divides the jurisdiction into districts, shows the type of occupancy, such as commercial,
industrial, or residential, permitted in each district, and notes limitations
on building height and bulk and on population density in each district.
The planning commission usually also prepares a master plan as a guide to the
growth of the jurisdiction. A future land-use plan is an important part of the master
plan. The commission’s objective is to steer changes in the zoning map in the
direction of the future land-use plan. The commission, however, is not required to
adhere rigidly to the plans for the future. As conditions warrant, the commission
may grant variances from any of the regulations.
In addition, the planning commission may establish land subdivision regulations,
to control development of large parcels of land. While the local zoning map specifies
minimum lot area for a building and minimum frontage a lot may have along
a street, subdivision regulations, in contrast, specify the level of improvements to
be installed in new land-development projects. These regulations contain criteria
for location, grade, width, and type of pavement of streets, length of blocks, open
spaces to be provided, and right of way for utilities.
A jurisdiction may also be divided into fire zones in accordance with population
density and probable degree of danger from fire. The fire-zone map indicates the
limitations on types of construction that the zoning map would otherwise permit.
In the vicinity of airports, zoning may be applied to maintain obstruction-free
approach zones for aircraft and to provide noise-attenuating distances around the
FIGURE 1.11 Examples of limitations placed by zoning codes on building height: (a) height
limitations for buildings constructed along lot boundaries; (b) setbacks required by a 3:1 sky
exposure plane; (c) height of a sheet tower occupying only part of a lot is limited by the total
floor area permitted. (Reprinted with permission from F. S. Merritt and J. Ambrose, ‘‘Building
Engineering and Systems Design,’’ 2d ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.)
airports. Airport zoning limits building heights in accordance with distance from
the airport.
Control of Building Height. Zoning places limitations on building dimensions to
limit population density and to protect the rights of occupants of existing buildings
to light, air, and esthetic surroundings. Various zoning ordinances achieve these
objectives in a variety of ways, including establishment of a specific maximum
height or number of stories, limitation of height in accordance with street width,
setting minimums for distances of buildings from lot lines, or relating total floor
area in a building to the lot area or to the area of the lot occupied by a building.
Applications of some of these limitations are illustrated in Fig. 1.11.
Figure 1.11a shows a case where zoning prohibits buildings from exceeding 12
stories or 150 ft in height. Figure 1.11b illustrates a case where zoning relates
building height to street width. In this case, for the specific street width, zoning
permits a building to be erected along the lot boundary to a height of six stories
or 85 ft. Greater heights are permitted, however, so long as the building does not
penetrate sky-exposure planes. For the case shown in Fig. 1.11b, these planes start
at the lot line at the 85-ft height and incline inward at a slope of 3:1. Some zoning
codes will permit the upper part of the building to penetrate the planes if the floor
area of the tower at any level does not exceed 40% of the lot area and the ratio of
floor area to lot area (floor-area ratio) of the whole building does not exceed 15.
To maximize the floor area in the building and maintain verticality of exterior walls,
designers usually set back the upper parts of a building in a series of steps (Fig.
Some zoning ordinances, however, permit an alternative that many designers
prefer. If the building is set back from the lot lines at the base to provide a streetlevel
plaza, which is a convenience to the public and reduces building bulk, zoning
permits the building to be erected as a sheer tower (Fig. 1.11c). The code may set
a maximum floor-area ratio of 15 or 18, depending on whether the floor area at
any level of the tower does not exceed 50 or 40%, respectively, of the lot area.
In addition to building and zoning codes, building design and construction must
comply with many other regulations. These include those of the local or state health,
labor, and fire departments; local utility companies; and local departments of highways,
streets, sewers, and water. These agencies may require that drawings for the
building be submitted for review and that a permit be granted before construction
Also, building construction and conditions in buildings after completion must
comply with regulations of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) based on the Occupational Safety and Health Act originally passed by
Congress in 1970. There is, however, no provision in this law for reviewing building
plans before construction starts. OSHA usually inspects buildings only after an
accident occurs or a complaint has been received. Therefore, building owners, designers,
and contractors should be familiar with OSHA requirements and enforce
compliance with them.
Other government agencies also issue regulations affecting buildings. For example,
materials used in military construction must conform with federal specifi-
cations. Another example: Buildings must provide access and facilities for disabled
persons, in accordance with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act
[‘‘Construction Industry: OSHA Safety and Health Standards (29CFR 1926/
1910),’’ Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington,
D.C. 20401; ‘‘ADA Compliance Guidebook,’’ Building Owners and Managers Association
International,’’ 1201 New York Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005.]
For efficient and successful execution of systems, design of buildings, a design
organization superior to that used for traditional design (Art. 1.3) is highly desirable.
For systems design, the various specialists required should form a building team,
to contribute their skills in concert.
One reason why the specialists should work closely together is that in systems
design account must be taken of the effects of each component on the performance
of the building and of the interaction of building components. Another reason is
that for cost effectiveness, unnecessary components should be eliminated and,
where possible, two or more components should be combined. When the components
are the responsibility of different specialists, these tasks can be accomplished
with facility only when the specialists are in direct and immediate communication.
In addition to the design consultants required for traditional design, the building
team should be staffed with value engineers, cost estimators, construction experts,
and building operators and users experienced in operation of the type of building
to be constructed. Because of the diversity of skills present on such a team, it is
highly probable that all ramifications of a decision will be considered and chances
for mistakes and omissions will be reduced. See also Sec. 2.
(W. W. Caudill, ‘‘Architecture by Team,’’ and F. S. Merritt and J. Ambrose,
‘‘Building Engineering and Systems Design,’’ 2nd Ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold,
New York.)
The building team should make it standard practice to have the output of the various
disciplines checked at the end of each design step and especially before incorporation
in the contract documents. Checking of the work of each discipline should
be performed by a competent practitioner of that discipline other than the original
designer and reviewed by principals and other senior professionals. Checkers should
seek to ensure that calculations, drawings, and specifications are free of errors,
omissions, and conflicts between building components.
For projects that are complicated, unique, or likely to have serious effects if
failure should occur, the client or the building team may find it advisable to request
a peer review of critical elements of the project or of the whole project. In such
cases, the review should be conducted by professionals with expertise equal to or
greater than that of the original designers, that is, by peers; and they should be
independent of the building team, whether part of the same firm or an outside
organization. The review should be paid for by the organization that requests it.
The scope may include investigation of site conditions, applicable codes and governmental
regulations, environmental impact, design assumptions, calculations,
drawings, specifications, alternative designs, constructibility, and conformance with
the building program. The peers should not be considered competitors or replacements
of the original designers, and there should be a high level of respect and
communication between both groups. A report of the results of the review should
be submitted to the authorizing agency and the leader of the building team.
(‘‘The Peer Review Manual,’’ American Consulting Engineers Council, 1015
15th St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20005, and ‘‘Peer Review, a Program Guide for
Members of the Association of Soil and Foundation Engineers,’’ ASFE, Silver
Spring, MD.)
Systems design may be used profitably in all phases of building design. Systems
design, however, is most advantageous in the early design stages. One system may
be substituted for another, and components may be eliminated or combined in those
stages with little or no cost.
Systems design should be preferably applied in the contract documents stage
only to the details being worked out then. Major changes are likely to be costly.
Value analysis, though, should be applied to the specifications and construction
contract, because such studies may achieve significant cost savings.
Systems design should be applied in the construction stage only when design is
required because of changes necessary in plans and specifications at that time. Time
available at that stage, however, may not be sufficient for thorough studies. Nevertheless,
value analysis should be applied to the extent feasible.
(F. S. Merritt and J. Ambrose, ‘‘Building Engineering and Systems Design,’’ 2nd
Ed., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.)
Alan D. Hinklin
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Chicago, Illinois
Since the beginning of time, mankind has been involved in the business of building.
Technology and construction methods continually evolve: from the Egyptian post
and lintel system, the Greek pediment, the Roman arch and dome, the Byzantine
basilica, and the new Renaissance perspective to the School of the Bauhaus and
the International Style leading us into modern times and the new millennium. Over
time, societies change, construction methods change, clients change, and the architect’s
tools change; however, the excitement and energy inherent in the building
process does not change, because of one factor only—the process itself. To begin
this process, two elements are necessary: an idea and a client. Creative minds then
carry the process forward. With the idea comes the development of a building
concept. A sketch or drawing, created through personal interaction with the client,
develops the vocabulary for the physical construction of the concept. A builder and
labor force turn the concept into reality.
Many processes have been used to manage this interaction. Continual evolution
of the management process has turned it into an independent discipline which,
coupled with the computer, is a major focus of the building industry today. From
the beginning, individuals generating the concepts, preparing drawings, and building
the project were considered part of what we now call the ‘‘service industry.’’ This
section outlines the various complex components and professionals involved in the
building process with respect primarily to the architectural profession. Despite the
changes that have occurred, the basics of the building team and the building process
remain unchanged.
Management of the building process is best performed by the individuals educated
and trained in the profession, that is, architects and engineers. While the laws of
various states and foreign countries differ, they are consistent relative to the registration
requirements for practicing architecture. No individual may legally indicate
to the public that he or she is entitled to practice as an architect without a professional
certificate of registration as an architect registered in the locale in which the
project is to be constructed. This individual is the registered architect. In addition
to the requirements for individual practice of architecture, most states and countries
require a certificate of registration for a single practitioner and a certificate of authorization
for an entity such as a corporation or partnership to conduct business
in that locale.
An architect is a person who is qualified by education, training, experience, and
examination and who is registered under the laws of the locale to practice architecture
there. The practice of architecture within the meaning and intent of the law
Offering or furnishing of professional services such as environmental analysis,
feasibility studies, programming, planning, and aesthetic and structural design
Preparation of construction documents, consisting of drawings and specifications,
and other documents required in the construction process
Administration of construction contracts and project representation in connection
with the construction of building projects or addition to, alteration of, or
restoration of buildings or parts of building
All documents intended for use in construction are required to be prepared and
administered in accordance with the standards of reasonable skill and diligence of
the profession. Care must be taken to reflect the requirements of country and state
statutes and county and municipal building ordinances. Inasmuch as architects are
licensed for the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare, documents
prepared by architects must be of such quality and scope and be so administered
as to conform to professional standards.
Nothing contained in the law is intended to prevent drafters, students, project
representatives, and other employees of those lawfully practicing as registered
architects from acting under the instruction, control, or supervision of their employers,
or to prevent employment of project representatives from acting under the
immediate personal supervision of the registered architect who prepared the
construction documents.
Building types, time schedules, building attitudes, and legal and economic conditions
affect relations with the four major client types for whom an architect may
provide services. These are known as the traditional, developer, turnkey, and design/
build client base.
Traditional client is usually an individual or organization building a one-time
project with no in-house building expertise. The client, however, possesses the
innate excitement for the process of witnessing the transformation of plans into the
built environment and seeks an architect to assert control of the process. In most
cases, this includes the architect’s definition of the client’s space needs, program
and physical plant requirements. A more sophisticated traditional client might be a
large corporation, university or other institutional entity that may or may not have
an architect on staff, but still looks to a selected architect to guide the development
process. In this case, the client may have more input into the client’s program
definition based on the in-house capabilities. In both cases, the architect plays the
lead role in the management process and normally provides programming, design,
construction documents, bidding, and characteristic administration in the role of the
traditional architect.
Developer client offers building process management that reduces some of the
architect’s management role in managing the overall project and provides alternative
methods for approaching design and construction. Development processes such as
scope documentation, fast track, and bid packages are construction methodologies
resulting from the developer client’s need to accelerate the total process due to
fluctuating interest rates and the need to be first in providing space in the marketplace.
Through this client base the acceptance of a construction consultant as a
necessary part of the design team evolved. The construction consultant enables
accelerated schedules to be met, provides for the compression of time, and allows
a contractor to be selected by the client to build while the architect is still designing.
Turnkey client is interchangeable with the design/build client in concept. Both
are based on a complete project being turned over to the owner by a single entity
that is responsible for designing and constructing the project. The owner has little
input in the process until it is turned over. The turnkey developer or contractor
employs the services of an architect, or has an on-staff registered architect, who
designs the project in accordance with the owner’s program requirements. Bids are
usually taken on turnkey developer designs and cost proposals to meet these requirements.
Once a turnkey developer is selected, the owner may sell the property
to the developer or authorize its purchase from a third party under option. From
this point forward the owner has little or no participation in the project; the developer
is the turnkey client of an externally employed architect. The architect is then
working on the developer team and is not an independent voice for the real owner.
All decisions are then made by the turnkey developer relative to the architect’s
Design/build client also has the architect on the developer team and not performing
services for the owner. Designers/builders offer to design and construct a
facility for a fixed lump-sum price. They bid competitively to provide this service
or provide free design services prior to commitment to the project and as a basis
for negotiation. Their design work is not primarily aimed at cost-performance tradeoffs,
but at reduced cost for acceptable quality.
The design/build approach to facilities is best employed when the owner requires
a relatively straightforward building and does not want to participate in
detailed decision making regarding the various building systems and materials. This
does not mean that the owner has no control over these items. On the contrary, the
owner is often permitted a wide range of selection. But the range of choices is
affected by the fixed-cost restraints imposed by the designer/builder and accepted
by the owner. When the facilities required are within the range of relatively standard
industry-wide prototypes, this restriction may have little significance.
A common misconception regarding design/build is that poor-quality work inevitably
results. While there is a general benefit to the builder for reductions in
material and labor costs, the more reputable designer/builder may be relied on to
deliver a building within acceptable industry standards. Facilities where higher2.4
quality systems, more sensitive design needs, or atypical technical requirements
occur deserve the services of an independent design professional.
Usually when the term ‘‘program definition’’ is used relative to an architect, it is
understood to mean the client’s program for physical space requirements in a building.
With the decline in the office market in the late 1980s came the loss of, or
minimum use of, the traditional developer and construction management/ construction
consultant roles. As an outgrowth of the developer client era, certain developers
and construction consultants turned their emphasis to ‘‘program management.’’ In
this process, a firm is engaged by the client to manage the total development process,
acting as the client’s agent throughout the total process. The program management
approach expanded the meaning of the word ‘‘program’’ beyond that normally
associated with only the physical space program requirements. The term
‘‘program’’ in this new context defines the process of organizing and executing a
project from inception to completion. This process takes into account legal, financial,
funding, land acquisition, architecture, engineering, specialist consulting, design
administration, insurance, construction administration, and facilities operation
and/or management. The client, instead of managing portions of the process as in
the traditional client and developer client scenarios, looks to one firm for managing
the total process.
Architecture is a process involving multidisciplinary input by many professionals.
Comprehensive design services in the professional disciplines of planning, architecture,
landscape architecture, interior design, and civil, structural, mechanical,
electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering are offered within one organization
by some large architect-engineer (A/E) and engineer-architect (E/A) firms.
Smaller architectural firms retain these services by contract with consultants. Singlesource
design responsibility, coordinated via a common, integrated management
structure, is a requirement in either case for successful development of a project.
In the performance of professional A/E services on any project, a design team
charged with successful completion of the project in a dedicated professional manner
is essential. This team provides continuous service to the project from start to
finish, establishing and maintaining the quality and integrity of each design. A
project leader should be selected to coordinate and manage all the professional
disciplines and consultants involved in the project and to act as liaison with the
client. This leader should work closely with the client to provide policy direction
and set goals and objectives for the professional team. Day-to-day management and
direction of the project’s technical development should be provided by an individual,
usually identified as the architect’s project manager, who performs the key
administrative duties, establishes and maintains design services budgets and schedules,
and coordinates the entire A/E effort. A senior designer supervises daily
organization and progress of design development and directs the design efforts of
the project team. As a project’s specific needs or schedule require, additional
architects, planners, engineers, interior architects, and consultants are involved in
the project to augment the team or to provide specialized consultation.
2.4.1 Architects and Engineering Consultants
The major distinctions between architects and engineers run along generalist and
specialist lines. The generalists are ultimately responsible for the overall planning.
It is for this reason that an architect is generally employed as the prime professional
by a client. On some special projects, such as dams, power plants, wastewater
treatment, and research or industrial installations, where one of the engineering
specialties becomes the predominant feature, a client may select an engineering
professional or an E/A firm to assume responsibility for design and construction
and taken on the lead role. On certain projects, it is the unique and imaginative
contribution of the engineer that may make the most significant total impact on the
architectural design. The overall strength of a dynamic, exposed structure, the sophistication
of complex lighting systems, or the quiet efficiency of a well-designed
mechanical system may prove to be the major source of the client’s pride in a
facility. In any circumstance, the responsibilities of the professional engineer for
competence and contribution are just as important to the project as those of the
Engineers, for example, play a major role in intelligent building system design,
which involves mechanical-electrical systems. However, a building’s intelligence is
also measured by the way it responds to people, both on the inside and outside.
The systems of the building must meet the functional needs of the occupants as
well as respect the human response to temperature, humidity, airflow, noise, light,
and air quality. To achieve the multifaceted goals, an intelligent building requires
an intelligent design process with respect to design and system formulation as well
as efficient and coordinated execution of design and technical documentation within
the management structure.
An intelligent building begins with intelligent architecture—the shape, the building
enclosure, and the way the building appears and functions. Optimal building
solutions can be achieved through a design process that explores and compares
varying architectural and engineering options in concert. Sophisticated visualization
and analytical tools using three-dimensional computer modeling techniques permit
architects and engineers to rapidly evaluate numerous alternatives. Options can be
carefully studied both visually and from a performance standpoint, identifying energy
and life-cycle cost impact. This enables visualization and technical evaluation
of multiple schemes early in the design phase, setting the basis for an intelligent
In all cases, the architect’s or engineer’s legal responsibilities to the client remain
firm. The prime professional is fully responsible for the services delivered. The
consultants, in turn, are responsible to the architect or engineer with whom they
contract. Following this principle, the architect or engineer is responsible to clients
for performance of each consultant. Consequently, it is wise for architects and
engineers to evaluate their expertise in supervising others before retaining consultants
in other areas of responsibility.
2.4.2 Other Consultants
A building team may require the assistance of specialists. These specialty consultants
provide skills and expertise not normally found in an architectural or engi2.6
neering firm. The prime professional should define the consultants required and
assist the client in selecting those consultants. The architect or engineer should
define and manage their services even if the specialty consultant contracts directly
with the client for liability purposes, with the understanding that the client has the
ultimate say in decision making.
While several consultants may be required, depending on the complexity of the
project, the cost for each may be minimal since their services are provided over
short periods of time during the development process, and all consultants are usually
not servicing the project at the same time. The following consultant services, most
of which are not normally provided by architects and engineers, are provided by
various firms:
• Acoustical
• Audiovisual
• Communications
• Exterior wall maintenance
• Fire and life safety
• Food service
• Geotechnical engineering and subsurface exploration
• Graphics
• Space-usage operations
• Independent research and testing
• Landscaping
• Marketing and leasing
• Materials handling
• Parking
• Preconstruction survey
• Schedule
• Security
• Site surveyor
• Special foundation systems
• Special structures
• Specialty lighting
• Telecommunications
• Traffic
• Vertical transportation
• Water features
• Wind tunnel testing
Although verbal contracts can be considered legal, a formal written document is
the preferred way to contract for professional services to be provided by an archiTHE
tect. Purchase orders are not an acceptable means, since they are not applicable to
a service arrangement but rather only provide a financial accounting system for
purchasing a product, which is normally required internally by a client. A purchase
order should not be used as a client-A /E agreement.
Most professionals use the AIA Standard Form of Agreement for Architect and
Owner (client). Some larger firms, however, have their own form of agreement
which augments or further defines that of the AIA. The basic elements of the
agreement establish the definition and identification of project phases and define
the specific scope and compensation for the architect’s basic services. Flexibility is
built into this agreement to accommodate supplementary services that may be considered.
In addition, the agreement should define the understandings of the two
parties as well as of any third parties that may be involved in the process and
stipulate how the third parties are to be managed and compensated.
Furthermore, the client-A /E agreement should define items considered as direct
costs that may be reimbursed under the agreement. Other items also to be addressed
include project terminology, project terms and definitions, and the architect’s status
as it relates to the profession such that the standard of care is clearly understood.
The definition of additional services, changes, and compensation for such services,
as well as the method and timing of payment, reimbursable expenses, taxes, the
responsibility for client-furnished information, project budgets, ownership of documents,
confidentiality provisions, the use of project databases, insurance requirements,
termination provisions by either party, and dispute resolution may also be
addressed. A/E agreements may also define the documents to be delivered at the
conclusion of each development phase and, in certain cases, the time estimated for
completion of each phase of service.
Compensation for Professional Services. A major concern of an architect is to
arrive at an accurate assessment of the scope of services to be performed. The
nature of the project, the degree of professional involvement, and the skills required
should be considered in arriving at an equitable fee arrangement. Types of fees that
may be used are
• Percentage of the construction cost of the project
• Cost plus fee
• Multiple of direct personnel expense
• Multiple of technical personnel hourly rates
• Stipulated or lump sum
• Billing rates for personnel classification
For a project requiring what could be described as standard services, the
percentage-of-construction-cost fee is a safe standard. Years of experience with the
relationship between the scope of architectural services required for various sizes
of standard construction contracts provide a basis for such rule-of-thumb fee agreements.
For projects where atypical services are required, other arrangements are more
suitable. For example, for projects where the scope of service is indefinite, a costplus
fee is often best. It permits services to proceed on an as-authorized basis,
without undue gambling for either party to the agreement. Under such an arrangement,
the architect is reimbursed for costs and also receives an agreed-on fee for
each unit of effort the architect expended on the project. Special studies, consultations,
investigations, and unusual design services are often performed under such
an arrangement.
TABLE 2.1 Types of Architect and Engineer Insurance
Type of insurance Coverage
Commercial general liability According to occurrence and aggregate
Commercial automobile liability Bodily injury and property damage
Workers’ compensation Statutory limits
Employer’s liability Medical care and time lost as a result of injuries
incurred during the performance of the services
Professional liability Errors and omissions
Valuable papers Loss of drawings, models, computer-produced data,
Umbrella liability Provides coverage in excess of professional
liability coverage
For projects where the scope can be clearly defined, a lump-sum fee is often
appropriate. In such cases, however, architects should know their own costs and be
able to accurately project the scope of service required to accomplish fixed tasks.
Architects should take care, for the protection of their own, their staff’s, and the
client’s interests, that fees cover the costs adequately. Otherwise, the client’s interests
will suffer, and the architect’s own financial stability may be undermined.
Fee and payment agreements should be accompanied by a well-defined understanding
in the form of a written agreement for services between architect and
client. The method of payment should also be defined in the agreement. Certain
clients may desire a billing and payment schedule while monthly billing and payment
is preferred by the architect.
Architecture and engineering firms normally maintain professional liability insurance.
This requires payment of annual premiums based on the coverage provided.
Architects and engineers should maintain coverage in connection with their foreign
operations as well as with their domestic operations. Various types of insurance
usually carried by architects and engineers are listed in Table 2.1.
2.6.1 ‘‘Services’’ vs. ‘‘Work’’
The building industry generally recognizes that the professional architect, engineer,
or design consultant provides service, whereas the contractor, subcontractor, or
material supplier provides work. In providing work, the contractor delivers a product
and then warrants or guarantees the work. These distinctions are important to
understand with respect to insurance. In the architect’s case, professional liability
insurance provides coverage for the judgment the professional provides while using
reasonable care and therefore does not normally have liquidated damages provisions.
Professional liability insurance does not cover the work itself or items undertaken
by the contractor in pursuit of the work but does cover negligent errors
and omissions of the architect or engineer. This insurance is a means of managing
the risk associated with the architect’s judgment; it is not product-related. Most
claims against professionals in the building industry are made by clients. Fewer
claims are made by contractors and workers.
2.6.2 Risk Management
So that the architect’s or engineer’s business goals can be accomplished, professional
liability insurance is offered through various underwriters and managed by
professionals. Such professionals should not dictate or limit architectural practice,
but rather should support it; neither should they tell architects to turn away from
risk, but instead they should help manage it.
Insurance allows the architect or engineer to transfer the risk of financial uncertainty
to an insurance company for a known premium. The professional should
calculate how much risk to assume. The risk the individual retains is the deductible.
The risk the insurance company accrues is the limit of liability over and above the
deductible. By choosing a higher deductible, the professional retains more risk but
pays a lower premium.
Professional liability protection for the architectural and engineering profession
has been designed with the help of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and
the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)/ Professional Engineers in
Private Practice (PEPP). In addition to errors and omissions coverage, the protection
incorporates liability coverage for on-time performance, cost estimating, interior
design, asbestos, and pollution.
Liability programs vary widely from company to company. In general, the insurance
industry recommends that architects and engineers:
• Select a program with flexible limits of liability and deductible options
• Carefully review the insurance coverage
• Compare competitive costs
• Consider the insurance company’s experience
• Examine the insurance company’s criteria for accepting risk
• Compare loss prevention services
• Assure that the company shares its loss information
The AIA and NSPE/PEPP can also provide architects and engineers with valuable
information on what to look for in a professional liability insurance program.
2.6.3 Project Insurance
Project insurance permits the architect to be responsive to the client who has particular
insurance demands. Suppose, for example, that the client wants 3 times the
coverage the architect carries. Project insurance can respond to this requirement.
Project insurance costs are often reimbursable costs and considered a common
element of the construction cost, similar to the cost of the contractor’s insurance
coverage and performance bonds. Project insurance can sometimes reduce the architect’s
policy costs because project billings are not included in the architect’s
billings when the architect’s practice policy premium is calculated. Project insurance
may provide long-term coverage guarantees to the day of substantial or final
completion and up to 5 years thereafter with no annual renewals. Project insurance
permits clients to take control in the design of an insurance package to protect their
investment and provides clients with stability, security, and risk management.
The definition of the various phases of development for a particular project from
initial studies through postconstruction should be understood by the client and outlined
thoroughly in the client-A /E agreement. The most-often-used phases of development
include the following:
Feasibility Studies. To assist the client in determining the scope of the project
and the extent of services to be performed by various parties, the architect may
enter into an interim agreement for services relating to feasibility studies, environmental
impact studies or reports, master planning, site selection, site analysis, code
and zoning review, programming, and other predesign services.
Environmental Impact Studies. Determination of environmental studies and reports
required for a project and preparation of such reports, special drawings, or
other documents that may be required for governmental approvals are normally
performed under separate agreements. Attention should be given to zoning, soils,
and the potential of hazardous materials in any form. If any impermissible hazardous
materials are encountered, clients should be advised so that they can obtain the
services of a specialty consultant to determine what course of action to take.
Programming. If the architect is required to prepare the program of space requirements
for a project, the program should be developed in consultation with the
client to help the client recognize particular needs. Space requirements, interrelationships
of spaces and project components, organization subdivision of usage, special
provision and systems, flexibility, constraints, future expansion, phasing, site
requirements, budgetary and scheduling limitations, and other pertinent data should
all be addressed.
Conceptual Design. During this phase of development, the architect evaluates the
client’s program requirements and develops alternatives for design of the project
and overall site development. A master plan may also be developed during this
phase. The plan serves as the guide and philosophy for the remainder of the development
of the project or for phasing, should the project be constructed in various
phases or of different components.
Schematic Design. During this phase the project team, including all specialty
consultants, prepares schematic design documents based on the conceptual design
alternative selected by the client. Included are schematic drawings, a written description
of the project, and other documents that can establish the general extent
and scope of the project and the interrelationships of the various project components,
sufficient for a preliminary estimate of probable construction costs to be
prepared. Renderings and finished scale models may also be prepared at this time
for promotional and marketing purposes.
Design Development. After client approval of the schematic design, the architect
and the specialty consultants prepare design development documents to define further
the size and character of the project. Included are applicable architectural, civil,
structural, mechanical, and electrical systems, materials, specialty systems, interior
development, and other such project components that can be used as a basis for
working drawing development.
Construction Documents. After approval of the design development documents,
the architectural-engineering team, together with the applicable specialty consultants,
prepares construction documents, consisting of working drawings and technical
specifications for the project components. These include architectural, structural,
mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and civil work, together with general and
supplementary conditions of the construction contract for use in preparing a final
detailed estimate of construction costs and for bidding purposes.
Construction Phase Services. Diligent construction phase services are essential
to translate design into a finished project. The A/E team continues with the development
process by issuing clarifications of the bid documents and assisting in
contractor selection (Art. 2.20). Also, during the construction period, the team reviews
shop drawings, contractor payment requests, change-order requests, and visits
the construction site to observe the overall progress and quality of the work. Architect
and engineer personnel involved in the design of the project should be
available during construction to provide continuity in the design thought process
until project completion and occupancy.
Postconstruction Services. Follow-up with the client after construction completion
is essential to good client relations. Periodic visits to the project by the architect
through the contractor’s warranty period is considered good business.
The effective coordination of any project relies on management’s ability to organize
the project into a series of discreet efforts, with deadlines and milestones identified
in advance. The interdependence of these milestones should be clearly understood
by the client and the project team so that the project can be structured yet still be
flexible to respond to changes and unforeseen delays without suffering in overall
coordination and completion.
Experience is the basis on which architects and engineers establish major project
milestones that form the framework for project development. The critical path
method (CPM) of scheduling can be used to confirm intermediate milestones corresponding
to necessary review and approvals, program and budget reconciliation,
and interdisciplinary coordination. CPM consultants can also assist contractors in
establishing overall shop drawings and fabrication and installation schedules for
efficient phasing and coordination of construction. Schedules can be maintained in
a project management computer database. They should be updated on a regular
basis for the duration of the project, since critical path items change from time to
time depending on actual progress of construction. See also Art. 2.9.
The traditional process of design and construction and the roles and responsibilities
of the various parties need not be changed when fast track, an accelerated design
and construction process, is required. However, this process can affect scheduling
and personnel assignments.
In the traditional process, the entire facility moves phase by phase through the
entire development process, that is, programming, design, design development, construction
documents, bid and award of contracts, construction and acceptance of
completed project (Art. 2.7). With any form of accelerated design and construction,
the final phases remain substantially the same, but the various building systems or
subsystems move through the development process at different times and result in
the release of multiple construction contracts at various times throughout the process.
For any project, basic building siting is determined early in the design process.
Therefore, at an early stage in design, a construction contract can be awarded for
demolition and excavation work. Similarly, basic structural decisions can be made
before all details of the building are established. This permits early award of foundation,
below grade utility work, and structural work contracts. Under such circumstances,
construction can be initiated early in the design process, rather than at the
conclusion of a lengthy design and contract preparation period. Months and even
years can be taken out of the traditional project schedule, depending on the scale
and complexity of the project. Purchase of preengineered, commercially available
building systems can be integrated into the accelerated design and construction
process when standard system techniques are employed, reducing time even more.
The major requirements for a project in which design and construction occur
simultaneously are
• Accurate cost management to maintain project budgets.
• Full understanding of the construction process by the client, contractor, and design
professionals so that design decisions and contract documents for each building
system or subsystem can be completed in a professional manner that addresses
the requirements of the ongoing construction process.
• Organized and efficient management of the construction process with feedback
into the design process to maintain a clear definition of the required contract
packages and schedule.
• Overall project cost control and project construction responsibilities, including
interface management of independent prime contracts, should also be established.
Often the major purpose of accelerated design and construction is to reduce the
effect of rapidly increasing construction costs and inflation over the extended project
design and construction period. For projects extending over several years, for example,
contractors and subcontractors have to quote costs for providing material
and labor that may be installed several years later. In most cases, the costs associated
with such work are uncertain. Bid prices for such work, especially when it
is of large magnitude, therefore, must be conservative. Accelerated design and construction,
however, brings all the financial benefits of a shortened project duration
and early occupancy and reduces the impact of cost escalation. Also, bid prices can
be closer to the actual costs, thus reducing bidding risk to the contractor. The
combination of phased bidding, shortened contract duration, reduced escalation,
smaller bid packages, and a greater number of bidders can produce substantial
savings in overall construction costs.
A major objection to accelerated design and construction is that project construction
is initiated before bids are obtained for the total project and assurance is
secured that the total project budget can be maintained. In this regard, the reliability
of early cost estimating becomes even more critical. It is the experience of most
clients and architects involved with multiple contracts, however, that such contracts,
bid one at a time, can be readily compared with a total budget line item or trade
breakdown and thus provide safeguards against budget overruns. The ability to
design, bid, and negotiate each contract as a separate entity provides optimum cost
For accelerated design and construction programs to work effectively, services
of a professional construction manager are normally required. This cost, however,
can be offset by the overall saving in the total project cost due to the reduction in
construction time.
Normally, the client is responsible for entering into the various construction
contracts when multiple contracts are used. The construction manager acts as the
client’s agent in administration of the contracts. If the architect is to administer the
contracts, additional compensation will be required beyond that associated with one
general contractor who holds all subcontracts, as is the case in the traditional clientcontractor
Architects manage all aspects of project design simultaneously, their own internal
resources, relations with the specialty consultants, the processes that deliver service
to the client, and through that service, the programs of client needs through the
development process to the creation of a built environment. The requirement that
architects be capable businesspersons is, therefore, far-reaching. The need for good
business sense and a thorough knowledge of the architect’s own cost is reinforced
by the need to manage these costs throughout the duration of the project. Allocation,
commitment, and monitoring of the expenditure of resources are of critical importance
to the financial success of every project. Only when these are properly managed
can quality services, proper advice, appropriate design, and state-of-the-art
contract documents be delivered to clients.
As a businessperson, an architect is faced with acquiring personnel, advancing
those who are outstanding, and removing those who are unacceptable. The firm
should keep records of business expenses, file tax returns, provide employee benefits,
distribute and account for profits, and keep accurate cost records for project
planning and to satisfy government requirements. The architect must meet legal
requirements for practice as an individual, partnership, or corporation. In many of
these areas, the architect will be assisted by experts. It is impossible for an architect
to practice effectively or successfully without a thorough understanding and complete
concern for the business of architecture.
Once the resources required to deliver services are assured, the architect should
provide management skills to see that these services are kept timely, wellcoordinated,
accurate, and closely related to the client’s needs. This is especially
important for work on large projects, in large design offices, or when dealing with
the architect’s employees and consultants. The best talent must be secured, appropriately
organized, directed, and coordinated to see that the project receives wellintegrated
and well-directed professional service.
The objective is to produce an appropriately designed facility the client needs,
within budget, and on schedule. While the contractor has the front-line responsibility
for budgeted construction cost and schedule, the architect’s resources and the
services provided should be helpful in managing the construction process for the
benefit of the client. The architect’s management of materials and technology and
relationship with the client and contractors will account in good measure for the
success of the project.
Part of good office management is document control and record keeping. Much
information is received, disseminated, and collated in an architect’s office. Included
are project directories, contractual correspondence, client correspondence, consultant
correspondence, minutes of meetings, insurance certifications, in-progress drawings,
drawing release for owner review, and building permit and construction issues.
Also dealt with are facsimiles, e-mail, computer tapes, calculations, shop drawings,
specifications, material samples, renderings, photography, slides, field reports, specifications
addenda, contract modifications, invoices, financial statements, audit records,
and time records. In addition, there are contractor payment requests, change
orders, personnel records, client references and more. Certain clients may have
particular formats or record-keeping controls they impose on a project in addition
to the architect’s standard procedures.
A multitude of data is transferred among many parties during the progress of
the architect’s services. The data should be maintained in an organized manner for
future reference and archival purposes. The architect should establish an office
procedure for document control, record keeping, and document storage beyond the
life of the project to ensure easy retrieval. There are many computerized systems
that can aid the architect in catalog filing and information retrieval. Record keeping
can typically be subdivided into the following categories: contractual, financial,
personnel, marketing and publicity, legal, correspondence, project documentation,
drawings, shop drawings, warehousing, and archival records. These should not only
be supervised but also controlled, inasmuch as some files require limited access for
reasons of confidentiality and legalities.
Various statutory codes, regulations, statutes, laws, and guidelines affect design and
construction of projects. In most jurisdictions, the architect and engineer are required
by law to design to applicable building codes and regulations, which vary
from one jurisdiction to another and can vary between codes. Some jurisdictions
that do not have sophisticated codes usually follow recognized national or international
codes, which should be agreed on at the onset of a project so that the
client and architect understand the rules for design and construction. All codes are
intended for the health, welfare, and safety of the public and occupants of buildings.
Affirmative-Action Program. The objective of equal employment opportunity and
affirmative-action programs should be to ensure that individuals are recruited, hired,
and promoted for all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, national
origin, sex, age, handicap, or veteran status. Employment decisions should
be based solely on an individual’s qualifications for the position for which the
individual is considered.
Affirmative action means more than equal employment opportunity. It means
making a concentrated effort to inform the community of the architect’s desire to
foster equal employment opportunity. It also means making a special effort to attract
individuals to the profession and to engage them in a program of professional
development. Furthermore, architects should be committed to a meaningful minority
business enterprise (MBE) and women business enterprise (WBE) participation program.
Initial contact with local MBE/WBE firms should be pursued for each applicable
project to respond to this important requirement. Architects should be prepared
to review this requirement with clients to achieve participation targets
consistent with client goals and objectives.
Most jurisdictions require a building permit for construction or remodeling. The
building permit, for which a fee is paid by the contractor or client, is an indication
that drawings showing the work to be done have been prepared by a registered
professional and submitted to the governing authority have jurisdiction over design
and construction of the project. Furthermore, it is an indication that this authority
stipulates that the documents meet the intent of the applicable building codes and
regulations. Issuance of a permit, however, does not relieve the governing agency
of the right to inspect the project during and after construction and to require minor
modifications. In addition, while most locales do not provide for a written permit
by the fire department, this agency is involved in the review process relative to lifesafety
provisions. It also has the right to inspect the project when constructed and
to require modifications if they are considered appropriate to meet the intent of the
code or the department’s specific requirements. Major items reviewed by both the
permit-issuing agencies relate to occupancy classifications, building population, fire
separations, exiting requirements, travel paths for exiting, areas of refuse, and other
general life safety and public health issues.
Occupancy Permits. Many jurisdictions require that a permit be obtained by the
client or tenant of a multitenant building indicating that the building or tenant space
has been reviewed by the applicable agency and fire department. This permit indicates
that the building meets the requirements of the building codes and is appropriate
for occupancy for the intended use and classification for which the building
or space was designed and constructed.
In addition, elevator usage certificates are issued by certain building authorities.
These certificates indicate that the elevators have been inspected and found to be
acceptable for use based on the size, loading, and number of occupants posted on
the certificate.
Furthermore, certain spaces within a project may have a maximum-occupancy
limitation for which a notice is posted in those spaces by the applicable building
authority. Examples of this type of usage include restaurants, ballrooms, convention
centers, and indoor sports facilities where a large number of occupants might be
gathered for the intended use.
In response to the national need for energy conservation and in recognition of the
high consumption of energy in buildings, the U.S. Department of Energy gave a
grant to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning
Engineers (ASHRAE) for development of a national energy conservation standard
for new buildings. The resulting standard, ASHRAE 90-75, establishes thermal
design requirements for exterior walls and roofs. It is incorporated in some building
Seeking greater energy-use reduction, Congress passed the Energy Conservation
Standards for New Buildings Act of 1976, mandating development of energy performance
standards for new buildings (BEPS). Accordingly, the Department of Energy
develops such standards, for adoption by federal agencies and state and local
building codes. BEPS consists of three fundamental elements:
1. Energy budget levels for different classifications of buildings in different climates,
expressed as rate of energy consumption, Btu/ ft2-yr.
2. A method for applying these energy budget levels to a specific building design
to obtain a specific annual rate of energy consumption, or design energy budget,
for the proposed building.
3. A method for calculating the estimated annual rate of energy consumption, or
design energy consumption, of the proposed building.
The design energy consumption may not exceed the design energy budget of a
new building. Even without these regulations, energy conservation for buildings
makes good sense, for a reduction in energy usage also reduces building operating
costs. It is worthwhile, therefore, to spend more on a building initially to save
energy over its service life, at least to the point where the amortized annual value
of the increased investment equals the annual savings in energy costs. As a consequence,
life-cycle cost, considered the sum of initial, operating, and maintenance
costs, may be given preference over initial cost in establishment of a cost budget
for a proposed building.
Energy use and conservation are key elements in an architect’s approach to
design. Aided by computer simulation, engineers can develop system concepts and
evaluate system performance, deriving optimal operation schedules and procedures.
During the initial design phase, the computer can be used in feasibility studies
involving energy programs, preliminary load calculations for the selection of heating,
ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems and equipment, technical and
economic evaluation of conservation alternatives. Using solar heating and cooling
systems for new and existing facilities, modeling energy consumption levels, forecasting
probable operating costs, and developing energy recovery systems can be
investigated during the early design of a project.
Architects have long been leaders in building design that is sensitive to environmental
issues. Several areas of general concern for all buildings are described in
the following paragraphs; they support the basic philosophy that the environment
within buildings is as critical a concern as esthetics.
Indoor Air Quality. Many factors, such as temperature, air velocity, fresh-air ventilation
rates, relative humidity, and noise, affect indoor air quality. The fresh-air
ventilation rate has the greatest influence on indoor air quality in many buildings.
Fresh-air ventilation rates in a building is the flow of outside air brought into the
building for the well-being of the occupants and the dilution of odors and other
internally generated air pollutants. The outside air may vary in its ‘‘freshness’’
depending on the location of the building, its surrounding conditions, and the location
of the fresh-air intakes for the building. Therefore, careful studies should be
made by the architect to ensure the optimum internal air quality.
Ventilation is required to combat not only occupant-generated odors, as has been
traditionally the case, but also to provide ventilation for materials used and stored
in buildings. ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, American Society of Heating, Refrigeration,
and Air-Conditioning Engineers, recommends a rate of 20 cfm per person
as a minimum ventilation rate for office buildings. Air-handling systems for numerous
buildings provide not only this minimum recommended level but also often
increased fan capacity (available when outdoor temperatures and humidity levels
are favorable) through an air-side economizer control.
Environmental Pollution. In response to current concern for the effect of chlorofluorocarbons
(CFCs, fully halogenated refrigerants) on the earth’s ozone layer,
the refrigerant for mechanical systems should have the lowest ozone depletion potential
compatible with commercial building cooling systems.
Noise Control. The acoustical environment within a building is a result of the
noise entering the space from outdoors, or from adjacent interior areas, or most
importantly, from the mechanical, electrical, and elevator systems of the building.
This is in addition to the noise generated within the space by people and equipment.
Mechanical systems should be designed to limit equipment noise and to maintain
the transmission of noise via mechanical systems to occupied spaces within a range
necessary for efficient and enjoyable use of the building. Occupied space noise
should normally be limited to NC-35 or less if desired, through the use of stateof-
the-art-distribution equipment and appropriate use of materials within the finished
Safe Building Materials. The technical specifications provided by the architect
should be continually updated to eliminate any materials that are potential health
hazards to occupants or construction workers, such as materials that give off gas
within the occupied spaces. In addition, requirements in local, national, and international
building codes to reduce fire and smoke hazards should be met.
Occupational Health and Safety Issues. As discussed in the preceding, architects
should exercise professional care in design and specification of all architectural and
building systems to create a state-of-the-art building offering a safe, healthy environment
for all occupants, visitors, and users.
Recycled Materials. In today’s environment, architects should understand that
their designs must consider the impact on the ecological health of our society. With
this in mind, architects should work together with the client to develop policies and
innovative solutions that will reduce waste and promote the recycling of materials.
During development of a project the client normally looks to the architect for
construction cost estimates. It is advisable to provide a probable cost of construction
at completion of the schematic design, design development, and construction document
phases. A design contingency is usually carried in cost estimates. It can be
reduced as the documents are further developed. At completion of the construction
documents, the architect prepares, or has a consultant prepare, a final and most
accurate estimate of construction cost, which can be used for comparison with the
bids submitted to perform the work.
Value engineering may be performed by consultants and construction managers
during the development of the construction documents. (This is a misnomer for
cost-reduction engineering, since value engineering should occur before a design
has been finalized and construction documents have started. To be effective, value
engineering should be undertaken prior to design of any building system.
Value engineering should address operating and maintenance costs as well as
first costs, to provide true life-cycle cost estimates for comparative analysis. This
can be accomplished as early as the conceptual design phase of the project and
should use the expertise of cost consultants, if such service is not offered directly
by the architect or engineer.
Cost analysis should be performed concurrently with technical evaluation of the
systems proposed by the architects or engineers, to provide the client with proper
information to make an informed decision. The architect and engineer should address
cost without compromising the building program, building safety, or desired
design and performance of the facility and respond to the client in a professional
manner regarding cost estimating and value engineering.
Specifications for a building project are written descriptions, and the drawings are
a diagrammatic presentation of the construction work required for that project. The
drawings and specifications are complementary.
Specifications are addressed to the prime contractor. Presenting a written description
of the project in an orderly and logical manner, they are organized into
divisions and sections representing, in the opinion of the specification writer, the
trades that will be involved in construction. Proper organization of the specifications
facilitates cost estimating and aids in preparation of bids. The architect should
coordinate the specification terminology with that shown on the drawings.
2.17.1 Content of Specifications
It is not practical for an architect or engineer to include sufficient notes on the
drawings to describe in complete detail all of the products and methods required
of a construction project. Detailed descriptions should be incorporated in specifi-
cations. For example, workmanship required should be stated in the specifications.
Contractors study specifications to determine details or materials required, sequence
of work, quality of workmanship, and appearance of the end product. From
this information, contractors can estimate costs of the various skills and labor reTHE
quired. If workmanship is not determined properly, unrealistic costs will result and
quality will suffer. Good specifications expand or clarify drawing notes, define
quality of materials and workmanship, establish the scope of the work, and describe
the responsibilities of the contractor.
The terms of the contract documents should obligate each contractor to guarantee
to the client and the architect or engineer that all labor and materials furnished and
the work performed are in accordance with the requirements of the contract documents.
In addition, a guarantee should also provide that if any defects develop
from use of inferior materials, equipment, or workmanship during the guarantee
period (1 year or more from the date of final completion of the contract or final
occupancy of the building by the client, whichever is earlier), the contractor must,
as required by the contract, restore all unsatisfactory work to a satisfactory condition
or replace it with acceptable materials. Also, the contractor should repair or replace
any damage resulting from the inferior work and should restore any work or equipment
or contents disturbed in fulfilling the guarantee.
Difficult and time-consuming to prepare, technical specifications supply a written
description of the project, lacking only a portrayal of its physical shape and its
dimensions. The specifications describe in detail the material, whether concealed
or exposed, in the project and fixed equipment needed for the normal functioning
of the project. If they are properly prepared, well-organized, comprehensive, and
indexed, the applicable requirements for any type of work, kind of material, or
piece of equipment in a project can be easily located.
The technical specifications cover the major types of work—architectural, civil,
structural, mechanical, and electrical. Each of these types is further divided and
subdivided in the technical specifications and given a general title that describes
work performed by specific building trades or technicians, such as plasterers, tile
setters, plumbers, carpenters, masons, and sheet-metal workers, to name a few.
The prime contractor has the responsibility to perform all work, to furnish all
materials, and to complete the project within a schedule. The contractor, therefore,
has the right to select subcontractors or perform the work with the contractor’s own
forces. In recognition of this, each specification should contain a statement either
in the General Conditions or in the Special Conditions, that, regardless of the subdivision
of the technical specifications, the contractor shall be responsible for allocation
of the work to avoid delays due to conflict with local customs, rules, and
union jurisdictional regulations and decisions.
Standard forms for technical specifications can be obtained from the Construction
Specifications Institute (CSI). The CSI publishes a Master List of Section Titles
and Numbers, which is the generally accepted industry standard. In it, technical
specifications are organized into 16 divisions, each with titles that identify a major
class of work. Each division contains basic units of work, called sections, related
to the work described by the division title. Following is the division format developed
by CSI:
1. General Requirements
2. Site Work
3. Concrete
4. Masonry
5. Metals
6. Woods and Plastics
7. Thermal and Moisture Protection
8. Doors and Windows
9. Finishes
10. Specialties
11. Equipment
12. Furnishings
13. Special Construction
14. Conveying Systems
15. Mechanical
16. Electrical
Language should be clear and concise. Good specifications contain as few words
as necessary to describe the materials and the work. The architect or engineer
should use the term ‘‘shall’’ when specifying the contractor’s duties and responsibilities
under the contract and use the term ‘‘will’’ to specify the client’s or architect’s
Phrases such as ‘‘as directed by the architect,’’ ‘‘. . . to the satisfaction of the
architect,’’ or ‘‘. . . approved by the architect’’ should be avoided. The specification
should be comprehensive and adequate in scope to eliminate the necessity of using
these phrases. ‘‘Approved by the architect’’ may be used, however, if it is accompanied
by a specification that indicates what the architect would consider in a
professional evaluation. The term ‘‘by others’’ is not clear or definite and, when
used, can result in extra costs to the client. The word ‘‘any’’ should not be used
when ‘‘all’’ is meant.
2.17.2 Types of Specifications
Technical requirements may be specified in different ways, depending on what best
meets the client’s requirements. One or more of the following types of technical
specifications may be used for a building project.
Descriptive Specifications. These describe the components of a product and how
they are assembled. The specification writer specifies the physical and chemical
properties of the materials, size of each member, size and spacing of fastening
devices, exact relationship of moving parts, sequence of assembly, and many other
requirements. The contractor has the responsibility of constructing the work in
accordance with this description. The architect or engineer assumes total responsibility
for the function and performance of the end product. Usually, architects and
engineers do not have the resources, laboratory, or technical staff capable of conducting
research on the specified materials or products. Therefore, unless the specification
writer is very sure the assembled product will function properly, descriptive
specifications should not be used.
Reference Specifications. These employ standards of recognized authorities to
specify quality. Among these authorities are ASTM, American National Standards
Institute, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Underwriters Laboratories,
Inc., American Institute of Steel Construction, American Concrete Institute,
and American Institute of Timber Construction.
An example of a reference specification is: Cement shall be portland cement
conforming to ASTM C150, ‘‘Specification for Portland Cement,’’ using Type 1 or
Type 11 for general concrete construction.
Reputable companies state in their literature that their products conform to specific
recognized standards and furnish independent laboratory reports supporting
their claims. The buyer is assured that the products conform to minimum requirements
and that the buyer will be able to use them consistently and expect the same
end result. Reference specifications generally are used in conjunction with one or
more of the other types of specifications.
Proprietary Specifications. These specify materials, equipment, and other products
by trade name, model number, and manufacturer. This type of specification
simplifies the specification writer’s task, because commercially available products
set the standard of quality acceptable to the architect or engineer.
Sometimes proprietary specifications can cause complications because manufacturers
reserve the right to change their products without notice, and the product
incorporated in the project may not be what the specifier believed would be installed.
Another disadvantage of proprietary specifications is that they may permit
use of alternative products that are not equal in every respect. Therefore, the specifier
should be familiar with the products and their past performance under similar
use and should know whether they have had a history of satisfactory service. The
specifier should also take into consideration the reputation of the manufacturers or
subcontractors for giving service and their attitude toward repair or replacement of
defective or inferior work.
Under a proprietary specification, the architect or engineer is responsible to the
client for the performance of the material or product specified and for checking the
installation to see that it conforms with the specification. The manufacturer of the
product specified by the model number has the responsibility of providing the performance
promised in its literature.
In general, the specification writer has the responsibility of maintaining competition
between manufacturers and subcontractors to help keep costs in line. Naming
only one supplier may result in a high price. Two or more names are normally
supplied for each product to enhance competition.
Use of ‘‘or equal’’ should be avoided. It is not fully satisfactory in controlling
quality of materials and equipment, though it saves time in preparing the specifi-
cation. Only one or two products need to be investigated and research time needed
to review other products is postponed.
Base-Bid Specifications. These establish acceptable materials and equipment by
naming one or more (often three) manufacturers and fabricators. The bidder is
required to prepare a proposal with prices submitted from these suppliers. Usually,
base-bid specifications permit the bidder to submit substitutions or alternatives for
the specified products. When this is done, the bidder should state in the proposal
the price to be added to, or deducted from, the base bid and include the name,
type, manufacturer, and descriptive data for the substitutions. Final selection rests
with the client. Base-bid specifications often provide the greatest control of quality
of materials and equipment, but there are many pros and cons for the various types
of specifications, and there are many variations of them.
2.17.3 Automated Specifications
For building projects, specification writers normally maintain a library of master
documents that are used as a basis for creating project specifications with a computer.
Typically, they employ the industry-standard Construction Specifications In2.22
stitute format (Art. 2.17.1). Computers are used to facilitate and speed production
of specifications and other technical documents.
Although computer systems can be complex, requiring an experienced person
for setup and maintenance, they are cost-effective, saving time and effort. For example,
one program used for preparing specifications has a point-and-click graphics
user interface with directories and files represented by icons and manipulated by a
mouse. Multiple files are viewed and edited on the screen simultaneously, and each
file is seen as a full-page display exactly as it will be printed. The graphics and
document layout capabilities of the program are suitable for producing technical
manuals and for publishing periodicals. Documents displayed on the computer permit
the architect to eliminate the editing of drafts on paper or markups. Instead,
editing is performed directly on the computer screen, thus reducing the amount of
paper filing and printing that would otherwise be required.
The contract documents prepared by the architect, engineer, or client’s legal counsel
include the contract between the client and contractor; the bidding requirements,
which contain the invitation to bid, instruction to bidders, general information, bid
forms, and bid bond; the contract forms, which may include the agreement (contract)
format between the client and contractor, performance bond, and payment
bond and certificates; the contract conditions identified as the general and supplementary
conditions; the list of technical specifications; drawings; addenda; and contract
modifications. The bidding requirements, contract forms, and contract conditions
are sometimes referred to as the upfront documents.
Bidding Requirements. These explain the procedures bidders are to follow in
preparing and submitting their bid. They assist all bidders in following established
guidelines so that bids can be submitted for comparative purposes and not be disqualified
because of technicalities. The bidding requirements address all prospective
bidders, whereas the final contract documents address only the successful bidder,
who, after signing the client-contractor agreement, becomes the contractor.
Contract Forms. The agreement (contract) is the written document, signed by the
client and contractor, which is the legal instrument binding the two parties. This
contract defines the relationships and obligations that exist between the client and
contractor. It incorporates other contract documents by reference.
The contract may require a construction performance bond for financial protection
of the client in the event the contractor is unable to complete the work in
accordance with the contract. Not all clients require performance bonds, but the
architect should review its necessity with the client and prepare the bidding documents
in accordance with the client’s decision.
The contract usually requires a contractor payment bond from the contractor to
ensure that a surety will pay the labor force and material suppliers should the
contractor fail to pay them. The use of this bond precludes the need for the labor
force or suppliers to seek payment directly from the client, through liens or otherwise,
because of nonpayment by the contractor.
Certificates include those project forms that may be required for insurance, certificate
of compliance, guarantees or warranties, or compliance with applicable
laws and regulations. Contract forms vary, depending on the type and usage of the
Contract Conditions. These define the rights, responsibilities, and relationships
of the various parties involved in the construction process. Two types of contract
conditions exist, General Conditions and Supplementary Conditions.
The General Conditions have general clauses that establish how the project is
to be administered. They normally contain provisions that are common practice.
Definitions of project terms, temporary provisions, site security, management process
required, and warranties and guarantees are among those items addressed in
the General Conditions.
The Supplementary Conditions modify or supplement the general conditions to
provide for requirements unique to a specific project and not normally found in
standard General Conditions.
To maintain a consistently high level of quality in design and construction documentation,
a rigorous internal review of the documents prepared by the architect or
engineer, which draws on the full depth and experience of resources available,
should be undertaken during the contract document phase. Quality control can begin
in the earliest stages of design, when criteria are established and developed as
design guidelines for use throughout the project. At each stage of development, a
coordination checklist, based on previous experience, can be utilized for the project
through an independent internal or external technical checking program.
Computer file management may be used to enable the various technical disciplines
to share graphic data and check for interference conditions, thereby enhancing
technical coordination of the documents. Quality control should also continue
throughout the construction phase with architect and engineer review of shop drawings
and on-site observation of the work.
Quality Management Program. To have a truly meaningful quality management
program, all personnel must be committed to it. To help the professional staff
understand the quality program, quality systems should be developed, updated,
maintained, and administered to assist the architect and professional staff in providing
quality service to clients. An individual in each office may be assigned to
assist in the quality management program. This person should undertake to instill
in all personnel the importance of such a program in every aspect of the daily
conduct of business.
The quality management program should set quality goals; develop professional
interaction for meeting these goals among peers and peer groups; review building
systems, specifications, and drawings to ensure quality; and see that these objectives
are known to the public. Such a program will result in a client base that will
communicate the quality level of the architect to others in the community, profession,
and international marketplace. The architect’s image is of extreme importance
in acquiring and maintaining clients, and the best quality management program
focuses on client service and dedication to the profession.
Competitive bidding is one method of determining the least cost for performing
work defined by the construction documents. The bid states the price that the bidder
will contract for to perform the work based on the work shown and described in
the bidding documents. Bids are prepared in confidence by each bidder. They are
usually sealed when submitted to the client (or, in the case of subcontractors, to
the bidding contractors). At a specified time and date, all bids are opened, competitively
examined, and compared. Unless there are compelling reasons to do otherwise,
the client (contractor in the case of subcontractors) usually enters into an
agreement to have the work performed by the bidder submitting the lowest price.
Before bids may be received, prospective bidders need to be identified and made
aware of the project. Sufficient data should be furnished to potential bidders to
allow preparation of their bids. The client may or may not wish to prequalify
bidders. In those cases where prequalification is required, the architect can have
meaningful input in the process based on past experience with potential bidders.
The terms bid and proposal are synonymous. Although proposal may imply an
opportunity for more consideration and discussion with the client, architect, or
engineer, bid, bidder, and bid form are preferable, to prevent misunderstanding by
the bidders.
After client approval of the construction documents and selection of a construction
bidding method, the architect may assist in the selection of contractors to bid
the work; preparation of bid forms; issuance of bidding documents for competitive
bidding; answering inquiries from bidders; and preparing and issuing any necessary
addenda to the bidding documents. Furthermore, the architect may assist in analyzing
bid proposals and making recommendations to the client as to the award of
the construction contract. The architect can also assist in preparation of the construction
Bidders may elect to change their bid on the basis of certain conditions, such
as errors in the bid, changes in product cost, changes in labor rates, or nonavailability
of labor because of other work or strikes. Each bidder is responsible for
providing for any eventuality during the period the bid is open for acceptance.
Unless provided for otherwise, bidders may withdraw their bid before acceptance
by the client, unless the client consents to a later withdrawal. If all conditions of
the instructions to bidders have been met, then after the bids have been opened,
the bids should be evaluated. The low bid especially should be analyzed to ensure
that it reflects accurately the cost of the work required by the contract documents.
The bids may be compared with the architect’s construction cost estimate that was
prepared on completion of the contract documents. The client can accept a bid and
award the contract to the selected bidder, who then becomes the contractor for the
Normally, a client asks the architect for an estimate of the construction time for the
project. The client can then incorporate this estimate in the overall development
The contractor should prepare a detailed construction schedule for use in administering
the work of subcontractors and the contractor’s own forces. The contractor
should be requested to submit the schedule to the architect and the client
within 30 days of contract award. The schedule will also form the basis for the
contractor’s development of a shop drawing schedule.
A construction schedule can consist simply of a bar chart for each item of work
or a breakdown for the major trades on the project. Alternatively, the schedule can
be highly detailed; for example, a critical-path-method (CPM) schedule. This is
recommended for large projects for monitoring the critical-path item at any point
in time, since the critical path can change, depending on actual construction conditions.
The contractor should monitor and update the schedule monthly during the
construction phase so that the anticipated completion and move-in date can be
verified or adjusted. If the completion date cannot be adjusted and the schedule
appears to be of concern, more work time (overtime) may be required to maintain
the nonadjusted schedule. This could have an impact on cost, depending on how
the client-contract agreement was structured.
The construction schedule is an extremely meaningful tool in monitoring the
construction process. It can assist the architect’s ongoing role in quality control
during the construction phase, when the management of the building process is
transferred to, and becomes the responsibility of, the contractor. The schedule also
is a meaningful tool for use by all trades involved in the building process. The
schedule affects trades in different ways, depending on the size of the labor force,
availability of material and personnel hoisting equipment, access to the work, coordination
of subcontractors’ work with material suppliers, material testing agencies
involved, preparation of mock-ups, shop-drawing submittals, and general overall
construction coordination issues.
After the construction contract is awarded, the contractor should submit a proposed
schedule for submission of shop drawings to meet the construction schedule. This
permits the architect to anticipate submissions and plan manpower requirements
accordingly, based on the number and complexity of each submission.
As an ongoing part of quality control, the architect should review the shop
drawings, product literature, and samples and observe material and mock-up testing.
This is considered part of the shop drawing submittal process. The architect should
be an independent agent and side neither with the client nor the contractor in
acceptance or rejection of a submittal. Rather, based on professional judgment, the
architect should render a decision as to whether the submittal is in general accordance
with the construction documents and design intent. All submittals should be
properly identified and recorded when received by the architect, as part of document
control. The architect should review the submittal expeditiously and return it to the
contractor with the appropriate action.
The architect’s action shown on the submittal usually records that the contractor
can proceed, proceed as noted, or not proceed. A copy of the proceed and proceedas-
noted submittal should be maintained in the architect’s and contractor’s site office
for reference. The client should also be provided with the transmittal associated
with submittals. This helps keep the client informed regarding the progress of the
work relative to the schedule for submission of shop drawings.
After award of the construction contract, the architect or engineer generally continues
to assist the client in relations with the contractor.
2.23.1 Site Observation
As part of their ongoing services during construction, and depending on the scale
and complexity of the project, architects and engineers may make periodic site visits
or maintain full-time representation on site during a portion or all of the construction
period. The professional’s role is to expedite day-to-day communication and
decision making by having on-site personnel available to respond to required drawing
and specification clarifications.
Site-observation requirements for the project should be discussed with the client
at the onset of the project and be outlined in the architect-client agreement. Many
clients prefer periodic or regularly scheduled site visits by the design professional.
A provision for additional or full-time on-site representation, however, can be addressed
in the agreement, and compensation for this additional service can be outlined
in the agreement for discussion with the client later in the development process
or during the construction phase. The client and the architect and engineer
should agree on the appropriate amount of site visitation provided in the architect’s
basic services to allow adequate site-observation services based on specific project
If periodic site observations are made, the architect should report such observations
to the client in written form. This should call attention to items observed
that do not meet the intent of the construction documents. It is normally left to the
client to reject or replace work unless such defective work involves life safety,
health, or welfare of the building occupants or is a defect involving structural integrity.
If the architect provides full-time site observation services, daily or weekly
reports should be issued to the client outlining items observed that are not in accordance
with the construction documents or design intent.
2.23.2 Site Record Keeping
Depending on contractual requirements for service during the construction phase,
the architect may establish a field office. In this event, dual record keeping is
suggested between the site and architect’s office so that records required for daily
administration of construction are readily accessible on site. Contractor correspondence,
field reports, testing and balancing reports, shop drawings, record documents,
contractor payment requests, change orders, bulletin issues, field meeting minutes,
and schedules are used continually during construction. Computer systems and electronic
mail make the communication process somewhat easy to control.
2.23.3 Inspection and Testing
Technical specifications require testing and inspection of various material and building
systems during construction to verify that the intent of the design and construcTHE
tion documents is being fulfilled under field conditions. Testing is required where
visual observations cannot verify actual conditions. Subsurface conditions, concrete
and steel testing, welding, air infiltration, and air and water balancing of mechanical
systems are such building elements that require inspection and testing services.
Normally, these services are performed by an independent testing agency employed
directly by the client so that third-party evaluation can be obtained.
Although the architect does not become involved in the conduct of work or
determine the means or methods of construction, the architect has the general responsibility
to the client to see that the work is installed in general accordance with
the contract documents.
Other areas of inspection and testing involve establishing and checking benchmarks
for horizontal and vertical alignment, examining soils and backfill material,
compaction testing, examining subsurface retention systems, inspecting connections
to public utilities, verifying subsoil drainage, verifying structural column centerlines
and base-plate locations (if applicable), checking alignment and bracing of concrete
formwork, verifying concrete strength and quality, and other similar items.
2.23.4 Payment Requests
The contractor normally submits a consolidated payment request monthly to the
architect and client for review and certification. The payment request should be
subdivided by trade and compared with the schedule of values for each trade that
would have been submitted with the subcontractor bid if required by the instructions
to bidders and bid form. The architect should review the payment request with
respect to the percentage of completion of the pertinent work item or trade.
Some clients or lending institutions require that a partial waiver of lien be submitted
for each work item or trade with each payment request. This partial waiver
of lien can either be for the prior monthly request, which will indicate that the prior
month’s payment has been received, or in certain cases for the current monthly
request. If the latter procedure is followed, the waiver may require revision, depending
on the architect’s review, if a work-item or trade-payment request is modified.
The architect is not expected to audit the payment request or check the mathematical
calculations for accuracy.
2.23.5 Change Orders
Contractor’s change-order requests require the input of the architect, engineer, and
client and are usually acted on as part of the payment request procedure. A change
order is the instrument for amending the original contract amount and schedule, as
submitted with the bid and agreed on in the client-contractor contract. Change
orders can result from departures from the contract documents ordered during construction,
by the architect, engineer, or client; errors or omissions; field conditions;
unforeseen subsoil; or other similar conditions.
A change order outlines the nature of the change and the effect, if any, on the
contract amount and construction schedule. Change orders can occur with both a
zero cost and zero schedule change. Nevertheless, they should be documented in
writing and approved by the contractor, architect, and client to acknowledge that
the changes were made, with no impact. Change orders are also used to permit a
material substitution when a material or system not included in the contract documents
is found acceptable by the client and architect. For material substitutions
proposed by the contractor, schedule revisions are not normally recognized as a
valid change.
The sum of the change-order amounts is added or deducted from the original
contract amount. Then, the revised contract amount is carried forward on the contractor’s
consolidated application for payment after the change orders have been
signed by all parties. The normal contractor payment request procedure is then
followed, on the basis of the new contract amount. If the schedule is changed
because of a change order, the subsequent issue of the construction schedule should
indicate the revised completion or move-in date, or both, that result from the approved
2.23.6 Project Closeout
Project closeout involves all parties, including subcontractors and material suppliers.
It should be addressed early in the construction phase so that the closeout can be
expedited and documented in an organized and meaningful manner. At this point
in the construction process, the attention of the contractor and architect is focused
on accomplishing the necessary paperwork and administrative functions required
for final acceptance of the work and issuance of the contractor’s final consolidated
application for payment and final waiver of lien.
The normal project closeout proceeds as follows:
1. The contractor formally notifies the architect and the client that the contracted
work is substantially complete.
2. From on-site observations and representations made by the contractor, the
architect documents substantial completion with the client and the contractor. In
some cases, this may trigger the start of certain guarantees or warranties, depending
on the provisions of the general and supplementary conditions of the contract.
3. For some projects that are phased, some but not all the building systems
may be recognized by the architect and the client as being substantially complete.
This should be well-documented, since start dates for warranty and guarantee
periods for various building systems or equipment may vary.
4. On-site visits are made by the architect and representatives of the client,
sometimes called a walk-through, and a final punchlist is developed by the architect
to document items requiring remedial work or replacement to meet the requirement
of the construction documents.
5. A complete keying schedule, with master, submaster, room, and specialty
keys, is documented by the contractor and delivered to the client.
6. The contractor submits all record drawings, as-builts, testing and balancing
reports, and other administrative paperwork required by the contract documents.
7. The contractor should submit all required guarantees, warranties, certificates,
and bonds required by the general and supplementary conditions of the contract or
technical specifications for each work item or trade outlined in the breakdown of
the contractor’s consolidated final payment request.
8. The contractor corrects all work noted on the punchlist. A final observation
of the corrected work may then be made by the architect and client.
9. If the client accepts the work, the architect sends a certificate of completion
to the contractor with a copy to the client. The certificate documents that final
completion of the work has occurred. All required operating manuals and maintenance
instructions are given to the architect for document control and forwarding
to the client.
10. The contractor submits final waivers of lien from each subcontractor or
material supplier. Also provided is an affidavit stating that all invoices have been
paid, with the exception of those amounts shown on the final waiver of lien. With
these documents, the contractor submits the final consolidated payment request,
including all change orders.
11. The architect sends a final certificate of payment to the client, with a copy
to the contractor.
12. The contractor provides any required certificate of occupancy, indicating that
the building authorities have jurisdiction over the project approve occupancy of the
space for the intended use.
13. The client makes final payment to the contractor and notifies the architect
of this.
This process is important inasmuch as it can trigger the transfer of risk from the
contractor’s insurance program during construction to the client’s insurance program
for the completed project.
It is normal for projects to go through what is known as a shakedown period after
final acceptance and occupancy by the client or building tenant. The warranty and
guarantee period (normally 1 year) is the contractor’s representation and recognition
that certain building elements and systems may need adjustment or slight modifi-
cation, depending on actual occupancy conditions or normal maintenance and usage
of such systems. The heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and systems unique to
a project require testing and balancing and potential minor modifications and adjustments
during this warranty and guarantee period, even though they were tested
and balanced by the contractor’s testing agency prior to project closeout. An independent
testing and balancing contractor who was employed prior to final project
closeout normally returns on an as-needed, on-call basis to adjust, test, and balance
systems during the first year. In addition, the building engineer will become familiar
with the systems during this first year of operation and may also adjust and balance
The technical specifications for a building project normally require that some time
be devoted prior to project closeout for instruction and training of the client’s building
operating personnel and building engineer, who will be responsible for operating
and maintaining the various building systems. Manufacturers’ operating procedures,
manuals, and inventory of spare parts and attic stock should be reviewed with the
client, building engineer, and the contractor installing the work. The building engineer
should thus gain a general understanding of the individual systems and their
interaction in the operation of the building. During the warranty and guarantee
period, the contractor or applicable subcontractor may be requested to assist the
building engineer further in operation and maintenance of a system, including testing,
balancing, and minor adjustment. After the shakedown period and when the
engineer thoroughly understands system operation, the client’s personnel assume
full responsibility and deal directly with the manufacturers of various building components
for maintenance. Or the client may subcontract maintenance, a normal
procedure for such systems as elevators and escalators where specialty expertise in
maintenance is required.
The normal procedure for submission of record drawings rests primarily with the
contractor. These are edited drawings and specifications submitted by the contractor
that describe actual installed conditions based on the contractor’s field coordination
of the work.
In some instances, the client may request that the architect revise the original
construction documents or prepare new drawings to reflect the as-built conditions.
This is normally an additional service in the architect-client agreement. It should
be made clear to the client that the architect, if brought into this process, is acting
only in a drafting role, inasmuch as the as-built documentation, including dimensions
and details, is furnished by, and is the responsibility of, the contractor.
As-built and record drawings are helpful to the client in remodeling, maintenance,
building-system modification, or making future additions to the project. The
client should retain the drawings with maintenance manuals and operations procedures.
It is advisable that the architect or engineer have follow-up interviews with the
client and occupants of the building or tenant spaces to help ascertain the success
of the project and learn where certain materials, details, equipment, or systems may
be improved for future use in other projects. Good client relations demand this type
of exchange. It is also helpful for the architect or engineer to disseminate the
interview results throughout the office and professional community, to improve
problem solving, design, and construction.
Even in the best of relationships, disputes can arise between the client and architect,
client and contractor, or architect and contractor, even though the architect and
contractor do not normally have a written agreement with each other. Disputes
should be quickly addressed and resolved for the well-being of the project and to
minimize disruption of the design and building process. If the dispute cannot be
resolved by the parties, various methods of resolution are offered that include
settlement, mediation, arbitration, and litigation. To maintain insurance coverage
and protect appropriate interests, proper notification to insurers or involvement of
legal counsel is required.
Settlement of Disputes. Disputes between two parties should be addressed quickly
and, if at all possible, a settlement should be rendered and recorded. Settlement
can be in the form of monetary adjustments or payments, free services on behalf
of the architect to remedy or correct an error, or such other agreement between the
two parties. It is recommended that this method of dispute resolution be used whenever
possible to avoid time, cost, and anguish, which can occur as a result of
mediation, arbitration, and litigation.
Mediation. In mediation, the parties in dispute agree on a third independent party
to act as a mediator and hear each side’s position in the dispute in an attempt to
mediate a resolution. Mediation is not binding on either party but helps resolve
certain disputes due to a third party’s focus on, and question of, the issues.
Arbitration. This is a method of handling disputes in which an arbitrator or arbitration
panel, often consisting of three members, is selected to hear the positions
of the parties in the dispute and decide on a potential resolution. The resolution is
binding on the parties. Cost and time for arbitration is usually, but not always, less
than that required for litigation. The arbitrators usually consist of professionals
(architects and engineers), lawyers, contractors, or other parties involved in the
building industry.
Litigation. In the event settlement or mediation cannot resolve a dispute and the
parties do not wish to arbitrate, the only remaining course of action is to litigate
the dispute. This requires that much time and money be expended for depositions,
document and other discovery, and preparation for trial. The final results are rendered
by a group of individuals (the jury) or judge not involved in the building
industry. Therefore, a possession of a thorough knowledge and understanding of
issues affecting the architectural and engineering profession and construction industry
become the responsibility of each party’s legal counsel to establish a true
and accurate picture of each party’s position and the facts in the case. See also
Art. 17.14.
The American Institute of Architects has formulated the following basic principles
for guidance of architects:
Advice and counsel constitute the service of the profession. Given in verbal, written,
or graphic form, they are normally rendered in order that buildings with their equipment
and the areas about them, in addition to being well suited to their purposes, well planned
for health, safety, and efficient operation and economical maintenance, and soundly
constructed of materials and by methods most appropriate and economical for their
particular uses, shall have a beauty and distinction that lift them above the common2.32
place. It is the purpose of the profession of architecture to render such services from
the beginning to the completion of a project.
The fulfillment of that purpose is advanced every time architects render the
highest quality of service they are capable of giving. In particular, the architect’s
drawings, specifications, and other documents should be complete, definite, and
clear concerning the architect’s intentions, the scope of the contractor’s work, the
materials to be employed, and the conditions under which the construction is to be
completed and the work paid for. The relation of architects to their clients depends
on good faith. Architects should explain the exact nature and extent of their services
and the conditional character of construction cost estimates made before final drawings
and specifications are complete.
The contractor depends on the architect to guard the contractor’s interests as
well as those of the client. The architect should reject workmanship and materials
that are determined not to be in conformity with the contract documents, but it is
also the architect’s duty to give reasonable aid toward a complete understanding of
those documents so that errors may be avoided. An exchange of information between
architects and those who supply and handle building materials should be
Architects, in their investments and business relations outside the profession,
should avoid financial or personal activities that tend to weaken or discredit their
standing as an unprejudiced and honest adviser, free to act in the client’s best
interests. Permitting use of free architectural or engineering services to be offered
by manufacturers; suppliers of building materials, appliances, and equipment; or
contractors may imply an obligation that can become detrimental to the best interest
of the client.
Architects may offer their services to anyone for commission, salary, or fee as
architect, consultant, adviser, or assistant, provided the architect rigidly maintains
professional integrity, disinterestedness, and freedom to act.
Architects should work together through their professional organizations to promote
the welfare of the physical environment. They should share in the interchange
of technical information and experience.
Architects should seek opportunities to be of service in civic affairs. To the best
of their ability, they should endeavor to advance the safety, health, and well-being
of the community in which they reside by promoting appreciation of good design,
good construction, proper placement of facilities, and harmonious development of
the areas surrounding the facility.
Architects should take action to advance the interests of their personnel, providing
suitable working conditions for them, requiring them to render competent and
efficient services, and paying them adequate and just compensation. Architects
should also encourage and sponsor those who are entering the profession, assisting
them to a full understanding of the functions, duties, and responsibilities of the
architectural profession.
Every architect should contribute toward justice, courtesy, and sincerity in the
profession. In the conduct of their practice, architects should maintain a totally
professional attitude toward those served, toward those who assist in the practice,
toward fellow architects, and toward the members of other professions. Daily performance
should command respect to the extent that the profession will benefit
from the example architects set to other professionals and to the public in general.
David W. Mock*
Gee & Jenson
West Palm Beach, Florida
A hazard poses the threat that an unwanted event, possibly a catastrophe, may occur.
Risk is the probability that the event will occur. Inasmuch as all buildings are
subject to hazards such as hurricanes, earthquakes, flood, fire, and lightning strikes,
both during and after construction, building designers and contractors have the
responsibility of estimating the risks of these hazards and the magnitudes of the
consequences should the events be realized.
After the risk of a hazard has been assessed, the building designers and contractors,
guided by building-code, design standards, zoning-code, and health-agency speci-
fications and exercising their best judgment, should decide on an acceptable level
for the risk. With this done, they should then select a cost-effective way of avoiding
the hazard, if possible, or protecting against it so as to reduce the risk of the hazard’s
occurring to within the acceptable level.
Studies of building failures provide information that building designers should
use to prevent similar catastrophes. Many of the lessons learned from failures have
led to establishment of safety rules in building codes. These rules, however, generally
are minimum requirements and apply to ordinary structures. Building designers,
therefore, should use judgment in applying code requirements and should
adopt more stringent design criteria where conditions dictate.
Such conditions are especially likely to exist for buildings in extreme climates
or in areas exposed to natural hazards, such as high winds, earthquakes, floods,
landslides, and lightning. Stricter criteria should also be used for buildings that are
*Revised and updated from Sec. 3, ‘‘Protection Against Hazards’’ by the late Frederick S. Merritt,
Consulting Engineer.
tall and narrow, are low but very large, have irregular or unusual shapes, house
hazardous material or critical functions, or are of novel construction. Furthermore,
building codes may not contain provisions for some hazards against which building
designers nevertheless should provide protection. Examples of such hazards are
vandalism, trespass, and burglary. In addition, designers should anticipate conditions
that may exist in buildings in emergencies and provide refuge for occupants or safe
evacuation routes.
Building designers also should use judgment in determining. the degree of protection
to be provided against specific hazards. Costs of protection should be commensurate
with probable losses from an incident. In many cases, for example, it is
uneconomical to construct a building that will be immune to extreme earthquakes,
high winds of tornadoes, arson, bombs, burst dams, or professional burglars. Full
protection, however, should always be provided against hazards with a high probability
of occurrence accompanied by personal injuries or high property losses. Such
hazards include hurricanes and gales, fire, and vandals.
Structures containing extremely valuable contents or critical equipment justifying
design for even the most extreme events may require special hardened rooms
or areas.
3.1.1 Design Life of Buildings
For natural phenomena, design criteria may be based on the probability of occurrence
of extreme conditions, as determined from statistical studies of events in
specific localities. These probabilities are often expressed as mean recurrence intervals.
A mean recurrence interval of an extreme condition is the average time, in
years, between occurrences of a condition equal to or worse than the specified
extreme condition. For example, the mean recurrence interval of a wind of 60 mi/
hr or more may be recorded for Los Angeles as 50 years. Thus, after a building
has been erected in Los Angeles, chances are that in the next 50 years it will be
subjected only once to a wind of 60 mi/hr or more. Consequently, if the building
was assumed to have a 50-year life, designers might logically design it basically
for a 60-mi/hr wind, with a safety factor included in the design to protect against
low-probability faster winds. Mean recurrence intervals are the basis for minimum
design loads for high winds, snowfall, and earthquake in many building codes.
3.1.2 Safety Factors
Design of buildings for both normal and emergency conditions should always incorporate
a safety factor against failure. The magnitude of the safety factor should
be selected in accordance with the importance of a building, the extent of personal
injury or property loss that may result if a failure occurs, and the degree of uncertainty
as to the magnitude or nature of loads and the properties and behavior of
building components.
As usually incorporated in building codes, a safety factor for quantifiable system
variables is a number greater than unity. The factor may be applied in either of two
One way is to relate the maximum permissible load, or demand, on a system
under service conditions to design capacity. This system property is calculated by
dividing by the safety factor the ultimate capacity, or capacity at failure, for sustaining
that type of load. For example, suppose a structural member assigned a
safety factor of 2 can carry 1000 lb before failure occurs. The service load then is
1000/2  500 lb.
The second way in which codes apply safety factors is to relate the ultimate
capacity of a system, to a design load. This load is calculated by multiplying the
maximum load under service conditions by a safety factor, often referred to as a
load factor. For example, suppose a structural member assigned a load factor of 2
is required to carry a service load of 500 lb. Then, the member should be designed
to have a capacity for sustaining a design load of 500  2  1000 lb, without
While both methods achieve the objective of providing reserve capacity against
unexpected conditions, use of load factors offers the advantage of greater flexibility
in design of a system for a combination of different loadings, because a different
load factor can be assigned to each type of loading in accordance with probability
of occurrence and effects of other uncertainties.
Safety factors for various building systems are discussed in following sections
of the book. This section presents general design principles for protection of buildings
and occupants against high winds, earthquakes, water, fire, lightning, and intruders.
For practical design, wind and earthquakes may be treated as horizontal, or lateral,
loads. Although wind and seismic loads may have vertical components, these generally
are small and readily resisted by columns and bearing walls. Vertical earthquake
components can be important in the design of connections as in precast
concrete structures. Wind often generates significant uplift forces that require special
attention to vertical restraint and lateral support for members in reverse bending.
The variation with height of the magnitude of a wind load for a multistory
building differs from that of a seismic load. Nevertheless, provisions for resisting
either type of load are similar.
In areas where the probability of either a strong earthquake or a high wind is
small, it is nevertheless advisable to provide in buildings considerable resistance to
both types of load. In many cases, such resistance can be incorporated with little
or no increase in costs over designs that ignore either high wind or seismic resistance.
3.2.1 Wind Characteristics
Because wind loads are considered horizontal forces, wind pressure, for design
purposes, should be assumed to be applied to the gross area of the vertical projection
of that portion of the building above the average level of the adjoining ground.
Although the loads are assumed to be horizontal, they may nevertheless apply either
inward pressures or suctions to inclined and horizontal surfaces. In any case, wind
loads should be considered to act normal to the exposed building surfaces. Furthermore,
wind should be considered to be likely to come from any direction unless
it is known for a specific locality that extreme winds may come only from one
direction. As a consequence of this assumption, each wall of a rectangular building
should be considered in design to be subject to the maximum wind load.
Winds generally strike a building in gusts. Consequently, the building is subjected
to dynamic loading. Nevertheless, except for unusually tall or narrow buildings,
it is common practice to treat wind as a static loading, even though wind
pressures are not constant. High velocity winds can cause considerable vibrations,
particularly in lighter more flexible structures. Therefore, connections that tend to
loosen under heavy vibration should be avoided.
Estimation of design wind pressures is complicated by several factors. One factor
is the effect of natural and man-made obstructions along the ground. Another factor
is the variation of wind velocity with height above ground. Still another factor
complicating wind-pressure calculation is the effect of building or building component
shape or geometry (relationship of height or width to length) on pressures.
For important buildings, it is advisable to base design wind pressures on the results
of wind tunnel tests of a model of a building, neighboring buildings, and nearby
3.2.2 Wind Pressures and Suctions
Pressures are considered positive when they tend to push a building component
toward the building interior. They are treated as negative for suctions or uplifts,
which tend to pull components outward.
Figure 3.1a illustrates wind flow over the sloping roof of a low building. For
roofs with inclines up to about 30, the wind may create an uplift over the entire
roof (Fig. 3.1b). Also, as shown in Fig. 3.1b and c, the pressure on the external
face of the windward wall is positive and on the leeward wall, negative (suction).
If there are openings in the walls, the wind will impose internal pressures on the
walls, floors, and roof. The net pressure on any building component, therefore, is
the vector sum of the pressures acting on opposite faces of the component.
Because of the wind characteristics described in Art. 3.2.1 and the dependence
of wind pressures on building geometry, considerable uncertainty exists as to the
magnitude, direction, and duration of the maximum wind loads that may be imposed
on any portion of a specific building. Consequently, numerous assumptions, based
to some extent on statistical evidence, generally are made to determine design wind
loads for buildings. Minimum requirements for wind loads are presented in local
and model building codes.
Codes usually permit design wind loads to be determined either by mathematical
calculations in accordance with an analytical procedure specified in the code or by
wind-tunnel tests. Such tests are advisable for structures with unusual shapes, unusual
response to lateral loading, or location where channeling effects or buffeting
in the wake of upwind obstructions are likely to occur. Tests also are desirable
where wind records are not available or when more accurate information is needed.
Codes often require that the following conditions be met in execution of windtunnel
1. Air motion should be modeled to account for variation of wind speed with
elevation and the intensity of the longitudinal component of turbulence.
2. The geometric scale of the model should not be greater than 3 times that of the
longitudinal component of turbulence.
FIGURE 3.1 Effects of wind on a low building with pitched roof. (a) Airflow at the building. (b)
Wind applies inward pressure against the windward wall, suction on the leeward wall, and uplift
over all of a roof with slight slopes. (c) With a steep roof, inward pressure acts on the windward
side of the roof and uplift only on the leeward side. (d ) Pressure distribution along walls and roof
assumed for design of wind bracing of a building.
3. Instruments used should have response characteristics consistent with the required
accuracy of measurements to be recorded.
4. Account should be taken of the dependence of forces and pressures on the
Reynolds number of the air motion.
5. Tests for determining the dynamic response of a structure should be conducted
on a model scaled with respect to dimensions, mass distribution, stiffness, and
damping of the proposed structure.
In the analytical methods specified by building codes, maximum wind speeds
observed in a region are converted to velocity pressures. These are then multiplied
by various factors, to take into account building, site, and wind characteristics, to
obtain design static wind loads. Bear in mind, however, that, in general, code requirements
are applicable to pressures considerably smaller than those created by
tornadoes, which may have wind speeds up to 600 mi/hr. For more information on
wind loads, see Art. 5.1.2.
3.2.3 Failure Modes
Consideration of the ways in which winds may damage or destroy buildings suggests
provisions that should be made to prevent failures. Past experience with build3.6
FIGURE 3.2 Some ways in which wind may destroy a building: (a) overturning; (b) sliding
through the ground; (c) sliding off the foundations; (d ) excessive drift (sidesway).
ing damage by winds indicates buildings are likely to fail by overturning; sliding;
separation of components; excessive sway, or drift; or structural collapse. Lightweight
and open-sided structures may be subject to failure either partially, or
wholly, due to uplift.
Subjected to lateral forces W, and uplift U, a building may act as a rigid body
and overturn. It would tend to rotate about the edge of its base on the leeward side
(Fig. 3.2a). Overturning is resisted by the weight of the building M with a lever
arm e measured from the axis of rotation. Building codes usually require that
Me  1.5Wh (3.1)
where Wh is the overturning moment.
Resistance to overturning may be increased by securely anchoring buildings to
foundations. When this is done, the weight of earth atop the footings and pressing
against foundation walls may be included with the weight of the building.
In addition to the danger of overturning, there is the risk of a building being
pushed laterally by high winds. Sliding is resisted by friction at the base of the
footings and earth pressure against foundation walls (Fig. 3.2b). (Consideration
should be given to the possibility that soil that is highly resistant to building movement
when dry may become weak when wet.) Another danger is that a building
may be pushed by wind off the foundations (Fig. 3.2c). Consequently, to prevent
this, a building should be firmly anchored to its foundations.
Buildings also may be damaged by separation of other components from each
other. Therefore, it is essential that all connections between structural members and
between other components and their supports be capable of resisting design wind
loads. The possibility of separation of components by uplift or suction should not
be overlooked. Such pressures can slide a roof laterally or lift it from its supports,
tear roof coverings, rip off architectural projections, and suck out windows. Failure
of a roof diaphragm or bracing can result in failure of the entire structure.
Another hazard is drift (sway) or collapse without overturning or sliding. Excessive
drift when the wind rocks a building can cause occupant discomfort, induce
failure of structural components by fatigue, or lead to complete collapse of the
structure. The main resistance to drift usually is provided by structural components,
such as beams, columns, bracing, and walls that are also assigned the task of
supporting gravity loads. Some means must be provided to transmit wind or seismic
loads from these members to the foundations and thence to the ground. Otherwise,
the building may topple like a house of cards (Fig. 3.2d).
FIGURE 3.3 Some ways of restricting drift of a building: (a) shear wall; (b) pair of perpendicular
shear walls; (c) diagonal bracing; (d ) rigid frames.
Consideration should also be given to the potential for wind blown debris impacting
a structure and damaging critical lateral force resisting elements.
3.2.4 Limitation of Drift
There are no generally accepted criteria for maximum permissible lateral deflections
of buildings. Some building codes limit drift of any story of a building to a maximum
of 0.25% of the story height for wind and 0.50% of the story height for
earthquake loads. Drift of buildings of unreinforced masonry may be restricted to
half of the preceding values. The severer limitation of drift caused by wind loads
is applied principally because they are likely to occur more frequently than earthquakes
and will produce motions that will last much longer.
Three basic methods are commonly used, separately or in combination with each
other, to prevent collapse of buildings under lateral loads, limit drift and transmit
the loads to the foundations. These methods are illustrated in Fig. 3.3. One method
is to incorporate shear walls in a building. A shear wall is a vertical cantilever with
high resistance to horizontal loads parallel to its length (Fig. 3.3a). A pair of perpendicular
walls can resist wind from any direction, because any wind load can be
resolved into components in the planes of the walls (Fig. 3.3b). Diaphragms developed
from wall, floor, and roof sheating can function similar to solid shear walls
when properly attached and laterally supported.
A second method of providing resistance to lateral loads is to incorporate diagonal
structural members to carry lateral forces to the ground (Fig. 3.3c). (The
diagonals in Fig. 3.3c are called X bracing. Other types of bracing are illustrated
in Fig. 3.6.) Under lateral loads, the braced bays of a building act like cantilever
vertical trusses. The arrows in Fig. 3.3c show the paths taken by wind forces from
points of application to the ground. Note that the lateral loads impose downward
axial forces on the leeward columns, causing compression, and uplift on the windward
columns, causing tension.
A third method of providing resistance to lateral loads is to integrate the beams,
or girders, and columns into rigid frames (Fig. 3.3d). In a rigid frame, connections
between horizontal and vertical components prevent any change of angle between
the members under loads. (Drift can occur only if beams and columns bend.) Such
joints are often referred to as rigid, moment, or wind connections. They prevent
the frame from collapsing in the manner shown in Fig. 3.2d until the loads are so
FIGURE 3.4 Bracing of low buildings: (a) diagonal bracing in roofs and walls; (b) isolated pairs
of shear walls in a T pattern; (c) service-core enclosure used as shear walls; (d ) shear walls at ends
of building and rigid frames in the perpendicular direction.
large that the strength of the members and connections is exhausted. Note that in
a rigid frame, leeward columns are subjected to bending and axial compression and
windward columns are subjected to bending and axial tension.
In addition to using one or more of the preceding methods, designers can reduce
drift by proper shaping of buildings, arrangements of structural components, and
selection of members with adequate dimensions and geometry to withstand changes
in dimensions. Shape is important because low, squat buildings have less sidesway
than tall, narrow buildings, and buildings with circular or square floor plans have
less sidesway than narrow rectangular buildings with the same floor area per story.
Low Buildings. Figure 3.4a illustrates the application of diagonal bracing to a
low, industrial-type building. Bracing in the plane of the roof acts with the rafters,
ridge beam, and an edge roof beam as an inclined truss, which resists wind pressures
on the roof. Each truss transmits the wind load to the ends of the building.
Diagonals in the end walls transmit the load to the foundations. Wind pressure on
the end walls is resisted by diagonal bracing in the end panels of the longitudinal
walls. Wind pressure on the longitudinal walls, like wind on the roof, is transmitted
to the end walls.
For large buildings, rigid frames are both structurally efficient and economic.
Alternatively, for multistory buildings, shear walls may be used. Figure 3.4b
shows shear walls arranged in the shape of a T in plan, to resist wind from any
direction. Figure 3.4c illustrates the use of walls enclosing stairwells and elevator
shafts as shear walls. In apartment buildings, closet enclosures also can serve as
shear walls if designed for the purpose. Figure 3.4d shows shear walls placed at
the ends of a building to resist wind on its longitudinal walls. Wind on the shear
walls, in turn, is resisted by girders and columns in the longitudinal direction acting
as rigid frames. (See also Art. 5.12.)
Tall Buildings. For low buildings, structural members sized for gravity loads may
require little or no enlargement to also carry stresses due to lateral loads. For tall
buildings, however, structural members often have to be larger than sizes necessary
only for gravity loads. With increase in height, structural material requirements
increase rapidly. Therefore, for tall buildings, designers should select wind-bracing
systems with high structural efficiency to keep material requirements to a minimum.
FIGURE 3.5 Bracing of tall buildings: (a) diagonal bracing, rigid frames, or shear walls
placed in planes (bents) parallel to the lateral forces; (b) interior tube enclosing service core;
(c) perforated tube enclosing the building; (d ) tube within a tube; (e) bundled tubes.
While shear walls, diagonal bracing, and rigid frames can be used even for very
tall buildings, simple framing arrangements, such as planar systems, are not so
efficient in high structures as more sophisticated framing. For example, shear walls
or rigid frames in planes parallel to the lateral forces (Fig. 3.5a) may sway considerably
at the top if the building is tall (more than 30 stories) and slender. Resistance
to drift may be improved, however, if the shear walls are arranged in the form of
a tube within the building (Fig. 3.5b). (The space within the tube can be utilized
for stairs, elevators, and other services. This space is often referred to as the service
core.) The cantilevered tube is much more efficient in resisting lateral forces than
a series of planar, parallel shear walls containing the same amount of material.
Similarly, rigid frames and diagonal bracing may be arranged in the form of an
internal tube to improve resistance to lateral forces.
The larger the size of the cantilevered tube for a given height, the greater will
be its resistance to drift. For maximum efficiency of a simple tube, it can be arranged
to enclose the entire building (Fig. 3.5c) For the purpose, bracing or a rigid
frame may be erected behind or in the exterior wall, or the exterior wall itself may
be designed to act as a perforated tube. Floors act as horizontal diaphragms to brace
the tube and distribute the lateral forces to it.
For very tall buildings, when greater strength and drift resistance are needed
than can be provided by a simple tube, the tube around the exterior may be augmented
by an internal tube (Fig. 3.5d) or by other arrangements of interior bracing,
such as shear walls attached and perpendicular to the exterior tube. As an alternative,
a very tall building may be composed of several interconnected small tubes,
which act together in resisting lateral forces (Fig. 3.5e). Known as bundled tubes,
this type of framing offers greater flexibility in floor-area reduction at various levels
than a tube-within-tube type, because the tubes in a bundle can differ in height.
Diagonal bracing is more efficient in resisting drift than the other methods,
because the structural members carry the loads to the foundations as axial forces,
as shown in Fig. 3.3c, rather than as a combination of bending, shear, and axial
FIGURE 3.6 Some types of diagonal bracing: (a) X bracing in an interior bent; (b)
single diagonal; (c) K bracing; (d ) V bracing; (e) inverted V bracing; (?) horizontal
trusses at the roof and intermediate levels to restrict drift; (g) X bracing on the exterior
of a building.
forces. Generally, the bracing is arranged to form trusses composed of triangular
configurations, because of the stability of such arrangements. The joints between
members comprising a triangle cannot move relative to each other unless the length
of the members changes. Figure 3.6a illustrates the use of X bracing in the center
bay of a multistory building to form a vertical cantilever truss to resist lateral forces.
Other forms of bracing, however, may be used as an alternative to reduce material
requirements or to provide more space for wall penetrations, such as doors
and windows. Figure 3.6b shows how a single diagonal can be used in the center
bay to form a vertical truss. In large bays, however, the length of the diagonal may
become too long for structural efficiency. Hence, two or more diagonals may be
inserted in the bay instead, as shown in Fig. 3.6c to e. The type of bracing in Fig.
3.6c is known as K bracing; that in Fig. 3.6d, as V bracing; and that in Fig. 3.6e,
as inverted V bracing. The V type, however, has the disadvantage of restricting
deflection of the beams to which the diagonals are attached and thus compelling
the diagonals to carry gravity loads applied to the beams.
The bracing shown in Fig. 3.6a to e has the disadvantage of obstructing the bay
and interfering with placement of walls, doors, passageways, and, for bracing along
the building exterior, placement of windows. Accordingly, the inverted V type often
is converted to knee bracing, short diagonals placed near beam-to-column joints.
When knee bracing also is architecturally objectionable because of interference with
room arrangements, an alternative form of wind bracing, such as rigid frames or
shear walls, has to be adopted.
Trusses also can be placed horizontally to stiffen buildings for less drift. For
example, Fig. 3.6? shows a building with wind bracing provided basically by an
internal vertical cantilever tube. A set of horizontal trusses at the roof and a similar
set at an intermediate level tie the tube to the exterior columns. The trusses reduce
the drift at the top of the building by utilizing bending resistance of the columns.
A belt of horizontal trusses around the building exterior at the roof and the intermediate
level also helps resist drift of the building by utilizing bending resistance
of the exterior columns.
When not considered architecturally objectionable, diagonal bracing may be
placed on the building exterior to form a braced tube. The bracing may also serve
as columns to transmit floor and roof loads to the ground. Figure 3.6g shows how
multistory X bracing has been used to create a braced tube for a skyscraper.
See also Arts. 3.3.5, 5.18–19, and Secs. 7 through 10.
(Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, ‘‘Planning and Design of Tall
Buildings,’’ Vols. SC, SB, and CB, American Society of Civil Engineers, New York;
E. Simiu and R. H. Scanlon, ‘‘Wind Effects on Structures,’’ John Wiley & Sons,
Inc., New York; Minimum Design Loads for Tall Buildings and Other Structures
ANSI/ASCE 7-98, American Society of Civil Engineers, New York.)
Buildings should be designed to withstand minor earthquakes without damage, because
they may occur almost everywhere. For major earthquakes, it may not be
economical to prevent all damage but collapse should be precluded.
Because an earthquake and a high wind are not likely to occur simultaneously,
building codes usually do not require that buildings be designed for a combination
of large seismic and wind loads. Thus, designers may assume that the full strength
of wind bracing is also available to resist drift caused by earthquakes.
The methods of protecting against high winds described in Art. 3.2.4 may also
be used for protecting against earthquakes. Shaking of buildings produced by temblors,
however, is likely to be much severer than that caused by winds. Consequently,
additional precautions must be taken to protect against earthquakes. Because
such protective measures will also be useful in resisting unexpectedly high
winds, such as those from tornadoes, however, it is advisable to apply aseismic
design principles to all buildings.
These principles require that collapse be avoided, oscillations of buildings
damped, and damage to both structural and nonstructural components minimized.
Nonstructural components are especially liable to damage from large drift. For
example, walls are likely to be stiffer than structural framing and therefore subject
to greater seismic forces. The walls, as a result, may crack or collapse. Also, they
may interfere with planned actions of structural components and cause additional
damage. Consequently, aseismic design of buildings should make allowance for
large drift, for example, by providing gaps between adjoining buildings and between
adjoining building components not required to be rigidly connected together and
by permitting sliding of such components. Thus, partitions and windows should be
free to move in their frames so that no damage will occur when an earthquake
wracks the frames. Heavy elements in buildings, such as water tanks, should be
firmly anchored to prevent them from damaging critical structural components.
Displacement of gas hot water heaters is a common cause of gas fires following
3.3.1 Earthquake Characteristics
Earthquakes are produced by sudden release of tremendous amounts of energy
within the earth by a sudden movement at a point called the hypocenter. (The point
on the surface of the earth directly above the hypocenter is called the epicenter.)
The resulting shock sends out longitudinal, vertical, and transverse vibrations in all
directions, both through the earth’s crust and along the surface, and at different
velocities. Consequently, the shock waves arrive at distant points at different times.
As a result, the first sign of the advent of an earthquake at a distant point is
likely to be faint surface vibration of short duration as the first longitudinal waves
arrive at the point. Then, severe shocks of longer duration occur there, as other
waves arrive.
Movement at any point of the earth’s surface during a temblor may be recorded
with seismographs and plotted as seismograms, which show the variation with time
of displacements. Seismograms of past earthquakes indicate that seismic wave
forms are very complex.
Ground accelerations are also very important, because they are related to the
inertial forces that act on building components during an earthquake. Accelerations
are recorded in accelerograms, which are a plot of the variation with time of components
of the ground accelerations. Newton’s law relates acceleration to force:
F  Ma  a (3.2)
where F  force, lb
M  mass accelerated
a  acceleration of the mass, ft / s2
W  weight of building component accelerated, lb
g  acceleration due to gravity  32.2 ft / s2
3.3.2 Seismic Scales
For study of the behavior of buildings in past earthquakes and application of the
information collected to contemporary aseismic design, it is useful to have some
quantitative means for comparing earthquake severity. Two scales, the Modified
Mercalli and the Richter, are commonly used in the United States.
The Modified Mercalli scale compares earthquake intensity by assigning values
to human perceptions of the severity of oscillations and extent of damage to buildings.
The scale has 12 divisions. The severer the reported oscillations and damage,
the higher is the number assigned to the earthquake intensity (Table 3.1).
The Richter scale assigns numbers M to earthquake intensity in accordance with
the amount of energy released, as measured by the maximum amplitude of ground
M  log A  1.73 log (3.3)
where M  earthquake magnitude 100 km from epicenter
A  maximum amplitude of ground motion, micrometers
D  distance, km, from epicenter to point where A is measured
The larger the ground displacement at a given location, the higher the value of the
number assigned on the Richter scale. A Richter magnitude of 8 corresponds approximately
to a Modified Mercalli intensity of XI, and for smaller intensities,
Richter scale digits are about one unit less than corresponding Mercalli Roman
TABLE 3.1 Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale (Abridged)
Intensity Definition
I Detected only by sensitive instruments.
II Felt by a few persons at rest, especially on upper floors. Delicate suspended
objects may swing.
III Felt noticeably indoors; not always recognized as an earthquake. Standing
automobiles rock slightly. Vibration similar to that caused by a passing
IV Felt indoors by many, outdoors by few; at night some awaken. Windows,
dishes, doors rattle. Standing automobiles rock noticeably.
V Felt by nearly everyone. Some breakage of plaster, windows, and dishes.
Tall objects disturbed.
VI Felt by all; many frightened and run outdoors. Falling plaster and damaged
VII Everyone runs outdoors. Damage of buildings negligible to slight, depending
on quality of construction. Noticeable to drivers of automobiles.
VIII Damage slight to considerable in substantial buildings, great in poorly
constructed structures. Walls thrown out of frames; walls, chimneys,
monuments fall; sand and mud ejected.
IX Considerable damage to well-designed structures; structures shifted off
foundations; buildings thrown out of plumb; underground pipes damaged.
Ground cracked conspicuously.
X Many masonry and frame structures destroyed; rails bent; water splashed
over banks; landslides; ground cracked.
XI Bridges destroyed; rails bent greatly; most masonry structures destroyed;
underground service pipes out of commission; landslides; broad fissures in
XII Total damage. Waves seen in surface level; lines of sight and level distorted;
objects thrown into air.
3.3.3 Effects of Ground Conditions
The amplitude of ground motion at a specific location during an earthquake depends
not only on distance from the epicenter but also on the types of soil at the location.
(Some soils suffer a loss of strength in an earthquake and allow large, uneven
foundation settlements, which cause severe property damage.) Ground motion usually
is much larger in alluvial soils (sands or clays deposited by flowing water) than
in rocky areas or diluvial soils (material deposited by glaciers). Reclaimed land or
earth fills generally undergo even greater displacements than alluvial soils. Consequently,
in selection of sites for structures in zones where severe earthquakes are
highly probable during the life of the structures, preference should be given to sites
with hard ground or rock to considerable depth, with sand and gravel as a less
desirable alternative and clay as a poor choice.
3.3.4 Seismic Forces
During an earthquake, the ground may move horizontally in any direction and up
and down, shifting the building foundations correspondingly. Inertial forces, or seis3.14
mic loads, on the building resist the displacements. Major damage usually is caused
by the horizontal components of these loads, inasmuch as vertical structural members
and connections generally have adequate strength to resist the vertical components.
Hence, as for wind loads, buildings should be designed to resist the maximum
probable horizontal component applied in any direction. Vertical components
of force must be considered in design of connections in high mass prefabricated
elements such as precast concrete slabs and girders.
Seismic forces vary rapidly with time. Therefore, they impose a dynamic loading
on buildings. Calculation of the building responses to such loading is complex (Art.
5.18.6) and is usually carried out only for important buildings that are very tall and
slender. For other types of buildings, building codes generally permit use of an
alternative static loading for which structural analysis is much simpler (Art. 5.19).
3.3.5 Aseismic Design
The basic methods for providing wind resistance—shear walls, diagonal bracing,
and rigid frames (Art. 3.2.4) are also suitable for resisting seismic loads. Ductile
rigid frames, however, are preferred because of large energy-absorbing capacity.
Building codes encourage their use by permitting them to be designed for smaller
seismic loads than those required for shear walls and diagonal bracing. (Ductility
is a property that enables a structural member to undergo considerable deformation
without failing. The more a member deforms, the more energy it can absorb and
therefore the greater is the resistance it can offer to dynamic loads.)
For tall, slender buildings, use of the basic methods alone in limiting drift to an
acceptable level may not be cost-effective. In such cases, improved response to the
dynamic loads may be improved by installation of heavy masses near the roof, with
their movements restricted by damping devices. Another alternative is installation
of energy-absorbing devices at key points in the structural framing, such as at the
bearings of bottom columns or the intersections of cross bracing.
Designers usually utilize floors and roofs, acting as horizontal diaphragms, to
transmit lateral forces to the resisting structural members. Horizontal bracing, however,
may be used instead. Where openings occur in floors and roofs, for example
for floors and elevators, structural framing should be provided around the openings
to bypass the lateral forces.
As for wind loads, the weight of the building and of earth adjoining foundations
are the only forces available to prevent the horizontal loads from overturning the
building. [See Eq. (3.1) in Art. 3.2.3.] Also, as for wind loads, the roof should be
firmly anchored to the superstructure framing, which, in turn, should be securely
attached to the foundations. Furthermore, individual footings, especially pile and
caisson footings, should be tied to each other to prevent relative movement.
Building codes often limit the drift per story under the equivalent static seismic
load (see Art. 5.19.3). Connections and intersections of curtain walls and partitions
with each other or with the structural framing should allow for a relative movement
of at least twice the calculated drift in each story. Such allowances for displacement
may be larger than those normally required for dimensional changes caused by
temperature variations.
See also Art. 5.19.
(N. M. Newmark and E. Rosenblueth, ‘‘Fundamentals of Earthquake Engineering,’’
and J. S. Stratta, ‘‘Manual of Seismic Design,’’ Prentice-Hall, Englewood
Cliffs, N.J.; ‘‘Standard Building Code,’’ Southern Building Code Congress International,
Inc., 900 Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL 35213-1206; ‘‘Uniform BuildPROTECTION
ing Code,’’ International Conference of Building Officials, Inc., 5360 South Workman
Mill Road, Whittier, CA 90601.)
Whether thrust against and into a building by a flood, driven into the interior by a
heavy rain, leaking from plumbing, storm surge, or seeping through the exterior
enclosure, water can cause costly damage to a building. Consequently, designers
should protect buildings and their contents against water damage.
Protective measures may be divided into two classes: floodproofing and waterproofing.
Floodproofing provides protection against flowing surface water, commonly
caused by a river overflowing its banks. Waterproofing provides protection
against penetration through the exterior enclosure of buildings of groundwater, rainwater,
and melting snow. Buildings adjacent to large water bodies may also require
protection from undermining due to erosion and impact from storm driven waves.
3.4.1 Floodproofing
A flood occurs when a river rises above an elevation, called flood stage, and is not
prevented by enclosures from causing damage beyond its banks. Buildings constructed
in a flood plain, an area that can be inundated by a flood, should be
protected against a flood with a mean recurrence interval of 100 years. Maps
showing flood-hazard areas in the United States can be obtained from the Federal
Insurance Administrator, Department of Housing and Urban Development, who
administers the National Flood Insurance Program. Minimum criteria for floodproofing
are given in National Flood Insurance Rules and Regulations (Federal
Register, vol. 41, no. 207, Oct. 26, 1976).
Major objectives of floodproofing are to protect fully building and contents from
damage from a l00-year flood, reduce losses from more devastating floods, and
lower flood insurance premiums. Floodproofing, however, would be unnecessary if
buildings were not constructed in flood prone areas. Building in flood prone areas
should be avoided unless the risk to life is acceptable and construction there can
be economically and socially justified.
Some sites in flood prone areas possess some ground high enough to avoid flood
damage. If such sites must be used, buildings should be clustered on the high areas.
Where such areas are not available, it may be feasible to build up an earth fill, with
embankments protected against erosion by water, to raise structures above flood
levels. Preferably, such structures should not have basements, because they would
require costly protection against water pressure.
An alternative to elevating a building on fill is raising it on stilts (columns in
an unenclosed space). In that case, utilities and other services should be protected
against damage from flood flows. The space at ground level between the stilts may
be used for parking automobiles, if the risk of water damage to them is acceptable
or if they will be removed before flood waters reach the site.
Buildings that cannot be elevated above flood stage should be furnished with an
impervious exterior. Windows should be above flood stage, and doors should seal
tightly against their frames. Doors and other openings may also be protected with
a flood shield, such as a wall. Openings in the wall for access to the building may
be protected with a movable flood shield, which for normal conditions can be stored
out of sight and then positioned in the wall opening when a flood is imminent.
To prevent water damage to essential services for buildings in flood plains,
important mechanical and electrical equipment should be located above flood level.
Also, auxiliary electric generators to provide some emergency power are desirable.
In addition, pumps should be installed to eject water that leaks into the building.
Furthermore, unless a building is to be evacuated in case of flood, an emergency
water supply should be stored in a tank above flood level, and sewerage should be
provided with cutoff valves to prevent backflow.
3.4.2 Waterproofing*
In addition to protecting buildings against floods, designers also should adopt measures
that prevent groundwater, rainwater, snow, or melted snow from penetrating
into the interior through the exterior enclosure. Water may leak through cracks,
expansion joints or other openings in walls and roofs, or through cracks around
windows and doors. Also, water may seep through solid but porous exterior materials,
such as masonry. Leakage generally may be prevented by use of weatherstripping
around windows and doors, impervious waterstops in joints, or calking of
cracks and other openings. Methods of preventing seepage, however, depend on the
types of materials used in the exterior enclosure.
Definitions of Terms Related to Water Resistance
Permeability. Quality or state of permitting passage of water and water vapor
into, through, and from pores and interstices, without causing rupture or displacement.
Terms used in this section to describe the permeability of materials, coatings, structural
elements, and structures follow in decreasing order of permeability:
Pervious or Leaky. Cracks, crevices, leaks, or holes larger than capillary pores,
which permit a flow or leakage of water, are present. The material may or may
not contain capillary pores.
Water-resistant. Capillary pores exist that permit passage of water and water
vapor, but there are few or no openings larger than capillaries that permit leakage
of significant amounts of water.
Water-repellent. Not ‘‘wetted’’ by water; hence, not capable of transmitting water
by capillary forces alone. However, the material may allow transmission of water
under pressure and may be permeable to water vapor.
Waterproof. No openings are present that permit leakage or passage of water and
water vapor; the material is impervious to water and water vapor, whether under
pressure or not.
These terms also describe the permeability of a surface coating or a treatment
against water penetration, and they refer to the permeability of materials, structural
members, and structures whether or not they have been coated or treated.
*Excerpted with minor revisions from Sec. 12 of the third edition of this handbook, authored by Cyrus
C. Fishburn, formerly with the Division of Building Technology, National Bureau of Standards.
Permeability of Concrete and Masonry. Concrete contains many interconnected
voids and openings of various sizes and shapes, most of which are of capillary
dimensions. If the larger voids and openings are few in number and not directly
connected with each other, there will be little or no water penetration by leakage
and the concrete may be said to be water-resistant.
Concrete in contact with water not under pressure ordinarily will absorb it. The
water is drawn into the concrete by the surface tension of the liquid in the wetted
Water-resistant concrete for buildings should be a properly cured, dense, rich
concrete containing durable, well-graded aggregate. The water content of the concrete
mix should be as low as is compatible with workability and ease of placing
and handling. Resistance of concrete to penetration of water may be improved,
however, by incorporation of a water-repellent admixture in the mix during manufacture.
(See also Art. 9.9.)
Water-repellent concrete is permeable to water vapor. If a vapor-pressure gradient
is present, moisture may penetrate from the exposed face to an inner face.
The concrete is not made waterproof (in the full meaning of the term) by the use
of an integral water repellent. Note also that water repellents may not make concrete
impermeable to penetration of water under pressure. They may, however, reduce
absorption of water by the concrete.
Most masonry units also will absorb water. Some are highly pervious under
pressure. The mortar commonly used in masonry will absorb water too but usually
contains few openings permitting leakage.
Masonry walls may leak at the joints between the mortar and the units, however.
Except in single-leaf walls of highly pervious units, leakage at the joints results
from failure to fill them with mortar and poor bond between the masonry unit and
mortar. As with concrete, rate of capillary penetration through masonry walls is
small compared with the possible rate of leakage.
Capillary penetration of moisture through above-grade walls that resist leakage
of wind-driven rain is usually of minor importance. Such penetration of moisture
into well-ventilated subgrade structures may also be of minor importance if the
moisture is readily evaporated. However, long-continued capillary penetration into
some deep, confined subgrade interiors frequently results in an increase in relative
humidity, a decrease in evaporation rate, and objectionable dampness.
3.4.3 Roof Drainage
Many roof failures have been caused by excessive water accumulation. In most
cases, the overload that caused failure was not anticipated in design of those roofs,
because the designers expected rainwater to run off the roof. But because of inadequate
drainage, the water ponded instead.
On flat roofs, ponding of rainwater causes structural members to deflect. The
resulting bowing of the roof surface permits more rainwater to accumulate, and the
additional weight of this water causes additional bowing and collection of even
more water. This process can lead to roof collapse. Similar conditions also can
occur in the valleys of sloping roofs.
To avoid water accumulation, roofs should be sloped toward drains and pipes
that have adequate capacity to conduct water away from the roofs, in accordance
with local plumbing codes. Minimum roof slope for drainage should be at least 1?4
in / ft, but larger slopes are advisable.
The primary drainage system should be supplemented by a secondary drainage
system at a higher level to prevent ponding on the roof above that level. The
overflow drains should be at least as large as the primary drains and should be
connected to drain pipes independent of the primary system or scuppers through
the parapets. The roof and its structural members should be capable of sustaining
the weight of all rainwater that could accumulate on the roof if part or all of the
primary drainage system should become blocked.
3.4.4 Drainage for Subgrade Structures
Subgrade structures located above groundwater level in drained soil may be in
contact with water and wet soil for periods of indefinite duration after longcontinued
rains and spring thaws. Drainage of surface and subsurface water, however,
may greatly reduce the time during which the walls and floor of a structure
are subjected to water, may prevent leakage through openings resulting from poor
workmanship and reduce the capillary penetration of water into the structure. If
subsurface water cannot be removed by drainage, the structure must be made
waterproof or highly water-resistant.
Surface water may be diverted by grading the ground surface away from the
walls and by carrying the runoff from roofs away from the building. The slope of
the ground surface should be at least 1?4 in / ft for a minimum distance of 10 ft from
the walls. Runoff from high ground adjacent to the structure should also be diverted.
FIGURE 3.7 Drainage at the bottom of a
foundation wall.
Proper subsurface drainage of ground
water away from basement walls and
floors requires a drain of adequate size,
sloped continuously, and, where necessary,
carried around corners of the building
without breaking continuity. The
drain should lead to a storm sewer or to
a lower elevation that will not be
flooded and permit water to back up in
the drain.
Drain tile should have a minimum diameter
of 6 in and should be laid in
gravel or other kind of porous bed at
least 6 in below the basement floor. The
open joints between the tile should be
covered with a wire screen or building
paper to prevent clogging of the drain
with fine material. Gravel should be laid above the tile, filling the excavation to an
elevation well above the top of the footing. Where considerable water may be
expected in heavy soil, the gravel fill should be carried up nearly to the ground
surface and should extend from the wall a distance of at least 12 in (Fig. 3.7).
3.4.5 Concrete Floors at Grade
Floors on ground should preferably not be constructed in low-lying areas that are
wet from ground water or periodically flooded with surface water. The ground
FIGURE 3.8 Insulated concrete slab on ground with membrane dampproofing.
should slope away from the floor. The level of the finished floor should be at least
6 in above grade. Further protection against ground moisture and possible flooding
of the slab from heavy surface runoffs may be obtained with subsurface drains
located at the elevation of the wall footings.
All organic material and topsoil of poor bearing value should be removed in
preparation of the subgrade, which should have a uniform bearing value to prevent
unequal settlement of the floor slab. Backfill should be tamped and compacted in
layers not exceeding 6 in in depth.
Where the subgrade is well-drained, as where subsurface drains are used or are
unnecessary, floor slabs of residences should be insulated either by placing a granular
fill over the subgrade or by use of a lightweight-aggregate concrete slab covered
with a wearing surface of gravel or stone concrete. The granular fill, if used, should
have a minimum thickness of 5 in and may consist of coarse slag, gravel, or crushed
stone, preferably of 1-in minimum size. A layer of 3-, 4-, or 6-in-thick hollow
masonry building units is preferred to gravel fill for insulation and provides a
smooth, level bearing surface.
Moisture from the ground may be absorbed by the floor slab. Floor coverings,
such as oil-base paints, linoleum, and asphalt tile, acting as a vapor barrier over
the slab, may be damaged as a result. If such floor coverings are used and where
a complete barrier against the rise of moisture from the ground is desired, a twoply
bituminous membrane or other waterproofing material should be placed beneath
the slab and over the insulating concrete or granular fill (Fig. 3.8). The top of the
lightweight-aggregate concrete, if used, should be troweled or brushed to a smooth
level surface for the membrane. The top of the granular fill should be covered with
a grout coating, similarly finished. (The grout coat, 1?2 to 1 in thick, may consist
of a 1:3 or a 1:4 mix by volume of portland cement and sand. Some 3?8- or 1?2-in
maximum-sized coarse aggregate may be added to the grout if desired.) After the
top surface of the insulating concrete or grout coating has hardened and dried, it
should be mopped with hot asphalt or coal-tar pitch and covered before cooling
with a lapped layer of 15-lb bituminous saturated felt. The first ply of felt then
should be mopped with hot bitumen and a second ply of felt laid and mopped on
its top surface. Care should be exercised not to puncture the membrane, which
should preferably be covered with a coating of mortar, immediately after its completion.
If properly laid and protected from damage, the membrane may be considered
to be a waterproof barrier.
Where there is no possible danger of water reaching the underside of the floor,
a single layer of 55-lb smooth-surface asphalt roll roofing or an equivalent waterproofing
membrane may be used under the floor. Joints between the sheets should
be lapped and sealed with bituminous mastic. Great care should be taken to prevent
puncturing of the roofing layer during concreting operations. When so installed,
asphalt roll roofing provides a low-cost and adequate barrier against the movement
of excessive amounts of moisture by capillarity and in the form of vapor. In areas
with year-round warm climates, insulation can be omitted.
(‘‘A Guide to the Use of Waterproofing, Dampproofing, Protective and Decorative
Barrier Systems for Concrete,’’ ACI 515.1R, American Concrete Institute.)
3.4.6 Basement Floors
Where a basement is to be used in drained soils as living quarters or for the storage
of things that may be damaged by moisture, the floor should be insulated and should
preferably contain the membrane waterproofing described in Art. 3.4.5 In general
the design and construction of such basement floors are similar to those of floors
on ground.
If passage of moisture from the ground into the basement is unimportant or can
be satisfactorily controlled by air conditioning or ventilation, the waterproof
membrane need not be used. The concrete slab should have a minimum thickness
of 4 in and need not be reinforced, but should be laid on a granular fill or other
insulation placed on a carefully prepared subgrade. The concrete in the slab should
have a minimum compressive strength of 2000 psi and may contain an integral
water repellent.
A basement floor below the water table will be subjected to hydrostatic upward
pressures. The floor should be made heavy enough to counteract the uplift.
An appropriate sealant in the joint between the basement walls and a floor over
drained soil will prevent leakage into the basement of any water that may occasionally
accumulate under the slab. Space for the joint may be provided by use of
beveled siding strips, which are removed after the concrete has hardened. After the
slab is properly cured, it and the wall surface should be in as dry a condition as is
practicable before the joint is filled to ensure a good bond of the filler and to reduce
the effects of slab shrinkage on the permeability of the joint.
(‘‘Guide to Joint Sealants for Concrete Structures,’’ ACI 504R, American Concrete
3.4.7 Monolithic Concrete Basement Walls
These should have a minimum thickness of 6 in. Where insulation is desirable, as
where the basement is used for living quarters, lightweight aggregate, such as those
prepared by calcining or sintering blast-furnace slag, clay, or shale that meet the
requirements of ASTM Standard C330 may be used in the concrete. The concrete
should have a minimum compressive strength of 2000 psi.
For the forms in which concrete for basement walls is cast, form ties of an
internal-disconnecting type are preferable to twisted-wire ties. Entrance holes for
the form ties should be sealed with mortar after the forms are removed. If twistedPROTECTION
wire ties are used, they should be cut a minimum distance of 11?2 in inside the face
of the wall and the holes filled with mortar.
The resistance of the wall to capillary penetration of water in temporary contact
with the wall face may be increased by the use of a water-repellent admixture. The
water repellent may also be used in the concrete at and just above grade to reduce
the capillary rise of moisture from the ground into the superstructure wails.
Where it is desirable to make the wall resistant to passage of water vapor from
the outside and to increase its resistance to capillary penetration of water, the
exterior wall face may be treated with an impervious coating. The continuity and
the resultant effectiveness in resisting moisture penetration of such a coating is
dependent on the smoothness and regularity of the concrete surface and on the skill
and technique used in applying the coating to the dry concrete surface. Some
bituminous coatings that may be used are listed below in increasing order of their
resistance to moisture penetration:
Spray- or brush-applied asphalt emulsions
Spray- or brush-applied bituminous cutbacks
Trowel coatings of bitumen with organic solvent, applied cold
Hot-applied asphalt or coal-tar pitch, preceded by application of a suitable primer
Cementitious brush-applied paints and grouts and trowel coatings of a mortar
increase moisture resistance of monolithic concrete, especially if such coatings contain
a water repellent. However, in properly drained soil, such coatings may not be
justified unless needed to prevent leakage of water through openings in the concrete
resulting from segregation of the aggregate and bad workmanship in casting the
walls. The trowel coatings may also be used to level irregular wall surfaces in
preparation for the application of a bituminous coating. For information on other
waterproofing materials, see ‘‘A Guide to the Use of Waterproofing, Dampproofing,
Protective and Decorative Barrier Systems for Concrete,’’ ACI 515.1R, American
Concrete Institute.
3.4.8 Unit-Masonry Basement Walls
Water-resistant basement walls of masonry units should be carefully constructed of
durable materials to prevent leakage and damage due to frost and other weathering
exposure. Frost action is most severe at the grade line and may result in structural
damage and leakage of water. Where wetting followed by sudden severe freezing
may occur, the masonry units should meet the requirements of the following specifications:
Building brick (solid masonry units made from clay or shale), ASTM Standard
C62, Grade SW
Facing brick (solid masonry units made from clay or shale), ASTM Standard
C216, Grade SW
Structural clay load-bearing wall tile, ASTM Standard C34, Grade LBX
Hollow load-bearing concrete masonry units, ASTM Standard C90, Grade N
For such exposure conditions, the mortar should be a Type S mortar (Table 4.4)
having a minimum compressive strength of 1800 psi when tested in accordance
with the requirements of ASTM Standard C270. For milder freezing exposures and
where the walls may be subjected to some lateral pressure from the earth, the mortar
should have a minimum compressive strength of 1000 psi.
Leakage through an expansion joint in a concrete or masonry foundation wall
may be prevented by insertion of a waterstop in the joint. Waterstops should be of
the bellows type, made of l6-oz copper sheet, which should extend a minimum
distance of 6 in on either side of the joint. The sheet should be embedded between
wythes of masonry units or faced with a 2-in-thick cover of mortar reinforced with
welded-wire fabric. The outside face of the expansion joint should be filled flush
with the wall face with a joint sealant, as recommended in ACI 504R.
Rise of moisture, by capillarity, from the ground into the superstructure walls
may be greatly retarded by use of an integral water-repellent admixture in the
mortar. The water-repellent mortar may be used in several courses of masonry
located at and just above grade.
The use of shotcrete or trowel-applied mortar coatings, 3?4 in or more in thickness,
to the outside faces of both monolithic concrete and unit-masonry walls
greatly increases their resistance to penetration of moisture. Such plaster coatings
cover and seal construction joints and other vulnerable joints in the walls against
leakage. When applied in a thickness of 2 in or more, they may be reinforced with
welded-wire fabric to reduce the incidence of large shrinkage cracks in the coating.
However, the cementitious coatings do not protect the walls against leakage if the
walls, and subsequently the coatings, are badly cracked as a result of unequal
foundation settlement, excessive drying shrinkage, and thermal changes. (‘‘Guide
to Shotcrete,’’ ACI 506, American Concrete Institute.)
Two trowel coats of a mortar containing 1 part portland cement to 3 parts sand
by volume should be applied to the outside faces of basement walls built of hollow
masonry units. One trowel coat may suffice on the outside of all-brick and of brickfaced
The wall surface and the top of the wall footing should be cleansed of dirt and
soil, and the masonry should be thoroughly wetted with water. While still damp,
the surface should be covered with a thin scrubbed-on coating of portland cement
tempered to the consistency of thick cream. Before this prepared surface has dried,
a 3?8-in-thick trowel-applied coating of mortar should be placed on the wall and
over the top of the footing; a fillet of mortar may be placed at the juncture of the
wall and footing.
Where a second coat of mortar is to be applied, as on hollow masonry units,
the first coat should be scratched to provide a rough bonding surface. The second
coat should be applied at least 1 day after the first, and the coatings should be
cured and kept damp by wetting for at least 3 days. A water-repellent admixture
in the mortar used for the second or finish coat will reduce the rate of capillary
penetration of water through the walls. If a bituminous coating is not to be used,
the mortar coating should be kept damp until the backfill is placed.
Thin, impervious coatings may be applied to the plaster if resistance to penetration
of water vapor is desired. (See ACI 515.1R.) The plaster should be dry and
clean before the impervious coating is applied over the surfaces of the wall and the
top of the footing.
3.4.9 Impervious Membranes
These are waterproof barriers providing protection against penetration of water under
hydrostatic pressure and water vapor. To resist hydrostatic pressure, a membrane
should be made continuous in the walls and floor of a basement. It also should be
protected from damage during building operations and should be laid by experienced
workers under competent supervision. It usually consists of three or more
alternate layers of hot, mopped-on asphalt or coal-tar pitch and plies of treated glass
fabric, or bituminous saturated cotton or woven burlap fabric. The number of moppings
exceeds the number of plies by one.
Alternatives are cold-applied bituminous systems, liquid-applied membranes,
and sheet-applied membranes, similar to those used for roofing. In installation,
manufacturers’ recommendations should be carefully followed. See also ACI
515.1R and ‘‘The NRCA Waterproofing Manual,’’ National Roofing Manufacturers
Bituminous saturated cotton fabric is stronger and is more extensible than bituminous
saturated felt but is more expensive and more difficult to lay. At least one
or two of the plies in a membrane should be of saturated cotton fabric to provide
strength, ductility, and extensibility to the membrane. Where vibration, temperature
changes, and other conditions conducive to displacement and volume changes in
the basement are to be expected, the relative number of fabric plies may be increased.
The minimum weight of bituminous saturated felt used in a membrane should
be 13 lb per 100 ft2. The minimum weight of bituminous saturated woven cotton
fabric should be 10 oz/yd2.
Although a membrane is held rigidly in place, it is advisable to apply a suitable
primer over the surfaces receiving the membrane and to aid in the application of
the first mopped-on coat of hot asphalt or coal-tar pitch.
Materials used in the hot-applied system should meet the requirements of the
following current ASTM standards:
Creosote primer for coal-tar pitch—D43
Primer for asphalt—D41
Coal-tar pitch—D450, Type II
Asphalt—D449, Type A
Cotton fabric, bituminous saturated—D173
Woven burlap fabric, bituminous saturated—D1327
Treated glass fabric—D1668
Coal-tar saturated felt—D227
Asphalt saturated organic felt—D226
The number of plies of saturated felt or fabric should be increased with increase
in the hydrostatic head to which the membrane is to be subjected. Five plies is the
maximum commonly used in building construction, but 10 or more plies have been
recommended for pressure heads of 35 ft or greater. The thickness of the membrane
crossing the wall footings at the base of the wall should be no greater than necessary,
to keep very small the possible settlement of the wall due to plastic flow in
the membrane materials.
The amount of primer to be used may be about 1 gal per 100 ft2. The amount
of bitumen per mopping should be at least 41?2 gal per 100 ft2. The thickness of
the first and last moppings is usually slightly greater than the thickness of the
moppings between the plies.
The surfaces to which the membrane is to be applied should be smooth, dry,
and at a temperature above freezing. Air temperature should be not less than 50F.
The temperature of coal-tar pitch should not exceed 300F and asphalt, 350F.
If the concrete and masonry surfaces are not sufficiently dry, they will not readily
absorb the priming coat, and the first mopping of bitumen will be accompanied by
bubbling and escape of steam. Should this occur, application of the membrane
should be stopped and the bitumen already applied to damp surfaces should be
The membrane should be built up ply by ply, the strips of fabric or felt being
laid immediately after each bed has been hot-mopped. The lap of succeeding plies
or strips over each other depends on the width of the roll and the number of plies.
In any membrane there should be a lap of the top or final ply over the first, initial
ply of at least 2 in. End laps should be staggered at least 24 in, and the laps between
succeeding rolls should be at least 12 in.
For floors, the membrane should be placed over a concrete base or subfloor
whose top surface is troweled smooth and which is level with the tops of the wall
footings. The membrane should be started at the outside face of one wall and extend
over the wall footing, which may be keyed. It should cover the floor and tops of
other footings to the outside faces of the other walls, forming a continuous horizontal
waterproof barrier. The plies should project from the edges of the floor
membrane and lap into the wall membrane.
The loose ends of felt and fabric must be protected; one method is to fasten
them to a temporary vertical wood form about 2 ft high, placed just outside the
wall face. Immediately after the floor membrane has been laid, its surface should
be protected and covered with a layer of portland-cement concrete, at least 2 in
For walls, the installed membrane should be protected against damage and held
in position by protection board or a facing of brick, tile, or concrete block. A brick
facing should have a minimum thickness of 21?2 in. Facings of asphalt plank, asphalt
block, or mortar require considerable support from the membrane itself and give
protection against abrasion of the membrane from lateral forces only. Protection
against downward forces such as may be produced by settlement of the backfill is
given only by the self-supporting masonry walls.
The kind of protective facing may have some bearing on the method of constructing
the membrane. The membrane may be applied to the exterior face of the
wall after its construction, or it may be applied to the back of the protective facing
before the main wall is built. The first of these methods is known as the outside
application; the second is known as the inside application.
For the inside application, a protective facing of considerable stiffness against
lateral forces must be built, especially if the wall and its membrane are to be used
as a form for the casting of a main wall of monolithic concrete. The inner face of
the protecting wall must be smooth or else leveled with mortar to provide a suitable
base for the membrane. The completed membrane should be covered with a 3?8-inthick
layer of mortar to protect it from damage during construction of the main
Application of wall membranes should he started at the bottom of one end of
the wall and the strips of fabric or felt laid vertically. Preparation of the surfaces
and laying of the membrane proceed much as they do with floor membranes. The
surfaces to which the membrane is attached must be dry and smooth, which may
require that the faces of masonry walls be leveled with a thin coat of grout or
mortar. The plies of the wall membrane should be lapped into those of the floor
If the outside method of application is used and the membrane is faced with
masonry, the narrow space between the units and the membrane should be filled
with mortar as the units are laid. The membrane may be terminated at the grade
line by a return into the superstructure wall facing.
Waterstops in joints in walls and floors containing a bituminous membrane
should be the metal-bellows type. The membrane should be placed on the exposed
face of the joint and it may project into the joint, following the general outline of
the bellows.
The protective facing for the membrane should be broken at the expansion joint
and the space between the membrane and the line of the facing filled with a joint
sealant, as recommended in ACI 504R.
Details at pipe sleeves running through the membrane must be carefully prepared.
The membrane should be reinforced with additional plies and may be calked
at the sleeve. Steam and hot-water lines should be insulated to prevent damage to
the membrane.
3.4.10 Above-Grade Walls
The rate of moisture penetration through capillaries in above-grade walls is low
and usually of minor importance. However, such walls should not permit leakage
of wind-driven rain through openings larger than those of capillary dimension.
Precast-concrete or metal panels are usually made of dense, highly waterresistant
materials. However, walls made of these panels are vulnerable to leakage
at the joints. In such construction, edges of the panels may be recessed and the
interior of vertical joints filled with grout or other sealant after the panels are
Calking compound is commonly used as a facing for the joints. Experience has
shown that calking compounds often weather badly; their use as a joint facing
creates a maintenance problem and does not prevent leakage of wind-driven rain
after a few years’ exposure.
The amount of movement to be expected in the vertical joints between panels
is a function of the panel dimensions and the seasonal fluctuation in temperature
and, for concrete, the moisture content of the concrete. For panel construction, it
may be more feasible to use an interlocking water-resistant joint. For concrete, the
joint may be faced on the weather side with mortar and backed with either a
compressible premolded strip or calking. See ACI 504R.
Brick walls 4 in or more in thickness can be made highly water-resistant. The
measures that need to be taken to ensure there will be no leakage of wind-driven
rain through brick facings are not extensive and do not require the use of materials
other than those commonly used in masonry walls. The main factors that need to
be controlled are the rate of suction of the brick at the time of laying and filling
of all joints with mortar (Art. 11.7).
In general, the greater the number of brick leaves, or wythes, in a wall, the more
water-resistant the wall.
Walls of hollow masonry units are usually highly permeable, and brick-faced
walls backed with hollow masonry units are greatly dependent upon the water
resistance of the brick facing to prevent leakage of wind-driven rain. For exterior
concrete masonry walls without facings of brick, protection against leakage may
be obtained by facing the walls with a cementitious coating of paint, stucco, or
For wall of rough-textured units, a portland cement–sand grout provides a highly
water-resistant coating. The cement may be either white or gray.
Factory-made portland-cement paints containing a minimum of 65%, and preferably
80%, portland cement may also be used as a base coat on concrete masonry.
Application of the paint should conform with the requirements of ACI 515.1R. The
paints, stuccos, and shotcrete should be applied to dampened surfaces. Shotcrete
should conform with the requirements of ACI 506R.
Cavity walls, particularly brick-faced cavity walls, may be made highly resistant
to leakage through the wall facing. However, as usually constructed, facings are
highly permeable, and the leakage is trapped in the cavity and diverted to the
outside of the wall through conveniently located weep holes. This requires that the
inner tier of the cavity be protected against the leakage by adequate flashings, and
weep holes should be placed at the bottom of the cavities and over all wall openings.
The weep holes may be formed by the use of sash-cord head joints or 3?8-indiameter
rubber tubing, withdrawn after the wall is completed.
Flashings should preferably be hot-rolled copper sheet of 10-oz minimum
weight. They should be lapped at the ends and sealed either by solder or with
bituminous plastic cement. Mortar should not be permitted to drop into the flashings
and prevent the weep holes from functioning.
Prevention of Cracking. Shrinkage of concrete masonry because of drying and a
drop in temperature may result in cracking of a wall and its cementitious facing.
Such cracks readily permit leakage of wind-driven rain. The chief factor reducing
incidence of shrinkage cracking is the use of dry block. When laid in the wall, the
block should have a low moisture content, preferably one that is in equilibrium
with the driest condition to which the wall will be exposed.
The block should also have a low potential shrinkage. See moisture-content
requirements in ASTM C90 and method of test for drying shrinkage of concrete
block in ASTM C426.
Formation of large shrinkage cracks may be controlled by use of steel reinforcement
in the horizontal joints of the masonry and above and below wall openings.
Where there may be a considerable seasonal fluctuation in temperature and moisture
content of the wall, high-yield-strength, deformed-wire joint reinforcement should
be placed in at least 50% of all bed joints in the wall.
Use of control joints faced with calking compound has also been recommended
to control shrinkage cracking; however, this practice is marked by frequent failures
to keep the joints sealed against leakage of rain. Steel joint reinforcement strengthens
a concrete masonry wall, whereas control joints weaken it, and the calking in
the joints requires considerable maintenance.
Water-Resistant Surface Treatments for Above-Grade Walls. Experience has
shown that leakage of wind-driven rain through masonry walls, particularly those
of brick, ordinarily cannot be stopped by use of an inexpensive surface treatment
or coating that will not alter the appearance of the wall. Such protective devices
either have a low service life or fail to stop all leakage.
Both organic and cementitious pigmented coating materials, properly applied as
a continuous coating over the exposed face of the wall, do stop leakage. Many of
the organic pigmented coatings are vapor barriers and are therefore unsuitable for
use on the outside, ‘‘cold’’ face of most buildings. If vapor barriers are used on the
cold face of the wall, it is advisable to use a better vapor barrier on the warm face
to reduce condensation in the wall and behind the exterior coating.
Coatings for masonry may be divided into four groups, as follows: (1) colorless
coating materials; (2) cementitious coatings; (3) pigmented organic coatings; and
(4) bituminous coatings.
Colorless Coating Materials. The colorless ‘‘waterproofings’’ are often claimed
to stop leakage of wind-driven rain through permeable masonry walls. Solutions of
oils, paraffin wax, sodium silicate, chlorinated rubber, silicone resins, and salts of
fatty acids have been applied to highly permeable test walls and have been tested
at the National Institute of Standards and Technology under exposure conditions
simulating a wind-driven rain. Most of these solutions contained not more than
10% of solid matter. These treatments reduced the rate of leakage but did not stop
all leakage through the walls. The test data show that colorless coating materials
applied to permeable walls of brick or concrete masonry may not provide adequate
protection against leakage of wind-driven rain.
Solutions containing oils and waxes tended to seal the pores exposed in the faces
of the mortar joints and masonry units, thereby acting more or less as vapor barriers,
but did not seal the larger openings, particularly those in the joints.
Silicone water-repellent solutions greatly reduced leakage through the walls as
long as the treated wall faces remained water-repellent. After an exposure period
of 2 or 3 hr, the rate of leakage gradually increased as the water repellency of the
wall face diminished.
Coatings of the water-repellent, breather type, such as silicone and ‘‘soap’’
solutions, may be of value in reducing absorption of moisture into the wall surface.
They may be of special benefit in reducing the soiling and disfiguration of stucco
facings and light-colored masonry surfaces. They may be applied to precastconcrete
panels to reduce volume changes that may otherwise result from changes
in moisture content of the concretes. However, it should be noted that a waterrepellent
treatment applied to the surface may cause water, trapped in the masonry,
to evaporate beneath the surface instead of at the surface. If the masonry is not
water-resistant and contains a considerable amount of soluble salts, as evidenced
by efflorescence, application of a water repellent may cause salts to be deposited
beneath the surface, thereby causing spalling of the masonry. The water repellents
therefore should be applied only to walls having water-resistant joints. Furthermore,
application of a colorless material makes the treated face of the masonry waterrepellent
and may prevent the proper bonding of a cementitious coating that could
otherwise be used to stop leakage.
Cementitious Coatings. Coatings of portland-cement paints, grouts, and stuccos
and of pneumatically applied mortars are highly water-resistant. They are preferred
above all other types of surface coatings for use as water-resistant base coatings on
above-grade concrete masonry. They may also be applied to the exposed faces of
brick masonry walls that have not been built to be water-resistant.
The cementitious coatings absorb moisture and are of the breather type, permitting
passage of water vapor. Addition of water repellents to these coatings does
not greatly affect their water resistance but does reduce the soiling of the surface
from the absorption of dirt-laden water. If more than one coating is applied, as in
a two-coat paint or stucco facing job, the repellent is preferably added only to the
finish coat, thus avoiding the difficulty of bonding a cementitious coating to a waterrepellent
The technique used in applying the cementitious coatings is highly important.
The backing should be thoroughly dampened. Paints and grouts should be scrubbed
into place with stiff fiber brushes and the coatings should be properly cured by
wetting. Properly applied, the grouts are highly durable; some grout coatings applied
to concrete masonry test walls were found to be as water-resistant after 10
years out-of-doors exposure as when first applied to the walls.
Pigmented Organic Coatings. These include textured coatings, mastic coatings,
conventional paints, and aqueous dispersions. The thick-textured and mastic coatings
are usually spray-applied but may be applied by trowel. Conventional paints
and aqueous dispersions are usually applied by brush or spray. Most of these coatings
are vapor barriers but some textured coatings, conventional paints, and aqueous
dispersions are breathers. Except for the aqueous dispersions, all the coatings are
recommended for use with a primer.
Applied as a continuous coating, without pinholes, the pigmented organic coatings
are highly water-resistant. They are most effective when applied over a smooth
backing. When they are applied with paintbrush or spray by conventional methods
to rough-textured walls, it is difficult to level the surface and to obtain a continuous
water-resistant coating free from holes. A scrubbed-on cementitious grout used as
a base coat on such walls will prevent leakage through the masonry without the
use of a pigmented organic coating.
The pigmented organic coatings are highly decorative but may not be so waterresistant,
economical, or durable as the cementitious coatings.
Bituminous Coatings. Bituminous cutbacks, emulsions, and plastic cements are
usually vapor barriers and are sometimes applied as ‘‘dampproofers’’ on the inside
faces of masonry walls. Plaster is often applied directly over these coatings, the
bond of the plaster to the masonry being only of a mechanical nature. Tests show
that bituminous coatings applied to the inside faces of highly permeable masonry
walls, not plastered, will readily blister and permit leakage of water through the
coating. It is advisable not to depend on such coatings to prevent the leakage of
wind-driven rain unless they are incorporated in the masonry or held in place with
a rigid self-sustaining backing.
Even though the walls are resistant to wind-driven rain, but are treated on their
inner faces with a bituminous coating, water may be condensed on the warm side
of the coating and damage to the plaster may result, whether the walls are furred
or not. However, the bituminous coating may be of benefit as a vapor barrier in
furred walls, if no condensation occurs on the warm side.
See also Secs. 9 and 11.
(‘‘Admixtures for Concrete,’’ ACI 212.1R; ‘‘Guide for Use of Admixtures for
Concrete,’’ ACI 212.2R; ‘‘Guide to Joint Sealants for Concrete Structures,’’ ACI
504R; ‘‘Specification for Materials, Proportioning and Application of Shotcrete,’’
ACI 506.2; ‘‘A Guide to the Use of Waterproofing, Dampproofing, Protective and
Decorative Barrier Systems for Concrete,’’ ACI 515.1R; ‘‘Specification for Concrete
Masonry Construction,’’ ACI 531.1; ‘‘Polymers in Concrete,’’ ACI 548R; ‘‘Guide
for the Use of Polymers in Concrete,’’ ACI 548.1R, American Concrete Institute,
P.O. Box 19150, Redford Station, Detroit, MI 48219.)
There are two distinct aspects of fire protection: life safety and property protection.
Although providing for one aspect generally results in some protection for the other,
the two goals are not mutually inclusive. A program that provides for prompt notification
and evacuation of occupants meets the objectives for life safety, but provides
no protection for property. Conversely, it is possible that adequate property
protection might not be sufficient for protection of life.
Absolute safety from fire is not attainable. It is not possible to eliminate all
combustible materials or all potential ignition sources. Thus, in most cases, an
adequate fire protection plan must assume that unwanted fires will occur despite
the best efforts to prevent them. Means must be provided to minimize the losses
caused by the fires that do occur.
The first obligation of designers is to meet legal requirements while providing
the facilities required by the client. In particular, the requirements of the applicable
building code must be met. The building code will contain fire safety requirements,
or it will specify some recognized standard by reference. Many owners will also
require that their own insurance carrier be consulted—to obtain the most favorable
insurance rate, if for no other reason.
3.5.1 Fire-Protection Standards
The standards most widely adopted are those published by the National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA), Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269. The NFPA
‘‘National Fire Codes’’ comprise several volumes containing numerous standards,
updated annually. (These are also available separately.) The standards are supplemented
by the NFPA ‘‘Fire Protection Handbook,’’ which contains comprehensive
and detailed discussion of fire problems and much valuable statistical and engineering
Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL), 333 Pfingsten Road, Northbrook, IL
60062, publishes testing laboratory approvals of devices and systems in its ‘‘Fire
Protection Equipment List,’’ updated annually and by bimonthly supplements. The
publication outlines the tests that devices and systems must pass to be listed. The
UL ‘‘Building Materials List’’ describes and lists building materials, ceiling-floor
assemblies, wall and partition assemblies, beam and column protection, interior
finish materials, and other pertinent data. UL also publishes lists of ‘‘Accident
Equipment,’’ ‘‘Electrical Equipment,’’ ‘‘Electrical Construction Materials,’’ ‘‘Hazardous
Location Equipment,’’ ‘‘Gas and Oil Equipment,’’ and others.
Separate standards for application to properties insured by the Factory Mutual
System are published by the Factory Mutual Engineering Corporation (FM), Norwood,
MA 02062. FM also publishes a list of devices and systems it has tested
and approved.
The General Services Administration, acting for the federal government, has
developed many requirements that must be considered, if applicable. Also, the federal
government encourages cities to adopt some uniform code. In addition, buildings
must comply with provisions of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
(See Department of Justice final rules, Federal Register, 28 CFR Part 36, July 26,
1991; American National Standards Institute ‘‘Accessibility Standard,’’ ANSI
A117.1; ‘‘ADA Compliance Guidebook,’’ Building Owners and Managers Association
International, 1201 New York Ave., Washington, D.C. 20005.)
The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) sets standards for
protecting the health and safety of nearly all employees. It is not necessary that a
business be engaged in interstate commerce for the law to apply. OSHA defines
employer as ‘‘a person engaged in a business affecting commerce who has employees,
but does not include the United States or any State or political subdivision
of a State.’’
An employer is required to ‘‘furnish to each of his employees employment and
a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or
are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.’’ Employers
are also required to ‘‘comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated
under the Act.’’
Building codes consist of a set of rules aimed at providing reasonable safety to
the community, to occupants of buildings, and to the buildings themselves. The
codes may adopt the standards mentioned previously and other standards concerned
with fire protection by reference or adapt them to the specific requirements of the
community. In the absence of a municipal or state building code, designers may
apply the provisions of the Uniform Building Code, promulgated by the International
Conference of Building Officials, or other national model code.
Many states have codes for safety to life in commercial and industrial buildings,
administered by the Department of Labor, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the State
Education Department, or the Health Department. Some of these requirements are
drastic and must always be considered.
Obtaining optimum protection for life and property can require consultation with
the owner’s insurance carrier, municipal officials, and the fire department. If the
situation is complicated enough, it can require consultation with a specialist in all
phases of fire protection and prevention. In theory, municipal building codes are
designed for life safety and for protection of the public, whereas insurance-oriented
codes (except for NFPA 101, ‘‘Life Safety Code’’) are designed to minimize property
fire loss. Since about 70% of any building code is concerned with fire protection,
there are many circumstances that can best be resolved by a fire protection
3.5.2 Fire-Protection Concepts
Although fires in buildings can be avoided, they nevertheless occur. Some of the
reasons for this are human error, arson, faulty electrical equipment, poor maintenance
of heating equipment, and natural causes, such as lightning. Consequently,
buildings should be designed to minimize the probability of a fire and to protect
life and limit property damage if a fire should occur. The minimum steps that should
be taken for the purpose are as follows:
1. Limit potential fire loads, with respect to both combustibility and ability to
generate smoke and toxic gases.
2. Provide means for prompt detection of fires, with warnings to occupants who
may be affected and notification of the presence of fire to fire fighters.
3. Communication of instructions to occupants as to procedures to adopt for
safety, such as to staying in place, proceeding to a designated refuge area, or
evacuating the building.
4. Provide means for early extinguishment of any fire that may occur, primarily
by automatic sprinklers but also by trained fire fighters.
5. Make available also for fire fighting an adequate water supply, appropriate
chemicals, adequate-size piping, conveniently located valves on the piping,
hoses, pumps, and other equipment necessary.
6. Prevent spread of fire from building to building, either through adequate separation
or by enclosure of the building with incombustible materials.
7. Partition the interior of the building with fire barriers, or divisions, to confine
a fire to a limited space.
8. Enclose with protective materials structural components that may be damaged
by fire (fireproofing).
9. Provide refuge areas for occupants and safe evacuation routes to outdoors.
10. Provide means for removal of heat and smoke from the building as rapidly as
possible without exposing occupants to these hazards, with the air-conditioning
TABLE 3.2 Relation between Weight of
Combustibles and Fire Severity*
Average weight of
combustibles, psf
Equivalent fire
severity, hr
5 1?2
71?2 3?4
10 1
15 11?2
20 2
30 3
40 41?2
50 6
60 71?2
* Based on National Institute of Standards and
Technology Report BMS92, ‘‘Classifications of
Building Constructions,’’ Government Printing Of-
fice, Washington, D.C. 20402.
system, if one is present, assisting the removal by venting the building and by
pressurizing smokeproof towers, elevator shafts, and other exits.
11. For large buildings, install standby equipment for operation in emergencies of
electrical systems and elevators.
These steps are discussed in the following articles.
3.5.3 Fire Loads and Resistance Ratings
The nature and potential magnitude of fire in a building are directly related to the
amount and physical arrangement of combustibles present, as contents of the building
or as materials used in its construction. Because of this, all codes classify
buildings by occupancy and construction, because these features are related to the
amount of combustibles.
The total amount of combustibles is called the fire load of the building. Fire
load is expressed in pounds per square foot (psf ) of floor area, with an assumed
calorific value of 7000 to 8000 Btu/ lb. (This Btu content applies to organic materials
similar to wood and paper. Where other materials are present in large proportion,
the weights must be adjusted accordingly. For example, for petroleum products,
fats, waxes, alcohol, and similar materials, the weights are taken at twice their
actual weights, because of the Btu content.)
National Institute of Standards and Technology burnout tests presented in Report
BMS92 indicate a relation between fire load and fire severity as shown in
Table 3.2.
The temperatures used in standard fire tests of building components are indicated
by the internationally recognized time-temperature curve shown in Fig. 3.9. Fire
resistance of construction materials, determined by standard fire tests, is expressed
in hours. The Underwriters Laboratories ‘‘Building Materials List’’ tabulates fire
ratings for materials and assemblies it has tested.
FIGURE 3.9 Time-temperature curve for a
standard fire test.
Every building code specifies required
fire-resistance ratings for structural
members, exterior walls, fire divisions,
fire separations, ceiling-floor
assemblies, and any other constructions
for which a fire rating is necessary. (Fire
protection for structural steel is discussed
in Arts. 7.49 to 7.53. Design for
fire resistance of steel deck in Arts.
8.21.5 and 8.22.4. Design for fire safety
with wood construction is covered in
Art. 10.28.)
Building codes also specify the ratings
required for interior finish of walls,
ceilings and floors. These are classified
as to flame spread, fuel contributed, and
smoke developed, determined in standard
tests performed according to
ASTM E84 or ASTM E119.
3.5.4 Fire and Smoke Barriers
A major consideration in building design is safety of the community. Hence, buildings
should be designed to control fires and smoke so that they will not spread
from building to building.
One way that building codes try to achieve this objective is to establish fire
zones or fire limits that restrict types of construction or occupancy that can be used.
Additional zoning regulations establish minimum distances between buildings. Another
way to achieve the objective is to specify the types of construction that can
be used for enclosing the exterior of buildings. The distance between adjoining
buildings, fire rating, and stability when exposed to fire of exterior walls, windows,
and doors, and percent of window area are some of the factors taken into account
in building codes for determination of the construction classification of a building.
To prevent spread of fire from roof to roof, building codes also often require
that exterior walls extend as a parapet at least 3 ft above the roof level. Parapets
also are useful in shielding fire fighters who may be hosing a fire from roofs of
buildings adjoining the one on fire. In addition, buildings should be topped with
roof coverings that are fire-resistant.
Fire Divisions. To prevent spread of fire vertically in building interiors, building
codes generally require that floor-ceiling and roof-ceiling assemblies be fireresistant.
The fire rating of such assemblies is one of the factors considered in
determination of the construction classification of a building. Also, openings in
floors and roofs should be fire-protected, although building codes do not usually
require this for one-story or two-story dwellings. For the purpose, an opening, such
as that for a stairway, may be protected with a fire-resistant enclosure and fire doors.
In particular, stairways and escalator and elevator shafts should be enclosed, not
only to prevent spread of fire and smoke but also to provide a protected means of
egress from the building for occupants and of approach to the fire source by fire
To prevent spread of fire and smoke horizontally in building interiors, it is desirable
to partition interiors with fire divisions. A fire division is any construction
with the fire-resistance rating and structural stability under fire conditions required
for the type of occupancy and construction of the building to bar the spread of fire
between adjoining buildings or between parts of the same building on opposite
sides of the division. A fire division may be an exterior wall, fire window, fire door,
fire wall, ceiling, or firestop.
A fire wall should be built of incombustible material, have a fire rating of at
least 4 hr, and extend continuously from foundations to roof. Also, the wall should
have sufficient structural stability in a fire to allow collapse of construction on either
side without the wall collapsing. Building codes restrict the size of openings that
may be provided in a fire wall and require the openings to be fire-protected (Art.
To prevent spread of fire through hollow spaces, such spaces should be firestopped.
A firestop is a solid or compact, tight closure set in a hollow, concealed
space in a building to retard spread of flames, smoke, or hot gases. All partitions
and walls should be firestopped at every floor level, at the top-story ceiling level,
and at the level of support for roofs. Also, very large unoccupied attics should be
subdivided by firestops into areas of 3000 ft2 or less. Similarly, any large concealed
space between a ceiling and floor or roof should be subdivided. For the purpose,
firestops extending the full depth of the space should be placed along the line of
supports of structural members and elsewhere, if necessary, to enclose areas not
exceeding 1000 ft2 when situated between a floor and ceiling or 3000 ft2 when
located between a ceiling and roof.
Openings between floors for pipes, ducts, wiring, and other services should be
sealed with the equal of positive firestops. Partitions between each floor and a
suspended ceiling above are not generally required to be extended to the slab above
unless this is necessary for required compartmentation. But smoke stops should be
provided at reasonable intervals to prevent passage of smoke to noninvolved areas.
3.5.5 Height and Area Restrictions
Limitations on heights and floor areas included between fire walls in any story of
a building are given in every building code and are directly related to occupancy
and construction. From the standpoint of fire protection, these provisions are chiefly
concerned with safety to life. They endeavor to ensure this through requirements
determining minimum number of exits, proper location of exits, and maximum
travel distance (hence escape time) necessary to reach a place of refuge. The limitations
are also aimed at limiting the size of fires.
Unlimited height and area are permitted for the most highly fire-resistant type
of construction. Permissible heights and areas are decreased with decrease in fire
resistance of construction. Area permitted between fire walls in any story reduces
to 6000 ft2 for a one-story, wood-frame building.
Installation of automatic sprinklers increases permissible heights and areas in all
classes, except those allowed unlimited heights and areas.
Permissible unlimited heights and areas in fire-resistive buildings considered
generally satisfactory in the past may actually not be safe. A series of fires involving
loss of life and considerable property damage opened the fire safety of such
construction to question. As a result, some cities have made more stringent the
building-code regulations applicable to high-rise buildings.
Many building codes prohibit floor areas of unlimited size unless the building
is sprinklered. Without automatic sprinklers, floor areas must be subdivided into
fire-wall-protected areas of from 7500 to 15,000 ft2 and the enclosing fire walls
must have 1- or 2-hr fire ratings, depending on occupancy and construction.
TABLE 3.3 Approximate Fire Loads for
Various Occupancies*
Occupancy class
Typical average
fire load including
floors and trim, psf
Assembly 10.0
Business 12.6
Educational 7.6
High hazard †
Industrial 25.0
Institutional 5.7
Mercantile 15–20
Residential 8.8
Storage 30.0
*From National Institute of Standards and Technology
Report BMS92, ‘‘Classifications of Building
Constructions,’’ Government Printing Office, Washington.
D.C. 20402.
† Special provisions are made for this class, and
hazards are treated for the specific conditions encountered,
which might not necessarily be in proportion
to the actual fire load.
(‘‘Life Safety Handbook’’ and ‘‘Fire Protection Handbook,’’ National Fire Protection
Association, Quincy, Mass.)
3.5.6 Fire-Resistance Classification of Buildings
Although building codes classify buildings by occupancy and construction, there is
no universal standard for number of classes of either occupancy or construction.
Table 3.3 lists some typical occupancy classifications and associates approximate
fire loads with them. This table should be used only as a guide. For a specific
project refer to the applicable local code. Note, however, that codes do not relate
life-safety hazards to the actual fire load, but deal with them through requirements
for exit arrangements, interior finishes, and ventilation.
Types of construction may be classified by a local building code as follows but
may have further subdivisions, depending on fire-resistance requirements:
1. Fire-resistive construction
2. Protected noncombustible construction
3. Unprotected noncombustible construction
4. Heavy-timber construction
5. Ordinary construction
6. Wood-frame construction
The required fire resistance varies from 4 hr for exterior bearing walls and interior
columns in the highest fire resistive class to 1 hr for walls and none for columns
in the wood-frame construction class.
Type of construction affects fire-protection-system design through requirements
that structural members as well as contents of buildings be protected.
3.5.7 Extinguishment of Fires
Design of all buildings should include provisions for prompt extinguishment of
fires. Apparatus installed for the purpose should take into account the nature and
amount of combustible and smoke-producing materials that may be involved in a
fire. Such apparatus may range from small, hand-held extinguishers for small fires
to hoses attached to a large, pressurized water supply and automatic fire sprinklers.
Also desirable are fire and smoke detectors and a protective signaling system that
sounds an alarm to alert building occupants and calls fire fighters.
Classes of Fires. For convenience in defining effectiveness of extinguishing media,
Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., has developed a classification that separates
combustible materials into four types:
1. Class A fires involve ordinary combustibles and are readily extinguishable by
water or cooling, or by coating with a suitable chemical powder.
2. Class B fires involve flammable liquids where smothering is effective and where
a cooling agent must be applied with care.
3. Class C fires are those in live electrical equipment where the extinguishing agent
must be nonconductive. Since a continuing electrical malfunction will keep the
fire source active, circuit protection must operate to cut off current flow, after
which an electrically conductive agent can be used with safety.
4. Class D fires involve metals that burn, such as magnesium, sodium, and powdered
aluminum. Special powders are necessary for such fires, as well as special
training for operators. These fires should never be attacked by untrained personnel.
Automatic Sprinklers. The most widely used apparatus for fire protection in
buildings is the automatic sprinkler system. In one or more forms, automatic sprinklers
are effective protection in all occupancy classes. Special treatment and use of
additional extinguishing agents, though, may be required in many high-hazard, industrial,
and storage occupancies.
Basically, a sprinkler system consists of a network of piping installed at the
ceiling or roof and supplied with water from a suitable source. On the piping at
systematic intervals are placed heat-sensitive heads, which discharge water when a
predetermined temperature is reached at any head. A gate valve is installed in the
main supply, and drains are provided. An alarm can be connected to the system so
that local and remote signals can be given when the water flows.
Sprinkler systems are suitable for extinguishing all Class A fires and, in many
cases, also Class B and C fires. For Class B fires, a sealed (fusible) head system
may be used if the flammable liquid is in containers or is not present in large
quantity. Sprinklers have a good record for extinguishing fires in garages, for example.
An oil-spill fire can be extinguished or contained when the water is applied
in the form of spray, as from a sprinkler head. When an oil spill or process-pipe
rupture can release flammable liquid under pressure, an open-head (deluge) system
may be required to apply a large volume of water quickly and to keep surrounding
equipment cool.
For Class C fires, water can be applied to live electrical equipment if it is done
in the form of a nonconducting foglike spray. This is usually the most economical
way to protect outdoor oil-filled transformers and oil circuit breakers.
Fire protection should be based on complete coverage of the building by the
sprinkler system. Partial coverage is rarely advisable, because extinguishing capacity
is based on detecting and extinguishing fires in their incipiency, and the system
must be available at all times in all places. Systems are not designed to cope with
fires that have gained headway after starting in unsprinklered areas.
See also Arts. 14.27 to 14.29.
Standpipes. Hoses supplied with water from standpipes are the usual means of
manual application of water to interior building fires. Standpipes are usually designed
for this use by the fire department, but they can be used by building fire
fighters also.
Standpipes are necessary in buildings higher than those that ground-based fire
department equipment can handle effectively. The Standard Building Code requires
standpipes in buildings higher than 50 ft. The Uniform Building Code requirement
starts at four stories or occupancies over 5000 ft2 in area and depends on whether
automatic sprinklers are installed.
See also Art. 14.30.
Chemical Extinguishment. Fires involving some materials may not be readily
extinguished with water alone. When such materials may be present in a building,
provision should be made for application of appropriate chemicals.
Foamed chemicals, mostly masses of air- or gas-filled bubbles, formed by
chemical or mechanical means, may be used to control fires in flammable liquids.
Foam is most useful in controlling fires in flammable liquids with low flash points
and low specific gravity, such as gasoline. The mass of bubbles forms a cohesive
blanket that extinguishes fire by excluding air and cooling the surface.
Foam clings to horizontal surfaces and can also be used on vertical surfaces of
process vessels to insulate and cool. It is useful on fuel-spill fires, to extinguish
and confine the vapors.
For fire involving water-soluble liquids, such as alcohol, a special foam concentrate
must be used. Foam is not suitable for use on fires involving compressed
gases, such as propane, nor is it practical on live electrical equipment. Because of
the water content, foam cannot be used on fires involving burning metals, such as
sodium, which reacts with water. It is not effective on oxygen-containing materials.
Three distinct types of foam are suitable for fire control: chemical foam, air
foam (mechanical foam), and high-expansion foam.
Chemical foam was the first foam developed for fire fighting. It is formed by
the reaction of water with two chemical powders, usually sodium bicarbonate and
aluminum sulfate. The reaction forms carbon dioxide, which is the content of the
bubbles. This foam is the most viscous and tenacious of the foams. It forms a
relatively tough blanket, resistant to mechanical or heat disruption. The volume of
expansion may be as much as 10 times that of the water used in the solution.
Chemical foam is sensitive to the temperature at which it is formed, and the
chemicals tend to deteriorate during long storage periods. It is not capable of being
transported through long pipe lines. For these reasons, it is not used as much as
other foams. National Fire Protection Association standard NFPA 11 covers chemical
Air foam (mechanical foam) is made by mechanical mixing of water and a
protein-based chemical concentrate. There are several methods of combining the
components, but essentially the foam concentrate is induced into a flowing stream
of water through a metering orifice and a suitable device, such as a venturi. The
volume of foam generated is from 16 to 33 times the volume of water used. Several
kinds of mixing apparatus are available, choice depending on volume required,
availability of water, type of hazard, and characteristics of the protected area or
Air foam can be conducted through pipes and discharged through a fixed chamber
mounted in a bulk fuel storage tank, or it can be conducted through hoses and
discharged manually through special nozzles. This foam can also be distributed
through a sprinkler system of special design to cover small equipment, such as
process vessels, or in multisystem applications, over an entire airplane hangar. The
standard for use and installation of air foam is NFPA 11, and for foam-water sprinkler
systems, NFPA 16.
High-expansion foam was developed for use in coal mines, where its extremely
high expansion rate allowed it to be generated quickly in sufficient volume to fill
mine galleries and reach inaccessible fires. This foam can be generated in volumes
of from 100 to 1000 times the volume of water used, with the latter expansion in
most general use. The foam is formed by passage of air through a screen constantly
wetted by a solution of chemical concentrate, usually with a detergent base. The
foam can be conducted to a fire area by ducts, either fixed or portable, and can be
applied manually by small portable generators. Standard for equipment and use of
high-expansion foam is NFPA 11A.
High-expansion foam is useful for extinguishing fires by totally flooding indoor
confined spaces, as well as for local application to specific areas. It extinguishes
by displacing air from the fire and by the heat-absorbing effect of converting the
foam water content into steam. The foam forms an insulating barrier for exposed
equipment or building components.
High-expansion foam is more fragile than chemical or air foam. Also, it is not
generally reliable when used outdoors where it is subject to wind currents. Highexpansion
foam is not toxic, but it has the effect of disorienting people who may
be trapped in it.
Carbon dioxide is useful as an extinguishing agent, particularly on surface fires,
such as those involving flammable liquids in confined spaces. It is nonconductive
and is effective on live electrical equipment. Because carbon dioxide requires no
clean-up, it is desirable on equipment such as gasoline or diesel engines. The gas
can be used on Class A fires. But when a fire is deep-seated, an extended discharge
period is required to avoid rekindling.
Carbon dioxide provides its own pressure for discharge and distribution and is
nonreactive with most common industrial materials. Because its density is 11?2 times
that of air, carbon dioxide tends to drop and to build up from the base of a fire.
Extinguishment of a fire is effected by reduction of the oxygen concentration surrounding
a fire.
Carbon dioxide may be applied to concentrated areas or machines by hand-held
equipment, either carried or wheeled. Or the gas may be used to flood totally a
room containing a hazard. The minimum concentrations for total flooding for fires
involving some commercial liquids are listed in ‘‘Standard on Carbon-Dioxide
Extinguishing Systems,’’ NFPA 12.
Carbon dioxide is not effective on fires involving burning metals, such as magnesium,
nor is it effective on oxygen-containing materials, such as nitrocellulose.
Hazard to personnel is involved to the extent that a concentration of 9% will cause
suffocation in a few minutes, and concentrations of 20% can be fatal. When used
in areas where personnel are present, a time delay before discharge is necessary to
permit evacuation.
For use in total flooding systems, carbon dioxide is available in either highpressure
or low-pressure equipment. Generally, it is more economical to use lowpressure
equipment for large volumes, although there is no division point applicable
in all cases.
Halon 1301 is one of a series of halogenated hydrocarbons, bromotrifluoromethane
(CBrF2), used with varying degrees of effectiveness as a fire-extinguishing
agent and was included in the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the
Ozone Layer signed in September 16, 1987. It is currently limited to ‘‘critical uses’’
and is planned to be phased out by 2002. The types of uses currently defined as
critical are spaces where flammable liquid and/or gas release could occur in the
oil, gas, petrochemical and military sectors; manned communication centers of the
armed forces or other places essential for national security; or for the protection of
spaces where there may be a risk of dispersion of radioactive material.
Dry chemical extinguishing agents were used originally to extinguish Class B
fires. One type consisted of a sodium bicarbonate base with additives to prevent
caking and to improve fluid flow characteristics. Later, multipurpose dry chemicals
effective on Class A, B, and C fires were developed. These chemicals are distinctly
different from the dry powder extinguishing agents used on combustible metals
described below.
Dry chemicals are effective on surface fires, especially on flammable liquids.
When used on Class A fires, they do not penetrate into the burning material. So
when a fire involves porous or loosely packed material, water is used as a backup.
The major effect of dry chemicals is due almost entirely to ability to break the
chain reaction of combustion. A minor effect of smothering is obtained on Class
A fires.
Fires that are likely to rekindle are not effectively controlled by dry chemicals.
When these chemicals are applied to machinery or equipment at high temperatures,
caking can cause some difficulty in cleaning up after the fire.
Dry chemicals can be discharged in local applications by hand-held extinguishers,
wheeled portable equipment, or nozzles on hose lines. These chemicals can
also be used for extinguishing fires by total flooding, when they are distributed
through a piped system with special discharge nozzles. The expellant gas is usually
dry nitrogen.
Dry powder extinguishing agents are powders effective in putting out combustible-
metal fires. There is no universal extinguisher that can be used on all fires
involving combustible metals. Such fires should never be fought by untrained personnel.
There are several proprietary agents effective on several metals, but none should
be used without proper attention to the manufacturer’s instructions and the specific
metal involved. For requirements affecting handling and processing of combustible
metals, reference should be made to National Fire Protection Association standards
NFPA 48 and 652 for magnesium, NFPA 481 for titanium, NFPA 482M for zirconium,
and NFPA 65 and 651 for aluminum.
(‘‘The SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering,’’ and ‘‘Automatic Sprinkler
Systems Handbook,’’ National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, Mass.)
3.5.8 Fire Detection
Every fire-extinguishing activity must start with detection. To assist in this, many
types of automatic detectors are available, with a wide range of sensitivity. Also, a
variety of operations can be performed by the detection system. It can initiate an
alarm, local or remote, visual or audible; notify a central station; actuate an extinguishing
system; start or stop fans or processes, or perform any other operation
capable of automatic control.
There are five general types of detectors, each employing a different physical
means of operation. The types are designated fixed-temperature, rate-of-rise, photoelectric,
combustion-products, and ultraviolet or infrared detectors.
A wide variety of detectors has been tested and reported on by Underwriters
Laboratories, Inc. See Art. 3.5.1.
Fixed-Temperature Detectors. In its approval of any detection device, UL specifies
the maximum distance between detectors to be used for area coverage. This
spacing should not be used without competent judgment. In arriving at the permitted
spacing for any device, UL judges the response time in comparison with that of
automatic sprinkler heads spaced at 10-ft intervals. Thus, if a device is more sensitive
than a sprinkler head, the permitted spacing is increased until the response
times are nearly equal. If greater sensitivity is desired, the spacing must be reduced.
With fixed-temperature devices, there is a thermal lag between the time the
ambient temperature reaches rated temperature and the device itself reaches that
temperature. For thermostats having a rating of 135F, the ambient temperature can
reach 206F.
Disk thermostats are the cheapest and most widely used detectors. The most
common type employs the principle of unequal thermal expansion in a bimetallic
assembly to operate a snap-action disk at a preset temperature, to close electrical
contacts. These thermostats are compact. The disk, 1?2 in in diameter, is mounted
on a plastic base 13?4 in in diameter. The thermostats are self-resetting, the contacts
being disconnected when normal temperature is restored.
Thermostatic cable consists of two sheathed wires separated by a heat-sensitive
coating which melts at high temperature, allowing the wires to contact each other.
The assembly is covered by a protective sheath. When any section has functioned,
it must be replaced.
Continuous detector tubing is a more versatile assembly. This detector consists
of a small-diameter Inconel tube, of almost any length, containing a central wire,
separated from the tube by a thermistor element. At elevated temperatures, the
resistance of the thermistor drops to a point where a current passes between the
wire and the tube. The current can be monitored, and in this way temperature
changes over a wide range, up to 1000F, can be detected. The detector can be
assembled to locate temperature changes of different magnitudes over the same
length of detector. It is self-restoring when normal temperature is restored. This
detector is useful for industrial applications, as well as for fire detection.
Fusible links are the same devices used in sprinkler heads and are made to
operate in the same temperature range. Melting or breaking at a specific temperature,
they are used to restrain operation of a fire door, electrical switch, or similar
mechanical function, such as operation of dampers. Their sensitivity is substantially
reduced when installed at a distance below a ceiling or other heat-collecting obstruction.
Rate-of-Rise Detectors. Detectors and detector systems are said to operate on the
rate-of-rise principle when they function on a rapid increase in temperature, whether
the initial temperature is high or low. The devices are designed to operate when
temperature rises at a specified number of degrees, usually 10 or 15F, per minute.
They are not affected by normal temperature increases and are not subject to thermal
lag, as are fixed-temperature devices.
Photoelectric Detectors. These indicate a fire condition by detecting the smoke.
Sensitivity can be adjusted to operate when obscuration is as low as 0.4% per ft.
In these devices, a light source is directed so that it does not impinge on a photoelectric
cell. When sufficient smoke particles are concentrated in the chamber, their
reflected light reaches the cell, changing its resistance and initiating a signal.
These detectors are particularly useful when a potential fire is likely to generate
a substantial amount of smoke before appreciable heat and flame erupt. A fixedtemperature,
snap-action disk is usually included in the assembly.
Combustion-Products Detectors. Two physically different means, designated ionization
type and resistance-bridge type, are used to operate combustion-products
The ionization type, most generally used, employs ionization of gases by alpha
particles emitted by a small quantity of radium or americum. The detector contains
two ionization chambers, one sealed and the other open to the atmosphere, in electrical
balance with a cold-cathode tube or transistorized amplifier. When sufficient
combustion products enter the open chamber, the electrical balance is upset, and
the resulting current operates a relay.
The resistance-bridge type of detector operates when combustion products
change the impedance of an electric bridge grid circuit deposited on a glass plate.
Combustion-products detectors are designed for extreme early warning, and are
most useful when it is desirable to have warning of impending combustion when
combustion products are still invisible. These devices are sensitive in some degree
to air currents, temperature, and humidity, and should not be used without consultation
with competent designers.
Flame Detectors. These discriminate between visible light and the light produced
by combustion reactions. Ultraviolet detectors are responsive to flame having wavelengths
up to 2850 A° . The effective distance between flame and detectors is about
10 ft for a 5-in-diam pan of gasoline, but a 12-in-square pan fire can be detected
at 30 ft.
Infrared detectors are also designed to detect flame. These are not designated
by range of wavelength because of the many similar sources at and above the
infrared range. To identify the radiation as a fire, infrared detectors usually employ
the characteristic flame flicker, and have a built-in time delay to eliminate accidental
similar phenomena.
(‘‘The SFPE Handbook of Fire Detection Engineering,’’ National Fire Protection
Association, Quincy, Mass.)
3.5.9 Smoke and Heat Venting
In extinguishment of any building fire, the heat-absorption capacity of water is the
principal medium of reducing the heat release from the fire. When, however, a fire
is well-developed, the smoke and heat must be released from confinement to make
the fire approachable for final manual action. If smoke and heat venting is not
provided in the building design, holes must be opened in the roof or building sides
by the fire department. In many cases, it has been impossible to do this, with total
property losses resulting.
Large-area, one-story buildings can be provided with venting by use of monitors,
or a distribution of smaller vents. Multistory buildings present many problems,
particularly since life safety is the principal consideration in these buildings.
TABLE 3.4 Minimum Ratios of Effective
Vent Area to Floor Area
Low-heat-release contents 1:150
Moderate-heat-release contents 1:100
High-heat-release contents 1:30–1:50
TABLE 3.5 Maximum Distance between
Vents, Ft
Low-heat-release contents 150
Moderate-heat-release contents 120
High-heat-release contents 75–100
Ventilation facilities should be provided in addition to the protection afforded
by automatic sprinklers and hose stations.
Large One-Story Buildings. For manufacturing purposes, low buildings are frequently
required to be many hundreds of feet in each horizontal dimension. Lack
of automatic sprinklers in such buildings has proven to be disastrous where adequate
smoke and heat venting has not been provided. Owners generally will not permit
fire division walls, because they interfere with movement and processing of materials.
With the whole content of a building subject to the same fire, fire protection
and venting are essential to prevent large losses in windowless buildings underground
structures, and buildings housing hazardous operations.
There is no accepted formula for determining the exact requirements for smoke
and heat venting. Establishment of guidelines is the nearest approach that has been
made to venting design, and these must be adapted to the case at hand. Consideration
must be given to quantity, shape, size, and combustibility of contents.
Venting Ratios. The ratio of effective vent opening to floor area should be at
least that given in Table 3.4.
Venting can be accomplished by use of monitors, continuous vents, unit-type
vents, or sawtooth skylights. In moderate-sized buildings exterior-wall windows
may be used if they are near the eaves.
Monitors must be provided with operable panels or other effective means of
providing openings at the required time.
Continuous gravity vents are continuous narrow slots provided with a weather
hood above. Movable shutters can be provided and should be equipped to open
automatically in a fire condition.
Vent Spacing. Unit-type vents are readily adapted to flat roofs, and can be
installed in any required number, size, and spacing. They are made in sizes from
4  4 ft to 10  10 ft, with a variety of frame types and means of automatic
opening. In arriving at the number and size of vents, preference should be given
to a large number of small vents, rather than a few large vents. Because it is
desirable to have a vent as near as possible to any location where a fire can start,
a limit should be placed on the distance between units. Table 3.5 lists the generally
accepted maximum distance between vents.
Releasing Methods. Roof vents should be automatically operated by means that
do not require electric power. They also should be capable of being manually operated.
Roof vents approved by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., are available from
a number of manufacturers.
Refer to National Fire Protection Association standard NFPA 204 in designing
vents for large, one-story buildings. Tests conducted prior to publication of NFPA
231C indicated that a sprinkler system designed for adequate density of water application
will eliminate the need for roof vents, but the designers would be well
advised to consider the probable speed of fire and smoke development in making
a final decision. NFPA 231C covers the rack storage of materials as high as 20 ft.
High-Rise Buildings. Building codes vary in their definition of high-rise buildings,
but the intent is to define buildings in which fires cannot be fought successfully
by ground-based equipment and personnel. Thus, ordinarily, high-rise means buildings
100 ft or more high. In design for smoke and heat venting, however, any
multistory building presents the same problems.
Because smoke inhalation has been the cause of nearly all fatalities in high-rise
buildings, some building codes require that a smoke venting system be installed
and made to function independently of the air-conditioning system. Also, smoke
detectors must be provided to actuate exhaust fans and at the same time warn the
fire department and the building’s control center. The control center must have twoway
voice communication, selectively, with all floors and be capable of issuing
instructions for occupant movement to a place of safety.
Because the top story is the only one that can be vented through the roof, all
other stories must have the smoke conducted through upper stories to discharge
safely above the roof. A separate smoke shaft extending through all upper stories
will provide this means. It should be provided with an exhaust fan and should be
connected to return-air ducts with suitable damper control of smoke movement, so
that smoke from any story can be directed into the shaft. The fan and dampers
should be actuated by smoke detectors installed in suitable locations at each inlet
to return-air ducts. Operation of smoke detectors also should start the smoke-ventshaft
fan and stop supply-air flow. Central-station supervision (Art. 3.5.12) should
be provided for monitoring smoke-detector operation. Manual override controls
should be installed in a location accessible under all conditions.
Windows with fixed sash should be provided with means for emergency opening
by the fire department.
Pressurizing stair towers to prevent the entrance of smoke is highly desirable
but difficult to accomplish. Most standpipe connections are usually located in stair
towers, and it is necessary to open the door to the fire floor to advance the hose
stream toward the fire. A more desirable arrangement would be to locate the riser
in the stair tower, if required by code, and place the hose valve adjacent to the
door to the tower. Some codes permit this, and it is adaptable to existing buildings.
(‘‘The SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering,’’ National Fire Protection
Association, Quincy, Mass.)
3.5.10 Emergency Egress
In addition to providing means for early detection of fire, preventing its spread, and
extinguishing it speedily, building designers should also provide the appropriate
number, sizes, and arrangements of exits to permit quick evacuation of occupants
if fire or other conditions dangerous to life occur. Buildings should be designed to
preclude development of panic in emergencies, especially in confined areas where
large numbers of persons may assemble. Hence, the arrangement of exit facilities
should permit occupants to move freely toward exits that they can see clearly and
that can be reached by safe, unobstructed, uncongested paths. Redundancy is highly
desirable; there should be more than one path to safety, so that loss of a single path
will not prevent escape of occupants from a danger area. The paths should be
accessible to and usable by handicapped persons, including those in wheelchairs,
if they may be occupants.
Building codes generally contain requirements for safe, emergency egress from
buildings. Such requirements also are concisely presented in the ‘‘Life Safety Code’’
of the National Fire Protection Association.
Egress Components. Many building codes define an exit as a safe means of egress
from the interior of a building to an open exterior space beyond the reach of a
building fire or give an equivalent definition. Other codes consider an exterior door
or a stairway leading to access to such a door to be an exit. To prevent misunderstandings,
the ‘‘Life Safety Code’’ defines a means of egress composed of three
Accordingly, a means of egress is a continuous, unobstructed path for evacuees
from any point in a building to a public way. Its three parts are:
Exit access—that portion that leads to an entrance to an exit
Exit—the portion that is separated from all other building spaces by construction
or equipment required to provide a protected path to the exit discharge
Exit discharge—the portion that connects the termination of an exit to a public
Means of egress may be provided by exterior and interior doors and enclosed
horizontal and vertical passageways, including stairs and escalators. (Elevators and
exterior fire escapes are not generally recognized as reliable means of egress in a
fire.) Exit access includes the space from which evacuation starts and passageways
and doors that must be traversed to reach an exit.
Types of Exits. Building codes generally recognize the following as acceptable
exits when they meet the codes’ safety requirements:
Corridors—enclosed horizontal or slightly inclined public passageways, which
lead from interior spaces toward an exit discharge. Minimum floor-to-ceiling
height permitted is generally 80 in. Minimum width depends on type of occupancy
and passageway (Table 3.7 and Art. 3.5.11). Codes may require subdivision
of corridors into lengths not exceeding 300 ft for educational buildings
and 150 ft for institutional buildings. Subdivision should be accomplished with
noncombustible partitions incorporating smokestop doors. In addition, codes
may require the corridor enclosures to have a fire rating of 1 or 2 hr.
Exit passageways—horizontal extensions of vertical passageways. Minimum
floor-to-ceiling height is the same as for corridors. Width should be at least that
of the vertical passageways. Codes may require passageway enclosures to have
a 2-hr fire rating. A street-floor lobby may serve as an exit passageway if it is
sufficiently wide to accommodate the probable number of evacuees from all
contributing spaces at the lobby level.
Exit doors—doors providing access to streets or to stairs or exit passageways.
Those at stairs or passageways should have a fire rating of at least 3?4 hr.
Horizontal exit—passageway to a refuge area. The exit may be a fire door
through a wall with a 2-hr fire rating, a balcony providing a path around a fire
barrier, or a bridge or tunnel between two buildings. Doors in fire barriers with
3- or 4-hr fire ratings should have a 11?2-hr rated door on each face of the fire
division. Walls permitted to have a lower fire rating may incorporate a single
door with a rating of at least 11?2 hr. Balconies, bridges, and tunnels should be
at least as wide as the doors providing access to them, and enclosures or sides
of these passageways should have a fire rating of 2 hr or more. Exterior-wall
openings, below or within 30 ft of an open bridge or balcony, should have at
least 3?4-hr fire protection.
Interior stairs—stairs that are inside a building and that serve as an exit. Except
in one-story or two-story low-hazard buildings, such stairs should be built of
noncombustible materials. Stairway enclosures generally should have a 2-hr fire
rating. Building codes, however, may exempt low dwellings from this requirement.
Exterior stairs—stairs that are open to the outdoors and that serve as an exit
to ground level. Height of such stairs is often limited to 75 ft or six stories. The
stairs should be protected by a fire-resistant roof and should be built of noncombustible
materials. Wall openings within 10 ft of the stairs should have 3?4-hr fire
Smokeproof tower—a continuous fire-resistant enclosure protecting a stairway
from fire or smoke in a building. At every floor, a passageway should be provided
by vestibules or balconies directly open to the outdoors and at least 40 in
wide. Tower enclosures should have a 2-hr fire rating. Access to the vestibules
or balconies and entrances to the tower should be provided by doorways at least
40 in wide, protected by self-closing fire doors.
Escalators—moving stairs. Building codes may permit their use as exits if they
meet the safety requirements of interior stairs and if they move in the direction
of exit travel or stop gradually when an automatic fire-detection system signals
a fire.
Moving walks—horizontal or inclined conveyor belts for passengers. Building
codes may permit their use as exits if they meet the safety requirements for exit
passageways and if they move in the direction of exit travel or stop gradually
when an automatic fire-detection system signals a fire.
Refuge Areas. A refuge area is a space protected against fire and smoke. When
located within a building, the refuge should be at about the same level as the areas
served and separated from them by construction with at least a 2-hr fire rating.
Access to the refuge areas should be protected by fire doors with a fire rating of
11?2 hr or more.
A refuge area should be large enough to shelter comfortably its own occupants
plus those from other spaces served. The minimum floor area required may be
calculated by allowing 3 ft2 of unobstructed space for each ambulatory person and
30 ft2 per person for hospital or nursing-home patients. Each refuge area should be
provided with at least one horizontal or vertical exit, such as a stairway, and in
locations more than 11 stories above grade, with at least one elevator.
Location of Exits. Building codes usually require a building to have at least two
means of egress from every floor. Exits should be remote from each other, to reduce
the chance that both will be blocked in an emergency.
All exit access facilities and exits should be located so as to be clearly visible
to building occupants or signs should be installed to indicate the direction of travel
to the exits. Signs marking the locations of exits should be illuminated with at least
5 ft-c of light. Floors of means of egress should be illuminated with at least 1 ft-c
of artificial light whenever the building is occupied.
If an open floor area does not have direct access to an exit, a protected, continuous
passageway should be provided directly to an exit. The passageway should
be kept open at all times. Occupants using the passageway should not have to pass
any high-hazard areas not fully shielded.
To ensure that occupants will have sufficient escape time in emergencies, building
codes limit the travel distance from the most remote point in any room or space
to a door that opens to an outdoor space, stairway, or exit passageway. The maximum
travel distance permitted depends on the type of occupancy and whether the
space is sprinklered. For example, for corridors not protected by sprinklers, maximum
permitted length may range from 100 ft for storage and institutional buildings
to 150 ft for residential, mercantile, and industrial occupancies. With sprinkler protection,
permitted length may range from 150 ft for high-hazard and storage buildings
to 300 ft for commercial buildings, with 200 ft usually permitted for other
types of occupancies.
Building codes also may prohibit or limit the lengths of passageways or courts
that lead to a dead end. For example, a corridor that does not terminate at an exit
is prohibited in high-hazard buildings. For assembly, educational, and institutional
buildings, the maximum corridor length to a dead end may not exceed 30 ft,
whereas the maximum such length is 40 ft for residential buildings and 50 ft for
all other occupancies, except high-hazard.
3.5.11 Required Exit Capacity
Minimum width of a passageway for normal use is 36 in. This is large enough to
accommodate one-way travel for persons on crutches or in wheelchairs. For twoway
travel, a 60-in width is necessary. (A corridor, however, need not be 60 in
wide for its full length, if 60  60-in passing spaces, alcoves, or corridor intersections
are provided at short intervals.) Building codes, however, may require greater
widths to permit rapid passage of the anticipated number of evacuees in emergencies.
This number depends on a factor called the occupant load, but the minimum
width should be ample for safe, easy passage of handicapped persons. Running
slope should not exceed 1:20, and cross slope, 1:50.
Occupant load of a building space is the maximum number of persons that
may be in the space at any time. Building codes may specify the minimum permitted
capacity of exits in terms of occupant load, given as net floor area, square
feet, per person, for various types of occupancy (Table 3.6). The number of occupants
permitted in a space served by the exits then can be calculated by dividing
the floor area, square feet, by the specified occupant load.
The occupant load of any space should include the occupant load of other spaces
if the occupants have to pass through that space to reach an exit.
With the occupant load known, the required width for an exit or an exit door
can be determined by dividing the occupant load on the exit by the capacity of the
Capacities of exits and access facilities generally are measured in units of width
of 22 in, and the number of persons per unit of width is determined by the type of
occupancy. Thus, the number of units of exit width for a doorway is found by
dividing by 22 the clear width of the doorway when the door is in the open position.
(Projections of stops and hinge stiles may be disregarded.) Fractions of a unit of
width less than 12 in should not be credited to door capacity. If, however, 12 in or
more is added to a multiple of 22 in, one-half unit of width can be credited. Building
codes indicate the capacities in persons per unit of width that may be assumed for
various means of egress. Recommendations of the ‘‘Life Safety Code’’ of the National
Fire Protection Association, Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269, are summarized
in Table 3.7.
TABLE 3.6 Typical Occupant Load Requirements for
Types of Occupancy
Net floor
area per
Auditoriums 7
Billiard rooms 50
Bowling alleys 50
Classrooms 20
Dance floors 7
Dining spaces (nonresidential) 12
Exhibition spaces 10
Garages and open parking structures 250
Gymnasiums 15
Habitable rooms 200
Industrial shops 200
In schools 50
Institutional sleeping rooms 120
Kindergartens 35
Kitchens (nonresidential) 200
Laboratories 50
Preparation rooms 100
Libraries 25
Locker rooms 12
Offices 100
Passenger terminals or platforms 1.5C*
Sales areas (retail)
First floor or basement
Other floors 60
Seating areas (audience) in places of assembly
Fixed seats
Movable seats 10
Skating rinks 15
Stages S‡
Storage rooms 300
*C  capacity of all passenger vehicles that can be unloaded
†D  number of seats or occupants for which space is to be used.
‡S  75 persons per unit of width of exit openings serving a stage
directly, or one person per 15 ft of performing area plus one person
per 50 ft2 of remaining area plus number of seats that may be placed
for an audience on stage.
TABLE 3.7 Capacities, Persons per Unit of Width, for
Means of Egress
Level egress components, including doors 100
Stairway 60
Ramps 44 in or more wide, slope not more than 10% 100
Narrower or steeper ramps
Up 60
Down 100
3.5.12 Building Operation in Emergencies
For buildings that will be occupied by large numbers of persons, provision should
be made for continuation of services essential to safe, rapid evacuation of occupants
in event of fire or other emergencies and for assisting safe movement of fire fighters,
medical personnel, or other aides.
Standby electric power, for example, should be available in all buildings to
replace the basic power source if it should fail. The standby system should be
equipped with a generator that will start automatically when normal power is cut
off. The emergency power supply should be capable of operating all emergency
electric equipment at full power within 1 min of failure of normal service. Such
equipment includes lights for exits, elevators for fire fighters’ use, escalators and
moving walks designated as exits, exhaust fans and pressurizing blowers, communication
systems, fire detectors, and controls needed for fire fighting and life
safety during evacuation of occupants.
In high-rise buildings, at least one elevator should be available for control by
fire fighters and to give them access to any floor from the street-floor lobby. Also,
elevator controls should be designed to preclude elevators from stopping automatically
at floors affected by fire.
Supervision of emergency operations can be efficiently provided by personnel
at a control center placed in a protected area. This center may include a computer,
supplemented by personnel performing scheduled maintenance, and should be capable
of continuously monitoring alarms, gate valves on automatic fire sprinklers,
temperatures, air and water pressures, and perform other pertinent functions. Also,
the center should be capable in emergencies of holding two-way conversations with
occupants and notifying police and fire departments of the nature of the emergencies.
In addition, provision should be made for the control center to dispatch investigators
to sources of potential trouble or send maintenance personnel to make
emergency repairs when necessary. Standards for such installations are NFPA 72A,
‘‘Local Protective Signaling Systems,’’ NFPA 72B, ‘‘Auxiliary Protective Signaling
Systems,’’ NFPA 72C, ‘‘Remote Station Protective Signaling Systems,’’ and NFPA
72D. ‘‘Proprietary Protective Signaling Systems.’’ See also Art. 3.7.2.
For economical building operation, the emergency control center may be made
part of a control center used for normal building operation and maintenance. Thus,
the control center may normally control HVAC to conserve energy, turn lights on
and off, and schedule building maintenance and repair. When an emergency occurs,
emergency control should be activated in accordance with prepared plans for handling
each type of emergency.
The control center need not be located within the building to be supervised nor
operated by in-house personnel. Instead, an external central station may provide the
necessary supervision. Such services are available in most cities and are arranged
by contract, usually with an installation charge and an annual maintenance charge.
Requirements for such systems are in National Fire Protection Association standard
NFPA 71.
3.5.13 Safety during Construction
Most building codes provide specific measures that must be taken for fire protection
during construction of buildings. But when they do not, fundamental fire-safety
precautions must be taken. Even those structures that will, when completed, be
noncombustible contain quantities of forming and packing materials that present a
serious fire hazard.
Multistory buildings should be provided with access stairways and, if applicable,
an elevator for fire department use. Stairs and elevator should follow as closely as
possible the upward progress of the structure and be available within one floor of
actual building height. In buildings requiring standpipes, the risers should be placed
in service as soon as possible, and as close to the construction floor as practicable.
Where there is danger of freezing, the water supply can consist of a Siamese connection
for fire department use.
In large-area buildings, required fire walls should be constructed as soon as
possible. Competent watchman service also should be provided.
The greatest source of fires during construction is portable heaters. Only the
safest kind should be used, and these safeguarded in every practical way. Fuel
supplies should be isolated and kept to a minimum.
Welding operations also are a source of fires. They should be regulated in accordance
with building-code requirements.
Control of tobacco smoking is difficult during building construction, so control
of combustible materials is necessary. Good housekeeping should be provided, and
all combustible materials not necessary for the work should be removed as soon as
Construction offices and shanties should be equipped with adequate portable
extinguishers. So should each floor in a multistory building.
Lightning, a high-voltage, high-current electrical discharge between clouds and the
ground, may strike and destroy life and property anywhere thunderstorms have
occurred in the past. Buildings and their occupants, however, can be protected
against this hazard by installation of a special electrical system. Because an incomplete
or poor installation can cause worse damage or injuries than no protection at
all, a lightning-protection system should be designed and installed by experts.
As an addition to other electrical systems required for a building, a lightningprotection
system increases the construction cost of a building. A building owner
therefore has to decide whether potential losses justify the added expenditure. In
doing so, the owner should take into account the importance of the building, danger
to occupants, value and nature of building contents, type of construction, proximity
of other structures or trees, type of terrain, height of building, number of days per
year during which thunderstorms may occur, costs of disruption of business or other
activities and the effects of loss of essential services, such as electrical and communication
systems. (Buildings housing flammable or explosive materials generally
should have lightning protection.) Also, the owner should compare the cost of
insurance to cover losses with the cost of the protection system.
3.6.1 Characteristics of Lightning
Lightning strikes are associated with thunderstorms. In such storms, the base of the
clouds generally develops a negative electrical charge, which induces a positive
charge in the earth directly below. As the clouds move, the positive charges, being
attracted by the negative charges, follow along the surface of the earth and climb
up buildings, antennas, trees, power transmission towers, and other conducting or
semiconducting objects along the path. The potential between clouds and earth may
build up to 106 to 109 V. When the voltage becomes great enough to overcome the
electrical resistance of the air between the clouds and the ground or an object on
it, current flows in the form of a lightning flash. Thus, the probability of a building
being struck by lightning depends not only on the frequency of occurrence of
thunderstorms but also on building height relative to nearby objects and the intensity
of cloud charges.
Destruction at the earth’s surface may result not only at points hit by lightning
directly but also by electrostatic induction at points several feet away. Also, lightning
striking a tall object may flash to a nearby object that offers a suitable path
to the ground.
Lightning often shatters nonconductors or sets them on fire if they are combustible.
Conductors struck may melt. Living things may be burned or electrocuted.
Also, lightning may induce overvoltages in electrical power lines, sending electrical
charges along the lines in both directions from the stricken point to ground. Directstroke
overvoltages may range up to several million volts and several hundred
thousand amperes. Induced strokes, which occur more frequently, may be on the
order of several hundred thousand volts with currents up to 2000 A. Such overvoltages
may damage not only electric equipment connected to the power lines but
also buildings served by them. Consequently, lightning protection is necessary for
outdoor conductors as well as for buildings.
3.6.2 Methods for Protecting against Lightning
Objectives of lightning protection are life safety, prevention of property damage,
and maintenance of essential services, such as electrical and communication systems.
Lightning protection usually requires installation of electrical conductors that
extend from points above the roof of a building to the ground, for the purpose of
conducting to the ground lightning that would otherwise strike the building. Such
an installation, however, possesses the potential hazard that, if not done properly,
lightning may flash from the lightning conductors to other building components.
Hence, the system must ensure that the lightning discharge is diverted away from
the building and its contents. Lightning protection systems should conform to the
standards of the American National Standards Institute, National Fire Protection
Association (NFPA 78, ‘‘Lightning Protection Code’’) and Underwriters Laboratories
(UL 96A, ‘‘Master Labeled Lightning-Protection Systems’’).
The key element in diverting lightning away from a building is an air terminal
or lightning rod, a conductor that projects into the air at least 12 in above the roof.
Air terminals should be spaced at intervals not exceeding 25 ft. Alternatively, a
continuous wire conductor or a grid of such conductors may be placed along the
highest points of a roof. If the tallest object on a roof is a metal mast, it can act
as an air terminal. A metal roof also can serve as an air terminal, but only if all
joints are made electrically continuous by soldering, welding, or interlocking. Arranged
to provide a cone of protection over the entire building, all the air terminals
should be connected by conductors to each other and, by the same or other conductors,
to the ground along at least two separated paths.
For roof and down conductors, copper, copper-clad steel, galvanized steel or a
metal alloy that is as resistant to corrosion as copper may be used. (A solid copper
conductor should be at least 1?4 in in diameter.) Direct connections between dissimilar
metals should be avoided to prevent corrosion. Metal objects and non-currentcarrying
components of electrical systems should be kept at least 6 ft away from
the lightning conductors or should be bonded to the nearest lightning conductor.
Sharp bends in the conductors are not desirable. If a 90 bend must be used, the
conductor should be firmly anchored, because the high current in a lightning stroke
will tend to straighten the bend. If the conductor has a U bend, the high current
may induce an electric arc to leap across the loop while also exerting forces to
straighten out the bend.
In steel-frame buildings, the steel frame can be used as a down conductor. In
such cases, the top of the frame should be electrically connected to air terminals
and the base should be electrically connected to grounding electrodes. Similarly,
the reinforcing steel of a reinforced concrete building can be used as down conductors
if the reinforcing steel is bonded together from foundations to roof.
Damage to the electrical systems of buildings can be limited or prevented by
insertion of lightning arresters, safety valves that curtail overvoltages and bypass
thc current surge to a ground system, at the service entrance. Further protection
can be afforded electrical equipment, especially sensitive electronic devices, by
installing surge protectors, or spark gaps, near the equipment.
The final and equally important elements of a lightning-protection system are
grounding electrodes and the earth itself. The type and dimensions of the grounds,
or grounding electrodes, depends on the electrical resistance, or resistivity, of the
earth, which can be measured by technicians equipped with suitable instruments.
The objective of the grounding installation, which should be electrically bonded to
the down conductors, should be an earth-system resistance of 10  or less. Underground
water pipes can serve as grounds if they are available. If not, long metal
rods can be driven into the ground to serve as electrodes. Where earth resistivity
is poor, an extensive system of buried wires may be required.
(J. L. Marshall, ‘‘Lightning Protection,’’ John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.)
Prevention of illegal entry into buildings by professional criminals determined to
break in is not practical. Hence, the prime objective of security measures is to make
illegal entry difficult. If this is done, it will take an intruder longer to gain entry or
will compel the intruder to make noise, thus increasing the chances of detection
and apprehension. Other objectives of security measures are detection of break-in
attempts and intruders, alarming intruders so that they leave the premises before
they cause a loss or injury, and alerting building occupants and the police of the
break-in attempt. Also, an objective is to safeguard valuable assets by placing them
in a guarded, locked, secure enclosure with access limited only to approved personnel.
Some communities have established ordinances setting minimum requirements
for security and incorporated them in the building code. (Communities that have
done this include Los Angeles, Oakland, and Concord in California; Indianapolis,
Ind.; Trenton, N.J.; Arlington Heights, Ill.; Arlington County, Va.; and Prince
George’s County, Md.) Provisions of these codes cover security measures for doors
and windows and associated hardware, accessible transoms, roof openings, safes,
lighting of parking lots, and intrusion-detection devices. For buildings requiring
unusual security measures, owners and designers should obtain the advice of a
security expert.
3.7.1 Security Measures
Basic security for a building is provided by commonly used walls and roofs with
openings protected by doors with key-operated locks or windows with latches. The
degree of protection required for a building and its occupants beyond basic security
and privacy needs depends on the costs of insurance and security measures relative
to potential losses from burglary and vandalism.
For a small building not housing small items of great value (these can be placed
in a safety deposit box in a bank), devices for detecting break-in attempts are
generally the most practical means for augmenting basic security. Bells, buzzers,
or sirens should be installed to sound an alarm and automatic telephone or wireless
dialer should be used to alert a monitoring service to notify the police when an
intruder tries to enter the locked building or a security area.
For a large building or a building requiring tight security, defense should be
provided in depth. Depending on the value of assets to be protected, protection
should start at the boundary of the property, with fences, gates, controlled access,
guard patrols, exterior illumination, alarms, or remote surveillance by closed-circuit
television. This defense should be backed up by similar measures at the perimeter
of the building and by security locks and latches on doors and windows. Openings
other than doorways or windows should be barred or made too small for human
entry and screened. Within the building, valuables should be housed in locked
rooms or a thick, steel safe, with controlled access to those areas.
For most types of occupancy, control at the entrance often may be provided by
a receptionist who records names of visitors and persons visited, notifies the latter
and can advise the police of disturbances. When necessary, the receptionist can be
augmented by a guard at the control point or in a security center and, in very large
or high-rise buildings, by a roving guard available for emergencies. If a large security
force is needed, facilities should be provided in the building for an office for
the security administrator and staff, photographic identification, and squad room
and lockers—all in or adjoining a security center.
3.7.2 Security Center
The security center may be equipped with or connected to electronic devices that
do the following:
1. Detect a break-in attempt and sound an alarm.
2. Identify the point of intrusion.
3. Turn on lights.
4. Display the intruder on closed-circuit television and record observations on
5. Notify the police.
6. Limit entry to specific spaces only to approved personnel and only at permitted
7. Change locks automatically.
In addition, the center may be provided with emergency reporting systems, security
guard tour reporting systems, fire detection and protection systems, including supervision
of automatic fire sprinklers, HVAC controls, and supervision of other life
safety measures. See also Art. 3.5.12.
(P. S. Hopf, ‘‘Handbook of Building Security Planning and Design,’’ McGraw-
Hill Publishing Company, New York.)
David J. Akers
Civil Engineer, San Diego, California
This section describes the basic materials used in building construction and discusses
their common applications. As the world’s population increases and consumes
more of the natural resources, it is incumbent upon the civil engineer to use
building materials that contribute to sustaining development instead of satisfying
only the short-term need. Material selection should incorporate an evaluation of the
amount of energy required to produce and deliver the material to the building site.
This concept of ‘‘embodied energy’’ is evolving and variable. As an example, in
the Pacific Northwest lumber would have an ‘‘embodied energy’’ of 1, but in the
arid Southwest transportation raises the value several points. Examples of other
materials are concrete (2–3), steel (4–6), and aluminum (80). For discussion purposes,
materials used in similar applications are grouped and discussed in sequence,
for example, masonry materials, wood, metals, plastics, etc.
Cementitious materials include the many products that are mixed with either water
or some other liquid or both to form a cementing paste that may be formed or
molded while plastic but will set into a rigid shape. When sand is added to the
paste, mortar is formed. A combination of coarse and fine aggregate (sand) added
to the paste forms concrete.
There are many varieties of cements and numerous ways of classification. One of
the simplest classifications is by the chemical constituent that is responsible for the
setting or hardening of the cement. On this basis, the silicate and aluminate cements,
wherein the setting agents are calcium silicates and aluminates, constitute the most
important group of modern cements. Included in this group are the portland, aluminous,
and natural cements.
Limes, wherein the hardening is due to the conversion of hydroxides to carbonates,
were formerly widely used as the sole cementitious material, but their slow
setting and hardening are not compatible with modern requirements. Hence, their
principal function today is to plasticize the otherwise harsh cements and add resilience
to mortars and stuccoes. Use of limes is beneficial in that their slow setting
promotes healing, the recementing of hairline cracks.
Another class of cements is composed of calcined gypsum and its related products.
The gypsum cements are widely used in interior plaster and for fabrication of
boards and blocks; but the solubility of gypsum prevents its use in construction
exposed to any but extremely dry climates.
Oxychloride cements constitute a class of specialty cements of unusual properties.
Their cost prohibits their general use in competition with the cheaper cements;
but for special uses, such as the production of sparkproof floors, they cannot be
Masonry cements or mortar cements are widely used because of their convenience.
While they are, in general, mixtures of one of more of the above-mentioned
cements with some admixtures, they deserve special consideration because of their
Other cementitious materials, such as polymers, fly ash, and silica fume, may
be used as a cement replacement in concrete. Polymers are plastics with long-chain
molecules. Concretes made with them have many qualities much superior to those
of ordinary concrete.
Silica fume, also known as microsilica, is a waste product of electric-arc furnaces.
The silica reacts with limes in concrete to form a cementitious material. A
fume particle has a diameter only 1% of that of a cement particle.
Portland cement, the most common of the modern cements, is made by carefully
blending selected raw materials to produce a finished material meeting the requirements
of ASTM C150 for one of eight specific cement types. Four major compounds
[lime (CaO), iron (Fe2O3), silica (SiO2), and alumina (Al2O3)] and two
minor compounds [gypsum (CaSO4  2H2O) and magnesia (MgO)] constitute the
raw materials. The calcareous (CaO) materials typically come from limestone, calcite,
marl, or shale. The argillaceous (SiO2 and Al2O3) materials are derived from
clay, shale, and sand. The materials used for the manufacture of any specific cement
are dependent on the manufacturing plant’s location and availability of raw materials.
Portland cement can be made of a wide variety of industrial by-products.
In the manufacture of cement, the raw materials are first mined and then ground
to a powder before blending in predetermined proportions. The blend is fed into
the upper end of a rotary kiln heated to 2600 to 3000F by burning oil, gas, or
powdered coal. Because cement production is an energy-intensive process, reheaters
and the use of alternative fuel sources, such as old tires, are used to reduce the fuel
cost. (Burning tires provide heat to produce the clinker and the steel belts provide
the iron constituent.) Exposure to the elevated temperature chemically fuses the raw
materials together into hard nodules called cement clinker. After cooling, the clinker
is passed through a ball mill and ground to a fineness where essentially all of it
will pass a No. 200 sieve (75 m). During the grinding, gypsum is added in small
amounts to control the temperature and regulate the cement setting time. The maBUILDING
terial that exits the ball mill is portland cement. It is normally sold in bags containing
94 lb of cement.
Concrete, the most common use for portland cement, is a complex material
consisting of portland cement, aggregates, water, and possibly chemical and mineral
admixtures. Only rarely is portland cement used alone, such as for a cement slurry
for filling well holes or for a fine grout. Therefore, it is important to examine the
relationship between the various portland cement properties and their potential effect
upon the finished concrete. Portland cement concrete is generally selected for
structural use because of its strength and durability. Strength is easily measured and
can be used as a general directly proportional indicator of overall durability. Specific
durability cannot be easily measured but can be specified by controlling the cement
chemistry and aggregate properties.
4.2.1 Specifications for Portland Cements
ASTM C150 defines requirements for eight types of portland cement. The pertinent
chemical and physical properties are shown in Table 4.1. The chemical composition
of portland cement is expressed in a cement-chemistry shorthand based on four
phase compounds: tricalcium silicate (C3S), dicalcium silicate (C2S), tricalcium aluminate
(C3A), and tetracalcium aluminum ferrite (C4AF). C2S and C3S are termed
the calcium silicate hydrates (CSH).
Most cements will exceed the requirements shown in Table 4.1 by a comfortable
margin. Note that the required compressive strengths are minimums. Almost without
exception, every portland cement will readily exceed these minimum values.
However, a caution must be attached to compressive strengths that significantly
exceed the minimum values. While there is not a one-to-one correlation between a
cement cube strength and the strength of concrete made with that cement (5000-
psi cement does not equate to 5000-psi concrete), variations in cube strengths will
be reflected in the tested concrete strength. It is imperative that, as the designed
concrete strength reaches 5000 psi and greater, the cement cube strength be rigorously
monitored. Any lowering of the running average will have a negative effect
on the strength of concrete if the concrete mix design is not altered.
The basic types of portland cement covered by ASTM C150 are as follows:
Type I, general-purpose cement, is the one commonly used for many structural
purposes. Chemical requirements for this type of cement are limited to magnesia
and sulfur-trioxide contents and loss on ignition, since the cement is adequately
defined by its physical characteristics.
Type II is a modified cement for use in general concrete where a moderate
exposure to sulfate attack may be anticipated or where a moderate heat of hydration
is required. These characteristics are attained by placing limitations on the C3S and
C3A content of the cement. Type II cement gains strength a little more slowly than
Type I but ultimately will achieve equal strength. It is generally available in most
sections of the country and is preferred by some engineers over Type I for general
construction. Type II cement may also be specified as a low-alkali cement for use
where alkali reactive aggregates are present. To do so requires that optional chemical
requirements (Table 4.2) be included in the purchase order. Type II low-alkali
cement is commonly specified in California.
Type III cement attains high early strength. In 7 days, strength of concrete made
with it is practically equal to that made with Type I or Type II cement at 28 days.
This high early strength is attained by finer grinding (although no minimum is
placed on the fineness by specification) and by increasing the C3S and C3A content
* Based on requirements in ‘‘Standard Specification for Portland Cement,’’ ASTM C150. See current
edition of C150 for exceptions, alternatives, and changes in requirements.
of the cement. Type III cement, however, has high heat evolution and therefore
should not be used in large masses. Because of the higher C3A content, Type III
cement also has poor sulfate resistance. Type III cement is not always available
from building materials dealers’ stocks but may be obtained by them from the
cement manufacturer on short notice. Ready-mix concrete suppliers generally do
not stock Type III cement because its shorter set time makes it more volatile to
transport and discharge, especially in hot weather.
Type IV is a low-heat cement that has been developed for mass concrete construction.
Normal Type I cement, if used in large masses that cannot lose heat by
radiation, will liberate enough heat during the hydration of the cement to raise the
temperature of the concrete as much as 50 or 60F. This results in a relatively large
increase in dimensions while the concrete is still soft and plastic. Later, as the
concrete cools are hardening, shrinkage causes cracks to develop, weakening the
‡Low-alkali cement. This limit may be specified when cement is to be used in concrete with aggregates
that may be deleteriously reactive. See ‘‘Standard Specification for Concrete Aggregates,’’ ASTM C33.
concrete and affording points of attack for aggressive solutions. The potential-phase
compounds that make the largest contribution to the heat of hydration are C3S and
C3A; so the amounts of these are permitted to be present are limited. Since these
compounds also produce the early strength of cement, the limitation results in a
cement that gains strength relatively slowly. This is of little importance, however,
in the mass concrete for which this type of cement is designed.
Type V is a portland cement intended for use when high sulfate resistance is
required. Its resistance to sulfate attack is attained through the limitation on the
C3A content. It is particularly suitable for structures subject to attack by liquors
containing sulfates, such as liquids in wastewater treatment plants, seawaters, and
some other natural waters.
Both Type IV and Type V cements are specialty cements. They are not normally
available from dealer’s stock but are usually obtainable for use on a large job if
arrangements are made with the cement manufacturer in advance.
4.2.2 Air-Entraining Portland Cements
For use in the manufacturer of air-entraining concrete, agents may be added to the
cement by the manufacturer, thereby producing air-entraining portland cements
(‘‘Air-Entraining Additions for Use in the Manufacture of Air-Entraining Portland
Cement,’’ ASTM C226). These cements are available as Types IA, IIA, and IIIA.
These are prepared by fusing a mixture of aluminous and calcareous materials
(usually bauxite and limestone) and grinding the resultant product to a fine powder.
These cements are characterized by their rapid-hardening properties and the high
strength developed at early ages. Table 4.3 shows the relative strengths of 4-in
cubes of 1:2:4 concrete made with normal portland, high-early-strength portland,
and aluminous cements.
Since a large amount of heat is liberated with rapidly by aluminous cement
during hydration, care must be taken not to use the cement in places where this
heat cannot be dissipated. It is usually not desirable to place aluminous-cement
concretes in lifts of over 12 in; otherwise the temperature rise may cause serious
weakening of the concrete.
Aluminous cements are much more resistant to the action of sulfate waters than
are portland cements. They also appear to be much more resistant to attack by
water containing aggressive carbon dioxide or weak mineral acids than the silicate
cements. Their principal use is in concretes where advantage may be taken of their
very high early strength or of their sulfate resistance, and where the extra cost of
the cement is not an important factor.
Another use of aluminous cements is in combination with firebrick to make
refractory concrete. As temperatures are increased, dehydration of the hydration
products occurs. Ultimately, these compounds create a ceramic bond with the aggregates.
Natural cements are formed by calcining a naturally occurring mixture of calcareous
and argillaceous substances at a temperature below that at which sintering takes
place. The ‘‘Specification for Natural Cement,’’ ASTM C10, requires that the temperature
be no higher than necessary to drive off the carbonic acid gas. Since natural
cements are derived from naturally occurring materials and no particular effort is
made to adjust the composition, both the composition and properties vary rather
widely. Some natural cements may be almost the equivalent of portland cement in
properties; others are much weaker. Natural cements are principally used in masonry
mortars and as an admixture in portland-cement concretes.
These are made principally of calcium oxide (CaO), occurring naturally in limestone,
marble, chalk, coral, and shell. For building purposes, they are used chiefly
in mortars.
4.5.1 Hydraulic Limes
These are made by calcining a limestone containing silica and alumina to a temperature
short of incipient fusion so as to form sufficient free lime to permit hydration
and at the same time leave unhydrated sufficient calcium silicates to give
the dry powder its hydraulic properties (see ‘‘Specification for Hydraulic Hydrated
Lime for Structural Purposes,’’ ASTM C141).
Because of the low silicate and high lime contents, hydraulic limes are relatively
weak. They find their principal use in masonry mortars. A hydraulic lime with more
than 10% silica will set under water.
4.5.2 Quicklimes
When limestone is heated to a temperature in excess of 1700F, the carbon dioxide
content is driven off and the remaining solid product is quicklime. It consists essentially
of calcium and magnesium oxides plus impurities such as silica, iron, and
aluminum oxides. The impurities are usually limited to less than 5%. If they exceed
10%, the product may be a hydraulic lime.
Two classes of quicklime are recognized, high-calcium and dolomitic. A highcalcium
quicklime usually contains less than 5% magnesium oxide. A dolomitic
quicklime usually contains from 35 to 40% magnesium oxide. A few quicklimes
are found that contain 5 to 35% magnesium oxide and are called magnesian limes.
The outstanding characteristic of quicklime is its ability to slake with water.
When quicklime is mixed with from two to three times its weight of water, a
chemical reaction takes place. The calcium oxide combines with water to form
calcium hydroxide, and sufficient heat is evolved to bring the entire mass to a boil.
The resulting product is a suspension of finely divided calcium hydroxide (and
magnesium hydroxide or oxide if dolomitic lime is used) in water. On cooling, the
semifluid mass stiffens to a putty of such consistency that it may be shoveled or
carried in a hod. This slaked quicklime putty, when cooled and preferably screened,
is the material used in construction. Quicklime should always be thoroughly slaked.
The yield of putty will vary, depending on the type of quicklime, its degree of
burning, and slaking conditions, and will usually be from 70 to 100 ft3 of putty per
ton of quicklime. The principal use of the putty is in masonry mortars, where it is
particularly valuable because of the high degree of plasticity or workability it imparts
to the mortar. It is used at times as an admixture in concrete to improve
workability. It also is used in some localities as finish-coat plaster where full advantage
may be taken of its high plasticity.
4.5.3 Mason’s Hydrated Lime
Hydrated limes are prepared from quicklimes by addition of a limited amount of
water. After hydration ceases to evolve heat, the resulting product is a fine, dry
powder. It is then classified by air-classification methods to remove undesirable
oversize particles and packaged in 50-lb sacks. It is always a factory-made product,
whereas quicklime putty is almost always a job-slaked product.
Mason’s hydrated limes are those hydrates suitable for use in mortars, base-coat
plasters, and concrete. They necessarily follow the composition of the quicklime.
High-calcium hydrates are composed primarily of calcium hydroxide. Normal dolomitic
hydrates are composed of calcium hydroxide plus magnesium oxide.
Plasticity of mortars made from normal mason’s hydrated limes (Type N) is fair.
It is better than that attained with most cements, but not nearly so high as that of
mortars made with an equivalent amount of slaked putty.
The normal process of hydration of a dolomitic quicklime at atmospheric pressure
results in the hydration of the calcium fraction only, leaving the magnesiumoxide
portion substantially unchanged chemically. When dolomitic quicklime is
hydrated under pressure, the magnesium oxide is converted to magnesium hydroxide.
This results in the so-called special hydrates (Type S), which not only have
their magnesia contents substantially completely hydrated but also have a high
degree of plasticity immediately on wetting with water. Mortars made from Type
S hydrates are more workable than those made from Type N hydrates. In fact, Type
S hydrates are nearly as workable as those made from slaked quicklime putties.
The user of this type of hydrate may therefore have the convenience of a bagged
product and a high degree of workability without having the trouble and possible
hazard of slaking quicklime.
4.5.4 Finishing Hydrated Limes
Finishing hydrated limes are particularly suitable for use in the finishing coat of
plaster. They are characterized by a high degree of whiteness and plasticity. Practically
all finishing hydrated limes are produced in the Toledo district of Ohio from
dolomitic limestone. The normal hydrate is composed of calcium hydroxide and
magnesium oxide. When first wetted, it is no more plastic than Type N mason’s
hydrates. It differs from the latter, however, in that, on soaking overnight, the finishing
hydrated lime develops a very high degree of plasticity, whereas the mason’s
hydrate shows relatively little improvements in plasticity on soaking.
When gypsum rock (CaSO4  2H2O) is heated to a relatively low temperature, about
130C, three-fourths of the water of crystallization is driven off. The resulting product
is known by various names such as hemihydrate, calcined gypsum, and firstsettle
stucco. Its common name, however, is plaster of paris. It is a fine powder,
usually white. While it will set under water, it does not gain strength and ultimately,
on continued water exposure, will disintegrate.
Plaster of paris, with set retarded or unretarded, is used as a molding plaster or
as a gaging plaster. The molding plaster is used for preparing ornamental plaster
objects. The gaging plaster is used for finishing hydrated lime to form the smooth
white-coat finish on plaster walls. The unretarded plaster of paris is used by manufacturers
to make gypsum block, tile, and gypsumboard (wallboard, lath, backerboard,
coreboard, etc.).
When plaster of paris is retarded and mixed with fiber such as sisal, it is marketed
under the name of hardwall plaster or cement plaster. (The latter name is
misleading, since it does not contain any portland cement.) Hardwall plaster, mixed
with water and with from two to three parts of sand by weight, is widely used for
base-coat plastering. In some cases wood fiber is used in place of sand, making a
‘‘wood-fibered’’ plaster.
Special effects are obtained by combining hardwall plaster with the correct type
of aggregate. With perlite or vermiculite aggregate, a lightweight plaster is obtained.
Gypsum plasters, in general, have a strong set, gain their full strength when dry,
do not have abnormal volume changes, and have excellent fire-resistance characteristics.
They are not well adapted, however, for use under continued damp conditions
or intermittent wet conditions. See also Arts. 4.26 to 4.30.
Lightly calcined magnesium oxide mixed with a solution of magnesium chloride
forms a cement known as magnesium oxychloride cement, or Sorel cement. It is
particularly useful in making flooring compositions in which it is mixed with colored
aggregates. Floors made of oxychloride cement are sparkproof and are more
resilient than floors of concrete.
Oxychloride cement has very strong bonding power and, because of its higher
bonding power, may be used with greater quantities of aggregate than are possible
with portland cement. Oxychloride cement also bonds well with wood and is used
in making partition block or tile with wood shavings or sawdust as aggregate. It is
moderately resistant to water but should not be used under continually wet conditions.
Masonry cements, or—as they are sometimes called—mortar cements, are intended
to be mixed with sand and used for setting unit masonry, such as brick, tile, and
stone. They may be any one of the hydraulic cements already discussed or mixtures
of them in any proportion.
Many commercial masonry cements are mixtures of portland cement and pulverized
limestone, often containing as much as 50 or 60% limestone. They are sold
in bags containing from 70 to 80 lb, each bag nominally containing a cubic foot.
Price per bag is commonly less than of portland cement, but because of the use of
the lighter bag, cost per ton is higher than that of portland cement.
Since there are no limits on chemical content and physical requirements, masonry
cement specifications are quite liberal. Some manufacturers vary the composition
widely, depending on competition, weather conditions, or availability of
materials. Resulting mortars may vary widely in properties.
Fly ash meeting the requirements of ASTM C618, ‘‘Specification for Fly Ash and
Raw or Calcined Natural Pozzolan for Use as a Mineral Admixture in Portland
Cement Concrete,’’ is generally used as a cementitious material as well as an admixture.
Natural pozzolans are derived from some diatomaceous earths, opaline cherts
and shales, and other materials. While part of a common ASTM designation with
fly ash, they are not as readily available as fly ashes and thus do not generate the
same level of interest or research.
Fly ashes are produced by coal combustion, generally in an electrical generating
station. The ash that would normally be released through the chimney is captured
by various means, such as electrostatic precipitators. The fly ash may be sized prior
to shipment to concrete suppliers.
All fly ashes possess pozzolanic properties, the ability to react with calcium
hydroxide at ordinary temperatures to form compounds with cementitious properties.
When cement is mixed with water, a chemical reaction (hydration) occurs.
The product of this reaction is calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) and calcium hydroxide
[Ca(OH)2]. Fly ashes have high percentages of silicon dioxide (SiO2). In the
presence of moisture, the Ca(OH)2 will react with the SiO2 to form another CSH.
Type F ashes are the result of burning anthracite or bituminous coals and possess
pozzolanic properties. They have been shown by research and practice to provide
usually increased sulfate resistance and to reduce alkali-aggregate expansions. Type
C fly ashes result from burning lignite or subbituminous coals. Because of the
chemical properties of the coal, the Type C fly ashes have some cementitious properties
in addition to their pozzolanic properties. Type C fly ashes may reduce the
durability of concretes into which they are incorporated.
Silica fume, or microsilica, is a condensed gas, the by-product of metallic silicon
or ferrosilicon alloys produced by electric arc furnaces. (While both terms are correct,
microsilica (MS) is a less confusing name.) The Canadian standard CAN/
CSA-A23.5-M86, ‘‘Supplementary Cementing Materials,’’ limits amorphous SiO2
to a maximum of 85% and oversize to 10%. Many MS contain more than 90%
MS has an average diameter of 0.1 to 0.2 m, a particle size of about 1% that
of portland cement. Because of this small size, it is not possible to utilize MS in
its raw form. Manufacturers supply it either densified, in a slurry (with or without
water-reducing admixtures), or pelletized. Either the densified or slurried MS can
be utilized in concrete. The pelletized materials is densified to the point that it will
not break down during mixing.
Because of its extremely small size, MS imparts several useful properties to
concrete. It greatly increases long-term strength. It very efficiently reacts with the
Ca(OH)2 and creates a beneficial material in place of a waste product. MS is generally
used in concrete with a design strength in excess of 12,000 psi. It provides
increased sulfate resistance to concrete, and it significantly reduces the permeability
of concrete. Also, its small size allows MS to physically plug microcracks and tiny
Aggregate is a broad encompassing boulders, cobbles, crushed stone, gravel, aircooled
blast furnace slag, native and manufactured sands, and manufactured and
natural lightweight aggregates. Aggregates may be further described by their respective
These typically have specific gravities between 2.0 and 3.0. They are usually distinguished
by size as follows:
Boulders Larger than 6 in
Cobbles 6 to 3 in
Coarse aggregate 3 in to No. 4 sieve
Fine aggregate No. 4 sieve to No. 200 sieve
Mineral filler Material passing No. 200 sieve
Used in most concrete construction, normal-weight aggregates are obtained by
draining riverbeds or mining and crunching formational material. Concrete made
with normal-weight fine and coarse aggregates generally weights about 144 lb / ft3.
Boulders and cobbles are generally not used in their as-mined size but are
crushed to make various sizes of coarse aggregate and manufactured sand and
mineral filler. Gravels and naturally occurring sand are produced by the action of
water and weathering on glacial and river deposits. These materials have round,
smooth surfaces and particle-size distributions that require minimal processing.
These materials can be supplied in either coarse or fine-aggregate sizes.
Fine aggregates have 100% of their material passing the 3?8-in sieve. Coarse
aggregates have the bulk of the material retained on the No. 4 sieve.
Aggregates comprise the greatest volume percentage in portland-cement concrete,
mortar, or asphaltic concrete. In a portland-cement concrete mix, the coarse
and fine aggregates occupy about 60 to 75% of the total mix volume. For asphaltic
concrete, the aggregates represent 75 to 85% of the mix volume. Consequentially,
the aggregates are not inert filler materials. The individual aggregate properties have
demonstrable effects on the service life and durability of the material system in
which the aggregate is used, such as portland-cement concrete, asphaltic concrete,
mortar, or aggregate base.
The acceptability of a coarse or fine aggregate for use in concrete or mortar is
judged by many properties including gradation, amount of fine material passing the
No. 200 sieve, hardness, soundness, particle shape, volume stability, potential alkali
reactivity, resistance to freezing and thawing, and organic impurities. For aggregates
used in general building construction, property limits are provided in ASTM C33,
‘‘Specification for Concrete Aggregates,’’ C637, ‘‘Specification for Aggregates for
Radiation-Shielding Concrete,’’ and C330, ‘‘Specification for Lightweight Aggregates
for Structural Concrete.’’ For other types of construction, such as highways
and airports, standards written by various trade or governmental organizations are
4.11.1 Gradation of Aggregates
The distribution of aggregate sizes in a concrete mix is important because it directly
influences the amount of cement required for a given strength, workability of the
mix (and amount of effort to place the mix in the forms), in-place durability, and
overall economy. ASTM C33 provides ranges of fine- and coarse-aggregate grading
limits. The latter are listed from Size 1 (31?2 to 11?2 in) to Size 8 (3?8 to No. 8). The
National Stone Association specifies a gradation for manufactured sand that differs
from that for fine aggregate in C33 principally for the No. 100 and 200 sieves. The
NSA gradation is noticeably finer (greater percentages passing each sieve). The fine
materials, composed of angular particles, are rock fines, as opposed to silts and
clays in natural sand, and contribute to concrete workability.
The various gradations provide standard sizes for aggregate production and
quality-control testing. They are conducive to production of concrete with acceptable
properties. Caution should be exercised, however, when standard individual
grading limits are used. If the number of aggregate sizes are limited or there is not
sufficient overlap between aggregates sizes, an acceptable or economical concrete
may not be attainable with acceptably graded aggregates. The reason for this is that
the combined gradation is gap graded. The ideal situation is a dense or well-graded
size distribution that optimizes the void content of the combined aggregates (Art.
4.17). It is possible, however, to produce acceptable concrete with individual aggregates
that do not comply with the standard limits but that can be combined to
produce a dense gradation.
4.11.2 Amount of Fine Material Passing the No. 200 Sieve
The material passing the No. 200 sieve is clay, silt, or a combination of the two.
It increases the water demand of the aggregate. Large amounts of materials smaller
than No. 200 may also indicate the presence of clay coatings on the coarse aggregate
that would decrease bond of the aggregate to the cement matrix. A test method
is given in ASTM C117, ‘‘Materials Finer than 75 m Sieve in Mineral Aggregates
by Washing.’’
4.11.3 Hardness
Coarse-aggregate hardness is measured by the Los Angeles Abrasion Test, ASTM
C131 or C595. These tests break the aggregate down by impacting it with steel
balls in a steel tumbler. The resulting breakdown is not directly related to the
abrasion an aggregate receives in service, but the results can be empirically related
to concretes exhibiting service lives.
4.11.4 Soundness
Aggregate soundness is measured by ASTM C88, ‘‘Test Method for Soundness of
Aggregates by Use of Sodium Sulfate or Magneisum Sulfate.’’ This test measures
the amount of aggregate degradation when exposed to alternating cycles of wetting
and drying in a sulfate solution.
4.11.5 Particle Shape
Natural sand and gravel have a round, smooth particle shape. Crushed aggregate
(coarse and fine) may have shapes that are flat and elongated, angular, cubical, disk,
or rodlike. These shapes result from the crushing equipment employed and the
aggregate mineralogy. Extreme angularity and elongation increase the amount of
cement required to give strength, difficulty in finishing, and effort required to pump
the concrete. Flat and elongated particles also increase the amount of required
mixing water.
The bond between angular particles is greater than that between smooth particles.
Properly graded angular particles can take advantage of this property and offset the
increase in water required to produce concrete with cement content and strength
equal to that of a smooth-stone mix.
4.11.6 Potential Alkali Reactivity
Aggregates that contain certain forms of silicas or carbonates may react with the
alkalies present in portland cement (sodium oxide and potassium oxide). The reaction
product cracks the concrete or may create pop-outs at the concrete surface.
The reaction is more pronounced when the concrete is in a warm, damp environment.
Testing for potentially reactive aggregates is difficult, since the available tests
do not yield consistent answers. Tests for aggregate potential alkali reactivity can
be categorized as pre- or post-concrete and chemical or physical. Of the three preconcrete
tests, one is chemical. The standard chemical test (ASTM C289) is a
screening test that should only be used for an initial aggregate screening. Experience
has shown the test will give false positive reactions of potentially reactive aggregates.
The old mortar bar test (ASTM C227) is very slow and may be too lenient.
The rapid immersion mortar bar test (ASTM C1260) is a harsher test but can
produce results in two weeks. Potential alkali reactivity can be determined in concrete
by observation or using a uranal acetate ultraviolet light test procedure. Petrographic
analysis of aggregates and hardened concrete can be used to evaluate the
potential for alkali silica reactivity (ASR). Long-term field experience with available
aggregate sources is the best predictor of ASR.
4.11.7 Resistance to Freezing and Thawing
The pore structure, absorption, porosity, and permeability of aggregates are especially
important if they are used to make concrete exposed to repeated cycles of
freezing and thawing. Aggregates that become critically saturated and then freeze
cannot accommodate the expansion of the frozen water. Empirical data show that
freeze-thaw deterioration is caused by the coarse aggregates and not the fine. A
method prescribed in ‘‘Test Method for Resistance of Concrete to Rapid Freezing
and Thawing,’’ ASTM C666, measures concrete performance by weight changes, a
reduction in the dynamic modulus of elasticity, and increases in sample length.
4.11.8 Impurities in Aggregates
Erratic setting times and rates of hardening may be caused by organic impurities
in the aggregates, primarily the sand. The presence of these impurities can be
investigated by a method given in ‘‘Test Method for Organic Impurities in Fine
Aggregates for Concrete,’’ ASTM C40.
Pop-outs and reduced durability can be caused by soft particles, chert, clay
lumps and other friable particles, coal, lignite, or other lightweight materials in the
aggregates. Coal and lignite may also cause staining of exposed concrete surfaces.
4.11.9 Volume Stability
Volume stability refers to susceptibility of aggregate to expansion when heated or
to cyclic expansions and contractions when saturated and dried. Aggregates that are
susceptible to volume change due to moisture should be avoided.
Heavyweight aggregates include magnetite, with a specific gravity  of 4.3; barite,
 4.2; limonite,  3.8; ferrophosphorus,  6.3; and steel shot or punchings,
  7.6. Such heavyweight aggregates may be used instead of gravel or crushed
stone to produce a dense concrete; for example, for shielding of nuclear reactors
as specified in ASTM C637.
Lightweight Aggregates. These can be divided into two categories: structural and
nonstructural. The structural lightweight aggregates are defined by ASTM C330
and C331. They are either manufactured (expanded clay, shale, or slate, or blastfurnace
slag) or natural (scoria and pumice). These aggregates produce concretes
generally in the strength range of 3000 to 4000 psi; higher strengths are attainable
and are discussed in Art. 4.17. The air-dry unit weight of normal strength lightweight
concrete (less than 5000 psi) ranges from 100 to 115 pcf. High-performance
lightweight concrete has unit weights in the range of 120 pcf.
The common nonstructural lightweight aggregates (ASTM C332) are vermiculite
and perlite, although scoria and pumice can also be used. These materials are used
in insulating concretes for soundproofing and nonstructural floor toppings.
Lightweight aggregates produce concrete with low thermal conductivities, which
equate to good fire protection. When concrete is exposed to extreme heat, the
moisture present within the concrete rapidly changes from a liquid to steam having
a volume of up to 15 times larger. The large number and large sizes of pores within
lightweight aggregates create pressure-relief regions.
Admixtures are anything other than portland cement, water, and aggregates that are
added to a concrete mix to modify its properties. Included in this definition are
chemical admixtures (ASTM C494 and C260), mineral admixtures such as fly ash
(C618) and silica fume, corrosion inhibitors, colors, fibers, and miscellaneous
(pumping aids, dampproofing, gas-forming, permeability-reducing agents).
Chemical admixtures used in concrete generally serve as water reducers, accelerators,
set retarders, or a combination. ASTM C494, ‘‘Standard Specification for
Chemical Admixtures for Concrete,’’ contains the following classification:
Type Property
A Water reducer
B Set retarder
C Set accelerator
D Water reducer and set retarder
E Water reducer and set accelerator
F High-range water reducer
G High-range water reducer and set retarder
High-range admixtures reduce the amount of water needed to produce a concrete
of a specific consistency by 12% or more.
4.13.1 Water-Reducing Admixtures
These decrease water requirements for a concrete mix by chemically reacting with
early hydration products to form a monomolecular layer of admixture at the cementwater
interface. This layer isolates individual particles of cement and reduces the
energy required to cause the mix to flow. Thus, the mix is ‘‘lubricated’’ and exposes
more cement particles for hydration.
The Type A admixture allows the amount of mixing water to be reduced while
maintaining the same mix slump. Or at a constant water-cement ratio, this admixture
allows the cement content to be decreased without loss of strength. If the amount
of water is not reduced, slump of the mix will be increased and also strength will
be increased because more of the cement surface area will be exposed for hydration.
Similar effects occur for Type D and E admixtures. Typically, a reduction in mixing
water of 5 to 10% can be expected.
Type F and G admixtures are used where there is a need for high-workability
concrete. A concrete without an admixture typically has a slump of 2 to 3 in. After
the admixture is added, the slump may be in the range of 8 to 10 in without
segregation of mix components. These admixtures are especially useful for mixes
with a low water-cement ratio. Their 12 to 30% reduction in water allows a corresponding
reduction in cementitious material.
The water-reducing admixtures are commonly manufactured from lignosulfonic
acids and their salts, hydroxylated carboxylic acids and their salts, or polymers of
derivatives of melamines or naphthalenes or sulfonated hydrocarbons. The combination
of admixtures used in a concrete mix should be carefully evaluated and tested
to ensure that the desired properties are achieved. For example, depending on the
dosage of admixture and chemistry of the cement, it is possible that a retarding
admixture will accelerate the set. Note also that all normal-set admixtures will retard
the set if the dosage is excessive. Furthermore, because of differences in percentage
of solids between products from different companies, there is not always a direct
correspondence in dosage between admixtures of the same class. Therefore, it is
important to consider the chemical composition carefully when evaluating competing
Superplasticizers are high-range water-reducing admixtures that meet the requirements
of ASTM C494 Type F or G. They are often used to achieve highstrength
concrete by use of a low water-cement ratio with good workability and
low segregation. They also may be used to produce concrete of specified strengths
with less cement at constant water-cement ratio. And they may be used to produce
self-compacting, self-leveling flowing concretes, for such applications as longdistance
pumping of concrete from mixer to formwork or placing concrete in forms
congested with reinforcing steel. For these concretes, the cement content or watercement
ratio is not reduced, but the slump is increased substantially without causing
segregation. For example, an initial slump of 3 to 4 in for an ordinary concrete mix
may be increased to 7 to 8 in without addition of water and decrease in strength.
Superplasticizers may be classified as sulfonated melamine-formaldehyde condensates,
sulfonated naphthaline-formaldehyde condensates, modified lignosulfonates,
or synthetic polymers.
4.13.2 Air-Entraining Admixtures
These create numerous microscopic air spaces within concrete to protect it from
degradation due to repeated freezing and thawing or exposure to aggressive chemicals.
For concrete exposed to repeated cycles of freezing and thawing, the air gaps
provide room for expansion of external and internal water, which otherwise would
damage the concrete.
Since air-entrained concrete bleeds to a lesser extent than non-air-entrained, there
are fewer capillaries extending from the concrete matrix to the surface. Therefore,
there are fewer avenues available for ingress of aggressive chemicals into the concrete.
The ‘‘Standard Specification for Air-Entraining Admixtures for Concrete,’’
ASTM C260, covers materials for use of air-entraining admixtures to be added to
concrete in the field. Air entrainment may also be achieved by use of Types IIA
and IIIA portland cements (Art. 4.2.2).
4.13.3 Set-Accelerating Admixtures
These are used to decrease the time from the start of addition of water to cement
to initial set and to increase the rate of strength gain of concrete. The most commonly
used set-accelerating admixture is calcium chloride. Its use, however, is
controversial in cases where reinforcing or prestressing steel is present. The reason
is that there is a possibility that the accelerator will introduce free chloride ions
into the concrete, thus contributing to corrosion of the steel. An alternative is use
of one of many admixtures not containing chloride that are available.
4.13.4 Retarding Admixtures
To some extent, all normal water-reducing admixtures retard the initial set of concrete.
A Type B or D admixture will allow transport of concrete for a longer time
before initial set occurs. Final set also is delayed. Hence, precautions should be
taken if retarded concrete is to be used in walls.
Depending on the dosage and type of base chemicals in the admixture, initial
set can be retarded for several hours to several days. A beneficial side effect of
retardation of initial and final sets is an increase in the compressive strength of the
concrete. A commonly used Type D admixture provides higher 7- and 28-day
strengths than a Type A when used in the same mix design.
4.13.5 Mineral Admixtures
Fly ashes, pozzolans, and microsilicates are included in the mineral admixture classification
(Arts. 4.9 and 4.10). Natural cement (Art. 4.4) is sometimes used as an
4.13.6 Corrosion Inhibitors
Reinforcing steel in concrete usually is protected against corrosion by the high
alkalinity of the concrete, which creates a passivating layer at the steel surface.
This layer is composed of ferric oxide, a stable compound. Within and at the surface
of the ferric oxide, however, are ferrous-oxide compounds, which are more reactive.
When the ferrous-oxide compounds come into contact with aggressive substances,
such as chloride ions, they react with oxygen to form solid, iron-oxide corrosion
products. These produce a fourfold increase in volume and create an expansion
force greater than the concrete tensile strength. The result is deterioration of the
For corrosion to occur, chloride in the range of 1.0 to 1.5 lb /yd3 must be present.
If there is a possibility that chlorides may be introduced from outside the concrete
matrix, for example, by deicing salts, the concrete can be protected by lowering
the water-cement ratio, or increasing the amount of cover over the reinforcing steel,
or entraining air in the concrete, or adding a calcium-nitrate admixture, or adding
an internal-barrier admixture, or cathodic protection, or a combination of these
To inhibit corrosion, calcium-nitrate admixtures are added to the concrete at the
time of batching. They do not create a physical barrier to chloride ion ingress.
Rather, they modify the concrete chemistry near the steel surface. The nitrite ions
oxidize ferrous oxide present, converting it to ferric oxide. The nitrite is also absorbed
at the steel surface and fortifies the ferric-oxide passivating layer. For a
calcium-nitrite admixture to be effective, the dosage should be adjusted in accordance
with the exposure condition of the concrete to corrosive agents. The greater
the exposure, the larger should be the dosage. The correct dosage can only be
determined on a project-by-project basis with data for the specific admixture proposed.
Internal-barrier admixtures come in two groups. One comprises waterproofing
and dampproofing compounds (Art. 4.15). The second consists of agents that create
an organic film around the reinforcing steel, supplementing the passivating layer.
This type of admixture is promoted for addition at a fixed rate regardless of expected
chloride exposure.
4.13.7 Coloring Admixtures
Colors are added to concrete for architectural reasons. They may be mineral oxides
or manufactured pigments. Raw carbon black, a commonly used material for black
color, greatly reduces the amount of entrained air in a mix. Therefore, if black
concrete is desired for concrete requiring air-entrainment (for freeze-thaw or aggressive
chemical exposure), either the carbon black should be modified to entrain
air or an additional air-entraining agent may be incorporated in the mix. The mix
design should be tested under field conditions prior to its use in construction. Use
of color requires careful control of materials, batching, and water addition in order
to maintain a consistent color at the jobsite.
As used in concrete, fibers are discontinuous, discrete units. They may be described
by their aspect ratio, the ratio of length to equivalent diameter. Fibers find their
greatest use in crack control of concrete flatwork, especially slabs on grade.
The most commonly used types of fibers in concrete are synthetics, which include
polypropylene, nylon, polyester, and polyethylene materials. Specialty synthetics
include aramid, carbon, and acrylic fibers. Glass-fiber-reinforced concrete is
made using E-glass and alkali-resistant (AR) glass fibers. Steel fibers are chopped
high-tensile or stainless steel.
Fibers should be dispersed uniformly throughout a mix. Orientation of the fibers
in concrete generally is random. Conventional reinforcement, in contrast, typically
is oriented in one or two directions, generally in planes parallel to the surface.
Further, welded-wire fabric or reinforcing steel bars must be held in position as
concrete is placed. Regardless of the type, fibers are effective in crack control
because they provide omnidirectional reinforcement to the concrete matrix. With
steel fibers, impact strength and toughness of concrete may be greatly improved
and flexural and fatigue strengths enhanced.
Synthetic fibers are typically used to replace welded-wire fabric as secondary
reinforcing for crack control in concrete flatwork. Depending on the fiber length,
the fiber can limit the size and spread of plastic shrinkage cracks or both plastic
and drying shrinkage cracks. Although synthetic fibers are not designed to provide
structural properties, slabs tested in accordance with ASTM E72, ‘‘Standard Methods
of Conducting Strength Tests of Panels for Building Construction,’’ showed that
test slabs reinforced with synthetic fibers carried greater uniform loads than slabs
containing welded wire fabric. While much of the research for synthetic fibers has
used reinforcement ratios greater than 2%, the common field practice is to use 0.1%
(1.5 lb /yd3). This dosage provides more cross-sectional area than 10-gage weldedwire
fabric. The empirical results indicate that cracking is significantly reduced and
is controlled. A further benefit of fibers is that after the initial cracking, the fibers
tend to hold the concrete together.
Aramid, carbon, and acrylic fibers have been studied for structural applications,
such as wrapping concrete columns to provide additional strength. Other possible
uses are for corrosion-resistance structures. The higher costs of the specialty synthetics
limit their use in general construction.
Glass-fiber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) is used to construct many types of building
elements, including architectural wall panels, roofing tiles, and water tanks. The
full potential of GFRC has not been attained because the E-glass fibers are alkali
reactive and the AR-glass fibers are subject to embrittlement, possibly from infiltration
of calcium-hydroxide particles.
Steel fibers can be used as a structural material and replace conventional reinforcing
steel. The volume of steel fiber in a mix ranges from 0.5 to 2%. Much
work has been done to develop rapid repair methods using thin panels of densely
packed steel fibers and a cement paste squeegeed into the steel matrix. American
Concrete Institute Committee 544 states in ‘‘Guide for Specifying, Mixing, Placing,
and Finishing Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete,’’ ACI 544.3R, that, in structural
members such as beams, columns, and floors not on grade, reinforcing steel should
be provided to support the total tensile load. In other cases, fibers can be used to
reduce section thickness or improve performance. See also ACI 344.1R and 344.2R.
There are many miscellaneous concrete additives for use as pumping aids and as
dampproofing, permeability-reducing, gas-forming agents.
Pumping aids are used to decrease the viscosity of harsh or marginally pumpable
mixes. Organic and synthetic polymers, fly ash, bentonite, or hydrated lime
may be used for this purpose. Results depend on concrete mix, including the effects
of increased water demand and the potential for lower strength resulting from the
increased water-cement ratio. If sand makes the mix marginally pumpable, fly ash
is the preferred pumping additive. It generally will not increase the water demand
and it will react with the calcium hydroxide in cement to provide some strength
Dampproofing admixtures include soaps, stearates, and other petroleum products.
They are intended to reduce passage of water and water vapor through concrete.
Caution should be exercised when using these materials inasmuch as they
may increase water demand for the mix, thus increasing the permeability of the
concrete. If dense, low-permeable concrete is desired, the water-cement ratio should
be kept to a maximum of 0.50 and the concrete should be well vibrated and damp
Permeability of concrete can be decreased by the use of fly ash and silica fume
as admixtures. Also, use of a high-range water-reducing admixture and a watercement
ratio less than 0.50 will greatly reduce permeability.
Gas-forming admixtures are used to form lightweight concrete. They are also
used in masonry grout where it is desirable for the grout to expand and bond to
the concrete masonry unit. They are typically an aluminum powder.
Mortars are composed of a cementitious material, fine aggregate, sand, and water.
They are used for bedding unit masonry, for plasters and stuccoes, and with the
addition of coarse aggregate, for concrete. Here consideration is given primarily to
those mortars used for unit masonry and plasters.
Properties of mortars vary greatly, being dependent on the properties of the
cementitious material used, ratio of cementitious material to sand, characteristics
and grading of the sand, and ratio of water to solids.
4.16.1 Packaging and Proportioning of Mortar
Mortars are usually proportioned by volume. A common specification is that not
more than 3 ft3 of sand be used with 1 ft3 of cementitious material. Difficulty is
sometimes encountered, however, in determining just how much material constitutes
a cubic foot: a bag of cement (94 lb) by agreement is called a cubic foot in proportioning
mortars or concretes, but an actual cubic foot of lime putty may be used
in proportioning mortars. Since hydrated limes are sold in 50-lb bags (Art. 4.5.3),
each of which makes somewhat more than a cubic foot of putty, weights of 40, 42,
and 45 lb of hydrated lime have been used as a cubic foot in laboratory studies;
but on the job, a bag is frequently used as a cubic foot. Masonry cements are sold
in bags containing 70 to 80 lb (Art. 4.8), and a bag is considered a cubic foot.
4.16.2 Properties of Mortars
Table 4.4 lists types of mortars as a guide in selection for unit masonry.
Workability is an important property of mortars, particularly of those used in
conjunction with unit masonry of high absorption. Workability is controlled by the
character of the cement and amount of sand. For example, a mortar made from 3
parts sand and 1 part slaked lime putty will be more workable than one made from
2 parts sand and 1 part portland cement. But the 3:1 mortar has lower strength. By
proper selection or mixing of cementitious materials, a satisfactory compromise
may usually be obtained, producing a mortar of adequate strength and workability.
Water retention—the ratio of the flow after 1-min standard suction to the flow
before suction—is used as an index of the workability of mortars. A high value of
water retention is considered desirable for most purposes. There is, however, a wide
variation in water retention of mortars made with varying proportions of cement
and lime and with varying limes. The ‘‘Standard Specification for Mortar for Unit
Masonry,’’ ASTM C270, requires mortar mixed to an initial flow of 100 to 115, as
determined by the test method of ASTM C109, to have a flow after suction of at
least 75%.
Strength of mortar is frequently used as a specification requirement, even though
it has little relation to the strength of masonry. (See, for example, ASTM C270,
C780, and C476). The strength of mortar is affected primarily by the amount of
cement in the matrix. Other factors of importance are the ratio of sand to cementing
material, curing conditions, and age when tested.
Volume change of mortars constitutes another important property. Normal volume
change (as distinguished from unsoundness) may be considered as the shrinkage
during early hardening, shrinkage on drying, expansion on wetting, and changes
due to temperature.
After drying, mortars expand again when wetted. Alternate wetting and drying
produces alternate expansion and contraction, which apparently continues indefi-
nitely with portland-cement mortars.
Coefficients of thermal expansion of several mortars, reported in ‘‘Volume
Changes in Brick Masonry Materials,’’ Journal of Research of the National Bureau
of Standards, Vol. 6, p. 1003, ranged from 0.38  105 to 0.60  105 for masonrycement
mortars; from 0.41  105 to 0.53  105 for lime mortars, and from
0.42  105 to 0.61  105 for cement mortars. Composition of the cementitious
material apparently has little effect on the coefficient of thermal expansion of a
4.16.3 High-Bond Mortars
When polymeric materials, such as styrene-butadiene and polyvinylidene chloride,
are added to mortar, greatly increased bonding, compressive, and shear strengths
result. To obtain high strength, the other materials, including sand, water, Type I
or III portland cement, and a workability additive, such as pulverized ground limestone
or marble dust, must be of quality equal to that of the ingredients of standard
mortar. The high strength of the mortar enables masonry to withstand appreciable
bending and tensile stresses. This makes possible thinner walls and prelaying of
single-wythe panels that can be hoisted into place.
Portland-cement concrete is a mixture of portland cement, water, coarse and fine
aggregates, and admixtures proportioned to form a plastic mass capable of being
cast, placed, or molded into forms that will harden to a solid mass. The desirable
properties of plastic concrete are that it be workable, placeable and nonsegregating,
and that it set in the desired time. The hardened concrete should provide the desired
service properties:
1. Strength (compressive and flexural)
2. Durability (lack of cracks, resistance to freezing and thawing and to chemical
attacks, abrasion resistance, and air content)
3. Appearance (color, lack of surface imperfections)
Each of these properties affects the final cost of the mix design and the cost of
the in-place concrete. These properties are available from normal-weight, lightweight,
and heavyweight concretes.
4.17.1 Normal-Weight Concrete
The nominal weight of normal concrete is 144 lb / ft3 for non-air-entrained concrete,
but is less the air-entrained concrete. (The weight of concrete plus steel reinforcement
is often assumed as 150 lb / ft3.)
Strength for normal-weight concrete ranges from 2000 to 20,000 psi. It is generally
measured using a standard test cylinder 6 in in diameter by 12 in high. The
strength of a concrete is defined as the average strength of two cylinders taken from
the same load and tested at the same age. Flexural beams 6  6  20 in may be
used for concrete paving mixes. The strength gains of air-entrained and non-airentrained
concretes are graphically shown in Fig. 9.2.
As illustrated in Fig. 9.2, the strength of a given mix is determined by the watercement
ratio (W/ C), and whether or not air entraining is used. Other factors are
the maximum-size aggregate and the desired fluidity (slump) of the concrete at the
point of placement. When no historical record is available for the aggregates and
cements to be used, the water-cement ratios in Table 9.2 can provide guidance for
the initial designs.
Each combination of coarse and fine aggregates has a specific water demand for
a given mix fluidity, or slump. Two general guidelines are:
1. For a constant slump, the water demand increases with increase in maximumsize
2. For a constant maximum-size aggregate, as the slump increases, the water demand
There are many different methods for designing a normal-weight concrete mix.
A standard method is given in ACI 211, ‘‘Standard Practice for Selecting Proportions
for Normal, Heavyweight, and Mass Concrete.’’ See also Art. 9.10.
Workability of a concrete is the property most important to contractors who
must place the concrete into forms and finish it. Workability includes the properties
of cohesiveness, plasticity, and nonsegregation. It is greatly influenced by aggregate
shape and gradation. Mixes that are hard to pump, place, and finish include those
deficient in fines, those with flat and elongated aggregates, and those with an excessive
amount of fines (sand and cement). If the sand is deficient in fines, workability
can be increased by addition of 30 to 50 lb /yd3 of fly ash. The most effective
method of producing workable concrete is to employ a well graded, combined
aggregate gradation.
Modulus of elasticity of normal-weight concrete is between 2,000,000 and
6,000,000 psi. An estimate of the modulus of elasticity for normal-weight concrete
with compressive strengths between 3000 and 5000 psi can be obtained by ?c
multiplying the square root of by 57,000. Above 5000 psi, the modulus should ?c
be determined using the procedure of ASTM C469. [See also Eq. (4.1) in Art.
Volume changes occur as either drying shrinkage, creep, or expansion due to
external thermal sources. Drying shrinkage causes the most problems, because it
produces cracks in the concrete surface. The primary cause of drying shrinkage
cracks is an excessive amount of water in the mix. The water has two effects. First,
it increases the water-cement ratio (W/ C), weakening the concrete. Second, additional
water beyond that needed for hydration of the cement creates an excessive
number of bleed channels to exposed surfaces. When the cement paste undergoes
its normal drying shrinkage, these channels cannot provide any resistance to penetration
of water or aggressive chemicals.
Creep is a time-dependent deformation of concrete that occurs after an external
load is applied to the concrete. It is an important consideration in design of prestressed
Concrete expands when heated and contracts when cooled. Coefficients of thermal
expansion range from 3.2 to 7.0 millionths per F. The most notable result of
the response of concrete to thermal changes is the movement of external walls,
which may bow because of temperature differentials.
Normal-weight concrete that is not designed for fire exposure expands on being
heated. A side effect is some strength loss and a reduction in the modulus of
Resistance to freezing and thawing can be accomplished by proper air entrainment
in the concrete, use of a mix with a minimum water content, and proper
curing of the concrete. Table 9.3 provides guidelines for the amount of air to use
based upon exposure and maximum aggregate size.
Chemical attack may be internal (alkali-aggregate reaction) or external (sulfate
attack or an aggressive service environment). In either case, the basic concerns are
the characteristics of the available materials and the environment in which the
concrete will be used. Alkali-reactive aggregates should be avoided, but if they
must be used, a low-alkali cement complying with ASTM C150 Type II Modified
should be selected. If sulfate attack is a concern, a low W/C (0.45 maximum) and
air entrainment should be used with either a C150 Type V cement or a C150 Type
II cement with C618 Type F fly ash. For protection from attack by other chemicals,
a low W/C (0.45 maximum), more concrete cover over the reinforcing steel, a
corrosion-protection additive, or a latex-modified concrete should be used. The
American Concrete Institute ‘‘Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete,’’
ACI 318, contains requirements for special exposure conditions.
Abrasion resistance is a concern with pavements and hydraulic structures. Both
require use of sound, durable, hard-rock aggregates, low W/C, and well-cured concrete.
Acceptable appearance depends on good workmanship and a supply of consistent
materials. The formwork should be watertight and properly oiled before
concrete placement. Forms should not be made of wood that will release sugars
into the concrete and create a retarded surface finish. During concrete placement,
the concrete should have consistent workability. The forms should be uniformly
and consistently vibrated to consolidate the concrete.
(‘‘Standard Practice for Selecting Proportions for Normal Heavyweight, and
Mass Concrete,’’ ACI 211.1, and ‘‘Guide for Use of Normal Weight Aggregates in
Concrete,’’ ACI 221.)
4.17.2 Lightweight Concrete
Concrete weighing considerably less than the 144 lb / ft3 of normal-weight concrete
may be produced by use of lightweight aggregates or by expanding or foaming the
concrete. Lightweight concrete is used principally to reduce the dead load of a
structure and lower the cost of foundations. The light weight of the aggregates used
for this type of concrete derives from the cellular structure of the particles. Hence,
lightweight-aggregate concrete as well as foamed and expanded concretes have
excellent fire-protection capabilities because of the internal voids in the aggregates
or the concrete itself. When lightweight aggregates are used, they may be both fine
and coarse, or lightweight coarse and normal-weight fine (sand), or normal-weight
coarse and lightweight fine. The last combination is the least often used. Unit
weights range from 90 lb / ft3 (all aggregates lightweight) to 115 lb / ft3 (sand lightweight).
Typically, compressive strengths range from 2500 to 4000 psi. Highstrength
lightweight concretes, however, have been produced with maximum unit
weights of 125 lb / ft3 and strengths from 6000 to 9000 psi. Structural lightweight
concretes are defined by the ACI as concretes with a 28-day compressive strength
more than 2500 psi and air-dry unit weight of 115 lb / ft3 or less.
The variable amount of water absorbed in the voids of lightweight aggregates
makes use of W/C difficult in design of a lightweight-aggregate mix (Table 4.5).
Air entrainment of 4 to 6% is desirable to prevent segregation. Maximum size of
the coarse aggregate should not exceed half the depth of cover over the reinforcing
Lightweight-aggregate concrete exposed to sulfates should have a compressive
strength ranging from 3750 to 4750 psi (see ACI 318). For marine structures, the
W/C should not exceed 0.40 and at least seven bags of cement should be used per
cubic yard of concrete.
The modulus of elasticity Ec of lightweight concrete generally ranges from
1,500,000 to 3,000,000 psi. It may be estimated from
1.5 E  w ? (4.1) c c
where w  unit weight of concrete, lb / ft3
 ?c 28-day compressive strength of concrete, psi
Volume changes occur in lightweight concrete as in normal-weight concrete,
but lightweight concrete is stabler when exposed to heat. Drying shrinkage causes
the most undesirable volume changes, because it produces cracks in the surfaces
of the concrete. The primary cause of drying-shrinkage cracks is excessive water
in the mix. The water has two effects. First, it increases the W/C and weakens the
concrete. Second, the additional water beyond that needed for hydration of the
cement creates an excessive number of bleed channels to the exposed surfaces.
When the cement paste undergoes normal drying shrinkage, these channels cannot
provide any resistance to ingress of aggressive chemicals.
Creep is an important concern for lightweight concrete, as it is for normal-weight
concrete, especially for prestressed concrete.
(‘‘Standard Practice for Selecting Proportions for Structural Lightweight Concrete,’’
ACI 211.2, and ‘‘Guide for Structural Lightweight Aggregate Concrete,’’
ACI 213.)
4.17.3 Heavyweight Concrete
Concretes made with heavyweight aggregates are used for shielding and structural
purposes in construction of nuclear reactors and other structures exposed to highintensity
radiation (see Art. 4.12). Heavyweight aggregates are used where heavyweight
is needed, such as ship’s ballast and encasement of underwater pipes, and
for making shielding concretes because absorption of such radiation is proportional
to density, and consequently, these aggregates have greater capacity for absorption
than those ordinarily used for normal concrete. With such aggregates, concrete
weighing up to about 385 lb / ft3 can be produced.
Concrete made with limonite or magnetite can develop densities of 210 to 224
lb/ft3 and compressive strengths of 3200 to 5700 psi. With barite, concrete may
weigh 230 lb / ft3 and have a strength of 6000 psi. With steel punchings and sheared
bars as coarse aggregate and steel shot as fine aggregate, densities of 250 to 288
lb/ft3 and strengths of about 5600 psi can be attained. Generally, grading of aggregates
and mix proportions are similar to those used for normal concrete.
The properties of heavyweight concrete are similar to those of normal-weight
concrete. Mixing and placing operations, however, are more difficult than those for
normal-weight concrete, because of segregation. Good grading, high cement content,
low W/C, and air entrainment should be employed to prevent segregation.
Sometimes, heavyweight aggregates are grouted in place to avoid segregation.
Heavyweight concretes usually do not have good resistance to weathering or abrasion.
(‘‘Recommended Practice for Selecting Proportions for Normal, Heavyweight,
and Mass Concrete,’’ ACI 211.1.)
4.17.4 High-Performance Concretes
These concretes either have a high design strength (more than 6000 psi for normalweight
concrete and 5000 psi for lightweight concrete) or will be subjected to severe
service environments. The differences between high-performance concretes and
normal-weight concretes is that the former have lower W/C and smaller maximum
aggregate size. ACI 318 specifies the W/C and compressive strengths for concrete
in severe exposures and the maximum chloride-ion content of concrete. Highperformance
concrete is defined by either durability or strength-performance characteristics.
Durability characteristics are resistance to freeze-thaw, scaling, abrasion,
and chloride permeability. The strength characteristics have been defined in four
grades as shown in Table 4.6. (See also Art. 4.17.1)
High-strength, portland-cement concretes generally incorporate in the mix fly
ash, silica fume, or superplasticizers, or a combination of these admixtures. A retarder
is often beneficial in controlling early hydration. The W/C may be as small
as 0.25. The maximum size of aggregate should generally be limited to 1?2 in.
With superplasticizers, relatively high strengths can be achieved at early ages,
such as 7-day strengths of normal concrete in 3 days and 28-day strengths in 7
days. Compressive strengths exceeding 10,000 psi can be achieved in 90 days.
Aside from reduction in W/C, the use of superplasticizers in production of highstrength
concretes does not require significant changes in mix proportioning. An
increase in the range of sand content of about 5%, however, may help avoid a harsh
mix. Curing is very important, because strength gain halts when water is no longer
available for hydration. Also, it is important that proper quantities of air-entraining
admixtures be determined by trial. Some air loss may result when melamine- or
naphthalene-based superplasticizers are used, whereas lignosulfonate-based water
reducers may actually increase air content. Larger amounts of air-entraining agent
may be needed for high-strength concretes, especially for low-slump mixes with
high cement content and mixes with large amounts of some types of fly ash. Furthermore,
some types of superplasticizers and air-entraining admixtures may not be
compatible with each other.
(‘‘State-of-the-Art Report on High-Strength Concrete,’’ ACI 363.)
4.17.5 Nonstructural or Foamed Cellular Concretes
These are formed by the use of admixtures that generate or liberate gas bubbles in
concrete in the plastic stage. Aluminum powder, which reacts with the alkalies in
cement to release hydrogen, is generally used for this purpose, although hydrogen
peroxide, which generates oxygen, or activated carbon, which liberates absorbed
air, can be used. These foaming agents create stable, uniformly dispersed air spaces
within the concrete when it sets. Perlite and vermiculite are most frequently used
as aggregates. The resulting concrete may weigh 50 lb / ft3 or less and have a compressive
strength up to 2500 psi. Applications of such lightweight concretes include
topping and soundproofing barriers over structural concrete slabs.
The effectiveness of the admixture is controlled by the duration of mixing, handling,
and placing of the mix relative to the gas-generation rate. The amount of
unpolished aluminum powder to be added to a mix may range from 0.005 to 0.02%
by weight of cement under normal conditions. Larger quantities, however, may be
used to produce lower-strength concretes. More aluminum may be needed at low
temperatures to achieve the same amount of concrete expansion, for example, twice
as much as 40F as at 70F. Furthermore, at low temperatures, to speed up gas
generation, it may be necessary to add to the mix alkalies such as sodium hydroxide,
hydrated lime, or trisodium phosphate. Also, to prevent the powder from floating
on the surface of mixing water, the aluminum may be premixed with sand or
combined with other admixtures.
Curing is very important. If good curing practices and jointing are not followed,
extensive drying shrinkage may result.
Plastics with long-chain molecules, called polymers, are used in several ways to
enhance concrete properties: replacement of portland cement, incorporation in a
mix as an admixture, and impregnating hardened concrete.
Polymer concretes, such as methyl methacrylate and unsaturated polyester, in
which a polymer replaces portland cement may have more than double the strength
and modulus of elasticity of portland-cement concrete. Creep is less and resistance
to freezing and thawing cycles is higher with the polymer concretes. After curing
for a very short time, for example, overnight at room temperature, polymer concretes
are ready for use, whereas ordinary concrete may have to cure for about a
week before exposure to service loads.
Monomers and polymers may be used as admixtures for restoring and resurfacing
deteriorated concrete surfaces. Latexes of methyl methacrylate, polyester, styrene,
epoxy-styrene, furans, styrene-butadiene, and vinylidene chloride have been
employed for these purposes. The resulting concrete hardens more rapidly than
normal concrete. A polymer admixture may also be used to improve the bonding
properties of portland cement. Inserted in a mix as an emulsion for this purpose,
the admixture supplies a significant amount of water to the mix, which becomes
available for hydration of the cement. The release of the water also sets the emulsion.
Hence, moist curing is not desirable, inasmuch as the emulsion needs to dry
to develop the desired strength. A grout or mortar containing the bonding admixture
develops a higher bond strength when applied as a thin layer than as a thick one
and the bond may be stronger than materials being joined.
Impregnation of concrete with polymers is sometimes used to harden surfaces
exposed to heavy traffic. Strength and other properties of the impregnated concrete
are similar to those of concrete in which polymers replace portland cement. Impregnation
is achieved by first drying the concrete surface with heat and then soaking
the surface with a monomer, such as methyl methacrylate, styrene, acrylonitrile,
or tert-butyl styrene. It is subsequently cured with heat.
Slab Toppings. At least partly because of excellent adhesion, epoxies are formulated
with sand and other fillers to provide surfacing materials for concrete.
Unlike standard concrete topping, epoxy-based surfacing materials can be thin.
They are especially useful for smoothing uneven, irregular surfaces. The epoxy
cures quickly, allowing use of the surface in a short time.
Grout. Cracked concrete can be repaired with an epoxy grout. The grout is forced
into cracks under pressure for deep penetration. Because of its good bonding
strength, the epoxy grout can largely restore strength, while, at the same time,
sealing the crack against penetration by liquids.
(‘‘Polymers in Concrete,’’ ACI 548; ‘‘Guide for the Use of Polymers in Concrete,’’
ACI 548.1; and ‘‘Polymer Modified Concrete,’’ SP-99, American Concrete
A wide variety of manufactured products are produced from concrete and used in
building construction. These include such items as concrete brick, concrete block
or tile, concrete floor and roof slabs, precast wall panels, precast beams, and cast
stone. These items are made both from normal dense concrete mixes and from
mixes with lightweight aggregates. Concrete blocks are made with holes through
them to reduce their weight and to enable masons to grip them.
Nominal size (actual dimensions plus width of mortar joint) of hollow concrete
block usually is 8  8  16 in. Solid blocks often are available with nominal size
of 4  8  16 in or 4  21?2  8 in. For a list of modular sizes, see ‘‘Standard
Sizes of Clay and Concrete Modular Units,’’ ANSI A62.3.
Properties of the units vary tremendously—from strong, dense, load-bearing
units used under exposed conditions to light, relatively weak, insulating units used
for roof and fire-resistant construction.
Many types of concrete units have not been covered by adequate standard specifications.
For these units, reliance must be placed upon the manufacturer’s speci-
fications. Requirements for strength and absorption of concrete brick and block
established by ASTM for Type I, Grades N-I and S-I (moisture-controlled), and
Type II, Grades N-II and S-II (non-moisture-controlled), units are summarized in
Table 4.7.
Manufactured concrete units have the advantage (or sometimes disadvantage)
that curing is under the control of the manufacturer. Many methods of curing are
used, from simply stacking the units in a more or less exposed location to curing
under high-pressure steam. The latter method appears to have considerable merit
in reducing ultimate shrinkage of the block. Shrinkage may be as small as 1?4 to 3?8
in per 100 ft for concrete units cured with high-pressure steam. These values are
about one-half as great as those obtained with normal atmospheric curing. Tests for
moisture movement in blocks cured with high-pressure and high-temperature steam
indicate expansions of from 1?4 to 1?2 in per 100 ft after saturation of previously
dried specimens.
Use of burned-clay structural units dates from prehistoric times. Hence durability
of well-burned units has been adequately established through centuries of exposure
in all types of climate.
Modern burned-clay units are made in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors,
and textures to suit the requirements of modern architecture. They include such
widely diverse units as common and face brick; hollow clay tile in numerous
shapes, sizes, and designs for special purposes; ceramic tile for decorative and
sanitary finishes, and architectural terra cotta for ornamentation.
Properties of burned-clay units vary with the type of clay or shale used as raw
material, method of fabrication of the units, and temperature of burning. As a
consequence, some units, such as salmon brick, are underburned, highly porous,
and of poor strength. But others are almost glass hard, have been pressed and burned
to almost eliminate porosity, and are very strong. Between these extremes lie most
of the units used for construction.
Brick have been made in a wide range of sizes and shapes, from the old Greek
brick, which was practically a 23-in cube of 12,650 in3 volume, to the small Belgian
brick, about 13?4  33?8  41?2 in with a total volume of only 27 in3. The present
common nominal sizes in the United States are 4 or 6 in thick by 22?3 or 4 in high
by 8 or 12 in long. For a list of modular sizes, see ‘‘Standard Sizes of Clay and
Concrete Modular Masonry Units,’’ ANSI A62.3. Actual dimensions are smaller,
Structural clay tiles are hollow burned-clay masonry units with parallel cells. Such
units have multitude of uses: as a facing tile for interior and exterior unplastered
walls, partitions, or columns; as load-bearing tile in masonry constructions designed
to carry superimposed loads; as partition tile for interior partitions carrying no
superimposed load; as fireproofing tile for protection of structural members against
fire; as furring tile for lining the inside of exterior walls; as floor tile in floor and
roof construction; and as header tiles, which are designed to provide recesses for
header units in brick or stone-faced walls. Units are available with the following
ranges in nominal dimensions: 8 to 16 in in length, 4 in for facing tile to 12 in for
load-bearing tile in height, and 2 in for facing tile to 12 in for load-bearing tile in
Two general types of tile are available—side-construction tile, designed to receive
its principal stress at right angles to the axis of the cells, and end-construction
tile designed to receive its principal stress parallel to the axis of the cells.
Tiles are also available in a number of surface finishes, such as opaque glazed
tile, clear ceramic-glazed tile, nonlustrous glazed tile, and scored, combed, or
roughened finishes designed to receive mortar, plaster, or stucco.
Requirements of the appropriate ASTM specifications for absorption and
strength of several types of tile are given in Table 4.9 (see ASTM C34, C56, C57,
C212, and C126 for details pertaining to size, color, texture, defects, etc.). Strength
and absorption of tile made from similar clays but from different sources and manufacturers
vary widely. The modulus of elasticity of tile may range from 1,620,000
to 6,059,000 psi.
Tile suitable for general use in masonry construction and adapted for use in masonry exposed to
weathering. They may also be considered suitable for direct application of stucco.
LB. Tile suitable for general use in masonry where not exposed to frost action, or in exposed masonry
where protected with a facing of 3 in or more of stone, brick, terra cotta, or other masonry.
NB. Non-load-bearing tile made from surface clay, shale, or fired clay.
FT 1 and FT 2. Tile suitable for use in flat or segmental panels or in combination tile and concrete
ribbed-slab construction.
FTX. Smooth-face tile suitable for general use in exposed exterior and interior masonry walls and
partitions, and adapted for use where tiles low in absorption, easily cleaned, and resistant to staining are
required and where a high degree of mechanical perfection, narrow color range, and minimum variation in
face dimensions are required.
FTS. Smooth or rough-texture face tile suitable for general use in exposed exterior and interior masonry
walls and partitions and adapted for use where tile of moderate absorption, moderate variation in face
dimensions, and medium color range may be used, and where minor defects in surface finish, including
small handling chips, are not objectionable.
Standard. Tile suitable for general use in exterior or interior masonry walls and partitions.
Special duty. Tile suitable for general use in exterior or interior masonry walls and partitions and
designed to have superior resistance to impact and moisture transmission, and to support greater lateral and
compressive loads than standard tile construction.
Glazed units. Ceramic-glazed structural clay tile with a glossy or stain-mat finish of either an opaque
or clear gaze, produced by the application of a coating prior to firing and subsequently made vitreous by
Ceramic tile is a burned-clay product used primarily for decorative and sanitary
effects. It is composed of a clay body on which is superimposed a decorative glaze.
The tiles are usually flat but vary in size from about 1?2 in square to more than
6 in. Their shape is also widely variable—squares, rectangles, and hexagons are
the predominating forms, to which must be added coved moldings and other decorative
forms. These tiles are not dependent on the color of the clay for their final
color, since they are usually glazed. Hence, they are available in a complete color
gradation from pure whites through pastels of varying hue to deep solid colors and
jet blacks.
Properties of the base vary somewhat. In particular, absorption ranges from almost
zero to about 15%. The glaze is required to be impervious to liquids and
should not stain, crack, or craze.
Ceramic tiles are applied on a solid backing by means of a mortar or adhesive.
They are usually applied with the thinnest possible mortar joint; consequently accuracy
of dimensions is of greatest importance. Since color, size, and shape of tile
are important, selection of tile should be based on the current literature of the
The term ‘‘terra cotta’’ has been applied for centuries to decorative molded-clay
objects whose properties are similar to brick. The molded shapes are fired in a
manner similar to brick.
Terra cotta is frequently glazed to produce a desired color or finish. This introduces
the problem of cracking or crazing of the glaze, particularly over large areas.
Structural properties of terra cotta are similar to those of clay or shale brick.
Principal building stones generally used in the United States are limestones, marbles,
granites, and sandstones. Other stones such as serpentine and quartzite are
used locally but to a much lesser extent. Stone, in general, makes an excellent
building material, if properly selected on the basis of experience; but the cost may
be relatively high.
Properties of stone depend on what nature has provided. Therefore, the designer
does not have the choice of properties and color available in some of the manufactured
building units. The most the stone producer can do for purchasers is to
avoid quarrying certain stone beds that have been proved by experience to have
poor strength or poor durability.
Data on the strength of building stones are presented in Table 4.10, summarized
from U.S. National Bureau of Standards Technical Papers, No. 123, B. S. Vol. 12;
Data on the true specific gravity, bulk specific gravity, unit weights, porosity,
and absorption of various stones are given in Table 4.11.
Permeability of stones varies with types of stone, thickness, and driving pressure
that forces water through the stone. Table 4.12 represents data for the more common
stones at three different pressures, as reported in ‘‘Permeability of Stone,’’ U.S.
National Bureau of Standards Technical Papers, No. 305, Vol. 20, p. 191. The units
of measurement of permeability are cubic inches of water that will flow through a
square foot of a specimen 1?2 in thick in 1 hr.
Data on thermal expansion of building stones as given in Table 4.13 show that
limestones have a wide range of expansion as compared with granites and slates.
Marble loses strength after repeated heating and cooling. A marble that had an
original strength of 9174 psi had a strength after 50 heatings to 150C of 8998
psi—a loss of 1.9%. After 100 heatings to 150C, the strength was only 8507 psi,
or a loss of 7.3%. The latter loss in strength was identical with that obtained on
freezing and thawing the same marble for 30 cycles. Also, marble retains a permanent
expansion after repeated heating.
In freezing and thawing tests of 89 different marbles (‘‘Physical and Chemical Tests
of Commercial Marbles of U.S.,’’ U.S. National Bureau of Standards Technical
Papers, No. 123, Vol. 12), after 30 cycles, 66 marbles showed loss of strength
ranging from 1.2 to 62.1% and averaging 12.3% loss. The other 23 marbles showed
increases in strength ranging from 0.5 to 43.9% and averaging 11.2% increase.
Weight change was also determined in this investigation to afford another index
of durability. Of 86 possible comparisons after 30 cycles of freezing and thawing,
16 showed no change in weight, 64 showed decreases in weight ranging from 0.01
to 0.28% and averaging 0.04% loss, while 6 showed increases in weight ranging
from 0.01 to 0.08% and averaging 0.04%.
Gypsum is a cementitious material composed of at least 70% of CaSO4  2H2O by
weight (Art. 4.6). It is a main ingredient of many building products.
This product consists of a core of set gypsum surfaced with specifically manufactured
paper firmly bonded to the core. It is designed to be used without addition
of plaster for walls, ceilings, or partitions and provides a surface suitable to receive
either paint or paper (see also Sec. 11). Gypsumboard is extensively used in ‘‘drywall’’
construction, where plaster is eliminated. It is also available with one surface
covered with aluminum or other heat-reflecting type of foil, or with imitation woodgrain
or other patterns on the exposed surface so that no additional decoration is
The types of gypsumboard generally available include wallboard, backing board,
coreboard, fire-resistant gypsumboard, water-resistant gypsumboard, gypsum
sheathing, and gypsum formboard.
Gypsum Wallboard. This type is used for the surface layer on interior walls and
ceilings. Regular gypsum wallboard comes with gray liner paper on the back and
a special paper covering, usually cream-colored, on facing side and edges. This
covering provides a smooth surface suitable for decoration. Foil-backed gypsum
wallboard has aluminum foil bonded to the liner paper to serve as a vapor barrier
and, when contiguous to an airspace, as thermal insulation. Predecorated gypsum
wallboard does not require decorative treatment after installation because it comes
with a finished surface, often a decorative vinyl or paper sheet. Wallboard should
conform with ASTM C36.
Wallboard usually is available 4 ft wide in the following thicknesses and lengths:
1?4 in—for covering and rehabilitating old walls and ceilings, 4 to 12 ft long
5?16 in—where thickness greater than 1?4 in is desired, 4 to 14 ft long.
3?8 in—mainly for the outer face in two-layer wall systems, 4 to 16 ft long
1?2 in—for single-layer new construction with supports 16 to 24 in c to c, 4 to
16 ft long
5?8 in—for better fire resistance and sound control than 1?2 in provides, 4 to 16
ft long
Standard edges are rounded, beveled, tapered, or square.
Backing Board. This type is used as a base layer in multi-ply construction, where
several layers of gypsumboard are desired for high fire resistance, sound control,
and strength in walls. It has gray liner paper on front and back faces. Also available
is backing board with aluminum foil bonded to the back face. Gypsum backing
board should conform with ASTM C442. The boards come 16 to 48 in wide, 4 to
16 ft long, and 1?4 to 1 in thick.
Gypsum Coreboard. To save space, this type is used as a base in multi-ply construction
of self-supporting (studless) gypsum walls. Coreboard may be supplied as
1-in-thick, solid backing board or as two factory-laminated, 1?2-in-thick layers of
backing board. Coreboard too should conform with C442.
Type X Gypsumboard. For use in fire-rated assemblies, Type X may be gypsum
wallboard, backing board, or coreboard with core made more fire resistant by addition
of glass fiber or other reinforcing materials.
Water-Resistant Gypsum Backing Board. This type comes with a water-resistant
gypsum core and water-repellant face paper. It may be used as a base for wall tile
in baths, showers, and other areas subject to wetting. The board should conform
with ASTM C630.
Gypsum Sheathing. This type is used as fire protection and bracing of exterior
frame walls. It must be protected from the weather by an exterior facing. Sheathing
should conform with ASTM C79. It comes 24 to 48 in wide, 6 to 12 ft long, and
3?8, 4?10, 1?2, and 5?8 in thick.
Gypsum Formboard. This type is used as a permanent form in the casting of
gypsum-concrete roof decks.
(‘‘Architect Data Book—Construction Products and Systems,’’ Gold Bond Building
Products, a National Gypsum Division, 2001 Rexford Road, Charlotte, NC
28211; ‘‘Gypsum Products Design Data,’’ Gypsum Association, 1603 Orrington
Ave., Evanston, IL 60201; ‘‘Gypsum Construction Handbook,’’ United States Gypsum,
101 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606.)
Gypsum lath is similar to gypsumboard in that it consists of a core of set gypsum
surfaced with paper. The paper for gypsumboard, however, is produced so that it
is ready to receive paint or paper, while that for gypsum lath is specially designed
or treated so that plaster will bond tightly to the paper. In addition, some lath
provides perforations or other mechanical keying to assist in holding the plaster
firmly on the lath. It is also available with reflective foil backing (see also Art.
Gypsum lath should conform with ASTM C37. It comes in 16-, 161?2-, 24-, and
32-in widths, lengths of 32, 36, and 48 in, and 3?8- and 1?2-in widths.
Veneers plasters, special proprietary compositions for thin plaster surfaces, are
best applied over veneer plaster base, similar to gypsum lath, but produced to
accommodate the veneer plaster compositions. Both gypsum lath and veneer base
are made as regular, X-rated (fire-retardant), and insulating (foil-backed) types.
These bases should conform with ASTM G588. They come 48 in wide, 6 to 16 ft
long, and 3?8, 1?2, and 5?8 in thick.
Gypsum sheathing boards are similar in construction to gypsumboard (Art. 4.26),
except that they are provided with a water-repellent paper surface. They are commonly
made 3?4 to 5?8 in thick, 6 to 12 ft long, and with a nominal width of 24 or
48 in in conformance with ASTM C79. They are made with either square edges or
with V tongue-and-groove edges. Sheathing boards also are available with a waterrepellent
core or fire-resistant Type X.
Gypsum tiles or blocks are used for non-load-bearing partition walls and for protection
of columns, elevator shafts, etc., against fire. They have been essentially
replaced by dry-wall systems.
A precast gypsum product used particularly for roof construction is composed of a
core of gypsum cast in the form of a plank, with wire-fabric reinforcement and
usually with tongue-and-groove metal edges and ends. The planks are available in
two thicknesses—a 2-in plank, which is 15 in wide and 10 ft long, and a 3-in plank
which is 12 in wide and 30 in long. (See ASTM C377.)
Glass is so widely used for decorative and utilitarian purposes in modern construction
that it would require an encyclopedia to list all the varieties available. Clear
glass for windows and doors is made in varying thicknesses or strengths, also in
double layers to obtain additional thermal insulation. Safety glass, laminated from
sheets of glass and plastic, or made with embedded wire reinforcement, is available
for locations where breakage might be hazardous. For ornamental work, glass is
available in a wide range of textures, colors, finishes, and shapes.
Various types and grades of glass are used for glazing:
Clear Window Glass. This is the most extensively used type for windows in all
classes of buildings. A range of grades, as established by Federal Government
Standard DD-G-451c, classifies quality according to defects. The more commonly
used grades are A and B. A is used for the better class of buildings where appearance
is important, and B is used for industrial buildings, some low-cost residences,
basements, etc.
With respect to thickness, clear window glass is classified as ‘‘single-strength’’
about 3?32 in thick; ‘‘double-strength,’’ about 1?8 in thick; and ‘‘heavy-sheet,’’ up to
7?32 in thick. Maximum sizes are as follows: single-strength, 40  50 in; doublestrength,
60  80 in; and heavy sheet, 76  120 in. Because of flexibility, single
strength and double strength should never be used in areas exceeding 12 ft2, and
for appearance’s sake areas should not exceed 7 ft2.
Plate and Float Glass. These have, in general, the same performance characteristics.
They are of superior quality, more expensive, and have better appearance,
with no distortion of vision at any angle. Showcase windows, picture windows, and
exposed windows in offices and commercial buildings are usually glazed with polished
plate or float glass. Thicknesses range from 1?8 to 7?8 in. There are two standard
qualities, silvering and glazing, the latter being employed for quality glazing.
Processed Glass and Rolled Figured Sheet. These are general classifications of
obscure glass. There are many patterns and varying characteristics. Some provide
true obscurity with a uniform diffusion and pleasing appearance, while others may
give a maximum transmission of light or a smoother surface for greater cleanliness.
The more popular types include a clear, polished surface on one side with a pattern
for obscurity on the other side.
Obscure Wired Glass. This usually is specified for its fire-retarding properties,
although it is also used in doors or windows where breakage is a problem. It should
not be used in pieces over 720 in2 in area (check local building code).
Polished Wired Glass. More expensive than obscure wired glass, polished wired
glass is used where clear vision is desired, such as in school or institutional doors.
There are also many special glasses for specific purposes:
Heat-Absorbing Glass. This reduces heat, glare, and a large percentage of ultraviolet
rays, which bleach colored fabrics. It often is used for comfort and reduction
of air-conditioning loads where large areas of glass have a severe sun exposure.
Because of differential temperature stresses and expansion induced by heat absorption
under severe sun exposure, special attention should be given to edge conditions.
Glass having clean-cut edges is particularly desirable, because these affect the edge
strength, which, in turn must resist the central-area expansion. A resilient glazing
material should be used.
Corrugated Glass, Wired Glass, and Plastic Panels. These are used for decorative
treatments, diffusing light, or as translucent structural panels with color.
Laminated Glass. This consists of two or more layers of glass laminated together
by one or more coatings or a transparent plastic. This construction adds strength.
Some types of laminated glass also provide a degree of security, sound isolation,
heat absorption, and glare reduction. Where color and privacy are desired, fadeproof
opaque colors can be included. When fractured, a laminated glass tends to
adhere to the inner layer of plastic and, therefore, shatters into small splinters, thus
minimizing the hazard of flying glass.
Bullet-Resisting Glass. This is made of three or more layers of plate glass laminated
under heat and pressure. Thicknesses of this glass vary from 3?4 to 3 in. The
more common thicknesses are 13?16 in, to resist medium-powered small arms: 11?2
in, to resist high-powered small arms; and 2 in, to resist rifles and submachine guns.
(Underwriters Laboratories lists materials having the required properties for various
degrees of protection.) Greater thicknesses are used for protection against armorpiercing
projectiles. Uses of bullet-resisting glass include cashier windows, bank
teller cages, toll-bridge booths, peepholes, and many industrial and military applications.
Transparent plastics also are used as bullet-resistant materials, and some
of these materials have been tested by the Underwriters Laboratories. Thicknesses
of 11?4 in or more have met UL standards for resisting medium-powered small arms.
Tempered Glass. This is produced by a process of reheating and sudden cooling
that greatly increases strength. All cutting and fabricating must be done before
tempering. Doors of 1?2- and 3?4-in-thick tempered glass are commonly used for
commercial building. Other uses, with thicknesses from 1?8 to 7?8 in, include backboards
for basketball, showcases, balustrades, sterilizing ovens, and windows,
doors, and mirrors in institutions. Although tempered glass is 41?2 to 5 times as
strong as annealed glass of the same thickness, it is breakable, and when broken,
disrupts into innumerable small fragments of more or less cubical shape.
Tinted and Coated Glasses. These are available in several types and for varied
uses. As well as decor, these uses can provide for light and heat reflection, lower
light transmission, greater safety, sound reduction, reduced glare, and increased
Transparent Mirror Glass. This appears as a mirror when viewed from a brightly
lighted side, and is transparent to a viewer on the darker opposite side. This oneway-
vision glass is available as a laminate, plate or float, tinted, and in tempered
Plastic Window Glazing. Made of such plastics as acrylic or polycarbonate, plastic
glazing is used for urban school buildings and in areas where high vandalism
might be anticipated. These plastics have substantially higher impact strength than
glass or tempered glass. Allowance should be made in the framing and installation
for expansion and contraction of plastics, which may be about 8 times as much as
that of glass. Note also that the modulus of elasticity (stiffness) of plastics is about
one-twentieth that of glass. Standard sash, however, usually will accommodate the
additional thickness of plastic and have sufficient rabbet depth.
Suspended Glazing. This utilizes metal clamps bonded to tempered plate glass at
the top edge, with vertical glass supports at right angles for resistance to wind
pressure (Fig. 4.1). These vertical supports, called stabilizers, have their exposed
edges polished. The joints between the large plates and the stabilizers are sealed
with a bonding cement. The bottom edge or sill is held in position by a metal
channel, and sealed with resilient waterproofing. Suspended glazing offers much
greater latitude in use of glass and virtually eliminates visual barriers.
Safety Glazing. A governmental specification Z-97, adopted by many states, requires
entrance-way doors and appurtenances glazed with tempered, laminated, or
plastic material.
Glass blocks are made by first pressing or shaping half blocks to the desired form,
then fusing the half blocks to form a complete block. A block is usually 37?8 in
thick and 53?4, 73?4, or 113?4 in square. The center of the block is hollow and is
under a partial vacuum, which adds to the insulating properties of the block. Corner
and radial blocks are also available to produce desired architectural effects.
Glass block is commonly laid up in a cement or a cement-lime mortar. Since
there is no absorption by the block to facilitate bond of mortar, various devices are
employed to obtain a mechanical bond. One such device is to coat the sides of the
block with a plastic and embed therein particles of sand. The difficulty in obtaining
permanent and complete bond sometimes leads to the opening up of mortar joints.
A wall of glass block, exposed to the weather, may leak badly in a rainstorm unless
unusual precautions have been taken during the setting of the block to obtain full
and complete bond.
Glass blocks have a coefficient of thermal expansion that is from 11?2 to 2 times
that of other masonry. For this reason, large areas of block may expand against
solid masonry and develop sufficient stress so that the block will crack. Manufacturers
usually recommend an expansion joint every 10 ft or so, to prevent building
up of pressure sufficient to crack the block. With adequate protection against expansion
and with good workmanship, or with walls built in protected locations,
FIGURE 4.1 Typical details of suspended glazing. (F. H. Sparks, Co., Inc., New
glass-block walls are ornamental, sanitary, excellent light transmitters, and have
rather low thermal conductivity.
Wood is a building material made from trees. It is a natural polymer composed of
cells in the shape of long, thin tubes with tapered ends. The cell wall consists of
cellulose crystals, which are bonded together by a complex amorphous lignin composed
of carbohydrates. Most of the cells in a tree trunk are oriented vertically.
Consequently, properties of wood in the direction of cell axes, usually referred to
Because of its structure, wood has different strength properties parallel and perpendicular
to the grain. Tensile, bending, and compressive strengths are greatest
parallel to the grain and least across the grain, whereas shear strength is least
parallel to the grain and greatest across the grain. Except in plywood, the shearing
strength of wood is usually governed by the parallel-to-grain direction.
The compressive strength of wood at an angle other than parallel or perpendicular
to the grain is given by the following formula:
C C 2 2 C  (4.2) 	 2 2 C sin 	 C cos 	 1 2
in which C	 is the strength at the desired angle 	 with the grain, C1 is the compressive
strength parallel to grain, and C2 is the compressive strength perpendicular
to the grain.
Increasing moisture content reduces all strength properties except impact bending,
in which green wood is stronger than dry wood. The differences are brought
out in Table 4.14. In practice, no differentiation is made between the strength of
green and dry wood in engineering timbers, because of seasoning defects that may
occur in timbers as they dry and because large timbers normally are put into service
without having been dried. This is not true of laminated timber, in which dry wood
must be employed to obtain good glued joints. For laminated timber, higher stresses
can be employed than for ordinary lumber. In general, compression and bending
parallel to the grain are affected most severely by moisture, whereas modulus of
elasticity, shear, and tensile strength are affected less. In practice, tensile strength
parallel to the grain is taken equal to the bending strength of wood.
In Table 4.14 are summarized also the principal mechanical properties of the
most important American commercial species.
Values given in the table are average ultimate strengths. To obtain working
stresses from these, the following must be considered: (1) Individual pieces may
vary 25% above and below the average. (2) Values given are for standard tests that
are completed in a few minutes. Over a period of years, however, wood may fail
under a continuous load about 9?16 that sustained in a standard test. (3) The modulus
of rupture of a standard 2-in-deep flexural-test specimen is greater than that of a
deep beam. In deriving working stresses, therefore, variability, probable duration
of load, and size are considered, and reduction factors are applied to the average
ultimate strengths to provide basic stresses, or working stresses, for blemishless
lumber. These stresses are still further reduced to account for such blemishes as
knots, wane, slope of grain, shakes, and checks, to provide working stresses for
classes of commercial engineering timbers. (See Sec. 10 for engineering design in
Because of its nature, wood tends to absorb moisture from the air when the relative
humidity is high, and to lose it when the relative humidity is low. Moisture imbibed
into the cell walls causes the wood to shrink and swell as the moisture content
changes with the relative humidity of the surrounding air. The maximum amount
of imbibed moisture the cell walls can hold is known as the fiber-saturation point,
and for most species is in the vicinity of 25 to 30% of the oven-dry weight of the
wood. Free water held in the cell cavities above the fiber-saturation point has no
effect upon shrinkage or other properties of the wood. Changes in moisture content
below the fiber-saturation point cause negligible shrinkage or swelling along the
grain, and such shrinkage and swelling are normally ignored; but across the grain,
considerable shrinkage and swelling occur in both the radial and tangential direction.
Tangential shrinkage (as in flat-cut material) is normally approximately 50%
greater than radial shrinkage (as in edge-grain material). See also Art. 10.1.
Separation of grain, or checking, is the result of rapid lowering of surface moisture
content combined with a difference in moisture content between inner and
outer portions of the piece. As wood loses moisture to the surrounding atmosphere,
the outer cells of the member lose at a more rapid rate than the inner cells. As the
outer cells try to shrink, they are restrained by the inner portion of the member.
The more rapid the drying, the greater will be the differential in shrinkage between
outer and inner fibers, and the greater the shrinkage stresses. As a result, checks
may develop into splits.
Checks are radial cracks caused by nonuniform drying of wood. A split is a
crack that results from complete separation of the wood fibers across the thickness
of a member and extends parallel to the grain. (Shakes are another type of defect.
Usually parallel to an annular ring, they develop in standing trees, whereas checks
and splits are seasoning defects.) Lumber grading rules limit these types of defects.
Checks affect the horizontal shear strength of timber. A large reduction factor
is applied to test values in establishing design values, in recognition of stress concentrations
at the ends of checks. Design values for horizontal shear are adjusted
for permissible checking in the various stress grades at the time of the grading.
Since strength properties of wood increase with dryness, checks may enlarge with
increasing dryness after shipment, without appreciably reducing shear strength.
Cross-grain checks and splits that tend to run out the side of a piece, or excessive
checks and splits that tend to enter connection areas, may be serious and may
require servicing. Provisions for controlling the effects of checking in connection
areas may be incorporated in design details.
To avoid excessive splitting between rows of bolts caused by shrinkage during
seasoning of solid-sawn timbers, rows should not be spaced more than 5 in apart,
or a saw kerf, terminating in a bored hole, should be provided between lines of
bolts. Whenever possible, maximum end distances for connections should be specified
to minimize the effect of checks running into the joint area. Some designers
requires stitch bolts in members, with multiple connections loaded at an angle to
the grain. Stitch bolts, kept tight, will reinforce pieces where checking is excessive.
One of the principal advantages of glued-laminated timber construction is relative
freedom from checking. Seasoning checks may, however, occur in laminated
members for the same reasons that they exist in solid-sawn members. When laminated
members are glued within the typical range of moisture contents of 7 to 16%
for the laminating lumber at the time of gluing, they will approximate the moisture
content in normal-use conditions, thereby minimizing checking. Moisture content
of the lumber at the time of gluing is thus of great importance to the control of
checking in service. However, rapid changes in moisture content of large wood
sections after gluing will result in shrinkage or swelling of the wood, and during
shrinking, checking may develop in both glued joints and wood.
Differentials in shrinkage rates of individual laminations tend to concentrate
shrinkage stresses at or near the glue line. For this reason, when checking occurs,
it is usually at or near glue lines. The presence of wood-fiber separation indicates
adequate glue bonds, and not delamination.
In general, checks have very little effect on the strength of glued-laminated
members. Laminations in such members are thin enough to season readily in kiln
drying without developing checks. Since checks lie in a radial plane, and the majority
of laminations are essentially flat grain, checks are so positioned in horizontally
laminated members that they will not materially affect shear strength. When
members are designed with laminations vertical (with wide face parallel to the
direction of load application), and when checks may affect the shear strength, the
effect of checks may be evaluated in the same manner as for checks in solid-sawn
Seasoning checks in bending members affect only the horizontal shear strength
(Art. 10.5.13). They are usually not of structural importance unless the checks are
significant in depth and occur in the midheight of the member near the support,
and then only if shear governs the design of the members. The reduction in shear
strength is nearly directly proportional to the ratio of depth of check to width of
beam. Checks in columns are not of structural importance unless the check develops
into a split, thereby increasing the slenderness ratio of columns.
Minor checking may be disregarded, since there is ample safety factor in allowable
design values. The final decision as to whether shrinkage checks are detrimental
to the strength requirements of any particular design or structural member
should be made by a competent engineer experienced in timber construction.
Lumber is graded by the various associations of lumber manufacturers having jurisdiction
over various species. Two principal sets of grading rules are employed:
(1) for softwoods, and (2) for hardwoods.
Softwoods. Softwood lumber is classified as dry, moisture content 19% or less;
and green, moisture content above 19%.
According to the American Softwood Lumber Standard, softwoods are classified
according to use as:
Yard Lumber. Lumber of grades, sizes, and patterns generally intended for ordinary
construction and general building purposes.
Structural Lumber. Lumber 2 in or more nominal thickness and width for use
where working stresses are required.
Factory and Shop Lumber. Lumber produced or selected primarily for manufacturing
Softwoods are classified according to extent of manufacture as:
Rough Lumber. Lumber that has not been dressed (surfaced) but has been
sawed, edged, and trimmed.
Dressed (Surfaced) Lumber. Lumber that has been dressed by a planning machine
(for the purpose of attaining smoothness of surface and uniformity of size)
on one side (S1S), two sides (S2S), one edge (S1E), two edges (S2E), or a combination
of sides and edges (S1S1E, S1S2, S2S1E, S4S).
Worked Lumber. Lumber that, in addition to being dressed, has been matched,
shiplapped or patterned:
Matched Lumber. Lumber that has been worked with a tongue on one edge of
each piece and a groove on the opposite edge.
Shiplapped Lumber. Lumber that has been worked or rabbeted on both edges,
to permit formation of a close-lapped joint.
Patterned Lumber. Lumber that is shaped to a pattern or to a molded form.
Softwoods are also classified according to nominal size:
Boards. Lumber less than 2 in in nominal thickness and 2 in or more in nominal
width. Boards less than 6 in in nominal width may be classified as strips.
Dimension. Lumber from 2 in to, but not including, 5 in in nominal thickness,
and 2 in or more in nominal width. Dimension may be classified as framing, joists,
planks, rafters, studs, small timbers, etc.
Timbers. Lumber 5 in or more nominally in least dimension. Timber may be
classified as beams, stringers, posts, caps, sills, girders, purlins, etc.
Actual sizes of lumber are less than the nominal sizes, because of shrinkage and
dressing. In general, dimensions of dry boards, dimension lumber, and timber less
than 2 in wide or thick are 1?4 in less than nominal; from 2 to 7 in wide or thick,
1?2 in less, and above 6 in wide or thick, 3?4 in less. Green-lumber less than 2 in
wide or thick is 1?32 in more than dry; from 2 to 4 in wide or thick, 1?16 in more, 5
and 6 in wide or thick, 1?8 in more, and 8 in or above in width and thickness, 1?4
in more than dry lumber. There are exceptions, however.
Yard lumber is classified on the basis of quality as:
Appearance. Lumber is good appearance and finishing qualities, often called
Suitable for natural finishes
Practically clear
Generally clear and of high quality
Suitable for paint finishes
Adapted to high-quality paint finishes
Intermediate between high-finishing grades and common grades, and partaking
somewhat of the nature of both
Common. Lumber suitable for general construction and utility purposes, often
given various commercial designations.
For standard construction use
Suitable for better-type construction purposes
Well adapted for good standard construction
Designed for low-cost temporary construction
For less exacting purposes
Low quality, but usable
Structural lumber is assigned modulus of elasticity values and working stresses
in bending, compression parallel to grain, compression perpendicular to grain, and
horizontal shear in accordance with ASTM procedures. These values take into account
such factors as sizes and locations of knots, slope of grain, wane, and shakes
or checks, as well as such other pertinent features as rate of growth and proportions
of summerwood.
Factory and shop lumber is graded with reference to its use for doors and sash,
or on the basis of characteristics affecting its use for general cut-up purposes, or
on the basis of size of cutting. The grade of factory and shop lumber is determined
by the percentage of the area of each board or plank available in cuttings of spec4.48
ified or of given minimum sizes and qualities. The grade of factory and shop lumber
is determined from the poor face, although the quality of both sides of each cutting
must be considered.
Hardwoods. Because of the great diversity of applications for hardwood both in
and outside the construction industry, hardwood grading rules are based on the
proportion of a given piece that can be cut into smaller pieces of material clear on
one or both sides and not less than a specified size. Grade classifications are therefore
based on the amount of clear usable lumber in a piece.
Special grading rules of interest in the construction industry cover hardwood
interior trim and moldings, in which one face must be practically free of imperfections
and in which Grade A may further limit the amount of sapwood as well as
stain. Hardwood dimension rules, in addition, cover clears, which must be clear
both faces; clear one face; paint quality, which can be covered with pain; core,
which must be sound on both faces and suitable for cores of glued-up panels; and
sound, which is a general-utility grade.
Hardwood flooring is graded under two separate sets of rules: (1) for maple,
birch, and beech; and (2) for red and white oak and pecan. In both sets of rules,
color and quality classifications range from top-quality to the lower utility grades.
Oak may be further subclassified as quarter-sawed and plain-sawed. In all grades,
top-quality material must be uniformed in color, whereas other grades place no
limitation on color.
Shingles are graded under special rules, usually into three classes: Number 1,
2, and 3. Number 1 must be all edge grain and strictly clear, containing no sapwood.
Numbers 2 and 3 must be clear to a distance far enough away from the butt to be
well covered by the next course of shingles.
The principal destroyers of wood are decay, caused by fungus, and attack by a
number of animal organisms of which termites, carpenter ants, grubs of a wide
variety of beetles, teredo, and limnoria are the principal offenders. In addition, fire
annually causes widespread destruction of wood structures.
Decay will not occur if wood is kept well ventilated and air-dry or, conversely,
if it is kept continuously submerged so that air is excluded.
Most termites in the United States are subterranean and require contact with the
soil. The drywood and dampwood termites found along the southern fringes of the
country and along the west coast, however, do not require direct soil contact and
are more difficult to control.
Teredo, limnoria, and other water-borne wood destroyers are found only in salt
or brackish waters.
Various wood species vary in natural durability and resistance to decay and
insect attack. The sapwood of all species is relatively vulnerable; only the heartwood
can be considered to be resistant. Table 4.15 lists the common species in
accordance with heartwood resistance. Such a list is only approximate, and individual
pieces deviate considerably.
Preservatives employed to combat the various destructive agencies may be subdivided
into oily, water-soluble salts, and solvent-soluble organic materials. The
principal oily preservatives are coal-tar creosote and creosote mixed with petroleum.
From U.S. Forest Products Laboratory.
The most commonly employed water-soluble salts are acid copper chromate, chromated
copper arsenate and arsenite, fluor chrome arsenate phenol, chromated zinc
chloride, and other materials that are often sold under various proprietary names.
The principal solvent-soluble organic materials are chlorinated phenols, such as
pentachlorphenol, and copper naphthenate.
Preservatives may be applied in a variety of ways, including brushing and dipping,
but for maximum treatment, pressure is required to provide deep side-grain
penetration. Butts of poles and other parts are sometimes placed in a hot boiling
creosote or salt solution, and after the water in the wood has been converted to
steam, they are quickly transferred to a cold vat of the same preservative. As the
steam condenses, it produces a partial vacuum, which draws the preservative fairly
deeply into the surface.
Pressure treatments may be classified as full-cell and empty-cell. In the full-cell
treatment, a partial vacuum is first drawn in the pressure-treating tank to withdraw
most of the air in the cells of the wood. The preservative is then let in without
breaking the vacuum, after which pressure is applied to the hot solution. After
treatment is completed, the individual cells are presumably filled with preservative.
In the empty-cell method, no initial vacuum is drawn, but the preservative is
pumped in under pressure against the back pressure of the compressed air in the
wood. When the pressure is released, the air in the wood expands and forces out
excess preservative, leaving only a coating of preservative on the cell walls.
Retentions of preservative depend on the application. For teredo-infestation, fullcell
creosote treatment to refusal may be specified, ranging from 16 to 20 lb per
cubic foot of wood. For ordinary decay conditions and resistance to termites and
other destroyers of a similar nature, the empty-cell method may be employed with
retentions in the vicinity of 6 to 8 lb of creosote per cubic foot of wood. Salt
retentions generally range in the vicinity of 11?2 to 3 lb of dry salt retained per
cubic food of wood.
Solvent-soluble organic materials, such as pentachlorphenol, are commonly employed
for the treatment of sash and door parts to impart greater resistance to decay.
This is commonly done by simply dipping the parts in the solution and then allowing
them to dry. As the organic solvent evaporates, it leaves the water-insoluble
preservative behind in the wood.
These organic materials are also employed for general preservative treatment,
including fence posts and structural lumber. The water-soluble salts and solventsoluble
organic architects leave the wood clean and paintable. Creosote in general
cannot be painted over, although partial success can be achieved with top-quality
aluminum-flake pigment paints.
Treatment against fire consists generally of applying salts containing ammonium
and phosphates, of which monoammonium phosphate and diammonium phosphate
are widely employed. At retentions of 3 to 5 lb of dry salt per cubic foot, the wood
does not support its own combustion, and the afterglow when fire is removed is
short. A variety of surface treatments is also available, most of which depend on
the formation of a blanket of inert-gas bubbles over the surface of the wood in the
presence of flame or other sources of heat. The blanket of bubbles insulates the
wood beneath and retards combustion.
See also Art. 10.6.
A variety of adhesives is now available for use with wood, depending on the final
application. The older adhesives include animal glue, casein glue, and a variety of
vegetable glues, of which soybean is today the most important. Animal glues provide
strong, tough, easily made joints, which, however, are not moisture-resistant.
Casein mixed with cold water, when properly formulated, provides highly moistureresistant
glue joints, although they cannot be called waterproof. The vegetable glues
have good dry strength but are not moisture-resistant.
The principal high-strength glues today are synthetic resins, of which phenol
formaldehyde, urea formaldehyde, resorcinol formaldehyde, melamine formaldehyde,
and epoxy are the most important. Phenol, resorcinol, and melamine provide
glue joints that are completely waterproof and will not separate when properly made
even on boiling. Urea formaldehyde provides a glue joint of high moisture resistance,
although not quite so good as the other three. Phenol and melamine require
application of heat, as well as pressure, to cure the adhesive. Urea and resorcinol,
however, can be formulated to be mixed with water at ordinary temperatures and
hardened without application of heat above room temperature. Waterproof plywood
is commonly made in hot-plate presses with phenolic or melamine adhesive. ReBUILDING
sorcinol is employed where heat cannot be applied, as in a variety of assembly
operations and the manufacture of laminated parts like ships’ keels, which must
have the maximum in waterproof qualities. Epoxide resins provide strong joints.
Adhesives containing an elastomeric material, such as natural or synthetic rubber,
may be classified as contact or mastic. The former, applied to both mating surfaces
and allowed to partly dry, permit adhesion on contact. Mastics are very viscous and
applied with a trowel or putty knife. They may be used to set wood-block flooring.
An emulsion of polyvinyl acetate serves as a general-purpose adhesive, for general
assembly operations where maximum strength and heat or moisture resistance
are not required. This emulsion is merely applied to the surfaces to be bonded,
after which they are pressed together and the adhesive is allowed to harden.
As ordinarily made, plywood consists of thin sheets, or veneers, of wood glued
together. The grain is oriented at right angles in adjacent plies. To obtain plywood
with balance—that is, which will not warp, shrink, or twist unduly—the plies must
be carefully selected and arranged to be mirror images of each other with respect
to the central plane. The outside plies or faces are parallel to each other and are of
species that have the same shrinkage characteristics. The same holds true of the
cross bands. As a consequence, plywood has an odd number of plies, the minimum
being three.
Principal advantages of plywood over lumber are its more nearly equal strength
properties in length and width, greater resistance to checking, greatly reduced
shrinkage and swelling, and resistance to splitting.
The approach to equalization of strength of plywood in the various directions is
obtained at the expense of strength in the parallel-to-grain direction; i.e., plywood
is not so strong in the direction parallel to its face plies as lumber is parallel to the
grain. But plywood is considerably stronger in the direction perpendicular to its
face plies than wood is perpendicular to the grain. Furthermore, the shearing
strength of plywood in a plane perpendicular to the plane of the plywood is very
much greater than that of ordinary wood parallel to the grain. In a direction parallel
to the plane of the plywood, however, the shearing strength of plywood is less than
that of ordinary wood parallel to the grain, because in this direction rolling shear
occurs in the plywood; i.e., the fibers in one ply tend to roll rather than to slide.
Depending on whether plywood is to be used for general utility or for decorative
purposes, the veneers employed may be cut by peeling from the log, by slicing, or
today very rarely, by sawing. Sawing and slicing give the greatest freedom and
versatility in the selection of grain. Peeling provides the greatest volume and the
most rapid production, because logs are merely rotated against a flat knife and the
veneer is peeled off in a long continuous sheet.
Plywood is classified as interior or exterior, depending on the type of adhesive
employed. Interior-grade plywood must have a reasonable degree of moisture resistance
but is not considered to be waterproof. Exterior-grade plywood must be
completely waterproof and capable of withstanding immersion in water or prolonged
exposure to outdoor conditions.
In addition to these classifications, plywood is further subclassified in a variety
of ways depending on the quality of the surface ply. Top quality is clear on one or
both faces, except for occasional patches. Lower qualities permit sound defects,
such as knots and similar blemishes, which do not detract from the general utility
of the plywood but detract from its finished appearance.
Particle Board. Wood chips, sawdust, and flakes are pressed with a binder (ureaformaldehyde
or phenol-formaldehyde) to form boards (sheathing, underlayment,
corestock), having uniform strength and low shrinkage in the plane of the board.
Hardboard. Wood chips (exploded by high-pressure steam into wood fibers) and
lignin are pressed to form boards of various densities. Additives may add weather
resistance and other properties.
Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: ‘‘Wood
Handbook,’’ Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
National Hardwood Lumber Association, Chicago, Ill.: ‘‘Rules for the Measurement
and Inspection of Hardwood Lumber, Cypress, Veneer, and Thin Lumber.’’
American Forest and Paper Association, Washington, D.C.: ‘‘National Design
Specification for Wood Construction.’’
U.S. Department of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards, Washington,
D.C.: American Softwood Lumber Standard, Voluntary Practice Standard PS20;
Douglas Fir Plywood, Commercial Standard CS 45; Hardwood Plywood, Commercial
Standard CS 35.
Western Wood Products Association, Portland, Ore.: ‘‘Western Woods Use
K. F. Faherty and T. G. Williamson, ‘‘Wood Engineering and Construction Handbook,’’
McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New York.
Iron and its alloys are generally referred to as ferrous metals. Even small amounts
of alloy change the properties of ferrous metals significantly. Also, the properties
can be changed considerably by changing the atomic structure of these metals by
heating and cooling.
Steel is a solution of carbon in iron. Various types of steel are produced by varying
the percentage of carbon added to molten iron and controlling the cooling, which
affects the atomic structure of the product, and hence its properties. Some of the
structural changes can be explained with the aid of an iron-carbon equilibrium
diagram (Fig. 4.2).
4.40.1 Iron-Carbon Equilibrium Diagram
The iron-carbon equilibrium diagram in Fig. 4.2 shows that, under equilibrium
conditions (slow cooling) if not more than 2.0% carbon is present, a solid solution
of carbon in gamma iron exists at elevated temperatures. This is called austenite.
If the carbon content is less than 0.8%, cooling below the A3 temperature line causes
transformation of some of the austenite to ferrite, which is substantially pure alpha
iron (containing less than 0.01% carbon in solution). Still further cooling to below
the A1 line causes the remaining austenite to transform to pearlite—the eutectoid
mixture of fine plates, or lamellas, of ferrite and cementite (iron carbide) whose
iridescent appearance under the microscope gives it its name.
If the carbon content is 0.8%, no transformation on cooling the austenite occurs
until the A1 temperature is reached. At that point, all the austenite transforms to
pearlite, with its typical ‘‘thumbprint’’ microstructure.
At carbon contents between 0.80 and 2.0%, cooling below the Acm temperature
line causes iron carbide, or cementite, to form in the temperature range between
Acm and A1,3. Below A1,3, the remaining austenite transforms to pearlite.
4.40.2 Types of Irons
Metals containing substantially no carbon (several hundredths of 1%) are called
irons, of which wrought iron, electrolytic iron, and ‘‘ingot’’ iron are examples.
Wrought iron, whether made by the traditional puddling method or by mixing
very low carbon iron and slag, contains a substantial amount of slag. Because it
contains very little carbon, it is soft, ductile, and tough and, like low-carbon ferrous
metals generally, is relatively resistant to corrosion. It is easily worked. When broken,
it shows a fibrous fracture because of the slag inclusions. ‘‘Ingot’’ iron is a
very low carbon iron containing no slag, which is also soft, ductile, and tough.
When the silicon content is kept low, and the metal is cooled rapidly, white cast
iron results. It is hard and brittle because of the high cementite content. White cast
iron as such has little use; but when it is reheated and held a long time in the
vicinity of the transformation temperature, then cooled slowly, the cementite decomposes
to ferrite and nodular or temper carbon. The result is black-heart malleable
iron. If the carbon is removed during malleabilization, white-heart malleable
iron results.
If the silicon content is raised, and the metal is cooled relatively slowly, gray
cast iron results. It contains cementite, pearlite, ferrite, and some free carbon, which
gives it its gray color. Gray iron is considerably softer and tougher than white cast
iron and is generally used for castings of all kinds. Often, it is alloyed with elements
like nickel, chromium, copper, and molybdenum.
At 5.0% carbon, the end products is hard, brittle iron carbide or cementite.
4.40.3 Types of Carbon Steels
Most of the steel used for construction is low- to medium-carbon, relatively mild,
tough, and strong, fairly easy to work by cutting, punching, riveting, and welding.
Table 4.16 summarizes the most important carbon steels and low-alloy steels used
in construction as specified by ASTM.
The plain iron-carbon metals with less than 0.8% carbon content consist of
ferrite and pearlite and provide the low-carbon (0.06 to 0.30%), medium-carbon
(0.30 to 0.50%), and high-carbon (0.50 to 0.80%) steels called hypoeutectoid steels.
The higher-carbon or hypereutectoid tool steels contain 0.8 to 2.0% carbon and
consist of pearlite and cementite. The eutectoid steels occurring in the vicinity of
0.8% carbon are essentially all pearlite.
The American Iron and Steel Institute and the Society of Automotive Engineers
have designated standard compositions for various steels including plain carbon
steels and alloy steels. AISI and SAE numbers and compositions for several representative
hot-rolled carbon-steel bars are given in Table 4.17.
Prestressed concrete imposes special requirements for reinforcing steel. It must
be of high strength with a high yield point and minimum creep in the working
range. Table 4.16 and 4.18 give ASTM specification requirements for bars, wires,
and strands.
4.40.4 Types of Structural Steels
Structural steels are low- to medium-carbon steels used in elements 1?4 in thick or
more to form structural framing. The American Institute of Steel Construction
(AISC) ‘‘Code of Standard Practice for Steel Buildings and Bridges’’ lists the elements
that are included in the scope of the work in contract documents for structural
steel. The list includes flexural members, columns, trusses, bearings and bearing
plates, bracing, hangers, bolts and nuts, shear connectors, wedges, and shims.
The AISC ‘‘Specification for Structural Steel Buildings’’ (ASD and LRFD) tabulates
the types of structural steel that are approved for use in buildings. These steels are
given in Table 4.16.
In accordance with present practice, the steels described in this section and in
Sec. 7 are given the names of the corresponding ASTM specifications for the steels.
For example, all steels conforming with ASTM A588, ‘‘Specification for High-
Strength Low-Alloy Structural Steel,’’ are called A588 steel. Further identification
may be given by a grade, which usually indicates the steel yield strength.
Structural steels may be classified as carbon steels; high-strength, low-alloy
steels; heat-treated, high-strength carbon steels; or heat-treated, constructional alloy
Carbon steels satisfy all of the following requirements:
1. The maximum content specified for alloying elements does not exceed the following:
manganese, 1.65%; silicon, 0.60%; copper, 0.60%.
2. The specified minimum for copper does not exceed 0.40%.
3. No minimum content is specified for other elements added to obtain a desired
alloying effect.
A36 and A529 steels are included in this category.
FIGURE 4.3 Typical stress-strain curves for
structural steels.
High-strength, low-alloy steels have specified minimum yield strengths larger
than 40 ksi, which are attained without heat treatment. A242, A572, and A588
steels are included in this category. A242 and A572 steel are often referred to as
weathering steels, because they have higher resistance to corrosion than carbon
steels. On exposure to ordinary atmospheric conditions, they develop a protective
oxide surface.
Heat-treated, high-strength carbon steels are heat-treated to achieve specified
high strength and toughness. A633, A678, and A852 steels are included in this
Heat-treated, constructional alloy steels contain alloying elements in excess
of the limits for carbon steels and are heat-treated to obtain a combination of high
strength and toughness. These are the strongest steels in general structural use. The
various grades of A514 steel, with yield strengths up to 100 ksi, are in this category.
Figure 4.3 shows a typical stress-strain curve for each classification of structural
steels defined in Art. 4.40.4. The diagram illustrates the higher-strength levels
achieved with heat treatment and addition of alloys.
4.41.1 Tensile Properties of Structural Steels
The curves in Fig. 4.3 were derived from tensile tests. The yield points, strengths,
and modulus of elasticity obtained from compression tests would be about the same.
The initial portion of the curves in Fig. 4.3 is shown to a magnified scale in
Fig. 4.4. It indicates that there is an initial elastic range for the structural steels in
which there is no permanent deformation on removal of the load. The modulus of
elasticity E, which is given by the slope of the curves, is nearly a constant 29,000
ksi for all the steels. For carbon and high-strength, low-alloy steels, the inelastic
range, where strains exceed those in the elastic range, consists of two parts: Initially,
a plastic range occurs in which the steels yield; that is, strain increases with no
increase in stress. Then follows a strain-hardening range in which increase in strain
is accompanied by a significant increase in stress.
The curves in Fig. 4.4 also show an upper and lower yield point for the carbon
and high-strength, low-alloy steels. The upper yield point is the one specified in
standard specifications for the steels. In contrast, the curves do not indicate a yield
point for the heat-treated steels. For these steels, ASTM 370, ‘‘Mechanical Testing
of Steel Products,’’ recognizes two ways of indicating the stress at which there is
a significant deviation from the proportionality of stress to strain. One way, applicable
to steels with a specified yield point of 80 ksi or less, is to define the yield
point as the stress at which a test specimen reaches a 0.5% extension under load
(0.5% EUL). The second way is to define the yield strength as the stress at which
a test specimen reaches a strain (offset) 0.2% greater than that for elastic behavior.
Yield point and yield strength are often referred to as yield stress.
Ductility is measured in tension tests by percent elongation over a given gage
length—usually 2 or 8 in—or percent reduction of cross-sectional area. Ductility
is an important property because it permits redistribution of stresses in continuous
members and at points of high local stresses.
Poisson’s ratio, the ratio of transverse to axial strain, also is measured in tension
tests. It may be taken as 0.30 in the elastic range and 0.50 in the plastic range for
structural steels.
Cold working of structural steels, that is, forming plates or structural shapes
into other shapes at room temperature, changes several properties of the steels. The
resulting strains are in the strain-hardening range. Yield strength increases but ductility
decreases. (Some steels are cold rolled to obtain higher strengths.) If a steel
element is strained into the strain-hardening range, then unloaded and allowed to
age at room or moderately elevated temperatures (a process called strain aging),
yield and tensile strengths are increased, whereas ductility is decreased. Heat treatment
can be used to modify the effects of cold working and strain aging.
Residual stresses remain in structural elements after they are rolled or fabricated.
They also result from uneven cooling after rolling. In a welded member,
tensile residual stresses develop near the weld and compressive stresses elsewhere.
Plates with rolled edges have compressive residual stresses at the edges, whereas
flame-cut edges have tensile residual stresses. When loads are applied to such members,
some yielding may take place where the residual stresses occur. Because of
the ductility of steel, however, the effect on tensile strength is not significant but
the buckling strength of columns may be lowered.
Strain rate also changes the tensile properties of structural steels. In the ordinary
tensile test, load is applied slowly. The resulting data are appropriate for design of
structures for static loads. For design for rapid application of loads, such as impact
loads, data from rapid tension tests are needed. Such tests indicate that yield and
tensile strengths increase but ductility and the ratio of tensile strength to yield
strength decrease.
High temperatures too affect properties of structural steels. As temperatures
increase, the stress-strain curve typically becomes more rounded and tensile and
yield strengths, under the action of strain aging, decrease. Poisson’s ratio is not
significantly affected but the modulus of elasticity decreases. Ductility is lowered
until a minimum value is reached. Then, it rises with increase in temperature and
becomes larger than the ductility at room temperature.
Low temperatures in combination with tensile stress and especially with geometric
discontinuities, such as notches, bolt holes, and welds, may cause a brittle
failure. This is a failure that occurs by cleavage, with little indication of plastic
deformation. A ductile failure, in contrast, occurs mainly by shear, usually preceded
by large plastic deformation. One of the most commonly used tests for rating steels
on their resistance to brittle fracture is the Charpy V-notch test. It evaluates notch
toughness at specific temperatures.
Toughness is defined as the capacity of a steel to absorb energy; the greater the
capacity, the greater the toughness. Determined by the area under the stress-strain
curve, toughness depends on both strength and ductility of the metal. Notch toughness
is the toughness in the region of notches or other stress concentrations. A
quantitative measure of notch toughness is fracture toughness, which is determined
by fracture mechanics from relationships between stress and flaw size.
4.41.2 Shear Properties of Structural Steels
The shear modulus of elasticity G is the ratio of shear stress to shear strain during
initial elastic behavior. It can be computed from Eq. (5.25) from values of modulus
of elasticity and Poisson’s ratio developed in tension stress-strain tests. Thus G for
structural steels is generally taken as 11,000 ksi.
The shear strength, or shear stress at failure in pure shear, ranges from 0.67Ft
to 0.75Ft for structural steels, where Ft is the tensile strength. The yield strength
in shear is about 0.57Ft.
4.41.3 Creep and Relaxation
Creep, a gradual change in strain under constant stress, is usually not significant
for structural steel framing in buildings, except in fires. Creep usually occurs under
high temperatures or relatively high stresses, or both.
Relaxation, a gradual decrease in load or stress under a constant strain, is a
significant concern in the application of steel tendons to prestressing (Art. 9.104).
With steel wire or strand, relaxation can occur at room temperature. To reduce
relaxation substantially, stabilized, or low-relaxation, strand may be used. This is
produced by pretensioning strain at a temperature of about 600F. A permanent
elongation of about 1% remains and yield strength increases to about 5% over
stress-relieved (heat-treated but not tensioned) strain.
4.41.4 Hardness of Structural Steels
Hardness is used in production of steels to estimate tensile strength and to check
the uniformity of tensile strength in various products. Hardness is determined as a
number related to resistance to indentation. Any of several tests may be used, the
resulting hardness numbers being dependent on the type of penetrator and load.
These should be indicated when a hardness number is given. Commonly used hardness
tests are the Brinell, Rockwell, Knoop, and Vickers. ASTM A370, ‘‘Mechanical
Testing of Steel Products,’’ contains tables that relate hardness numbers from
the different tests to each other and to the corresponding approximate tensile
4.41.5 Fatigue of Structural Steels
Under cyclic loading, especially when stress reversal occurs, a structural member
may eventually fail because cracks form and propagate. Known as a fatigue failure,
this can take place at stress levels well below the yield stress. Fatigue resistance
may be determined by a rotating-beam test, flexure test, or axial-load test. In these
tests, specimens are subjected to stresses that vary, usually in a constant stress range
between maximum and minimum stresses until failure occurs. Results of the tests
are plotted on an S-N diagram, where S is the maximum stress (fatigue strength)
and N is the number of cycles to failure (fatigue life). Such diagrams indicate that
the failure strength of a structural steel decreases with increase in the number of
cycles until a minimum value is reached, the fatigue limit. Presumably, if the
maximum stress does not exceed the fatigue limit, an unlimited number of cycles
of that ratio of maximum to minimum stress can be applied without failure. With
tension considered positive and compression, negative, tests also show that as the
ratio of maximum to minimum stress is increased, fatigue strength is lowered significantly.
Since the tests are made on polished specimens and steel received from mills
has a rough surface, fatigue data for design should be obtained from tests made on
as-received material.
Tests further indicate that steels with about the same tensile strength have about
the same fatigue strength. Hence the S-N diagram obtained for one steel may be
used for other steels with about the same tensile strength.
Heat-treated and hardened steels are sometimes required in building operations. The
most familiar heat treatment is annealing, a reheating operation in which the metal
is usually heated to the austenitic range (Fig. 4.2) and cooled slowly to obtain the
softest, most ductile state. Cold working is often preceded by annealing. Annealing
may be only partial, just sufficient to relieve internal stresses that might cause
deformation or cracking, but not enough to reduce markedly the increased strength
and yield point brought about by the cold working, for example.
Another type of heat treatment that may be used is normalizing. It requires
heating steel to 100 to 150F above the A3 temperature line in Fig. 4.2. Then, the
steel is allowed to cool in still air. (The rate of cooling is much more rapid than
that used in annealing.) Normalizing may be used to refine steel grain size, which
depends on the finishing temperature during hot rolling, or to obtain greater notch
Thick plates have a coarser grain structure than thin plates and thus can benefit
more from normalizing. This grain structure results from the fewer rolling passes
required for production of thick plates, consequent higher finishing temperature,
and slower cooling.
Sometimes, a hard surface is required on a soft, tough core. Two principal casehardening
methods are employed. For case carburizing, a low- to medium-carbon
steel is packed in carbonaceous materials and heated to the austenite range. Carbon
diffuses into the surface, providing a hard, high-carbon case when the part is cooled.
For nitriding, the part is exposed to ammonia gas or a cyanide at moderately
elevated temperatures. Extremely hard nitrides are formed in the case and provide
a hard surface.
When a low-carbon steel is heated above the A3 temperature line (Fig. 4.2), for
example, to hot rolling and forging temperatures, the steel may grow coarse grains.
For some applications, this structure may be desirable; for example, it permits
relatively deep hardening, and if the steel is to be used in elevated-temperature
service, it will have higher load-carrying capacity and higher creep strength than if
the steel had fine grains.
Fine grains, however, enhance many steel properties: notch toughness, bendability,
and ductility. In quenched and tempered steels, higher yield strengths are
obtained. Furthermore, fine-grain, heat-treated steels have less distortion, less
quench cracking, and smaller internal stresses.
During the production of a steel, grain growth may be inhibited by an appropriate
dispersion of nonmetallic inclusions or by carbides that dissolve slowly or remain
undissolved during cooling. The usual method of making fine-grain steel employs
aluminum deoxidation. In such steels, the inhibiting agent may be a submicroscopic
dispersion of aluminum nitride or aluminum oxide. Fine grains also may be produced
by hot working rolled or forged products, which otherwise would have a
coarse-grain structure. The temperature at the final stage of hot working determines
the final grain size. If the finishing temperature is relatively high and the grains
after air-cooling are coarse, the size may be reduced by normalizing (Art. 4.42).
Fine- or coarse-grain steels may be heat treated to be coarse- or fine-grain.
Plain carbon steels can be given a great range of properties by heat treatment and
by working; but addition of alloying elements greatly extends those properties or
makes the heat-treating operations easier and simpler. For example, combined high
tensile strength and toughness, corrosion resistance, high-speed cutting, and many
other specialized purposes require alloy steels. However, the most important effect
of alloying is the influence on hardenability.
4.44.1 Effects of Alloying Elements
Important alloying elements from the standpoint of building, and their principal
effects, are summarized below:
Aluminum restricts grain growth during heat treatment and promotes surface
hardening by nitriding.
Chromium is a hardener, promotes corrosion resistance (see Art. 4.44.2), and
promotes wear resistance.
Copper promotes resistance to atmospheric corrosion and is sometimes combined
with molybdenum for this purpose in low-carbon steels and irons. It strengthens
steel and increases the yield point without unduly changing elongation or reduction
of area.
Manganese in low concentrations promotes hardenability and nondeforming,
nonshrinking characteristics for tool steels. In high concentrations, the steel is austenitic
under ordinary conditions, is extremely tough, and work-hardens readily. It
is therefore used for teeth of power-shovel dippers, railroad frogs, rock crushers,
and similar applications.
Molybdenum is usually associated with other elements, especially chromium
and nickel. It increases corrosion resistance, raises tensile strength and elastic limit
without reducing ductility, promotes casehardening, and improves impact resistance.
Nickel boosts tensile strength and yield point without reducing ductility; increases
low-temperature toughness, whereas ordinary carbon steels become brittle;
promotes casehardening; and in high concentrations improves corrosion resistance
under severe conditions. It is often used with chromium (see Art. 4.44.2). Invar
contains 36% nickel.
Silicon strengthens low-alloy steels; improves oxidation resistance; with low
carbon yields transformer steel, because of low hysteresis loss and high permeability;
in high concentrations provides hard, brittle castings, resistant to corrosive
chemicals, useful in plumbing lines for chemical laboratories.
Sulfur promotes free machining, especially in mild steels.
Titanium prevents intergranular corrosion of stainless steels by preventing grainboundary
depletion of chromium during such operations as welding and heat treatment.
Tungsten, vanadium, and cobalt are all used in high-speed tool steels, because
they promote hardness and abrasion resistance. Tungsten and cobalt also increase
high-temperature hardness.
The principal effects of alloying elements are summarized in Table 4.19.
strength of 75 ksi and yield point of 30 ksi when annealed. Cold-finished steels
may have a tensile strength as high as 125 ksi with a yield point of 100 ksi.
Austenitic stainless steels are tough, strong, and shock-resistant, but work-harden
readily; so some difficulty on this score may be experienced with cold working and
machining. These steels can be welded readily but may have to be stabilized (e.g.,
AISI Types 321 and 347) against carbide precipitation and intergranular corrosion
due to welding unless special precautions are taken. These steels have the best
high-temperature strength and resistance to scaling of all the stainless steels.
Types 303 and 304 are the familiar 18-8 stainless steels widely used for building
applications. These and Types 302 and 316 are the most commonly employed
stainless steels. Where maximum resistance to corrosion is required, such as resistance
to pitting by seawater and chemicals, the molybdenum-containing Types 316
and 317 are best.
For resistance to ordinary atmospheric corrosion, some of the martensitic and
ferritic stainless steels, containing 15 to 20% chromium and no nickel, are employed.
The martensitic steels, in general, range from about 12 to 18% chromium
and from 0.08 to 1.10% carbon. Their response to heat treatment is similar to that
of the plain carbon steels. When chromium content ranges from 15 to 30% and
carbon content is below 0.35%, the steels are ferritic and nonhardenable. The highchromium
steels are resistant to oxidizing corrosion and are useful in chemical
General welding characteristics of the various types of ferrous metals are as follows:
Wrought iron is ideally forged but may be welded by other methods if the base
metal is thoroughly fused. Slag melts first and may confuse unwary operators.
Low-carbon iron and steels (0.30%C or less) are readily welded and require
no preheating or subsequent annealing unless residual stresses are to be removed.
Medium-carbon steels (0.30 to 0.50%C) can be welded by the various fusion
processes. In some cases, especially in steel with more than 0.40% carbon, preheating
and subsequent heat treatment may be necessary.
High-carbon steels (0.50 to 0.90%C) are more difficult to weld and, especially
in arc welding, may have to be preheated to at least 500F and subsequently heated
between 1200 and 1450F. For gas welding, a carburizing flame is often used. Care
must be taken not to destroy the heat treatment to which high-carbon steels may
have been subjected.
Tool steels (0.80 to 1.50%C) are difficult to weld. Preheating, postannealing,
heat treatment, special welding rods, and great care are necessary for successful
Welding of structural steels is governed by the American Welding Society
‘‘Structural Welding Code,’’ AWS D1.1, the American Institute of Steel Construction
Specification for the Design, Fabrication and Erection of Structural Steel for
Buildings, or a local building code. AWS D1.1 specifies tests to be used in qualifying
welders and types of welds. The AISC Specification and many building codes
require, in general, that only qualified welds be used and that they be made only
by qualified welders.
Structural steels may be welded by shielded metal arc, submerged arc, gas metal
arc, flux-cored arc, electroslag, electrogas, or stud-welding processes.
Shielded-metal-arc welding fuses parts to be joined by the heat of an electric
arc struck between a coated metal electrode and the material being joined, or base
metal. The electrode supplies filler material for making the weld, gas for shielding
the molten metal from the air, and flux for refining this metal.
Submerged-arc welding fuses the parts to be joined by the heat of an electric
arc struck between a bare metal electrode and base metal. The weld is shielded
from the air by flux. The electrode or a supplementary welding rod supplies metal
filler for making the weld.
Gas-metal-arc welding produces fusion by the heat of an electric arc struck
between a filler-metal electrode and base metal, while the molten metal is shielded
by a gas or mixture of gas and flux. For structural steels, the gas may be argon,
argon with oxygen, or carbon dioxide.
Electroslag welding uses a molten slag to melt filler metal and surfaces of the
base metal and thus make a weld. The slag, electrically conductive, is maintained
molten by its resistance to an electric current that flows between an electrode and
the base metal. The process is suitable only for welding in the vertical position.
Moving, water-cooled shoes are used to contain and shape the weld surface. The
slag shields the molten metal.
Electrogas welding is similar to the electroslag process. The electrogas process,
however, maintains an electric arc continuously, uses an inert gas for shielding, and
the electrode provides flux.
Stud welding is used to fuse metal studs or similar parts to other steel parts by
the heat of an electric arc. A welding gun is usually used to establish and control
the arc, and to apply pressure to the parts to be joined. At the end to be welded,
the stud is equipped with a ceramic ferrule, which contains flux and which also
partly shields the weld when molten.
Preheating before welding reduces the risk of brittle failure. Initially, its main
effect is to lower the temperature gradient between the weld and adjoining base
metal. This makes cracking during cooling less likely and gives entrapped hydrogen,
a possible source of embrittlement, a chance to escape. A later effect of preheating
is improved ductility and notch toughness of base and weld metals and
lower transition temperature of weld. When, however, welding processes that deposit
weld metal low in hydrogen are used and suitable moisture control is maintained,
the need for preheat can be eliminated. Such processes include use of lowhydrogen
electrodes and inert-arc and submerged-arc welding.
Rapid cooling of a weld can have an adverse effect. One reason that arc strikes
that do not deposit weld metal are dangerous is that the heated metal cools very
fast. This causes severe embrittlement. Such arc strikes should be completely removed.
The material should be preheated, to prevent local hardening, and weld
metal should be deposited to fill the depression.
Pronounced segregation in base metal may cause welds to crack under certain
fabricating conditions. These include use of high-heat-input electrodes, such as the
1?4-in E6020, and deposition of large beads at slow speeds, as in automatic welding.
Cracking due to segregation, however, is rare with the degree of segregation normally
occurring in hot-rolled carbon-steel plates.
Welds sometimes are peened to prevent cracking or distortion, though there are
better ways of achieving these objectives. Specifications often prohibit peening of
the first and last weld passes. Peening of the first pass may crack or punch through
the weld. Peening of the last pass makes inspection for cracks difficult. But peening
is undesirable because it considerably reduces toughness and impact properties of
the weld metal. (The adverse effects, however, are eliminated by a covering weld
layer.) The effectiveness of peening in preventing cracking is open to question. And
for preventing distortion, special welding sequences and procedures are simpler and
Failures in service rarely, if ever, occur in properly made welds of adequate
design. If a fracture occurs, it is initiated at a notchlike defect. Notches occur for
various reasons. The toe of a weld may from a natural notch. The weld may contain
flaws that act as notches. A welding-arc strike in the base metal may have an
embrittling effect, especially if weld metal is not deposited. A crack started at such
notches will propagate along a path determined by local stresses and notch toughness
of adjacent material.
Weldability of structural steels is influenced by their chemical content. Carbon,
manganese, silicon, nickel, chromium, and copper, for example, tend to have an
adverse effect, whereas molybdenum and vanadium may be beneficial. To relate
the influence of chemical content on structural steel properties to weldability, the
use of a carbon equivalent has been proposed. One formula suggested is
Mn Si
C  C  (4.3) eq 4 4
where C  carbon content, %
Mn  manganese content, %
Si  silicon content, %
Another proposed formula includes more elements:
Mn Ni Cr Mo V Cu
C  C      (4.4) eq 6 20 10 50 10 40
where Ni  nickel content, %
Cr  chromium content, %
Mo  molybdenum content, %
V  vanadium content, %
Cu  copper content, %
Carbon equivalent appears to be related to the maximum rate at which a weld
and adjacent base metal may be cooled after welding without underbead cracking
occurring. The higher the carbon equivalent, the lower will be the allowable cooling
rate. Also, the higher the carbon equivalent, the more important use of lowhydrogen
electrodes and preheating becomes.
The processing of steels after conversion of pig iron to steel in a furnace has an
important influence on the characteristics of the final products. The general procedure
is as follows: The molten steel at about 2900F is fed into a steel ladle, a
refractory-lined open-top vessel. Alloying materials and deoxidizers may be added
during the tapping of the heat or to the ladle. From the ladle, the liquid steel is
poured into molds, where it solidifies. These castings, called ingots, then are placed
in special furnaces, called soaking pits. There, the ingots are held at the desired
temperature for rolling until the temperature is uniform throughout each casting.
Ideally, an ingot should be homogeneous, with a fine, equiaxial crystal structure.
It should not contain nonmetallic inclusions or cavities and should be free of chemical
segregation. In practice, however, because of uneven cooling and release of
gases in the mold, an ingot may develop any of a number of internal and external
defects. Some of these may be eliminated or minimized during the rolling operation.
Prevention or elimination of the others often adds to the cost of steels.
Steel cools unevenly in a mold, because the liquid at the mold walls solidifies
first and cools more rapidly than metal in the interior of the ingot. Gases, chiefly
oxygen, dissolved in the liquid, are released as the liquid cools. Four types of ingot
may result—killed, semikilled, capped, and rimmed—depending on the amount of
gases dissolved in the liquid, the carbon content of the steel, and the amount of
deoxidizers added to the steel.
A fully killed ingot develops no gas; the molten steel lies dead in the mold. The
top surface solidifies relatively fast. Pipe, an intermittently bridged shrinkage cavity,
forms below the top. Fully killed steels usually are poured in big-end-up molds
with ‘‘hot tops’’ to confine the pipe to the hot top, which is later discarded. A
semikilled ingot develops a slight amount of gas. The gas, trapped when the metal
solidifies, forms blowholes in the upper portion of the ingot. A capped ingot develops
rimming action, a boiling caused by evolution of gas, forcing the steel to
rise. The action is stopped by a metal cap secured to the mold. Strong upward
currents along the sides of the mold sweep away bubbles that otherwise would form
blowholes in the upper portion of the ingot. Blowholes do form, however, in the
lower portion, separated by a thick solid skin from the mold walls. A rimmed ingot
develops a violent rimming action, confining blowholes to only the bottom quarter
of the ingot.
Rimmed or capped steels cannot be produced if too much carbon is present
(0.30% or more), because insufficient oxygen will be dissolved in the steels to
cause the rimming action. Killed and semikilled steels require additional costs for
deoxidizers if carbon content is low, and the deoxidation products form nonmetallic
inclusions in the ingot. Hence, it often is advantageous for steel producers to make
low-carbon steels by rimmed or capped practice, and high-carbon steels by killed
or semikilled practice.
Pipe, or shrinkage cavities, generally is small enough in most steels to be eliminated
by rolling. Blowholes in the interior of an ingot, small voids formed by
entrapped gases, also usually are eliminated during rolling. If they extend to the
surface, they may be oxidized and form seams when the ingot is rolled, because
the oxidized metal cannot be welded together. Properly made ingots have a thick
enough skin over blowholes to prevent oxidation.
Segregation in ingots depends on the chemical composition and on turbulence
from gas evolution and convection currents in the molten metal. Killed steels have
less segregation than semikilled steels, and these types of steels have less segregation
than capped or rimmed steels. In rimmed steels, the effects of segregation
are so marked that interior and outer regions differ enough in chemical composition
to appear to be different steels. The boundary between these regions is sharp.
Rimmed steels are made without additions of deoxidizers to the furnace and
with only small additions to the ladle, to ensure sufficient evolution of gas. When
properly made, rimmed ingots have little pipe and a good surface. Such steels are
preferred where surface finish is important and the effects of segregation will not
be harmful.
Capped steels are made much like rimmed steels but with less rimming action.
Capped steels have less segregation. They are used to make sheet, strip, skelp,
tinplate, wire, and bars.
Semikilled steel is deoxidized less than killed steel. Most deoxidation is accomplished
with additions of a deoxidizer to the ladle. Semikilled steels are used in
structural shapes and plates.
Killed steels usually are deoxidized by additions to both furnace and ladle. Generally,
silicon compounds are added to the furnace to lower the oxygen content of
the liquid metal and stop oxidation of carbon (block the heat). This also permits
addition of alloying elements that are susceptible to oxidation. Silicon or other
deoxidizers, such as aluminum, vanadium, and titanium, may be added to the ladle
to complete deoxidation. Aluminum, vanadium, and titanium have the additional
beneficial effect of inhibiting grain growth when the steel is normalized. (In the
hot-rolled conditions, such steels have about the same ferrite grain size as semikilled
steels.) Killed steels deoxidized with aluminum and silicon (made to fine-grain
practice) often are specified for construction applications because of better notch
toughness and lower transition temperatures than semikilled steels of the same composition.
While plates and shapes for construction applications can be obtained from processes
other than casting and rolling of ingots, such as continuous casting, most
plates and shapes are made by hot-rolling ingots (Art. 4.46). But usually, the final
products are not rolled directly from ingots. First, the ingots are generally reduced
in cross section by rolling into billets, slabs, and blooms. These forms permit correction
of defects before finish rolling, shearing into convenient lengths for final
rolling, reheating for further rolling, and transfer to other mills, if desired, for that
Plates produced from slabs or directly from ingots, are distinguished from sheet,
strip, and flat bars by size limitations in ASTM A6. Generally, plates are heavier,
per linear foot, than these other products. Sheared plates, or sheared mill plates,
are made with straight horizontal rolls and later trimmed on all edges. Universal
plates, or universal mill plates, are formed between vertical and horizontal rolls and
are trimmed on the ends only.
Some of the plates may be heat-treated, depending on grade of steel and intended
use. For carbon steel, the treatment may be annealing, normalizing, or stress relieving.
Plates of high-strength, low-alloy constructional steels may be quenched
and tempered. See Art. 4.42.
Shapes are rolled from blooms that first are reheated to 2250F. Rolls gradually
reduce the plastic blooms to the desired shapes and sizes. The shapes then are cut
to length for convenient handling with a hot saw.
ASTM A6 requires that material for delivery ‘‘shall be free from injurious defects
and shall have a workmanlike finish.’’ The specification permits manufacturers
to condition plates and shapes ‘‘for the removal of injurious surface imperfections
or surface depressions by grinding, or chipping and grinding. . . .’’
Internal structure and many properties of plates and shapes are determined
largely by the chemistry of the steel, rolling practice, cooling conditions after rolling,
and heat treatment, where used. The interior of ingots consists of large crystals,
called dendrites, characterized by a branching structure. Growth of individual dendrites
occurs principally along their longitudinal axes perpendicular to the ingot
surfaces. Heating for rolling tends to eliminate dendritic segregation, so that the
rolled products are more homogeneous than ingots. Furthermore, during rolling,
the dendritic structure is broken up. Also, recrystallization occurs. The final austenitic
grain size is determined by the temperature of the steel during the last passes
through the rolls (Art. 4.43). In addition, dendrites and inclusions are reoriented in
the direction of rolling. As a result, ductility and bendability are much better in the
longitudinal direction than in the transverse, and these properties are poorest in the
thickness direction. The cooling rate after rolling determines the distribution of
ferrite and the grain size of the ferrite.
In addition to the preceding effects, rolling also may induce residual stresses in
plates and shapes (Art. 4.41.1). Still other effects are a consequence of the final
thickness of the hot-rolled material.
Thicker material requires less rolling, the finish rolling temperature is higher,
and the cooling rate is slower than for thin material. As a consequence, thin material
has a superior microstructure. Furthermore, thicker material can have a more unfavorable
state of stress because of stress raisers, such as tiny cracks and inclusions,
and residual stresses. Consequently, thin material develops higher tensile and yield
strengths than thick material of the same steel. ASTM specifications for structural
steels recognize this usually by setting lower yield points for thicker material. A36
steel, however, has the same yield point for all thicknesses. To achieve this, the
chemistry is varied for plates and shapes and for thin and thick plates. Thicker
plates contain more carbon and manganese to raise the yield point. This cannot be
done for high-strength steels because of the adverse effect on notch toughness,
ductility, and weldability.
Thin material has greater ductility than thick material of the same steel. Since
normalizing refines the grain structure, thick material improves relatively more with
normalizing than does thin material. The improvement is even greater with siliconaluminum-
killed steels.
Punching holes and shearing during fabrication are cold-working operations that
can cause brittle failure. Bolt holes, for example, may be formed by drilling, punching,
or punching followed by reaming. Drilling is preferable to punching, because
punching drastically cold-works the material at the edge of a hole. This makes the
steel less ductile and raises the transition temperature. The degree of embrittlement
depends on type of steel and plate thickness. Furthermore, there is a possibility that
punching can produce short cracks extending radially from the hole. Consequently,
brittle failure can be initiated at the hole when the member is stressed.
Should the material around the hole become heated, an additional risk of failure
is introduced. Heat, for example, may be supplied by an adjacent welding operation.
If the temperature should rise to the 400 to 850F range, strain aging will occur in
material susceptible to it. The result will be a loss in ductility.
Reaming a hole after punching can eliminate the short radial cracks and the risks
of embrittlement. For the purpose, the hole diameter should be increased by 1?16 to
1?4 in by reaming, depending on material thickness and hole diameter.
Shearing has about the same effects as punching. If sheared edges are to be left
exposed, 1?16 in or more material, depending on thickness, should be trimmed by
gas cutting. Note also that rough machining, for example, with edge planers making
a deep cut, can produce the same effects as shearing or punching.
Corrosion of ferrous metals is caused by the tendency of iron (anode) to go into
solution in water as ferrous hydroxide and displace hydrogen, which in turn combines
with dissolved oxygen to form more water. At the same time, the dissolved
ferrous hydroxide is converted by more oxygen to the insoluble ferric hydroxide,
thereby allowing more iron to go into solution. Corrosion, therefore, requires liquid
water (as in damp air) and oxygen (which is normally present dissolved in the
Alloying elements can increase the resistance of steel considerably. For example,
addition of copper to structural steels A36 and A529 can about double their corrosion
resistance. Other steels, such as A242 and A588, are called weathering steels,
because they have three to four times the resistance of A36 steel (Art. 4.40.4).
Protection against corrosion takes a variety of forms:
Deaeration. If oxygen is removed from water, corrosion stops. In hot-water heating
systems, therefore, no fresh water should be added. Boiler feedwater is sometimes
deaerated to retard corrosion.
1. Paints. Most paints are based on oxidizing oil and a variety of pigments, of
which oxides of iron, zinc sulfate, graphite, aluminum, and various hydrocarbons
are a few. No one paint is best for all applications. Other paints are coatings of
asphalt and tar. The AISC ‘‘Specification for Structural Steel Buildings’’ (ASD
and LRFD) states that, in general, steelwork to be concealed within a building
need not be painted and that steel to be encased in concrete should not be
painted. Inspections of old buildings have revealed that concealed steelwork
withstands corrosion virtually to the same degree whether or not it is painted.
2. Metallic. Zinc is applied by hot dipping (galvanizing) or powder (sherardizing),
hot tin drip, hot aluminum dip, and electrolytic plates of tin, copper, nickel,
chromium, cadmium, and zinc. A mixture of lead and tin is called terneplate.
Zinc is anodic to iron and protects, even after the coating is broken, by sacrificial
protection. Tin and copper are cathodic and protect as long as the coating is
unbroken but may hasten corrosion by pitting and other localized action once
the coating is pierced.
3. Chemical. Insoluble phosphates, such as iron or zinc phosphate, are formed on
the surface of the metal by treatment with phosphate solutions. These have some
protective action and also form good bases for paints. Black oxide coatings are
formed by treating the surface with various strong salt solutions. These coatings
are good for indoor use but have limited life outdoors. They provide a good
base for rust-inhibiting oils.
Cathodic Protection. As corrosion proceeds, electric currents are produced as the
metal at the anode goes into solution. If a sufficient countercurrent is produced, the
metal at the anode will not dissolve. This is accomplished in various ways, such
as connecting the iron to a more active metal like magnesium (rods suspended in
domestic water heaters) or connecting the part to be protected to buried scrap iron
and providing an external current source such as a battery or rectified current from
a power line (protection of buried pipe lines).
American Iron and Steel Institute, 1000 16th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20036:
‘‘Carbon Steels, Chemical Composition Limits,’’ ‘‘Constructional Alloys, Chemical
Composition Limits’’; ‘‘Steel Products Manuals.’’
American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, Pa.: ‘‘Standards.’’
American Society for Metals, Cleveland, Ohio: ‘‘Metals Handbook.’’
M. E. Shank, ‘‘Control of Steel Construction to Avoid Brittle Failure,’’Welding
Research Council, New York.
R. L. Brockenbrough and F. S. Merritt, ‘‘Structural Steel Designers Handbook,’’
2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York.
Pure aluminum and aluminum alloys are used in buildings in various forms. Highpurity
aluminum (at least 99% pure) is soft and ductile but weak. It has excellent
corrosion resistance and is used in buildings for such applications as bright foil for
heat insulation, roofing, flashing, gutters and downspouts, exterior and interior architectural
trim, and as pigment in aluminum-based paints. Its high heat conductivity
recommends it for cooking utensils. The electrical conductivity of the electrical
grade is 61% of that of pure copper on an equal-volume basis and 201% on an
equal-weight basis.
Aluminum alloys are generally harder and stronger than the pure metal. Furthermore,
pure aluminum is difficult to cast satisfactorily, whereas many of the
alloys are readily cast.
Pure aluminum is generally more corrosion resistant than its alloys. Furthermore,
its various forms—pure and alloy—have different solution potentials; that is, they
are anodic or cathodic to each other, depending on their relative solution potentials.
A number of alloys are therefore made with centers or ‘‘cores’’ of aluminum alloys,
overlaid with layers of metal, either pure aluminum or alloys, which are anodic to
the core. If galvanic corrosion conditions are encountered, the cladding metal protects
the core sacrifically.
The alloys may be classified: (1) as cast and wrought, and (2) as heat-treatable and
non-heat-treatable. Wrought alloys can be worked mechanically by such processes
as rolling, extruding, drawing, or forging. Alloys are heat-treatable if the dissolved
constituents are less soluble in the solid state at ordinary temperatures than at
elevated temperatures, thereby making age-hardening possible. When heat-treated
to obtain complete solution, the product may be unstable and tend to age spontaneously.
It may also be treated to produce stable tempers of varying degree. Cold
working or strain hardening is also possible, and combinations of tempering and
strain hardening can also be obtained.
Because of these various possible combinations, a system of letter and number
designations has been worked out by the producers of aluminum and aluminum
TABLE 4.20 Aluminum Association
Designations for Wrought
Aluminum Alloys
Copper 2xxx
Manganese 3xxx
Silicon 4xxx
Magnesium 5xxx
Magnesium and silicon 6xxx
Zinc 7xxx
Other elements 8xxx
Unused series 9xxx
alloys to indicate the compositions and the tempers of the various metals. Wrought
alloys are designated by a four-digit index system. 1xxx is for 99.00% aluminum
minimum. The last two digits indicate the minimum aluminum percentage. The
second digit represents impurity limits. (EC is a special designation for electrical
conductors.) 2xxx to 8xxx represent alloy groups in which the first number indicates
the principal alloying constituent, and the last two digits are identifying numbers
in the group. The second digit indicates modification of the basic alloy. The alloy
groups are listed in Table 4.20.
For cast alloys, a similar designation system is used. The first two digits identify
the alloy or its purity. The last digit, preceded by a decimal point, indicates the
form of the material; for example, casting or ingot. Casting alloys may be sand or
permanent-mold alloys.
Among the wrought alloys, the letter F, O, H, W, and T indicate various basic
temper designations. These letters in turn may be followed by numerals to indicate
various degrees of treatment. Temper designations are summarized in Table 4.21.
The structural alloys general employed in building fall in the 2xxx, 5xxx, and
6xxx categories. Architectural alloys often used include 3xxx, 5xxx, and 6xxx
Almost all finishes used on aluminum may be divided into three major categories
in the system recommended by the The Aluminum Association: mechanical finishes,
chemical finishes, and coatings. The last may be subdivided into anodic
coatings, resinous and other organic coatings, vitreous coatings, electroplated and
other metallic coatings, and laminated coatings.
In The Aluminum Association system, mechanical and chemical finishes are
designated by M and C, respectively, and each of the five classes of coating is also
designated by a letter. The various finishes in each category are designated by twodigit
numbers after a letter. The principal finishes are summarized in Table 4.22.
Structural aluminum shapes are produced by extrusion. Angles, I beams, and channels
are available in standard sizes and in lengths up to 85 ft. Plates up to 6 in
thick and 200 in wide also may be obtained.
TABLE 4.21 Basic Temper Designations for Wrought Aluminum Alloys*
F As fabricated. This designation applies to the products of shaping processes in
which no special control over thermal conditions or strain hardening is
employed. For wrought products, there are no mechanical property limits.
O Annealed. This designation applies to wrought products annealed to obtain the
lowest-strength temper, and to cast products annealed to improve ductility and
dimensional stability.
H† Strain hardened (wrought products only). This designation applies to products
that have their strength increased by strain hardening, with or without
supplementary thermal treatments to produce some reduction in strengths. The H
is always followed by two or more digits.
W Solution heat treated. An unstable temper applicable only to alloys that
spontaneously age at room temperature after solution heat treatment. This
designation is specific only when the period of natural aging is indicated: for
example W 1?2 hr.
T‡ Thermally treated to produce stable tempers other than F, O, or H. This
designation applies to products that are thermally treated, with or without
supplementary strain hardening, to produce stable tempers. The T is always
followed by one or more digits.
*Recommended by the Aluminum Association.
†A digit after H represents a specific combination of basic operations, such as H1—strain hardened
only. H2—strain hardened and partly annealed, and H3—strain hardened and stabilized. A second digit
indicates the degree of strain hardening, which ranges from 0 for annealing to 9 in the order of increasing
tensile strength.
‡A digit after T indicates a type of heat treatment, which may include cooling, cold working, and aging.
There are economic advantages in selecting structural aluminum shapes more
efficient for specific purposes than the customary ones. For example, sections such
as hollow tubes, shapes with stiffening lips on outstanding flanges, and stiffened
panels can be formed by extrusion.
Aluminum alloys generally weigh about 170 lb / ft3, about one-third that of structural
steel. The modulus of elasticity in tension is about 10,000 ksi, compared with
29,000 ksi for structural steel. Poisson’s ratio may be taken as 0.50. The coefficient
of thermal expansion in the 68 to 212F range is about 0.000013 in / in  F, about
double that of structural steel.
Alloy 6061-T6 is often used for structural shapes and plates. ASTM B308 specifies
a minimum tensile strength of 38 ksi, minimum tensile yield strength of 35
ksi, and minimum elongation in 2 in of 10%, but 8% when the thickness is less
than 1?4 in.
The preceding data indicate that, because of the low modulus of elasticity, aluminum
members have good energy absorption. Where stiffness is important, however,
the effect of the low modulus should be taken into account. Specific data for
an application should be obtained from the producers.
Weldability and brazing properties of aluminum alloys depend heavily on their
composition and heat treatment. Most of the wrought alloys can be brazed and
welded, but sometimes only by special processes. The strength of some alloys
Brazing is done by furnace, torch, or dip methods. Successful brazing is done
with special fluxes.
Inert-gas shielded-arc welding is usually used for welding aluminum alloys. The
inert gas, argon or helium, inhibits oxide formation during welding. The electrode
used may be consumable metal or tungsten. The gas metal arc is generally preferred
for structural welding, because of the higher speeds that can be used. The gas
tungsten arc is preferred for thicknesses less than 1?2 in.
Butt-welded joints of annealed aluminum alloys and non-heat-treatable alloys
have nearly the same strength as the parent metal. This is not true for strainhardened
or heat-tempered alloys. In these conditions, the heat of welding weakens
the metal in the vicinity of the weld. The tensile strength of a butt weld of alloy
6061-T6 may be reduced to 24 ksi, about two-thirds that of the parent metal. Tensile
yield strength of such butt welds may be only 15 to 20 ksi, depending on metal
thickness and type of filler wire used in welding.
Fillet welds similarly weaken heat-treated alloys. The shear strength of alloy
6061-T6 decreases from about 27 ksi to 17 ksi or less for a fillet weld.
Welds should be made to meet the requirements of the American Welding Society,
‘‘Structural Welding Code—Aluminum,’’ AWS D1.2.
Aluminum connections also may be bolted or riveted. Bolted connections are bearing
type. Slip-critical connections, which depend on the frictional resistance of
joined parts created by bolt tension, are not usually employed because of the relatively
low friction and the potential relaxation of the bolt tension over time.
Bolts may be aluminum or steel. Bolts made of aluminum alloy 7075-T73 have
a minimum expected shear strength of 40 ksi. Cost per bolt, however, is higher
than that of 2024-T4 or 6061-T6, with tensile strengths of 37 and 27 ksi, respectively.
Steel bolts may be used if the bolt material is selected to prevent galvanic
corrosion or the steel is insulated from the aluminum. One option is use of stainless
steel. Another alternative is to galvanize, aluminize, or cadmium plate the steel
Rivets typically are made of aluminum alloys. They are usually driven cold by
squeeze-type riveters. Alloy 6053-T61, with a shear strength of 20 ksi, is preferred
for joining relatively soft alloys, such as 6063-T5, Alloy 6061-T6, with a shear
strength of 26 ksi, is usually used for joining 6061-T6 and other relatively hard
Although aluminum ranks high in the electromotive series of the metals, it is highly
corrosion resistant because of the tough, transparent, tenacious film of aluminum
oxide that rapidly forms on any exposed surface. It is this corrosion resistance that
recommends aluminum for building applications. For most exposures, including
industrial and seacoast atmospheres, the alloys normally recommended are adequate,
particularly if used in usual thicknesses and if mild pitting is not objectionable.
Pure aluminum is the most corrosion resistant of all and is used alone or as
cladding on strong-alloy cores where maximum resistance is wanted. Of the alloys,
those containing magnesium, manganese, chromium, or magnesium and silicon in
the form of MgSi2 are highly resistant to corrosion. The alloys containing substantial
proportions of copper are more susceptible to corrosion, depending markedly
on the heat treatment.
Certain precautions should be taken in building. Aluminum is subject to attack
by alkalies, and it should therefore be protected from contact with wet concrete,
mortar, and plaster. Clear methacrylate lacquers or strippable plastic coatings are
recommended for interiors and methacrylate lacquer for exterior protection during
construction. Strong alkaline and acid cleaners should be avoided and muriatic acid
should not be used on masonry surfaces adjacent to aluminum. If aluminum must
be contiguous to concrete and mortar outdoors, or where it will be wet, it should
be insulated from direct contact by asphalts, bitumens, felts, or other means. As is
true of other metals, atmospheric-deposited dirt must be removed to maintain good
Electrolytic action between aluminum and less active metals should be avoided,
because the aluminum then becomes anodic. If aluminum must be in touch with
other metals, the faying surfaces should be insulated by painting with asphaltic or
similar paints, or by gasketing. Steel rivets and bolts, for example, should be insulated.
Drainage from copper-alloy surfaces onto aluminum must be avoided. Frequently,
steel surfaces can be galvanized or cadmium-coated where contact is expected
with aluminum. The zinc or cadmium coating is anodic to the aluminum
and helps to protect it.
‘‘Aluminum Standards and Data,’’ ‘‘Engineering Data for Aluminum Structures,’’
‘‘Designation Systems for Aluminum Finishes,’’ and ‘‘Specifications for Aluminum
Structures,’’ The Aluminum Association, Washington, D.C.
E. H. Gaylord, Jr., and C. N. Gaylord, ‘‘Structural Engineering Handbook,’’ 3rd
ed., McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New York.
Copper and its alloys are widely used in the building industry for a large variety
of purposes, particularly applications requiring corrosion resistance, high electrical
conductivity, strength, ductility, impact resistance, fatigue resistance, or other special
characteristics possessed by copper or its alloys. Some of the special characteristics
of importance to building are ability to be formed into complex shapes,
appearance, and high thermal conductivity, although many of the alloys have low
thermal conductivity and low electrical conductivity as compared with the pure
The excellent corrosion resistance of copper makes it suitable for such applications
as roofing, flashing, cornices, gutters, downspouts, leaders, fly screens, and similar
applications. For roofing and flashing, soft-annealed copper is employed, because
it is ductile and can easily be bent into various shapes. For gutters, leaders, downspouts,
and similar applications, cold-rolled hard copper is employed, because its
greater hardness and stiffness permit it to stand without large numbers of intermediate
Copper and copper-based alloys, particularly the brasses, are employed for water
pipe in buildings, because of their corrosion resistance. Electrolytic tough-pitch
copper is usually employed for electrical conductors, but for maximum electrical
conductivity and weldability, oxygen-free high-conductivity copper is used.
When arsenic is added to copper, it appears to form a tenacious adherent film,
which is particularly resistant to pitting corrosion. Phosphorus is a powerful deoxidizer
and is particularly useful for copper to be used for refrigerator tubing and
other applications where flaring, flanging, and spinning are required. Arsenic and
phosphorus both reduce the electrical conductivity of the copper.
For flashing, copper is frequently coated with lead to avoid the green patina
formed on copper that is sometimes objectionable when it is washed down over
adjacent surfaces, such as ornamental stone. The patina is formed particularly in
industrial atmospheres. In rural atmospheres, where industrial gases are absent, the
copper normally turns to a deep brown color.
Principal types of copper and typical uses are:
Electrolytic tough pitch (99.90% copper) is used for electrical conductors—
bus bars, commutators, etc.; building products—roofing, gutters, etc.; process
equipment—kettles, vats, distillery equipment; forgings. General properties are high
electrical conductivity, high thermal conductivity, and excellent working ability.
Deoxidized (99.90% copper and 0.025% phosphorus) is used, in tube form, for
water and refrigeration service, oil burners, etc.; in sheet and plate form, for welded
construction. General properties include higher forming and bending qualities than
electrolytic copper. They are preferred for coppersmithing and welding (because of
resistance to embrittlement at high temperatures).
4.59 BRASS
A considerable range of brasses is obtainable for a large variety of end uses. The
high ductility and malleability of the copper-zinc alloys, or brasses, make them
suitable for operations like deep drawing, bending, and swaging. They have a wide
range of colors. They are generally less expensive than the high-copper alloys.
Grain size of the metal has a marked effect upon its mechanical properties. For
deep drawing and other heavy working operations, a large grain size is required,
but for highly finished polished surfaces, the grain size must be small.
Like copper, brass is hardened by cold working. Hardnesses are sometimes expressed
as quarter hard, half hard, hard, extra hard, spring, and extra spring, corresponding
to reductions in cross section during cold working ranging from approximately
11 to 69%. Hardness is strongly influenced by alloy composition,
original grain size, and form (strip, rod, tube, wire).
4.59.1 Plain Brass
Brass compositions range from higher copper content to zinc contents as high as
40% or more. Brasses with less than 36% zinc are plain alpha solid solutions; but
Muntz metal, with 40% zinc, contains both alpha and beta phases.
The principal plain brasses of interest in building, and their properties are:
Commercial bronze, 90% (90.0% copper, 10.0% zinc). Typical uses are forgings,
screws, weatherstripping, and stamped hardware. General properties include
excellent cold working and high ductility.
Red brass, 85% (85.0% copper, 15.0% zinc). Typical uses are dials, hardware,
etched parts, automobile radiators, and tube and pipe for plumbing. General properties
are higher strength and ductility than copper, and excellent corrosion resistance.
Cartridge brass, 70% (70.0% copper, 30.0% zinc). Typical uses are deep drawing,
stamping, spinning, etching, rolling—for practically all fabricating processes—
cartridge cases, pins, rivets, eyelets, heating units, lamp bodies and reflectors, elec4.82
trical sockets, drawn shapes, etc. General properties are best combination of ductility
and strength of any brass, and excellent cold-working properties.
Muntz metal (60.0% copper, 40.0% zinc). Typical uses are sheet form, perforated
metal, architectural work, condenser tubes, valve stems, and brazing rods.
General properties are high strength combined with low ductility.
4.59.2 Leaded Brass
Lead is added to brass to improve its machinability, particularly in such applications
as automatic screw machines where a freely chipping metal is required. Leaded
brasses cannot easily be cold-worked by such operations as flaring, upsetting, or
cold heading. Several leaded brasses of importance in the building field are the
High-leaded brass (64.0% copper, 34.0% zinc, 2.0% lead). Typical uses are
engraving plates, machined parts, instruments (professional and scientific), nameplates,
keys, lock parts, and tumblers. General properties are free machining and
good blanking.
Forging brass (60.0% copper, 38.0% zinc, 2.0% lead). Typical uses are hot
forging, hardware, and plumbing goods. General properties are extreme plasticity
when hot and a combination of good corrosion resistance with excellent mechanical
Architectural bronze (56.5% copper, 41.25% zinc, 2.25% lead). Typical uses
are handrails, decorative moldings, grilles, revolving door parts, miscellaneous architectural
trim, industrial extruded shapes (hinges, lock bodies, automotive parts).
General properties are excellent forging and free-machining properties.
4.59.3 Tin Brass
Tin is added to a variety of basic brasses to obtain hardness, strength, and other
properties that would otherwise not be available. Two important alloys are:
Admiralty (71.0% copper, 28.0% zinc, 1.0% tin, 0.05% arsenic). Typical uses
are condenser and heat-exchanger plates and tubes, steam-power-plant equipment,
chemical and process equipment, and marine uses. General properties are excellent
corrosion resistance, combined with strength and ductility.
Manganese bronze (58.5% copper, 39.0% zinc, 1.4% iron, 1.0% tin, 0.1% manganese).
Typical uses are forgings, condenser plates, valve stems, and coal screens.
General properties are high strength combined with excellent wear resistance.
These are alloys of copper, nickel, and zinc. Depending on the composition, they
range in color from a definite to slight pink cast through yellow, green, whitish
green, whitish blue, to blue. A wide range of nickel silvers is made, of which only
one typical composition will be described. Those that fall in the combined alphabeta
phase of metals are readily hot-worked and therefore are fabricated without
difficulty into such intricate shapes as plumbing fixtures, stair rails, architectural
shapes, and escalator parts. Lead may be added to improve machining.
Nickel, silver, 18% (A) (65.0% copper, 17.0% zinc, 18.0% nickel). Typical uses
are hardware, architectural panels, lighting, electrical and plumbing fixtures. General
properties are high resistance to corrosion and tarnish, malleable, and ductile.
Color: silver-blue-white.
Copper and nickel are alloyed in a variety of compositions of which the highcopper
alloys are called the cupronickels. Typical commercial types of cupronickel
contain 10 or 30% nickel (Table 4.15):
Cupronickel, 10% (88.5% copper, 10% nickel, 1.5% iron). Recommended for
applications requiring corrosion resistance, especially to salt water, as in tubing for
condensers, heat exchangers, and formed sheets.
Cupronickel, 30% (70.0% copper, 30.0% nickel). Typical uses are condenser
tubes and plates, tanks, vats, vessels, process equipment, automotive parts, meters,
refrigerator pump valves. General properties are high strength and ductility and
resistance to corrosion and erosion. Color: white-silver.
Originally, the bronzes were all alloys of copper and tin. Today, the term bronze is
generally applied to engineering metals having high mechanical properties and the
term brass to other metals. The commercial wrought bronzes do not usually contain
more than 10% tin because the metal becomes extremely hard and brittle. When
phosphorus is added as a deoxidizer, to obtain sound, dense castings, the alloys are
known as phosphor bronzes. The two most commonly used tin bronzes contain 5
or 8% tin. Both have excellent cold-working properties.
4.62.1 Silicon Bronze
These are high-copper alloys containing percentages of silicon ranging from about
1% to slightly more than 3%. In addition, they generally contain one or more of
the four elements, tin, manganese, zinc, and iron. A typical one is high-silicon
bronze, type A.
High-silicon bronze, A (96.0% copper, 3.0% silicon, 1.0% manganese). Typical
users are tanks—pressure vessels, vats; weatherstrips, forgings. General properties
are corrosion resistance of copper and mechanical properties of mild steel.
4.62.2 Aluminum Bronze
Like aluminum, these bronzes form an aluminum oxide skin on the surface, which
materially improves resistance to corrosion, particularly under acid conditions.
Since the color of the 5% aluminum bronze is similar to that of 18-carat gold, it
is used for costume jewelry and other decorative purposes. Aluminum-silicon
bronzes are used in applications requiring high tensile properties in combination
with good corrosion resistance in such parts as valves, stems, air pumps, condenser
bolts, and similar applications. Their wear-resisting properties are good; consequently,
they are used in slide liners and bushings.
‘‘Alloy Data,’’ Copper Development Association, New York, N.Y.
G. S. Brady and H. R. Clauser, ‘‘Materials Handbook,’’ 13th ed., and J. H.
Callender, ‘‘Time-Saver Standards for Architectural Design Data,’’ 6th ed.,
McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New York.
Lead is used primarily for its corrosion resistance. Lead roofs 2000 years old are
still intact.
Exposure tests indicate corrosion penetrations of sheet lead ranging from less than
0.0001 in to less than 0.0003 in in 10 years in atmospheres ranging from mild rural
to severe industrial and seacoast locations. Sheet lead is therefore used for roofing,
flashing, spandrels, gutters, and downspouts.
Because the green patina found on copper may wash away sufficiently to stain
the surrounding structure, lead-coated copper is frequently employed. ASTM B101-
78 covers two classes, defined by the weight of coating.
Lead pipe should not be used for the transport of drinking water. Distilled and
very soft waters slowly dissolve lead and may cause cumulative lead poisoning.
Hard waters apparently deposit a protective coating on the wall of the pipe and
little or no lead is subsequently dissolved in the water.
Principal alloying elements used with building leads are antimony (for hardness
and strength) and tin. But copper, arsenic, bismuth, nickel, zinc, silver, iron, and
manganese are also added in varying proportions.
Soft solders consist of varying percentages of lead and tin. For greater hardness,
antimony is added, and for higher-temperature solders, silver is added in small
amounts. ASTM Standard B32 specifies properties of soft solders.
Low-melting alloys and many bearing metals are alloys of lead, bismuth, tin,
cadmium, and other metals including silver, zinc, indium, and antimony. The fusible
links used in sprinkler heads and fire-door closures, made of such alloys, have a
low melting point, usually lower than the boiling point of water. Yield (softening)
temperatures range from 73 to 160F and melting points from about 80 to 480F,
depending on the composition.
TABLE 4.23 Composition of Nickel Alloys
Carbon 0.02 0.15 0.2 0.15 max
Manganese 0.35 0.35 2.00 max 1.0 max 1.0 max 1.0 max
Sulfur 0.01 0.01 0.024 max 0.015 max
Silicon 0.35 0.35 0.5 0.5 max
Chromium 14–17
Nickel 99 min 99 min 63–70 72 min 29–33 9–11
Copper 0.25 0.25 Remainder 0.5 max 65 min 86.5 min
Iron 0.40 max 0.40 max 2.5 max 6–10 0.40–1.0 1.0–1.8
Lead 0.05 max 0.05 max
Zinc 1.0 1.0
American Society for Metals, Cleveland, Ohio: ‘‘Metals Handbook.’’
Nickel is used mostly as an alloying element with other metals, but it finds use in
its own right, largely as electroplate or as cladding metal. Among the principal
high-nickel alloys are Monel and Inconel. The nominal compositions of these metals
are given in Table 4.23
Nickel is resistant to alkaline corrosion under nonoxidizing conditions but is corroded
by oxidizing acids and oxidizing salts. It is resistant to fatty acids, other
mildly acid conditions, such as food processing and beverages, and resists oxidation
at temperatures as high as 1600F.
Monel is widely used in kitchen equipment. It is better than nickel in reducing
conditions like warm unaerated acids, and better than copper under oxidizing conditions,
such as aerated acids, alkalies, and salt solutions. It is widely used for
handling chlorides of many kinds.
Inconel is almost completely resistant to corrosion by food products, pharmaceuticals,
biologicals, and dilute organic acids. It is superior to nickel and Monel
in resisting oxidizing acid salts like chromates and nitrates but is not resistant to
ferric, cupric, or mercuric chlorides. It resists scaling and oxidation in air and
furnace atmospheres at temperatures up to 2000F.
International Nickel Co., New York: ‘‘Nickel and Nickel Alloys.’’
Albert Hoerson, Jr.: ‘‘Nonferrous-clad Plate Steels,’’ Chap. 13 in A. G. H. Dietz,
‘‘Composite Engineering Laminates,’’ M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, Mass.
The synonymous terms plastics and synthetic resins denote synthetic organic high
polymers, all of which are plastic at some stage in their manufacture. Plastics fall
into two large categories—thermoplastic and thermosetting materials.
Thermoplastics may be softened by heating and hardened by cooling any number
of times. Thermosetting materials are either originally soft or liquid, or they soften
FIGURE 4.5 Stress-strain diagram shows the
influence of temperature, plasticizer, and rate of
loading on behavior of plastics.
once upon heating; but upon further
heating, they harden permanently. Some
thermosetting materials harden by an interlinking
mechanism in which water or
other by-product is given off, by a process
called condensation; but others,
like the unsaturated polyesters, harden
by a direct interlinking of the basic molecules
without release of a by-product.
Most plastics are modified with plasticizers,
fillers, or other ingredients.
Consequently, each base material forms
the nucleus for a large number of products
having a wide variety of properties.
This section can only indicate generally
the range of properties to be expected.
Because plastics are quite different in
their composition and structure from
other materials, such as metals, their behavior
under stress and under other conditions
is likely to be different from
other materials. Just as steel and lead are
markedly different and are used for different
applications, so the various plastics
materials—some hard and brittle, others soft and extensible—must be designed
on different bases and used in different ways. Some plastics show no yield point,
because they fail before a yield point can be reached. Others have a moderately
high elastic range, followed by a highly plastic range. Still others are highly extensible
and are employed at stresses far beyond the yield point.
More than many other materials, plastics are sensitive to temperature and to the
rate and time of application of load. How these parameters influence the properties
is indicated in a general way in Fig. 4.5, which shows that for many plastics in
increase in temperature, increase in plasticizer content, and decrease in rate of load
application mean an increase in strain to fracture, accompanied by a decrease in
maximum stress. This viscoelastic behavior, combining elastic and viscous or plastic
reaction to stress, is unlike the behavior of materials which are traditionally
considered to behave only elastically.
Fillers are commonly added, particularly to the thermosetting plastics, to alter their
basic characteristics. For example, wood flour converts a hard, brittle resin, difficult
to handle, into a cheaper, more easily molded material for general purposes. Asbestos
fibers provide better heat resistance; mica gives better electrical properties;
and a variety of fibrous materials, such as chopped fibers, chopped fabric, and
chopped tire cords, increase the strength and impact properties.
Plasticizers are added to many thermoplastics, primarily to transform hard and
rigid materials into a variety of forms having varying degrees of softness, flexibility,
and strength. In addition, dyes or pigments, stabilizers, and other products may be
Both thermosetting and thermoplastic molding materials are formed into final shape
by a variety of molding and fabricating methods.
Thermosetting materials are commonly formed by placing molding powder or
molded preform in heated dies and compressing under heat and pressure into the
final infusible shape. Or they are formed by forcing heat-softened material into a
heated die for final forming into the hard infusible shape.
Thermoplastics are commonly formed by injection molding, that is, by forcing
soft, hot plastic into a cold die, where it hardens by cooling. Continuous profiles
of thermoplastic materials are made by extrusion. Thermoplastic sheets, especially
transparent acrylics, are frequently formed into final shape by heating and then
blowing to final form under compressed air or by drawing a partial vacuum against
the softened sheet.
Foamed plastics are employed for thermal insulation in refrigerators, buildings,
and many other applications. In buildings, plastics are either prefoamed into slabs,
blocks, or other appropriate shapes, or they are foamed in place.
Prefoamed materials, such as polystyrene, are made by adding a blowing agent
and extruding the mixture under pressure and at elevated temperatures. As the
material emerges from the extruder, it expands into a large ‘‘log’’ that can be cut
into desired shapes. The cells are ‘‘closed’’; that is, they are not interconnecting
and are quite impermeable.
Foamed-in-place plastics are made with pellets or liquids. The pellets, made, for
example, of polystyrene, are poured into the space to be occupied, such as a mold,
and heated, whereupon they expand and occupy the space. The resulting mass may
be permeable between pellets. Liquid-based foams, exemplified by polyurethane,
are made by mixing liquid ingredients and immediately casting the mixture into
the space to be occupied. A quick reaction results in a foam that rises and hardens
by a thermosetting reaction. When blown with fluorocarbon gases, such forms have
exceptionally low thermal conductivities.
All the plastics can be machined, if proper allowance is made for the properties
of the materials.
Plastics are often combined with sheet or mat stocks, such as paper, cotton
muslin, glass fabric, glass filament mats, nylon fabric, and other fabrics, to provide
laminated materials in which the properties of the combined plastic and sheet stock
are quite different from the properties of either constituent by itself. Two principal
varieties of laminates are commonly made: (1) High-pressure laminates employing
condensation-type thermosetting materials, which are formed at elevated temperatures
and pressures. (2) Reinforced plastics employing unsaturated polyesters and
epoxides, from which no by-products are given off, and consequently, either low
pressures or none at all may be required to form combinations of these materials
with a variety of reinforcing agents, like glass fabric or mat.
General properties of thermosetting plastics are described in Art. 4.68. Following
are properties of several thermosetting plastics used in buildings:
Phenol Formaldehyde. These materials provide the greatest variety of thermosetting
molded plastic articles. They are used for chemical, decorative, electrical,
mechanical, and thermal applications of all kinds. Hard and rigid, they change
slightly, if at all, on aging indoors but, on outdoor exposure, lose their bright surface
gloss. However, the outdoor-exposure characteristics of the more durable formulations
are otherwise generally good. Phenol formaldehydes have good electrical
properties, do not burn readily, and do not support combustion. They are strong,
light in weight, and generally pleasant to the eye and touch, although light colors
by and large are not obtainable because of the fairly dark-brown basic color of the
resin. They have low water absorption and good resistance to attack by most commonly
found chemicals.
Epoxy and Polyester Casting Resins. These are used for a large variety of purposes.
For example, electronic parts with delicate components are sometimes cast
completely in these materials to give them complete and continuous support, and
resistance to thermal and mechanical shock. Some varieties must be cured at elevated
temperatures; others can be formulated to be cured at room temperatures.
One of the outstanding attributes of the epoxies is their excellent adhesion to a
variety of materials, including such metals as copper, brass, steel, and aluminum.
Polyester Molding Materials. When compounded with fibers, particularly glass
fibers, or with various mineral fillers, including clay, the polyesters can be formulated
into putties or premixes that are easily compression- or transfer-molded into
parts having high impact resistance. Polyesters are often used in geotextiles (Art.
Melamine Formaldehyde. These materials are unaffected by common organic solvents,
greases, and oils, as well as most weak acids and alkalies. Their water absorption
is low. They are insensitive to heat and are highly flame-resistant, depending
on the filler. Electrical properties are particularly good, especially resistance to
arcing. Unfilled materials are highly translucent and have unlimited color possibilities.
Principal fillers are alpha cellulose for general-purpose compounding; minerals
to improve electrical properties, particularly at elevated temperatures; chopped fabric
to afford high shock resistance and flexural strength; and cellulose, mainly for
electrical purposes.
Cellulose Acetate Butyrate. The butyrate copolymer is inherently softer and more
flexible than cellulose acetate and consequently requires less plasticizer to achieve
a given degree of softness and flexibility. It is made in the form of clear transparent
sheet and film, or in the form of molding powders, which can be molded by standard
injection-molding procedures into a wide variety of applications. Like the other
cellulosics, this material is inherently tough and has good impact resistance. It has
infinite colorability, like the other cellulosics. Cellulose acetate butyrate tubing is
used for such applications as irrigation and gas lines.
Cellulose Nitrate. One of the toughest of the plastics, cellulose nitrate is widely
used for tool handles and similar applications requiring high impact strength. The
high flammability requires great caution, particularly in the form of film. Most
commercial photographic film is cellulose nitrate as opposed to safety film.
Polyurethane. This plastic is used in several ways in building. As thermal insulation,
it is used in the form of foam, either prefoamed or foamed in place. The
latter is particularly useful in irregular spaces. When blown with fluorocarbons, the
foam has an exceptionally low K-factor and is, therefore, widely used in thin-walled
refrigerators. Other uses include field-applied or baked-on clear or colored coatings
and finishes for floors, walls, furniture, and casework generally. The rubbery form
is employed for sprayed or troweled-on roofing, and for gaskets and calking compounds.
Urea Formaldehyde. Like the melamines, these offer unlimited translucent to
opaque color possibilities, light-fastness, good mechanical and electrical properties,
and resistance to organic solvents as well as mild acids and alkalies. Although there
is no swelling or change in appearance, the water absorption of urea formaldehyde
is relatively high, and it is therefore not recommended for applications involving
long exposure to water. Occasional exposure to water is without deleterious effect.
Strength properties are good, although special shock-resistant grades are not made.
Silicones. Unlike other plastics, silicones are based on silicon rather than carbon.
As a consequence, their inertness and durability under a wide variety of conditions
are outstanding. As compared with the phenolics, their mechanical properties are
poor, and consequently glass fibers are added. Molding is more difficult than with
other thermosetting materials. Unlike most other resins, they may be used in continuous
operations at 400F; they have very low water absorption; their dielectric
properties are excellent over an extremely wide variety of chemical attack; and
under outdoor conditions their durability is particularly outstanding. In liquid solutions,
silicones are used to impart moisture resistance to masonry walls and to
fabrics. They also form the basis for a variety of paints and other coatings capable
of maintaining flexibility and inertness to attack at high temperatures in the presence
of ultraviolet sunlight and ozone. Silicone rubbers maintain their flexibility at much
lower temperatures than other rubbers.
Materials under this heading in general can be softened by heating and hardened
by cooling.
Acrylics. In the form of large transparent sheets, these are used in aircraft enclosures
and building construction. Although not so hard as glass, they have perfect
clarity and transparency. Among the most resistant of the transparent plastics to
sunlight and outdoor weathering, they possess an optimum combination of flexibility
and sufficient rigidity with resistance to shattering. A wide variety of transparent,
translucent, and opaque colors can be produced. The sheets are readily
formed to complex shapes. They are used for such applications as transparent windows,
outdoor and indoor signs, parts of lighting equipment, decorative and functional
automotive parts, reflectors, household-appliance parts, and similar applications.
They can be used as large sheets, molded from molding powders, or cast
from the liquid monomer.
Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS). This three-way copolymer provides a
family of tough, hard, chemically resistant resins with many grades and varieties,
depending on variations in constituents. The greatest use is for pipes and fittings,
especially drain-waste-vent (DWV). Other uses include buried sewer and water
lines, mine pipe, well casings, conduit, and appliance housings.
Polyethylene. In its unmodified form, this is a flexible, waxy, translucent plastic.
It maintain flexibility at very low temperatures, in contrast with many other thermoplastic
Polyethylene may be provided as low-density, or standard, or as high-density or
linear material. High-density polyethylene has greater strength and stiffness, withstands
somewhat higher temperatures, and has a more sharply defined softening
temperature range. The heat-distortion point of the low-density polyethylenes is
low; these plastics are not recommended for uses above 150F. Unlike most plastics,
polyethylene is partly crystalline. It is highly inert to solvents and corrosive chemicals
of all kinds at ordinary temperatures. Usually low moisture permeability and
absorption are combined with excellent electrical properties. Its density is lower
than that of any other commercially available nonporous plastic. It is widely used
as a primary insulating material on wire and cable and has been used as a replacement
for the lead jacket in communication cables and other cables. It is widely
used also in geogrids, geonets, and geomembranes (Art. 6.11) and as corrosionproof
lining for tanks and other chemical equipment.
Polypropylene. This polyolefin is similar in many ways to its counterpart, polyethylene,
but is generally harder, stronger, and more temperature-resistant. It finds
a great many uses, among them piping, geotextiles, and geogrids (Art. 6.11), and
complete water cisterns for water closets in plumbing systems.
Polycarbonate. Excellent transparency, high impact resistance, and good resistance
to weathering combine to recommend this plastic for safety glazing and for
general illumination and shatter-resistant fixtures. It is available in large, clear,
tinted, and opaque sheets that can be formed into shells, domes, globes, and other
forms. It can be processed by standard molding methods.
Polytetrafluorethylene. This is a highly crystalline liner-type polymer, unique
among organic compounds in its chemical inertness and resistance to change at
high and low temperatures. Its electrical properties are excellent. Its outstanding
property is extreme resistance to attack by corrosive agents and solvents of all kinds.
Waxy and self-lubricating, polytetrafluoroethylene is used in buildings where resistance
to extreme conditions or low friction is desired. In steam lines, for example,
supporting pads of this plastic permit the lines to slide easily over the pads. The
temperatures involved have little or no effect. Other low-friction applications include,
for example, bearings for girders and trusses. Mechanical properties are only
moderately high, and reinforcement may be necessary to prevent creep and squeezeout
under heavy loads. These fluorocarbons are difficult to wet; consequently, they
are often used as parting agents, or where sticky materials must be handled.
Polyvinylfluoride. This has much of the superior inertness to chemical and weathering
attack typical of the fluorocarbons. Among other uses, it is used as thin-film
overlays for building boards to be exposed outdoors.
Polyvinyl Formal and Polyvinyl Butyral. Polyvinyl formal resins are principally
used as a base for tough, water-resistant insulating enamel for electric wire. Polyvinyl
butyral is the tough interlayer in safety glass. In its cross-linked and plasticized
form, polyvinyl butyral is extensively used in coating fabrics for raincoats,
upholstery, and other heavy-duty moisture-resistant applications.
Vinyl Chloride Polymers and Copolymers. Polyvinyl chloride is naturally hard
and rigid but can be plasticized to any required degree of flexibility as in raincoats
and shower curtains. Copolymers, including vinyl chloride plus vinyl acetate, are
naturally flexible without plasticizers. Nonrigid vinyl plastics are widely used as
insulation and jacketing for electric wire and cable because of their electrical properties
and their resistance to oil and water. Thin films are used in geomembranes
(Art. 6.11). Vinyl chlorides also are used for floor coverings in the form of tile and
sheet because of their abrasion resistance and relatively low water absorption. The
rigid materials are used for tubing, pipe, and many other applications where their
resistance to corrosion and action of many chemicals, especially acids and alkalies,
recommends them. They are attacked by a variety of organic solvents, however.
Like all thermoplastics, they soften at elevated temperatures.
Vinylidene Chloride. This material is highly resistant to most inorganic chemicals
and to organic solvents generally. It is impervious to water on prolonged immersion,
and its films are highly resistant to moisture-vapor transmission. It can be sterilized,
if not under load, in boiling water. It is used as pipe for transporting chemicals and
geomembranes (Art. 6.11).
Nylon. Molded nylon is used in increasing quantities for impact and high resistance
to abrasion. It is employed in small gears, cams, and other machine parts,
because even when unlubricated they are highly resistant to wear. Its chemical
resistance, except to phenols and mineral acids, is excellent. Extruded nylon is
coated onto electric wire, cable, and rope for abrasion resistance. Applications like
hammerheads indicate its impact resistance.
Polystyrene. This is one of the lightest of the presently available commercial
plastics. It is relatively inexpensive, easily molded, has good dimensional stability,
and good stability at low temperatures; it is brilliantly clear when transparent and
has an infinite range of colors. Water absorption is negligible even after long immersion.
Electrical characteristics are excellent. It is resistant to most corrosive
chemicals, such as acids, and to a variety of organic solvents, although it is attacked
by others. Polystyrenes as a class are considerably more brittle and less extensible
than many other thermoplastic materials, but these properties are markedly improved
in copolymers. Under some conditions, they have a tendency to develop
fine cracks, known as craze marks, on exposure, particularly outdoors. This is true
of many other thermoplastics, especially when highly stressed. It is widely used in
synthetic rubbers.
Rubber for construction purposes is both natural and synthetic. Natural rubber, often
called crude rubber in its unvulcanized form, is composed of large complex molecules
of isoprene. Synthetic rubbers, also known as elastomers, are generally
rubber-like only in their high elasticity. The principal synthetic rubbers are the
GR-S is the one most nearly like crude rubber and is the product of styrene and
butadiene copolymerization. It is the most widely used of the synthetic rubbers. It
is not oil-resistant but is widely used for tires and similar applications.
Nitril is a copolymer of acrylonitrile and butadiene. Its excellent resistance to
oils and solvents makes it useful for fuel and solvent hoses, hydraulic-equipment
parts, and similar applications.
Butyl is made by the copolymerization of isobutylene with a small proportion
of isoprene or butadiene. It has the lowest gas permeability of all the rubbers and
consequently is widely used for making inner tubes for tires and other applications
in which gases must be held with a minimum of diffusion. It is used for gaskets
in buildings.
Neoprene is made by the polymerization of chloroprene. It has very good mechanical
properties and is particularly resistant to sunlight, heat, aging, and oil; it
is therefore used for making machine belts, gaskets, oil hose, insulation on wire
cable, and other applications to be used for outdoor exposure, such as roofing, and
gaskets for building and glazing.
Sulfide rubbers—the polysulfides of high molecular weight—have rubbery
properties, and articles made from them, such as hose and tank linings and glazing
compounds, exhibit good resistance to solvents, oils, ozone, low temperature, and
outdoor exposure.
Silicone rubber, which also is discussed in Art. 4.71, when made in rubbery
consistency forms a material exhibiting exceptional inertness and temperature reBUILDING
sistance. It is therefore used in making gaskets, electrical insulation, and similar
products that maintain their properties at both high and low temperatures.
Additional elastomers include polyethylene, cyclized rubber, plasticized polyvinyl
chloride, and polybutene. A great variety of materials enters into various
rubber compounds and therefore provide a wide range of properties. In addition,
many elastomeric products are laminated structures of rubber-like compounds combined
with materials like fabric and metals (Art. 4.76).
Plastics often are used as part of a composite construction with other materials. The
composites may be in the form of laminates, matrix systems, sandwich structures,
or combinations of these.
Laminated thermosetting products consist of fibrous sheet materials combined with
a thermosetting resin, usually phenol formaldehyde or melamine formaldehyde. The
commonly used sheet materials are paper, cotton fabric, asbestos paper or fabric,
nylon fabric, and glass fabric. The usual form is flat sheet, but a variety of rolled
tubes and rods is made.
Decorative Laminates. These high-pressure laminates consist of a base of phenolic
resin-impregnated kraft paper over which a decorative overlay, such as printed
paper, is applied. Over all this is laid a thin sheet of melamine resin. When the
entire assemblage is pressed in a hot-plate press at elevated temperatures and pressures,
the various layers are fused together and the melamine provides a completely
transparent finish, resistant to alcohol, water, and common solvents. This material
is widely used for tabletops, counter fronts, wainscots, and similar building applications.
It is customarily bonded to a core of plywood to develop the necessary
thickness and strength. In this case, a backup sheet consisting of phenolic resin and
paper alone, without the decorative surface, is employed to provide balance to the
entire sandwich.
These are commonly made with phenolic, polyester, and epoxide resins combined
with various types of reinforcing agents, of which glass fibers in the form of mats
or fabrics are the most common. Because little or no pressure is required to form
large complex parts, rather simple molds can be employed for the manufacture of
such things as boat hulls and similar large parts. In buildings, reinforced plastics
have been rather widely used in the form of corrugated sheet for skylights and side
lighting of buildings, and as molded shells, concrete forms, sandwiches, and similar
These materials may be formulated to cure at ordinary temperatures, or they
may require moderate temperatures to cure the resins. Customarily, parts are made
by laying up successive layers of the glass fabric or the glass mat and applying the
liquid resin to them. The entire combination is allowed to harden at ordinary temperatures,
or it is placed in a heated chamber for final hardening. It may be placed
inside a rubber bag and a vacuum drawn to apply moderate pressure, or it may be
placed between a pair of matching molds and cured under moderate pressure in the
The high impact resistance of these materials combined with good strength properties
and good durability recommends them for building applications. When the
quantity of reinforcing agent is kept relatively low, a high degree of translucence
may be achieved, although it is less than that of the acrylics and the other transparent
thermoplastic materials.
Fabrics for Air-Supported Roofs. Principal requirements for fabrics and coatings
for air-supported structures are high strip tensile strength in both warp and fill
directions, high tear resistance, good coating adhesion, maximum weathering resistance,
maximum joint strength, good flexing resistance, and good flame resistance.
Translucency may or may not be important, depending on the application. The most
commonly used fabrics are nylon, polyester, and glass. Neoprene and Hypalon have
commonly been employed for military and other applications where opacity is desired.
For translucent application, vinyl chloride and fluorocarbon polymers are
more common. Careful analysis of loads and stresses, especially dynamic wind
loads, and means of joining sections and attaching to anchorage is required.
Rubber is often combined with various textiles, fabrics, filaments, and metal wire
to obtain strength, stability, abrasion resistance, and flexibility. Among the laminated
materials are the following:
V Belts. These consist of a combination of fabric and rubber, frequently combined
with reinforcing grommets of cotton, rayon, steel, or other high-strength material
extending around the central portion.
Flat Rubber Belting. This laminate is a combination of several plies of cotton
fabric or cord, all bonded together by a soft-rubber compound.
Conveyor Belts. These, in effect, are moving highways used for transporting such
material as crushed rock, dirt, sand, gravel, slag, and similar materials. When the
belt operates at a steep angle, it is equipped with buckets or similar devices and
becomes an elevator belt. A typical conveyor belt consists of cotton duct plies
alternated with thin rubber plies; the assembly is wrapped in a rubber cover, and
all elements are united into a single structure by vulcanization. A conveyor belt to
withstand extreme conditions is made with some textile or metal cords instead of
the woven fabric. Some conveyor belts are especially arranged to assume a trough
form and made to stretch less than similar all-fabric belts.
Rubber-Lined Pipes, Tanks, and Similar Equipment. The lining materials include
all the natural and synthetic rubbers in various degrees of hardness, depending
on the application. Frequently, latex rubber is deposited directly from the latex
solution onto the metal surface to be covered. The deposited layer is subsequently
vulcanized. Rubber linings can be bonded to ordinary steel, stainless steel, brass,
aluminum, concrete, and wood. Adhesion to aluminum is inferior to adhesion to
steel. Covering for brass must be compounded according to the composition of the
Rubber Hose. Nearly all rubber hose is laminated and composed of layers of
rubber combined with reinforcing materials like cotton duck, textile cords, and
metal wire. Typical hose consists of an inner rubber lining, a number of intermediate
layers consisting of braided cord or cotton duck impregnated with rubber, and
outside that, several more layers of fabric, spirally wound cord, spirally wound
metal, or in some cases, spirally wound flat steel ribbon. Outside of all this is
another layer of rubber to provide resistance to abrasion. Hose for transporting oil,
water, wet concrete under pressure, and for dredging purposes is made of heavyduty
laminated rubber.
Vibration Insulators. These usually consist of a layer of soft rubber bonded between
two layers of metal. Another type of insulated consists of a rubber tube or
cylinder vulcanized to two concentric metal tubes, the rubber being deflected in
shear. A variant of this consists of a cylinder of soft rubber vulcanized to a tubular
or solid steel core and a steel outer shell, the entire combination being placed in
torsion to act as a spring. Heavy-duty mounts of this type are employed on trucks,
buses, and other applications calling for rugged construction.
American Concrete Institute, ‘‘Polymer Modified Concrete,’’ SP-99; ‘‘Polymers in
Concrete,’’ ACI 548; and Guide for the Use of Polymers in Concrete,’’ ACI 548.1.
American Society of Civil Engineers, ‘‘Structural Plastics Design Manual,’’ and
‘‘Structural Plastics Selection Manual.’’
‘‘Modern Plastics Encyclopedia,’’ Plastics Catalog Corp., New York.
A. G. H. Dietz, ‘‘Plastics for Architects and Engineers,’’ M.I.T. Press, Cambridge,
C. A. Harper, ‘‘Handbook of Plastics and Elastomers,’’ McGraw-Hill Publishing
Company, New York.
R. M. Koerner, ‘‘Designing with Geosynthetics,’’ 2nd ed., Prentice-Hall, Englewoods
Cliffs, N.J.
I. Skeist, ‘‘Plastics in Building,’’ Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.
Porcelain enamel, also known as vitreous enamel, is an aluminum-silicate glass,
which is fused to metal under high heat. Porcelain-enameled metal is used for
indoor and outdoor applications because of its hardness, durability, washability, and
color possibilities. For building purposes, porcelain enamel is applied to sheet metal
and cast iron, the former for a variety of purposes including trim, plumbing, and
kitchen fixtures, and the latter almost entirely for plumbing fixtures. Most sheet
metal used for porcelain enameling is steel—low in carbon, manganese, and other
elements. Aluminum is also used for vitreous enamel.
Low-temperature softening glasses must be employed, especially with sheet metal,
to avoid the warping and distortion that would occur at high temperatures. To obtain
lower softening temperatures than would be attainable with high-silica glasses, boron
is commonly added. Fluorine may replace some of the oxygen, and lead may
also be added to produce easy-flowing brilliant enamels; but lead presents an occupational
health hazard.
Composition of the enamel is carefully controlled to provide a coefficient of
thermal expansion as near that of the base metal as possible. If the coefficient of
the enamel is greater than that of the metal, cracking and crazing are likely to
occur, but if the coefficient of the enamel is slightly less, it is lightly compressed
upon cooling, a desirable condition because glass is strong in compression.
To obtain good adhesion between enamel and metal, one of the so-called transition
elements used in glass formulation must be employed. Cobalt is favored.
Apparently, the transition elements promote growth of iron crystals from base metal
into the enamel, encourage formation of an adherent oxide coating on the iron,
which fuses to the enamel, or develop polar chemical bonds between metal and
Usually, white or colored opaque enamels are desired. Opacity is promoted by
mixing in, but not dissolving, finely divided materials possessing refractive indexes
widely different from the glass. Tin oxide, formerly widely used, has been largely
displaced by less expensive and more effective titanium and zirconium compounds.
Clay adds to opacity. Various oxides are included to impart color.
Most enameling consists of a ground coat and one or two cover coats fired on
at slightly lower temperatures; but one-coat enameling of somewhat inferior quality
can be accomplished by first treating the iron surface with soluble nickel salts.
The usual high-soda glasses used to obtain low-temperature softening enamels
are not highly acid-resistant and therefore stain readily and deeply when ironcontaining
water drips on them. Enamels highly resistant to severe staining conditions
must be considerably harder; i.e., have higher softening temperatures and
therefore require special techniques to avoid warping and distorting of the metal
Interiors of refrigerators are often made of porcelain-enameled steel sheets for
resistance to staining by spilled foods, whereas the exteriors are commonly bakedon
synthetic-resin finishes.
F. H. Norton, ‘‘Elements of Ceramics,’’ Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Cambridge,
W. D. Kingery, H. K. Bowen, and D. R. Uhlmann, ‘‘Introduction to Ceramics,’’
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.
G. S. Brady and H. R. Clauser, ‘‘Materials Handbook,’’ 13th ed., and J. H.
Callender, ‘‘Time-Saver Standards for Architectural Design Data,’’ McGraw-Hill
Publishing Company, New York.
Asphalt, because of its water-resistant qualities and good durability, is used for
many building applications to exclude water, provide a cushion against vibration
and expansion, and serve as pavement.
Dampproofing is generally only a mopped-on coating, whereas waterproofing usually
is a built-up coating of one or more plies. Bituminous systems used for dampproofing
and waterproofing may be hot applied or cold applied.
ASTM D449, ‘‘Asphalt Used in Dampproofing and Waterproofing,’’ specifies
three types of asphalt. Type I, a soft, adhesive, easy-flowing, self-healing bitumen,
is intended for use for underground construction, such as foundations, or where
similar moderate temperature conditions exist. The softening point of Type I may
range from 115 to 140F. Type II may be used above ground; for example, on
retaining walls or where temperatures will not exceed 122F. The softening point
of Type II may range from 145 to 170F.
D449 asphalts are suitable for use with an asphalt primer meeting the requirements
of ASTM D41. In construction of membrane waterproofing systems with
these asphalts, felts should conform to ASTM D226 or D250, fabrics to D173,
D1327, or D1668, and asphalt-impregnated glass mats to D2178.
For cold-applied systems, asphalt emulsions or cut-back asphalt mastic reinforced
with glass fabric may be used. ASTM D1187 specifies asphalt-based emulsions
for protective coatings for metal. D491 contains requirements for asphalt
mastic for use in waterproofing building floors but not intended as pavement. The
mastic is a mixture of asphalt cement, mineral filler, and mineral aggregate. D1668
covers glass fabric for roofing and waterproofing membranes.
Hot asphalt or coal tar are used for conventional built-up roofing. The bitumens are
heated to a high enough temperature to fuse with saturant bitumen in roofing felts,
thus welding the plies together. The optimum temperature at the point of application
for achieving complete fusion, optimum mopping properties, and the desirable interply
mopping weight is called the equiviscous temperature (EVT). Information
on EVT should be obtained from the manufacturer.
4.81.1 Built-Up Roofing
For constructing built-up roofing, four grades of asphalt are recognized (ASTM
D312): Type I, for inclines up to 1?2 in / ft; Type II, for inclines up to 11?2 in / ft;
Type III, for inclines up to 3 in/ ft; and Type IV, suited for inclines up to 6 in/ ft,
generally in areas with relatively high year-round temperatures. Types I through IV
may be either smooth or surfaced with slag or gravel. Softening ranges are 135 to
150F, 158 to 176F, 180 to 200F and 210 to 225F, respectively. Heating of the
asphalts should not exceed the flash point, the finished blowing temperature, or
475F for Type I, 500F for Type II, 525F for Types III and IV.
Coal-tar pitches for roofing, dampproofing, and waterproofing are of three types
(ASTM D450): Type I, for built-up roofing systems; Type II, for dampproofing and
membranes waterproofing systems; Type III, for built-up roofing, but containing
less volatiles than Type I. Softening ranges are 126 to 140F, 106 to 126F, and
133 to 147F, respectively.
4.81.2 Roofing Felts
For built-up waterproofing and roofing, types of membranes employed include felt
(ASTM D226, D227) and cotton fabrics (ASTM D173). Felts are felted sheets of
inorganic or organic fibers saturated with asphalt or coal tar conforming to ASTM
D312 and D450.
Standard asphalt felts weigh 15, 20, or 30 lb per square (100 ft2), and standard
coal-tar felts weigh 13 lb per square.
Cotton fabrics are open-weave materials weighing at least 31?2 oz/yd2 before
saturation, with thread counts of 24 to 32 per inch. The saturants are either asphalts
or coal tars. The saturated fabrics must weigh at least 10 oz/yd2.
4.81.3 Roll Roofing
Asphalt roll roofing, shingles, and siding consist basically of roofing felt, first uniformly
impregnated with hot asphaltic saturant and then coated on each side with
at least one layer of a hot asphaltic coating and compounded with a water-insoluble
mineral filler. The bottom or reverse side, in each instance, is covered with some
suitable material, like powdered mica, to prevent sticking in the package or roll.
Granule-surfaced roll roofing (ASTM D249) is covered uniformly on the weather
side with crushed mineral granules, such as slate. Minimum weight of the finished
roofing should be 81 to 83 lb per square (100 ft2), and the granular coating should
weigh at least 18.5 lb per square.
Roll roofing (ASTM 224), surfaced with powdered talc or mica, is made in two
grades, 39.8 and 54.6 lb per square, of which at least 18 lb must be the surfacing
There are three standard types: Type I, uniform or nonuniform thickness; Type II,
thick butt; and Type III, uniform or nonuniform thickness (ASTM D225). Average
weights must be 95 lb per square (100 ft2). For types I and III, the weather-side
coating must weigh 23.0 lb per square; for Type II, 30.0 lb per square. The material
in these shingles is similar to that in granule-surfaced roll roofing.
Asphalt mastics used for waterproofing floors and similar structures, but not intended
for pavement, consist of mixtures of asphalt cement, mineral filler, and
mineral aggregate, which can be heated at about 400F to a sufficiently soft condition
to be poured and troweled into place. The raw ingredients may be mixed on
the job or may be premixed, formed into cakes, and merely heated on the job
(ASTM D491).
Bituminous grouts are suitable for waterproofing above or below ground level
as protective coatings. They also can be used for membrane waterproofing or for
bedding and filling the joints of brickwork. Either asphaltic or coal-tar pitch materials
of dampproofing and waterproofing grade are used, together with mineral
aggregates as coarse as sand.
Asphalts for pavement (ASTM D946) contain petroleum asphalt cement, derived
by the distillation of asphaltic petroleum. Various grades are designated as 40–50,
60–70, 85–100, 120–150, and 200–300, depending upon the depth of penetration
of a standard needle in a standard test (ASTM D5).
Emulsions range from low to high viscosity and quick- to slow-setting (ASTM
‘‘The NRCA Roofing and Waterproofing Manual,’’ National Roofing Contractors
Association, Rosemont, IL 60018-5607.
Calking compounds, sealants, and gaskets are employed to seal the points of contact
between similar and dissimilar building materials that cannot otherwise be made
completely tight. Such points include glazing, the joints between windows and
walls, the many joints occurring in the increasing use of panelized construction,
the copings of parapets, and similar spots.
The requirements of a good joint seal are: (1) good adhesion to or tight contact
with the surrounding materials, (2) good cohesive strength, (3) elasticity to allow
for compression and extension as surrounding materials retract or approach each
other because of changes in moisture content or temperature, (4) good durability
or the ability to maintain their properties over a long-period of time without marked
deterioration, and (5) no staining of surrounding materials such as stone.
These sealers are used mostly with traditional materials such as masonry, with
relatively small windows, and at other points where motion of building components
is relatively small. They are typically composed of elastomeric polymers or bodied
linseed or soy oil, or both, combined with calcium carbonate (ground marble or
limestone), tinting pigments, a gelling agent, drier, and mineral spirits (thinners).
Two types of commonly employed, gun grade and knife grade. Gun grades are
viscous semiliquids suitable for application by hand or air-operated calking guns.
Knife grades are stiffer and are applied by knife, spatula, or mason’s pointing tools.
Because calking compounds are based on drying oils that eventually harden in
contact with the air, the best joints are generally thick and deep, with a relatively
small portion exposed to the air. The exposed surface is expected to form a tough
protective skin for the soft mass underneath, which in turn provides the cohesiveness,
adhesiveness, and elasticity required. Thin shallow beads cannot be expected
to have the durability of thick joints with small exposed surface areas.
For joints and other points where large movements of building components are
expected, elastomeric materials may be used as sealants. Whereas traditional calking
compounds should not be used where movements of more than 5% of joint
width or at most 10% are expected, larger movements, typically 10 to 25%, can be
accommodated by the rubbery sealants.
Some elastomeric sealants consist of two components, mixed just before application.
Polymerization occurs, leading to conversion of the viscous material to a
rubbery consistency. The working time or pot life before this occurs varies, depending
upon formulation and temperature, from a fraction of an hour to several
hours or a day. Other formulations are single-component and require no mixing.
They harden upon exposure to moisture in the air.
Various curing agents, accelerators, plasticizers, fillers, thickeners, and other
agents may be added, depending on the basic material and the end-use requirements.
Among the polymeric materials employed are:
Acrylics: solvent-release type, water-release type, latex
Butyls: skinning and nonskinning
Polysulfide: two-part and one-part
Silicone: one-part
Polyurethane: two-part and one-part
Chlorosulfonated polyethylene: one-part
Polyurethane-polyepoxide: two-part
Characteristics of the preceding formulations vary. Hence, the proper choice of
materials depends upon the application. A sealant with the appropriate hardness,
extensibility, useful temperature ranges, expected life, dirt pickup, staining, colorability,
rate of cure to tack-free condition, toxicity, resistance to ultraviolet light,
and other attributes should be chosen for the specific end use.
In many joints, such as those between building panels, it is necessary to provide
backup; that is, a foundation against which the compound can be applied. This
serves to limit the thickness of the joint, to provide the proper ratio of thickness to
width, and to force the compound into intimate contact with the substrate, thereby
promoting adhesion. For the purpose, any of various compressible materials, such
as polyethylene or polyurethane rope, or oakum, may be employed.
To promote adhesion to the substrate, various primers may be needed. (To prevent
adhesion of the compound to parts of the substrate where adhesion is not
wanted, any of various liquid and tape bond-breakers may be employed.) Generally,
good adhesion requires dry, clean surfaces free of grease and other deleterious
Joint seals described in Arts. 4.86 and 4.87 are formed in place; that is, soft masses
are put into the joints and conform to their geometry. A gasket, on the other hand,
is preformed and placed into a joint whose geometry must conform with the gasket
in such a way as to seal the joint by compression of the gasket. Gaskets, however,
are cured under shop-controlled conditions, whereas sealants cure under variable
and not always favorable field conditions.
Rubbery materials most commonly employed for gaskets are cellular or noncellular
(dense) neoprene, EPDM (ethylene-propylene polymers and terpolymers),
and polyvinylchloride polymers.
Gaskets are generally compression types or lock-strip (zipper) types. The former
are forced into the joint and remain tight by being kept under compression. With
lock-strip gaskets, a groove in the gasket permits a lip to be opened and admit glass
or other panel, after which a strip is forced into the groove, tightening the gasket
in place. If the strip is separable from the gasket, its composition is often harder
than the gasket itself.
For setting large sheets of glass and similar units, setting or supporting spacer
blocks of rubber are often combined with gaskets of materials such as vulcanized
synthetic rubber and are finally sealed with the elastomeric rubber-based sealants
or glazing compounds.
‘‘Building Seals and Sealants,’’ STP 606, ASTM, Philadelphia, Pa.
J. P. Cook, ‘‘Construction Sealants and Adhesives,’’ John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,
New York.
A. Damusis, ‘‘Sealants,’’ Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York.
Protective and decorative coatings generally employed in building are the following:
Oil Paint. Drying-oil vehicles or binders plus opaque and extender pigments.
Water Paint. Pigments plus vehicles based on water, casein, protein, oil emulsions,
and rubber or resin latexes, separately or in combination.
Calcimine. Water and glue, with or without casein, plus powdered calcium carbonate
and any desired colored pigments.
Varnish. Transparent combination of drying oil and natural or synthetic resins.
Enamel. Varnish vehicle plus pigments.
Lacquer. Synthetic-resin film former, usually nitrocellulose, plus plasticizers, volatile
solvents, and other resins.
Shellac. Exudations of the lac insect, dissolved in alcohol.
Japan. Solutions of metallic salts in drying oils, or varnishes containing asphalt
and opaque pigments.
Aluminum Paint. Fine metallic aluminum flakes suspended in drying oil plus
resin, or in nitrocellulose.
Following are descriptions of the most commonly used vehicles and binders for
Natural Drying Oils. Drying oils harden by absorbing oxygen. The most important
natural oils are linseed from flax seed (for many years the standard paint
vehicle), tung oil (faster drying, good compatibility with varnish), oiticica oil (similar
to tung), safflower (best nonyellowing oil), soybean (flexible films), dehydrated
caster (good adhesion, fast drying), and fish oil (considered inferior but cheap).
Alkyds. These, the most widely used paint vehicles, are synthetic resins that are
modified with various vegetable oils to produce clear resins that are harder than
natural oils. Properties of the film depend on relative proportions of oil and resin.
The film is both air drying and heat hardening.
Latexes. Latex paints are based on emulsions of various polymers including acrylics,
polyvinyl acetate, styrene-butadiene, polyvinyl chloride, and rubber. They are
easy to apply, dry quickly, have no solvent odor, and application tools are easily
cleaned with soap and water. The films adhere well to various surfaces, have good
color retention, and have varying degrees of flexibility.
Epoxy and Epoxy-Polyester. Catalyzed two-part, all-epoxy coatings are formed
by addition of a catalyst to the liquid epoxy just before application (pot life a few
minutes to a day). Films are as hard as many baked-on coatings and are resistant
to solvents and traffic. Oil-modified epoxy esters, in contrast, harden on oxidation
without a catalyst. They are less hard and chemically resistant than catalyzed epoxies,
but dry fast and are easily applied. Epoxy-polyesters mixed just before use
produce smooth finishes suitable for many interior surfaces and are chemically
Polyurethanes. These produce especially abrasion-treatment, fast-hardening coatings.
Two-component formulations, of variable pot life, are mixed just before use.
One-component formulations cure by evaporation and reaction with moisture in air
(30 to 90% relative humidity). Oils and alkyds may be added.
Vinyl Solutions. Solutions of polyvinyl chloride and vinyl esters dry rapidly and
are built up by successive, sprayed thin coatings. They characteristically have low
gloss, high flexibility, and inertness to water but are sensitive to some solvents.
Adhesion may be a problem. Weather resistance is excellent.
Dryers. These are catalysts that hasten the hardening of drying oils. Most dryers
are salts of heavy metals, especially cobalt, manganese, and lead, to which salts of
zinc and calcium may be added. Iron salts, usable only in dark coatings, accelerate
hardening at high temperatures. Dryers are normally added to paints to hasten
hardening, but they must not be used too liberally or they cause rapid deterioration
of the oil by overoxidation.
Thinners. These are volatile constituents added to coatings to promote their
spreading qualities by reducing viscosity. They should not react with the other
constituents and should evaporate completely. Commonly used thinners are turpentine
and mineral spirits, i.e., derivatives of petroleum and coal tar.
Pigments may be classified as white and colored, or as opaque and extender pigments.
The hiding power of pigments depends on the difference in index of refraction
of the pigment and the surrounding medium—usually the vehicle of a protective
coating. In opaque pigments, these indexes are markedly different from those
of the vehicles (oil or other); in extender pigments, they are nearly the same. The
comparative hiding efficiencies of various pigments must be evaluated on the basis
of hiding power per pound and cost per pound.
Principal white pigments, in descending order of relative hiding power per
pound, are approximately as follows: rutile titanium dioxide, anatase titanium dioxide,
zinc sulfide, titanium-calcium, titanium-barium, zinc sulfide-barium, titanated
lithopone, lithopone, antimony oxide, zinc oxide.
Zinc oxide is widely used by itself or in combination with other pigments. Its
color is unaffected by many industrial and chemical atmospheres. It imparts gloss
and reduces chalking but tends to crack and alligator instead.
Zinc sulfide is a highly opaque pigment widely used in combination with other
Titanium dioxide and extended titanium pigments have high opacity and generally
excellent properties. Various forms of the pigments have different properties.
For example, anatase titanium dioxide promotes chalking, whereas rutile inhibits
Colored pigments for building use are largely inorganic materials, especially
for outdoor use, where the brilliant but fugitive organic pigments soon fade. The
principal inorganic colored pigments are:
Metallic. Aluminum flake or ground particle, copper bronze, gold leaf, zinc dust
Black. Carbon black, lampblack, graphite, vegetable black, and animal blacks
Earth colors. Yellow ocher, raw and burnt umber, raw and burnt sienna; reds
and maroons
Blue. Ultramarine, iron ferrocyanide (Prussian, Chinese, Milori)
Brown. Mixed ferrous and ferric oxide
Green. Chromium oxide, hydrated chromium oxide, chrome greens
Orange. Molybdated chrome orange
Red. Iron oxide, cadmium red, vermilion
Yellow. Zinc chromate, cadmium yellows, hydrated iron oxide
Extender pigments are added to extend the opaque pigments, increase durability,
provide better spreading characteristics, and reduce cost. The principal extender
pigments are silica, china clay, talc, mica, barium sulfate, calcium sulfate, calcium
carbonate, and such materials as magnesium oxide, magnesium carbonate, barium
carbonate, and others used for specific purposes.
Natural and synthetic resins are used in a large variety of air-drying and baked
finishes. The natural resins include both fossil resins, which are harder and usually
superior in quality, and recent resins tapped from a variety of resin-exuding trees.
The most important fossil resins are amber (semiprecious jewelry), Kauri, Congo,
Boea Manila, and Pontianak. Recent resins include Damar, East India, Batu, Manila,
and rosin. Shellac, the product of the lac insect, may be considered to be in this
class of resins.
The synthetic resins, in addition to the ones discussed in Art. 4.90, are used for
applications requiring maximum durability. Among them are phenol formaldehyde,
melamine formaldehyde, urea formaldehyde, silicones, fluorocarbons, and cellulose
Phenolics in varnishes are used for outdoor and other severe applications on
wood and metals. They are especially durable when baked.
Melamine and urea find their way into a large variety of industrial finishes, such
as automobile and refrigerator finishes.
Silicones are used when higher temperatures are encountered that can be borne
by the other finishes.
Fluorocarbons are costly but provide high-performance coatings, industrial siding,
and curtain walls with excellent gloss retention, stain resistance, and weather
resistance. Cellulose acetate-butyrate provides shop-applied, high-gloss finishes.
A. Banov, ‘‘Paints and Coatings Handbook.’’ Structures Publishing Company, Farmington,
R. M. Burns and W. Bradley, ‘‘Protective Coatings for Metals,’’ Van Nostrand
Reinhold Company, New York.
C. R. Martens, ‘‘The Technology of Paints, Varnishes and Lacquers,’’ Van Nostrand
Reinhold Company, New York.
W. C. Golton, ‘‘Analysis of Paints and Related Materials: Current Techniques
for Solving Coatings Problems,’’ STP 1119, ASTM, Philadelphia, Pa.
Akbar Tamboli, Michael Xing, Mohsin Ahmed
Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers, Newark, New Jersey
Structural modeling is an essential and important tool in structural engineering.
Over the past 200 years, many of the most significant contributions to the understanding
of the structures have been made by Scientist Engineers while working on
mathematical models, which were used for real structures.
Application of mathematical model of any sort to any real structural system
must be idealized in some fashion; that is, an analytical model must be developed.
There has never been an analytical model, which is a precise representation of the
physical system. While the performance of the structure is the result of natural
effects, the development and thus the performance of the model is entirely under
the control of the analyst. The validity of the results obtained from applying mathematical
theory to the study of the model therefore rests on the accuracy of the
model. While this is true, it does not mean that all analytical models must be
elaborate, conceptually sophisticated devices. In some cases very simple models
give surprisingly accurate results. While in some other cases they may yield answers,
which deviate markedly from the true physical behavior of the model, yet
be completely satisfactory for the problem at hand.
Structure design is the application of structural theory to ensure that buildings
and other structures are built to support all loads and resist all constraining forces
that may be reasonably expected to be imposed on them during their expected
service life, without hazard to occupants or users and preferably without dangerous
deformations, excessive sideways (drift), or annoying vibrations. In addition, good
design requires that this objective be achieved economically.
Provision should be made in application of structural theory to design for abnormal
as well as normal service conditions. Abnormal conditions may arise as a
result of accidents, fire, explosions, tornadoes, severer-than-anticipated earthquakes,
floods, and inadvertent or even deliberate overloading of building components. Under
such conditions, parts of a building may be damaged. The structural system,
however, should be so designed that the damage will be limited in extent and
undamaged portions of the building will remain stable. For the purpose, structural
elements should be proportioned and arranged to form a stable system under normal
service conditions. In addition, the system should have sufficient continuity and
ductility, or energy-absorption capacity, so that if any small portion of it should
sustain damage, other parts will transfer loads (at least until repairs can be made)
to remaining structural components capable of transmitting the loads to the ground.
(‘‘Steel Design Handbook, LRFD Method’’, Akbar R. Tamboli Ed., McGraw-
Hill 1997. ‘‘Design Methods for Reducing the Risk of Progressive Collapse in
Buildings’’. NBS Buildings Science Series 98, National Institute of Standards and
Technology, 1997. ‘‘Handbook of Structural Steel Connection Design and Details’’,
Akbar R. Tamboli Ed., McGraw-Hill 1999’’).
Loads are the external forces acting on a structure. Stresses are the internal forces
that resist them. Depending on that manner in which the loads are applied, they
tend to deform the structure and its components—tensile forces tend to stretch,
compressive forces to squeeze together, torsional forces to twist, and shearing forces
to slide parts of the structure past each other.
5.1.1 Types of Loads
External loads on a structure may be classified in several different ways. In one
classification, they may be considered as static or dynamic.
Static loads are forces that are applied slowly and then remain nearly constant.
One example is the weight, or dead load, of a floor or roof system.
Dynamic loads vary with time. They include repeated and impact loads.
Repeated loads are forces that are applied a number of times, causing a variation
in the magnitude, and sometimes also in the sense, of the internal forces. A good
example is an off-balance motor.
Impact loads are forces that require a structure or its components to absorb
energy in a short interval of time. An example is the dropping of a heavy weight
on a floor slab, or the shock wave from an explosion striking the walls and roof of
a building.
External forces may also be classified as distributed and concentrated.
Uniformly distributed loads are forces that are, or for practical purposes may
be considered, constant over a surface area of the supporting member. Dead weight
of a rolled-steel I beam is a good example.
Concentrated loads are forces that have such a small contact area as to be
negligible compared with the entire surface area of the supporting member. A beam
supported on a girder, for example, may be considered, for all practical purposes,
a concentrated load on the girder.
Another common classification for external forces labels them axial, eccentric,
and torsional.
An axial load is a force whose resultant passes through the centroid of a section
under consideration and is perpendicular to the plane of the section.
An eccentric load is a force perpendicular to the plane of the section under
consideration but not passing through the centroid of the section, thus bending the
supporting member (see Arts. 5.4.2, 5.5.17, and 5.5.19).
Torsional loads are forces that are offset from the shear center of the section
under consideration and are inclined to or in the plane of the section, thus twisting
the supporting member (see Arts. 5.4.2 and 5.5.19).
Also, building codes classify loads in accordance with the nature of the source.
For example:
Dead loads include materials, equipment, constructions, or other elements of
weight supported in, on, or by a building, including its own weight, that are intended
to remain permanently in place.
Live loads include all occupants, materials, equipment, constructions, or other
elements of weight supported in, on, or by a building and that will or are likely to
be moved or relocated during the expected life of the building.
Impact loads are a fraction of the live loads used to account for additional
stresses and deflections resulting from movement of the live loads.
Wind loads are maximum forces that may be applied to a building by wind in
a mean recurrence interval, or a set of forces that will produce equivalent stresses.
Snow loads are maximum forces that may be applied by snow accumulation in
a mean recurrence interval.
Seismic loads are forces that produce maximum stresses or deformations in a
building during an earthquake.
5.1.2 Service Loads
In designing structural members, designers should use whichever is larger of the
1. Loadings specified in the local or state building code.
2. Probable maximum loads, based not only on current site conditions and original
usage of proposed building spaces but also on possible future events. Loads that
are of uncertain magnitude and that may be treated as statistical variables should
be selected in accordance with a specific probability that the chosen magnitudes
will not be exceeded during the life of the building or in accordance with the
corresponding mean recurrence interval. The mean recurrence interval generally
used for ordinary permanent buildings is 50 years. The interval, however, may
be set at 25 years for structures with no occupants or offering negligible risk to
life, or at 100 years for permanent buildings with a high degree of sensitivity
to the loads and an unusually high degree of hazard to life and property in case
of failure.
In the absence of a local or state building code, designers can be guided by
loads specified in a national model building code or by the following data:
Loads applied to structural members may consist of the following, alone or in
combination: dead, live, impact, earth pressure, hydrostatic pressure, snow, ice, rain,
wind, or earthquake loads; constraining forces, such as those resulting from restriction
of thermal, shrinkage, or moisture-change movements; or forces caused by
displacements or deformations of members, such as those caused by creep, plastic
flow, differential settlement, or sideways (drift).
Dead Loads. Actual weights of materials and installed equipment should be used.
See Tables 5.1 and 5.2c.
5.4 TABLE 5.1 Minimum Design Dead Loads
Clay brick
High-absorption, per 4-in wythe
Medium-absorption, per 4-in wythe
Low-absorption, per 4-in wythe
Sand-lime brick, per 4-in wythe
Concrete brick
4-in, with heavy aggregate
4-in, with light aggregate
Concrete block, hollow
8-in, with heavy aggregate
Floor Finishes lb/ft2
Asphalt block, 2-in 24
Cement, 1-in 12
Ceramic or quarry tile, 1-in 12
Hardwood flooring, 7?8-in 4
Plywood subflooring, 1?2-in 1.5
Resilient flooring, such as asphalt tile and linoleum 2
Slate, 1-in 15
Softwood subflooring, per in of thickness 3
Terrazzo, 1-in 13
Wood block, 3-in 4
8-in, with light aggregate
12-in, with heavy aggregate
12-in, with light aggregate
Clay tile, loadbearing
Clay tile, nonloadbearing
Furring tile
Wood joists, double wood floor, joist size
2  6
2  8
2  10
2  12
3  6
3  8
3  10
3  12
3  14
12-in spacing
16-in spacing
Glass block, 4-in
Gypsum block, hollow
Concrete Slabs lb/ft2
Stone aggregate, reinforced, per in of thickness 12.5
Slag, reinforced, per in of thickness 11.5
Lightweight aggregate, reinforced, per in of thickness 6 to 10
TABLE 5.1 Minimum Design Dead Loads (Continued )
Cast-stone masonry
Concrete, stone aggregate, reinforced
Limestone, crystalline
Limestone, oo?litic
Roof and Wall Coverings
Clay tile shingles
Asphalt shingles
3-ply ready roofing
4-ply felt and gravel
5-ply felt and gravel
Copper or tin
Corrugated steel
Sheathing (gypsum), 1?2-in
Sheathing (wood), per in thickness
Slate, 1?4-in
Wood shingles
Five-ply membrane
Plaster (on tile or concrete)
Suspended metal lath and gypsum plaster
Suspended metal lath and cement plaster
Suspended steel channel supports
Gypsumboard per 1?4-in thickness
9 to 14
Floor Fill lb/ft2
Cinders, no cement, per in of thickness 5
Cinders, with cement, per in of thickness 9
Sand, per in of thickness 8
Partitions lb/ft2
Plaster on masonry
Gypsum, with sand, per in of thickness 8.5
Gypsum, with lightweight aggregate, per in 4
Cement, with sand, per in of thickness 10
Cement, with lightweight aggregate, per in 5
Plaster, 2-in solid 20
Metal studs
Plastered two sides 18
Gypsumboard each side 6
Wood studs, 2  4-in
Unplastered 3
Plastered one side 11
Plastered two sides 19
Gypsumboard each side 7
Glass lb/ft2
Single-strength 1.2
Double-strength 1.6
Plate, 1?8-in 1.6
Insulation lb/ft2
Cork, per in of thickness 1.0
Foamed glass, per in of thickness 0.8
Glass-fiber bats, per in of thickness 0.06
Polystyrene, per in of thickness 0.2
Urethane 0.17
Vermiculite, loose fill, per in of thickness 0.5
TABLE 5.2 Minimum Design Live Loads
a. Uniformly distributed live loads, lb / ft2, impact includeda
Occupancy or use Load Occupancy or use Load
Assembly spaces:
Auditoriumsb with fixed seats
Auditoriumsb with movable seats
Ballrooms and dance halls
Bowling alleys, poolrooms,
similar recreational areas
Conference and card rooms
Dining rooms, restaurants
Drill rooms
Grandstand and reviewing-stand
seating areas
Lobbies, first-floor
Roof gardens, terraces
Skating rinks
Stadium and arenas bleachers
Balconies (exterior)
Up to 100 ft2 on one- and twofamily
Bowling alleys, alleys only
Broadcasting studios
Areas of public assembly, first-
floor lobbies
Other floors same as occupancy
served, except as indicated
elsewhere in this table
Fire escapes:
Single-family dwellings only
Passenger cars
Trucks and buses
Operating rooms, laboratories,
service areas
Patients’ rooms, wards,
personnel areas
Corridors above first floor
Kitchens other than domestic
Laboratories, scientific
Corridors above first floor
Reading rooms
Stack rooms, books and
shelving at 65 lb / ft3, but at
Manufacturing and repair areas:
Office buildings:
Corridors above first floor
Penal institutions:
Cell blocks
Dwellings, multifamily:
Guest rooms, private cooridors
Public corridors
Housing, one- and two-family:
First floor
Storage attics
Uninhabitable attics
Upper floors, habitable attics
Corridors above first floor
First floor corridors
Shops with light equipment
Stairs and exitways
Handrails, vertical and horizontal
thrust, lb / lin ft
Storage warehouse:
Basement and first floor
Upper floors
Telephone equipment rooms
Aisles, corridors, lobbies
Dressing rooms
Projection rooms
Stage floors
Toilet areas
a See Eqs. (5.1) and (5.2).
b Including churches, schools, theaters, courthouses, and lecture halls.
c Use American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials highway lane loadings.
TABLE 5.2 Minimum Design Live Loads (Continued)
b. Concentrated live loadsd
Location Load, lb
Elevator machine room grating (on 4-in2 area) 300
Finish, light floor-plate construction (on 1-in2 area) 200
Passenger cars:
Manual parking (on 20-in2 area) 2,000
Mechanical parking (no slab), per wheel 1,500
Trucks, buses (on 20-in2 area), per wheel 16,000
Light 2,000
Heavy 3,000
Office floors (on area 2.5 ft square) 2,000
Scuttles, skylight ribs, and accessible ceilings (on area 2.5 ft square) 200
Sidewalks (on area 2.5 ft square) 8,000
Stair treads (on 4-in2 area at center of tread) 300
Libraries (on area 2.5 ft square) 1,500
Hospitals (on area 2.5 ft square) 1,000
Schools (on area 2.5 ft square) 1,000
Stores (on area 2.5 ft square) 3,000
d Use instead of uniformly distributed live load, except for roof trusses, if concentrated loads produce
greater stresses or deflections. Add impact factor for machinery and moving loads: 100% for elevators, 20%
for light machines, 50% for reciprocating machines, 33% for floor or balcony hangers. For craneways, and
a vertical force equal to 25% of maximum wheel load; a lateral force equal to 10% of the weight of trolley
and lifted load, at the top of each rail; and a longitudinal force equal to 10% of maximum wheel loads,
acting at top of rail.
Live Loads. These may be concentrated or distributed loads and should be considered
placed on the building to produce maximum effects on the structural member
being designed. Minimum live loads to be used in building design are listed in
Table 5.2. These include an allowance for impact, except as noted in the footnote
of Table 5.2b.
Partitions generally are considered to be live loads, because they may be installed
at any time, almost anywhere, to subdivide interior spaces, or may be shifted from
original places to other places in the future. Consequently, unless a floor is designed
for a large live load, for example, 80 lb / ft2, the weight of partitions should be
added to other live loads, whether or not partitions are shown on the working
drawings for building construction.
Because of the low probability that a large floor area contributing load to a
specific structural member will be completely loaded with maximum design live
loads, building codes generally permit these loads to be reduced for certain types
of occupancy. Usually, however, codes do not permit any reduction for places of
public assembly, dwellings, garages for trucks and buses, or one-way slabs. For
areas with a minimum required live load exceeding 100 lb / ft2 and for passengercar
garages, live loads on columns supporting more than one floor may be decreased
20%. Except for the preceding cases, a reduced live load L, lb/ft2, may be computed
TABLE 5.2 Minimum Design Live Loads (Continued)
c. Minimum design loads for materials
lb/ft3 Material
Aluminum, cast
Bituminous products:
Petroleum, gasoline
Brass, cast
Bronze, 8 to 14% tin
Cement, portland, loose
Cement, portland, set
Cinders, dry, in bulk
Coal, anthracite, piled
Coal, bituminous or lignite, piled
Coal, peat, dry, piled
Earth (not submerged):
Clay, dry
Clay, damp
Clay and gravel, dry
Silt, moist, loose
Silt, moist, packed
Sand and gravel, dry, loose
Sand and gravel, dry, packed
Sand and gravel, wet
Gold, solid
Gravel, dry
Gypspum, loose
Iron, cast
Lime, hydrated, loose
Lime, hydrated, compacted
Magnesium alloys
Mortar, hardened;
Riprap (not submerged):
Sand, clean and dry
Sand, river, dry
Stone, ashlar:
Basalt, granite, gneiss
Limestone, marble, quartz
Shale, slate
Tin, cast
Water, fresh
Water, sea
L  0.25  L (5.1)  o AI
where Lo  unreduced live load, lb / ft2 (see Table 5.1a)
AI  influence area, or floor area over which the influence surface for structural
effects is significantly different from zero
 area of four surrounding bays for an interior column, plus similar area
from supported floors above, if any
 area of two adjoining bays for an interior girder or for an edge column,
plus similar areas from supported floors above, if any
 area of one bay for an edge girder or for a corner column, plus similar
areas from supported floors above, if any
The reduced live load L, however, should not be less than 0.5Lo for members
supporting one floor or 0.4Lo for members supporting two or ore floors.
Roofs used for promenades should be designed for a minimum life load of 60
lb/ft2, and those used for gardens or assembly, for 100 lb / ft2. Ordinary roofs should
be designed for a minimum live load L, lb/ft2, computed from
L  20R R  12 (5.2) 1 2
where R1  1.2  0.001At but not less than 0.6 or more than 1.0
At  tributary area, ft2, for structural member being designed
R2  1.2  0.05r but not less than 0.6 or more than 1.0
r  rise of roof in 12 in for a pitched roof or 32 times the ratio of rise to
span for an arch or dome
This minimum live load need not be combined with snow load for design of a roof
but should be designed for the larger of the two.
Subgrade Pressures. Walls below grade should be designed for lateral soil pressures
and the hydrostatic pressure of subgrade water, plus the load from surcharges
at ground level. Design pressures should take into account the reduced weight of
soil because of buoyancy when water is present. In design of floors at or below
grade, uplift due to hydrostatic pressures on the underside should be considered.
Wind Loads. Horizontal pressures produced by wind are assumed to act normal
to the faces of buildings for design purposes and may be directed toward the interior
of the buildings or outward (Arts. 3.2.1 and 3.2.2). These forces are called velocity
pressures because they are primarily a function of the velocity of the wind striking
the buildings. Building codes usually permit wind pressures to be either calculated
or determined by tests on models of buildings and terrain if the tests meet specified
requirements (see Art. 3.2.2). Codes also specify procedures for calculating wind
loads, such as the following:
Velocity pressures due to wind to be used in building design vary with type of
terrain, distance above ground level, importance of building, likelihood of hurricanes,
and basic wind speed recorded near the building site. The wind pressures
are assumed to act normal to the building facades.
The basic wind speed used in design is the fastest-mile wind speed recorded at
a height of 10 m (32.8 ft) above open, level terrain with a 50-year mean recurrence
Unusual wind conditions often occur over rough terrain and around ocean promontories.
Basic wind speeds applicable to such regions should be selected with the
aid of meteorologists and the application of extreme-value statistical analysis to
anemometer readings taken at or near the site of the proposed building. Generally,
however, minimum basic wind velocities are specified in local building codes and
in national model building codes but should be used with discretion, because actual
velocities at a specific sites and on a specific building may be significantly larger.
In the absence of code specifications and reliable data, basic wind speed at a height
of 10 m above grade may be approximated for preliminary design from the following:
Coastal areas, northwestern and southeastern
United States and mountainous area 110 mph
Northern and central United States 90 mph
Other parts of the contiguous states 80 mph
For design purposes, wind pressures should be determined in accordance with
the degree to which terrain surrounding the proposed building exposes it to the
wind. Exposures may be classified as follows:
Exposure A applies to centers of large cities, where for at least one-half mile
upwind from the building the majority of structures are over 70 ft high and lower
buildings extend at least one more mile upwind.
Exposure B applies to wooded or suburban terrain or to urban areas with closely
spaced buildings mostly less than 70 ft high, where such conditions prevail upwind
for a distance from the building of at least 1500 ft or 10 times the building height.
Exposure C exists for flat, open country or exposed terrain with obstructions
less than 30 ft high.
Exposure D applies to flat unobstructed areas exposed to wind blowing over a
large expanse of water with a shoreline at a distance from the building or not more
than 1500 ft or 10 times the building height.
For design purposes also, the following formulas may be used to determine, for
heights z (in feet) greater than 15 ft above ground, a pressure coefficient K for
converting wind speeds to pressures.
For Exposure A, for heights up to 1500 ft above ground level,
2 / 3 z
K  0.000517 (5.3)   32.8
For z less than 15 ft, K  0.00031.
For Exposure B, for heights up to 1200 ft above ground level,
4 / 9 z
K  0.00133 (5.4)   32.8
For z less than 15 ft, K  0.00095.
For Exposure C, for heights up to 900 ft above ground level,
2 / 7 z
K  0.00256 (5.5)   32.8
For z less than 15 ft, K  0.0020.
For Exposure D, for heights up to 700 ft above ground level,
1 / 5 z
K  0.00357 (5.6)   32.8
For z less than 15 ft, K  0.0031.
For ordinary buildings not subject to hurricanes, the velocity pressure qz, psf, at
height z may be calculated from
2 q  KV (5.7) z
where V  basic wind speed, mi/hr, but not less than 70 mi/hr.
For important buildings, such as hospitals and communication buildings, for
buildings sensitive to wind, such as slender skyscrapers, and for buildings presenting
a high degree of hazard to life and property, such as auditoriums, qz computed
from Eq. (5.7) should be increased 15%.
To allow for hurricanes, qz should be increased 10% for ordinary buildings and
20% for important, wind-sensitive or high-risk buildings along coastlines. These
increases may be assumed to reduce uniformly with distance from the shore to zero
for ordinary buildings and 15% for the more important or sensitive buildings at
points 100 mi inland.
Wind pressures on low buildings are different at a specific elevation from those
on tall buildings. Hence, building codes may give different formulas for pressures
for the two types of construction. In any case, however, design wind pressure should
be a minimum of 10 psf.
Multistory Buildings. For design of the main wind-force resisting system of ordinary,
rectangular, multistory buildings, the design pressure at any height z, ft,
above ground may be computed from
p  G C q (5.8) zw o pw z
where pzw  design wind pressure, psf, on windward wall
Go  gust response factor
Cpw  external pressure coefficient
qz  velocity pressure computed from Eq. (5.7) and modified for hurricanes
and building importance, risks, and wind sensitivity
For windward walls, Cpw may be taken as 0.8. For side walls, Cpw may be assumed
as 0.7 (suction). For roofs and leeward walls, the design pressure at elevation z
p  G C q (5.9) zl o p h
where pzl  design pressure, psf, on roof or leeward wall
Cp  external pressure coefficient for roof or leeward wall
qh  velocity pressure at mean roof height h (see Fig. 3.1d)
In these equations, the gust response factor may be taken approximately as
G  0.65   1 (5.10) o n (h/30)
where D  0.16 for Exposure A, 0.10 for Exposure B, 0.07 for Exposure C, and
0.05 for Exposure D
n  1?3 for Exposure A, 2?9 for Exposure B, 1?7 for Exposure C, and 0.1 for
Exposure D
h  mean roof height, ft
For leeward walls, subjected to suction, Cp depends on the ratio of the depth d
to width b of the building and may be assumed as follows:
d/b  1 or less 2 4 or more
C  0.5 0.3 0.2 p
The negative sign indicates suction. Table 5.3 lists values of Cp for pressures on
Flexible Buildings. These are structures with a fundamental natural frequency
less than 1 Hz or with a ratio of height to least horizontal dimension (measured at
mid-height for buildings with tapers or setbacks) exceeding 5. For such buildings,
the main wind-force resisting system should be designed for a pressure on windward
walls at any height z, ft, above ground computed from
TABLE 5.3 External Pressure Coefficients Cp for Roofs*
Flat roofs 0.7
Wind parallel to ridge of sloping roof
h/b or h/d  2.5 0.7
h/b or h/.d  2.5 0.8
Wind perpendicular to ridge of sloping roof, at angle  with horizontal
Leeward side 0.7
Windward side
h/ s
Slope of roof , deg
10 20 30 40 50 60 or more
0.3 or less 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
0.5 0.9 0.75 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.01 
1.0 0.9 0.75 0.2 0.3 0.5
1.5 or more 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.35 0.21
* h  height of building, ft: d  depth, ft, of building in direction of wind: b  width, ft, of building
transverse to wind.
Based on data in ANSI A58.1-1981.
p  G C q (5.11) zw ? pw z
where G  gust response factor determined by analysis of the system taking into ?
account its dynamic properties. For leeward walls of flexible buildings,
p  G C q (5.12) zl ? p h
Requiring a knowledge of the fundamental frequency, structural damping characteristics,
and type of exposure of the building, the formula for G is complicated, ?
but computations may be simplified somewhat by use of tables and charts in the
ASCE 7-98 standard.
One-Story Buildings. For design of the main wind-force resisting system of rectangular,
one-story buildings, the design pressure at any height z, ft, above ground
may be computed for windward walls from
p  (G C  C )q (5.13) zw o p pI z
where Cp1  0.75 is the percentage of openings in one wall exceeds that of other
walls by 10% or more
 0.25 for all other cases
For roofs and leeward walls, the design pressure at elevation z is
p  G C q  C q (5.14) zl o p h p2 z
where Cp2  0.75 or 0.25 if the percentage of openings in one wall exceeds
that of other walls by 10% or more
 0.25 for all other cases
(Positive signs indicate pressures acting toward a wall; negative signs indicate pressures
acting away from the wall.)
In ASCE-7-95 and 98, the basic wind speed changed from fast mile wind to 3-
second gust wind speed in miles per hour. The wind speed values on the basic
wind speed map has changed. This change should not have any big impact on the
wind pressure. However, confusion is easily created because all the major building
codes including the IBC 2000 are still using old basic wind speed map based on
fast mile wind, and they repeatedly refer to ASCE-7 95 or 98. It is to be noted that
the reference from the building codes to the ASCE-7 are either adoption of ASCE-
7 as an alternative approach or for certain factors that are not related to the basic
wind pressure.
In ASCE-7-95 and 98, new factors such as wind directionality factor, topographic
factor were introduced, and gust effect factors were updated for rigid structures
as well as for flexible /dynamically sensitive structures. The calculation became
much more complicated than the approach in this book and the results should
be more accurate. We suggest that for complicated structures it is necessary to use
ASCE-7-98 method to check the results.
Snow, Ice, and Rain Loads. These, in effect, are nonuniformly distributed, vertical,
live loads that are imposed by nature and hence are generally uncertain in
magnitude and duration. They may occur alone or in combination. Design snow
loads preferably should be determined for the site of the proposed building with
the advice of meteorologists and application of extreme-value statistical analysis to
rain and snow records for the locality.
Rain loads depend on drainage and may become large enough to cause roof
failure when drainage is blocked (see Art. 3.4.3).
Ice loads are created when snow melts, then freezes, or when rain follows a
snow storm and freezes. These loads should be considered in determining the design
snow load. Snow loads may consist of pure snow or a mixture of snow, ice, and
Design snow loads on roofs may be assumed to be proportional to the maximum
ground snow load pg, lb/ft2, measured in the vicinity of the building with a 50-
year mean recurrence interval. Determination of the constant of proportionality
should take into account:
1. Appropriate mean recurrence interval.
2. Roof exposure. Wind may blow snow off the roof or onto the roof from nearby
higher roofs or create nonuniform distribution of snow.
3. Roof thermal conditions. Heat escaping through the roof melts the snow. If the
water can drain off, the snow load decreases. Also, for sloped roofs, if they are
warm, there is a tendency for snow to slide off. Insulated roofs, however, restrict
heat loss from the interior and therefore are subjected to larger snow loads.
4. Type of occupancy and uses of building. More conservative loading should be
used for public-assembly buildings, because of the risk of great loss of life and
injury to occupants if overloads should cause the roof to collapse.
5. Roof slope. The steeper a roof, the greater is the likelihood of good drainage
and that show will slide off.
In addition, roof design should take into account not only the design snow load
uniformly distributed over the whole roof area but also possible unbalanced loading.
Snow may be blown off part of the roof, and snow drifts may pile up over a portion
of the roof.
For flat roofs, in the absence of building-code requirements, the basic snow load
when the ground snow load pg is 20 lb / ft2 or less may be taken as
P  p (5.15) min g
When pg is between 20 and 25 lb / ft2, the minimum allowable design load is pmin 
20 lb / ft2, and when pg exceeds 25 lb / ft2, the basic snow load may be taken as
p  0.8p (5.16) ? g
where p?  design snow load, lb / ft2, for a flat roof that may have unheated space
underneath and that may be located where the wind cannot be relied
on to blow snow off, because of nearby higher structures or trees
pg  ground snow load, lb / ft2
For roofs sheltered from the wind, increase p? computed from Eq. (5.16) by 20%,
and for windy sites, reduce p? 10%. For a poorly insulated roof with heated space
underneath, decrease p? by 30%.
Increase p? 10% for large office buildings and public-assembly buildings, such
as auditoriums, schools, factories. Increase p? 20% for essential buildings, such as
hospitals, communication buildings, police and fire stations, power plants, and for
structures housing expensive objects or equipment. Decrease p.? 20% for structures
with low human occupancy, such as farm buildings.
The ground snow load pg should be determined from an analysis of snow depths
recorded at or near the site of the proposed building. For a rough estimate in the
absence of building-code requirements, pg may be taken as follows for the United
States, except for mountainous regions:
0–5 lb/ ft2—southern states from about latitude N32 southward
10–15 lb/ ft2—Pacific coast between latitudes N32 and N40 and other states
between latitudes N32 and N37
20–30 lb/ ft2—Pacific coast from latitude N40 northward and other states between
latitudes N37 and N40
40–50 lb/ ft2—north Atlantic and central states between latitudes N40 and N43
60–80 lb/ ft2—northern New England between latitudes N43 and N45 and central
states from N43 northward
80–120 lb / ft2—Maine above latitude N45
For sloping roofs, the snow load depends on whether the roof will be warm or
cold. In either case, the load may be assumed to be zero for roofs making an angle
 of 70 or more with the horizontal. Also, for any slope, the load need not be
taken greater than p? given by Eq. (5.16). For slopes , deg, between 0 and 70,
the snow load, lb / ft2, acting vertically on the projection of the roof on a horizontal
plane, may be computed for warm roofs from
p  p  p (5.17)   s ? ? 40
and for cold roofs from
p  p  p (5.18)   s ? ? 25
Hip and gable roofs should be designed for the condition of the whole roof
loaded with ps, and also with the windward wide unloaded and the leeward side
carrying 1.5ps.
For curved roofs, the snow load on the portion that is steeper than 70p may
be taken as zero. For the less-steep portion, the load ps may be computed as for a
sloped roof, with  taken as the angle with the horizontal of a line from the crown
to points on the roof where the slope starts to exceed 70. Curved roofs should be
designed with the whole area fully loaded with ps. They also should be designed
for the case of snow only on the leeward side, with the load varying uniformly
from 0.5ps at the crown to 2ps at points where the roof slope starts to exceed 30
and then decreasing to zero at points where the slope starts to exceed 70.
Multiple folded-plate, sawtooth, and barrel-vault roofs similarly should be
designed for unbalanced loads increasing from 0.5ps at ridges to 3ps in valleys.
Snow drifts may form on a roof near a higher roof that is less than 20 ft
horizontally away. The reason for this is that wind may blow snow from the higher
roof onto the lower roof. Drifts also may accumulate at projections above roofs,
such as at parapets, solar collectors, and penthouse walls. Drift loads accordingly
should be taken into account when:
1. The ground snow load pg exceeds 10 lb / ft2.
2. A higher roof exists (or may be built in the future) within 20 ft of the building,
if the height differential, ft, exceeds 1.2p? / , where p? is computed from Eq.
(5.16) and  is the snow density, lb/ ft3.
3. A projection extends a distance, ft, exceeding 1.2p? /  above the roof and is
more than 15 ft long.
In computation of drift loads, the snow density , lb/ft3, may be taken as follows:
p  11–30 31–60 60 or more g
 15 20 25
The drift may be assumed to be a triangular prism with maximum height, located
adjacent to a higher roof or along a projection, taken as hd  2pg / , modified by
factors for risk and exposure, described for flat roofs. Width of the prism should
be at least 10 ft and may be taken as 3hd for projections up to 50 ft long and as
4hd for projections more than 50 ft long. Accordingly, the load varies uniformly
with distance from a projection, from hd  at the projection to zero. For drifts due
to snow load from a higher roof at a horizontal distance S, fit, away horizontally
(S  20 ft), the maximum drift intensity may be taken as hd (20  S) / 20.
Rain-Snow Load Combination. In roof design, account should be taken of the
combination of the design snow load with a temporary water load from an intense
rainstorm, including the effects of roof deflection on ponding. The added water load
depends on the drainage characteristics of the roof, which, in turn, depend on the
roof slope. For a flat roof, the rain surcharge may be taken as 8 lb/ ft2 for slopes
less 1?4 in / ft and as 5 lb/ ft2 for steeper slopes, except where the minimum allowable
design snow load p exceeds p computed from Eq. (5.16). In such cases, these min ?
water surcharges may be reduced by p  p . min ?
(W. Tobiasson and R. Redfield, ‘‘Snow Loads for the United States,’’ Part II,
and S. C. Colbeck, ‘‘Snow Loads Resulting from Rain on Snow,’’ U.S. Army Cold
Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, N.H.)
Seismic Loads. These are the result of horizontal and vertical movements imposed
on a building by earth vibrations during an earthquake. Changing accelerations of
the building mass during the temblor create changing inertial forces. These are
assumed in building design to act as seismic loads at the various floor and roof
levels in proportion to the portion of the building mass at those levels. Because
analysis of building response to such dynamic loading generally is very complex,
building codes permit, for design of ordinary buildings, substitution of equivalent
static loading for the dynamic loading (see Art. 5.18.6).
(‘‘Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures,’’ ASCE 7-98,
American Society of Civil Engineers, 345 E. 47th St., New York, NY 10164-0619;
‘‘International Building Code 2000,’’ 1998.)
5.1.3 Factored Loads
Structural members must be designed with sufficient capacity to sustain without
excessive deformation or failure those combinations of service loads that will produce
the most unfavorable effects. Also, the effects of such conditions as ponding
of water on roofs, saturation of soils, settlement, and dimensional changes must be
included. In determination of the structural capacity of a member or structure, a
safety margin must be provided and the possibility of variations of material properties
from assumed design values and of inexactness of capacity calculations must
be taken into account.
Building codes may permit either of two methods, allowable-stress design or
load–and–resistance factor design (also known as ultimate-strength design), to be
used for a structural material. In both methods, design loads, which determine the
required structural capacity, are calculated by multiplying combinations of service
loads by factors. Different factors are applied to the various possible load combinations
in accordance with the probability of occurrence of the loads.
In allowable-stress design, required capacity is usually determined by the load
combination that causes severe cracking or excessive deformation. For the purpose,
dead, live, wind, seismic, snow, and other loads that may be imposed simultaneously
are added together, then multiplied by a factor equal to or less than 1. Load
combinations usually considered in allowable-stress design are
(1) D  L  (Lr or S or R)
(2) D  L  (W or E/ 1.4)
(3) D  L  W  S/2
(4) D  L  S  W/2
(5) D  L  S  E/ 1.4
(6) 0.9D  E/ 1.4
where D  dead load
L  live loads due to intended use of occupancy, including partitions
Lr  roof live loads
S  snow loads
R  rain loads
W  wind loads
E  seismic loads
Building codes usually permit a smaller factor when the probability is small that
combinations of extreme loads, such as dead load plus maximum live load plus
maximum wind or seismic forces, will occur. Generally, for example, a factor of
0.75 is applied to load-combination sums (2) to (6). Such factors are equivalent to
permitting higher allowable unit stresses for the applicable loading conditions than
for load combination (1). The allowable stress is obtained by dividing the unit stress
causing excessive deformation or failure by a factor greater than 1.
In load–and–resistance factor design, the various types of loads are each multiplied
by a load factor, the value of which is selected in accordance with the
probability of occurrence of each type of load. The factored loads are then added
to obtain the total load a member or system must sustain. A structural member is
selected to provide a load-carrying capacity exceeding that sum. This capacity is
determined by multiplying the ultimate-load capacity by a resistance factor, the
value of which reflects the reliability of the estimate of capacity. Load criteria
generally used are as follows:
1. 1.4D
2. 1.2D  1.6L  0.5(Lr or S or R)
3. 1.2D  1.6(Lr or S or R)  (0.5L or 0.8W)
4. 1.2D  1.3W  0.5 (Lr or S or R)
5. 1.2D  1.0E  (0.5L or 0.2S)
6. 0.9D  (1.3W or 1.0E)
For garages, places of public assembly, and areas for which live loads exceed 100
lb/ft2, the load factor usually is taken as unit for L in combinations 3, 4, and 5.
For roof configurations that do not shed snow off the structure, the load factor
should be taken as 0.7 for snow loads in combination 5.
For concrete structures where load combinations do not include seismic forces,
the factored load combinations of ACI 318 Section 9.2 shall be used.
For both allowable stress design and strength design methods, elements and
components shall be designed to resist the forces due to special seismic load combinations
a) 1.2D  0.5L  Em
b) 0.9D  Em
For floors in places of public assembly, for live load in excess of 100 psf, and for
parking garage live load, the load factor is taken as 1.0 for L. Em is the maximum
seismic effect of horizontal and vertical forces.
Structural capacity, or ultimate strength, is that property of a structural member that
serves as a measure of is ability to support all potential loads without severe cracking
or excessive deformations. To indicate when the limit on load-carrying usefulness
has been reached, design specifications for the various structural materials
establish allowable unit stresses or design strengths that may not be exceeded under
FIGURE 5.1 Truss in equilibrium under load.
Upward acting forces equal those acting downward.
FIGURE 5.2 Portion of a truss is held in equilibrium
by stresses in its components.
maximum loading. Structural theory provides methods for calculating unit stresses
and for estimating deformations. Many of these methods are presented in the rest
of this section.
5.2.1 Static Equilibrium
If a structure and its components are so supported that, after a very small deformation
occurs, no further motion is possible, they are said to be in equilibrium.
Under such circumstances, internal forces, or stresses, exactly counteract the loads.
Several useful conclusions may be drawn from the state of static equilibrium:
Since there is no translatory motion, the sum of the external forces must be zero;
and since there is no rotation, the sum of the moments of the external forces about
any point must be zero.
For the same reason, if we consider any portion of the structure and the loads
on it, the sum of the external and internal forces on the boundaries of that section
must be zero. Also, the sum of the moments of these forces must be zero.
In Fig. 5.1, for example, the sum of the forces RL and RR needed to support the
roof truss is equal to be the 20-kip load on the truss (1 kip  1 kilopound  1000
lb  0.5 ton). Also, the sum of moments of the external forces is zero about any
point. About the right end, for instance, it is 40  15  30  20  600  600.
In Fig. 5.2 is shown the portion of the truss to the left of section AA. The internal
forces at the cut members balance the external load and hold this piece of the truss
in equilibrium.
Generally, it is convenient to decompose the forces acting on a structure into
components parallel to a set of perpendicular axes that will simplify computations.
For example, for forces in a single plane—a condition commonly encountered in
building design—the most useful technique is to resolve all forces into horizontal
and vertical components. Then, for a structure in equilibrium, if H represents the
horizontal components, V the vertical components, and M the moments of the components
about any point in the plane,
H  0 V  0 and M  0 (5.19)
These three equations may be used to evaluate three unknowns in any nonconcurrent
coplanar force system, such as the roof truss in Figs. 5.1 and 5.2. They
may determine the magnitude of three forces for which the direction and point of
application already are known, or the magnitude, direction, and point of application
of a single force.
Suppose, for the truss in Fig. 5.1, the reactions at the supports are to be computed.
Taking moments about the right end and equating to zero yields 40 Rl  30
 20  0, from which left reaction RL  600/40  15 kips. Equating the sum of
the vertical forces to zero gives 20  15  RR  0, from which the right reaction
RR  5 kips.
5.2.2 Unit Stress and Strain
To ascertain whether a structural member has adequate load-carrying capacity, the
designer generally has to compute the maximum unit stress produced by design
loads in the member for each type of internal force—tensile, compressive, or shearing—
and compare it with the corresponding allowable unit stress.
When the loading is such that the unit stress is constant over a section under
consideration, the stress may be obtained by dividing the force by the area of the
section. But in general, the unit stress varies from point to point. In that case, the
unit stress at any point in the section is the limiting value of the ratio of the internal
force on any small area to that area, as the area is taken smaller and smaller.
Sometimes in the design of a structure, unit stress may not be the prime consideration.
The designer may be more interested in limiting the deformation or
Deformation in any direction is the total change in the dimension of a member
in that direction.
Unit strain in any direction is the deformation per unit of length in that direction.
When the loading is such that the unit strain is constant over a portion of a
member, it may be obtained by dividing the deformation by the original length of
that portion. In general, however, the unit strain varies from point to point in a
member. Like a varying unit stress, it represents the limiting value of a ratio.
5.2.3 Hooke’s Law
For many materials, unit strain is proportional to unit stress, until a certain stress,
the proportional limit, is exceeded. Known as Hooke’s law, this relationship may
be written as
?  E  or  (5.20)
where ?  unit stress
 unit strain
E  modulus of elasticity
Hence, when the unit stress and modulus of elasticity of a material are known, the
unit strain can be computed. Conversely, when the unit strain has been found, the
unit stress can be calculated.
When a member is loaded and the unit stress does ot exceed the proportional
limit, the member will return to its original dimensions when the load is removed.
The elastic limit is the largest unit stress that can be developed without a permanent
deformation remaining after removal of the load.
Some materials possess one or two yield points. These are unit stresses in the
region of which there appears to be an increase in strain with no increase or a small
FIGURE 5.5 Bracket in shear. FIGURE 5.6 Bearing load and pressure.
FIGURE 5.3 Tension member. FIGURE 5.4 Compression member.
decrease in stress. Thus, the materials exhibit plastic deformation. For materials
that do not have a well-defined yield point, the offset yield strength is used as a
measure of the beginning of plastic deformation.
The offset yield strength, or proof stress as it is sometimes referred to, is
defined as the unit stress corresponding to a permanent deformation, usually 0.01%
(0.0001 in / in) or 0.20% (0.002 in / in).
5.2.4 Constant Unit Stress
The simplest cases of stress and strain are those in which the unit stress and strain
are constant. Stresses due to an axial tension or compression load or a centrally
applied shearing force are examples; also an evenly applied bearing load. These
loading conditions are illustrated in Figs. 5.3 to 5.6.
For the axial tension and compression loadings, we take a section normal to the
centroidal axis (and to the applied forces). For the shearing load, the section is
taken along a plane of sliding. And for the bearing load, it is chosen through the
plane of contact between the two members.
Since for these loading conditions, the unit stress is constant across the section,
the equation of equilibrium may be written
P  A? (5.21)
where P  load
?  a tensile, compressive, shearing, or bearing unit stress
A  cross-sectional area for tensile or compressive forces, or area on which
sliding may occur for shearing forces, or contact area for bearing loads
For torsional stresses, see Art. 5.4.2.
The unit strain for the axial tensile and compressive loads is given by the equation
where  unit strain
e  total lengthening or shortening of the member
L  original length of the member
Applying Hooke’s law and Eq. (5.22) to Eq. (5.21) yield a convenient formula for
the deformation:
e  (5.23)
where P  load on the member
A  its cross-sectional area
E  modulus of elasticity of the material
[Since long compression members tend to buckle, Eqs. (5.21) to (5.23) are applicable
only to short members.]
While tension and compression strains represent a simple stretching or shortening
of a member, shearing strain represents a distortion due to a small rotation.
The load on the small rectangular portion of the member in Fig. 5.5 tends to distort
it into a parallelogram. The unit shearing strain is the change in the right angle,
measured in radians.
Modulus of rigidity, or shearing modulus of elasticity, is defined by
G  (5.24)

where G  modulus of rigidity
v  unit shearing stress
 unit shearing strain
It is related to the modulus of elasticity in tension and compression E by the
G  (5.25)
2 (1  	)
where 	 is a constant known as Poisson’s ratio.
5.2.5 Poisson’s Ratio
Within the elastic limit, when a material is subjected to axial loads, it deforms not
only longitudinally but also laterally. Under tension, the cross section of a member
decreases, and under compression, it increases. The ratio of the unit lateral strain
to the unit longitudinal strain is called Poisson’s ratio.
For many materials, this ratio can be taken equal to 0.25. For structural steel, it
is usually assumed to be 0.3.
Assume, for example, that a steel hanger with an area of 2 in2 carries a 40-kip
(40,000-lb) load. The unit stress is 40,000/2, or 20,000 psi. The unit tensile strain,
taking the modulus of elasticity of the steel as 30,000,000 psi, is 20,000/
30,000,000, or 0.00067 in / in. With Poisson’s ratio as 0.3, the unit lateral strain is
0.3  0.00067, or a shortening of 0.00020 in / in.
5.2.6 Thermal Stresses
When the temperature of a body changes, its dimensions also change. Forces are
required to prevent such dimensional changes, and stresses are set up in the body
by these forces.
If  is the coefficient of expansion of the material and T the change in temperature,
the unit strain in a bar restrained by external forces from expanding or contracting
 T (5.26)
According to Hooke’s law, the stress ? in the bar is
?  E T (5.27)
where E  modulus of elasticity.
5.2.7 Strain Energy
When a bar is stressed, energy is stored in it. If a bar supporting a load P undergoes
a deformation e the energy stored in it is
1 U  ?2Pe (5.28)
This equation assumes the load was applied gradually and the bar is not stressed
beyond the proportional limit. It represents the area under the load-deformation
curve up to the load P. Applying Eqs. (5.20) and (5.21) to Eq. (5.28) gives another
useful equation for energy:
2 ?
U  AL (5.29)
where ?  unit stress
E  modulus of elasticity of the material
A  cross-sectional area
L  length of the bar
Since AL is the volume of the bar, the term ?2/2E indicates the energy stored
per unit of volume. It represents the area under the stress-strain curve up to the
stress ?. Its value when the bar is stressed to the proportional limit is called the
modulus of resilience. This modulus is a measure of the capacity of the material
to absorb energy without danger of being permanently deformed and is of importance
in designing members to resist energy loads.
Equation (5.28) is a general equation that holds true when the principle of superposition
applies (the total deformation produced by a system of forces is equal
to the sum of the elongations produced by each force). In the general sense, P in
Eq. (5.28) represents any group of statically interdependent forces that can be completely
defined by one symbol, and e is the corresponding deformation.
The strain-energy equation can be written as a function of either the load or the
For axial tension or compression:
2 2 P L AEe
U  U  (5.30)
2AE 2L
where P  axial load
e  total elongation not shortening
L  length of the member
A  cross-sectional area
E  modulus of elasticity
For pure shear:
2 2 V L AGe
U  U  (5.31)
2AG 2L
where V  shearing load
e  shearing deformation
L  length over which deformation takes place
A  shearing area
G  shearing modulus
For torsion:
2 2 T L JG	
U  U  (5.32)
2JG 2L
where T  torque
	 angle of twist
L  length of shaft
J  polar moment of inertia of the cross section
G  shearing modulus
For pure bending (constant moment):
2 2 M L EI
U  U  (5.33)
2EI 2L
where M  bending moment
 angle of rotation of one end of the beam with respect to the other
L  length of beam
I  moment of inertia of the cross section
E  modulus of elasticity
For beams carrying transverse loads, the strain energy is the sum of the energy for
bending and that for shear.
See also Art. 5.10.4.
Tensile and compressive stresses are sometimes referred to also as normal stresses,
because they act normal to the cross section. Under this concept, tensile stresses
are considered as positive normal stresses and compressive stresses as negative.
5.3.1 Stress Notation
Suppose a member of a structure is acted upon by forces in all directions. For
convenience, let us establish a reference set of perpendicular coordinate x, y, and
z axes. Now let us take at some point in the member a small cube with sides parallel
to the coordinate axes. The notations commonly used for the components of stress
acting on the sides of this element and the directions assumed as positive are shown
in Fig. 5.7.
For example, for the sides of the element perpendicular to the z axis, the normal
component of stress is denoted by ?z. The shearing stress v is resolved into two
components and requires two subscript letters for a complete description. The first
letter indicates the direction of the normal to the plane under consideration. The
second letter indicates the direction of the component of the stress. For the sides
perpendicular to the z axis, the shear component in the x direction is labeled vzx
and that in the y direction vzy.
5.3.2 Stress and Strain Components
If, for the small cube in Fig. 5.7, moments of the forces acting on it are taken a
bout the x axis, considering the cube’s dimensions as dx, dy, and dz, the equation
of equilibrium requires that
v dx dy dz  v dx dy dz zy yz
(Forces are taken equal to the product of the area of the face and the stress at the
center.) Two similar equations can be written for moments taken about the y axis
and z axis. These equations show that
v v v  v and v  v (5.34) xy yx zx xz zy yx
FIGURE 5.7 Normal and shear stresses in an
orthogonal coordinate system.
In words, the components of shearing
stress on two perpendicular faces and
acting normal to the intersection of the
faces are equal.
Consequently, to describe the
stresses acting on the coordinate planes
through a point, only six quantities need
be known. These stress components are
?x, ?y, ?z vxy  vyx, vyz  vzy, and vzx 
If the cube in Fig. 5.7 is acted on
only by normal stresses ?x, ?y , and ?z,
from Hooke’s law and the application of
Poisson’s ratio, the unit strains in the x,
y, and z directions, in accordance with
Arts. 5.2.3 and 5.2.4, are, respectively,
  [?  	(?  ? )] x x y z E
  [?  	(?  ? )] (5.35) y y x z E
  [?  	(?  ? )] z z x y E
where 	  Poisson’s ratio. If only shearing stresses act on the cube in Fig. 5.7,
the distortion of the angle between edges parallel to any two coordinate axes depends
only on shearing-stress components parallel to those axes. Thus, the unit
shearing strains are (see Art. 5.2.4)
1 1 1
  v   v and   v (5.36) xy xy yz yx zx zx G G G
FIGURE 5.8 Normal and shear stresses at a
point on a plane inclined to the axes.
5.3.3 Two-Dimensional Stress
When the six components of stress necessary
to describe the stresses at a point
are known (Art. 5.3.2), the stress on any
inclined plane through the same point
can be determined. For the case of twodimensional
stress, only three stress
components need be known.
Assume, for example, that at a point
O in a stressed plate, the components ?x,
?y , and vxy are known (Fig. 5.8). To find
the stresses for any plane through the z
axis, take a plane parallel to it close to
O. This plane and the coordinate planes from a triangular prism. Then, if  is the
angle the normal to the plane makes with the x axis, the normal and shearing
stresses on the inclined plane, obtained by application of the equations of equilibrium,
2 2 ?  ? cos  ? sin  2v sin  cos  (5.37) x y xy
2 2 v  v (cos  sin )  (?  ? ) sin  cos  (5.38) xy y x
Note. All structural members are three-dimensional. While two-dimensionalstress
calculations may be sufficiently accurate for most practical purposes, this is
not always the case. For example, although loads may create normal stresses on
two perpendicular planes, a third normal stress also exists, as computed with Poisson’s
ratio. [See Eq. (5.35).]
5.3.4 Principal Stresses
A plane through a point on which stresses act may be assigned a direction for
which the normal stress is a maximum or a minimum. There are two such positions,
perpendicular to each other. And on those planes, there are no shearing stresses.
The direction in which the normal stresses become maximum or minimum are
called principal directions and the corresponding normal stresses principal stresses.
To find the principal directions, set the value of v given by Eq. (5.38) equal to
zero. The resulting equation is
2vxy tan 2  (5.39)
?  ? x y
If the x and y axes are taken in the principal directions, vxy is zero. Consequently,
Eqs. (5.37) and (5.38) may be simplified to
2 2 ?  ? cos  ? sin  (5.40) x y
1 v  ?2 sin 2 (?  ? ) (5.41) y x
where ? and v are, respectively, the normal and sharing stress on a plane at an
angle  with the principal planes and ?x and ?y are the principal stresses.
Pure Shear. If on any two perpendicular planes only shearing stresses act, the
state of stress at the point is called pure shear or simple shear. Under such conditions,
the principal directions bisect the angles between the planes on which these
shearing stresses occur. The principal stresses are equal in magnitude to the unit
shearing stresses.
5.3.5 Maximum Shearing Stress
The maximum unit shearing stress occurs on each of two planes that bisect the
angles between the planes on which the principal stresses act. The maximum share
is equal to one-half the algebraic difference of the principal stresses:
FIGURE 5.9 Mohr’s circle for stresses at a
point—constructed from known principal
FIGURE 5.10 Stress circle constructed from
two known positive stresses ?x and ?y and a
shear stress vxy.
?  ? 1 2 max v  (5.42)
where ?1 is the maximum principal stress and ?2 the minimum.
5.3.6 Mohr’s Circle
The relationship between stresses at a point may be represented conveniently on
Mohr’s circle (Fig. 5.9). In this diagram, normal stress ? and shear stress v are
taken as coordinates. Then, for each plane through the point, there will correspond
a point on the circle, whose coordinates are the values of ? and v for the plane.
To construct the circle given the principal stresses, mark off the principal stresses
?1 and ?2 on the ? axis (points A and B in Fig. 5.9). Tensile stresses are measured
to the right of the v axis and compressive stresses to the left. Construct a circle
with its center on the ? axis and passing through the two points representing the
principal stresses. This is the Mohr’s circle for the given stresses at the point under
Suppose now, we wish to find the stresses on a plane at an angle  to the plane
of ?1. If a radius is drawn making an angle 2  with the ? axis, the coordinates of
its intersection with the circle represent the normal and sharing stresses acting on
the plane.
Mohr’s circle an also be plotted when the principal stresses are not known but
the stresses ?x, ?y , and vxy , on any two perpendicular planes, are. The procedure is
to plot the two points representing these known stresses with respect to the ? and
v axies (points C and D in Fig. 5.10). The line joining these points is a diameter
of Mohr’s circle. Constructing the circle on this diameter, we find the principal
stresses at the intersection with the ? axis (points A and B in Fig. 5.10).
For more details on the relationship of stresses and strains at a point, see
Timoshenko and Goodier, ‘‘Theory of Elasticity,’’ McGraw-Hill Publishing Company,
New York.
Forces that cause a member to twist about a longitudinal axis are called torsional
loads. Simple torsion is produced only by a couple, or moment, in a plane perpendicular
to the axis.
If a couple lies in a nonperpendicular plane, it can be resolved into a torsional
moment, in a plane perpendicular to the axis, and bending moments, in planes
through the axis.
5.4.1 Shear Center
The point in each normal section of a member through which the axis passes and
about which the section twists is called the share center. The location of the shear
center depends on the shape and dimensions of the cross section. If the loads on a
beam do not pass through the shear center, they cause the beam to twist. See also
Art. 5.5.19.
If a beam has an axis of symmetry, the shear center lies on it. In doubly symmetrical
beams, the share center lies at the intersection of the two axes of symmetry
and hence coincides with the centroid.
For any section composed of two narrow rectangles, such as a T beam or an
angle, the shear center may be taken as the intersection of the longitudinal center
lines of the rectangles.
For a channel section with one axis of symmetry, the shear center is outside the
section at a distance from the centroid equal to e(1  h2A/4I ), where e is the
distance from the centroid to the center of the web, h is the depth of the channel,
A the cross-sectional area, and I the moment of inertia about the axis of symmetry.
(The web lies between the shear center and the centroid.)
Locations of shear centers for several other sections are given in Friedrich
Bleich, ‘‘Buckling Strength of Metal Structures,’’ Chap. III, McGraw-Hill Publishing
Company, New York.
5.4.2 Stresses Due to Torsion
Simple torsion is resisted by internal shearing stresses. These can be resolved into
radial and tangential shearing stresses, which being normal to each other also are
equal (see Art. 5.3.2). Furthermore, on planes that bisect the angles between the
planes on which the shearing stresses act, there also occur compressive and tensile
stresses. The magnitude of these normal stresses is equal to that of the shear. Therefore,
when torsional loading is combined with other types of loading, the maximum
stresses occur on inclined planes and can be computed by the methods of Arts.
5.3.3 and 5.3.6.
Circular Sections. If a circular shaft (hollow or solid) is twisted, a section that is
plane before twisting remains plane after twisting. Within the proportional limit,
the shearing unit stress at any point in a transverse section varies with the distance
from the center of the section. The maximum shear, psi, occurs at the circumference
and is given by
v  (5.43)
where T  torsional moment, in-lb
r  radius of section, in
J  polar moment of inertia, in4
Polar moment of inertia of a cross section is defined by
2 J   dA (5.44)
where  radius from shear center to any point in the section
dA  differential area at the point
In general, J equals the sum of the moments of inertia above any two perpendicular
axes through the shear center. For a solid circular section, J  
r 4 /2. For a hollow
circular section with diameters D and d, J  
(D4  d4) / 32.
Within the proportional limits, the angular twist between two points L inches
apart along the axis of a circular bar is, in radians (1 rad  57.3):
where G is the shearing modulus of elasticity (see Art. 5.2.4).
Noncircular Sections. If a shaft is not circular, a plane transverse section before
twisting does not remain plane after twisting. The resulting warping increases the
shearing stresses in some parts of the section and decreases them in others, compared
wit the sharing stresses that would occur if the section remained plane. Consequently,
shearing stresses in a noncircular section are not proportional to distances
from the share center. In elliptical and rectangular sections, for example, maximum
shear occurs on the circumference at a point nearest the shear center.
For a solid rectangular section, this maximum may be expressed in the following
v  (5.46) 2 kb d
where b  short side of rectangle, in
d  long side, in
k  constant depending on ratio of these sides;
d/b  1.0 1.5 2.0 3 4 5 10 
k  0.208 0.231 0.246 0.258 0.267 0.282 0.291 0.312 0.333
(S. Timoshenko and J. N. Goodier, ‘‘Theory of Elasticity,’’ McGraw-Hill Publishing
Company, New York.)
Hollow Tubes. If a thin-shell hollow tube is twisted, the shearing force per unit
of length on a cross section (shear flow) is given approximately by
H  (5.47)
where A is the area enclosed by the mean perimeter of the tube, in2, and the unit
shearing stress is given approximately by
v  (5.48)
t 2At
where t is the thickness of the tube, in. For a rectangular tube with sides of unequal
thickness, the total shear flow can be computed from Eq. (5.47) and the shearing
stress along each side from Eq. (5.48), except at the corners, where there may be
appreciable stress concentration.
Channels and I Beams. For a narrow rectangular section, the maximum shear is
very nearly equal to
1 t ?3 v  (5.49) 2 b d
This formula also can be used to find the maximum shearing stress due to torsion
in members, such as I beams and channels, made up of thin rectangular components.
Let J  1?3b3d, where b is the thickness of each rectangular component and d the
corresponding length. Then, the maximum shear is given approximately by
v  (5.50)
where b is the thickness of the web or the flange of the member. Maximum shear
will occur at the center of one of the long sides of the rectangular part that has the
greatest thickness. (A. P. Boresi, O. Sidebottom, F. B. Seely, and J. O. Smith,
‘‘Advanced Mechanics of Materials,’’ 3d ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.)
Beams are the horizontal members used to support vertically applied loads across
an opening. In a more general sense, they are structural members that external loads
tend to bend, or curve. Usually, the term beam is applied to members with top
continuously connected to bottom throughout their length, and those with top and
bottom connected at intervals are called trusses. See also Structural System, Art.
5.5.1 Types of Beams
There are many ways in which beams may be supported. Some of the more common
methods are shown in Figs. 5.11 to 5.16.
FIGURE 5.11 Simple beam. FIGURE 5.12 Cantilever beam.
FIGURE 5.13 Beam with one end fixed. FIGURE 5.14 Fixed-end beam.
FIGURE 5.15 Beam with overhangs. FIGURE 5.16 Continuous beam.
The beam in Fig. 5.11 is called a simply supported, or simple beam. It has
supports near its ends, which restrain it only against vertical movement. The ends
of the beam are free to rotate. When the loads have a horizontal component, or
when change in length of the beam due to temperature may be important, the
supports may also have to prevent horizontal motion. In that case, horizontal restraint
at one support is generally sufficient.
The distance between the supports is called the span. The load carried by each
support is called a reaction.
The beam in Fig. 5.12 is a cantilever. It has only one support, which restrains
it from rotating or moving horizontally or vertically at that end. Such a support is
called a fixed end.
If a simple support is placed under the free end of the cantilever, the propped
beam in Fig. 5.13 results. It has one end fixed, one end simply supported.
The beam in Fig. 5.14 has both ends fixed. No rotation or vertical movement
can occur at either end. In actual practice, a fully fixed end can seldom be obtained.
Some rotation of the beam ends generally is permitted. Most support conditions
are intermediate between those for a simple beam and those for a fixed-end beam.
In Fig. 5.15 is shown a beam that overhangs both is simple supports. The overhangs
have a free end, like cantilever, but the supports permit rotation.
When a beam extends over several supports, it is called a continuous beam
(Fig. 5.16).
Reactions for the beams in Figs. 5.11, 5.12, and 5.15 may be found from the
equations of equilibrium. They are classified as statically determinate beams for
that reason.
The equations of equilibrium, however, are not sufficient to determine the reactions
of the beams in Figs. 5.13, 5.14, and 5.16. For those beams, there are more
unknowns than equations. Additional equations must be obtained on the basis of
deformations permitted; on the knowledge, for example, that a fixed end permits
no rotation. Such beams are classified as statically indeterminate. Methods for
finding the stresses in that type of beam are given in Arts. 5.10.4, 5.10.5, 5.11, and
5.5.2 Reactions
As an example of the application of the equations of equilibrium (Art. 5.2.1) to the
determination of the reactions of a statically determinate beam, we shall compute
FIGURE 5.17 Beam with overhangs loaded
with both uniform and concentrated loads.
the reactions of the 60-ft-long beam
with overhangs in Fig. 5.17. This beam
carries a uniform load of 200 lb / lin ft
over its entire length and several concentrated
loads. The supports are 36 ft
To find reaction R1, we take moments
about R2 and equate the sum of the moments
to zero (clockwise rotation is considered
positive, counterclockwise, negative):
2000  48  36R  4000  30  6000  18  3000  12 1
200  60  18  0
R  14,000 lb 1
In this calculation, the moment of the uniform load was found by taking the moment
of its resultant, which acts at the center of the beam.
To find R2, we can either take moments about R1 or use the equation V  0.
It is generally preferable to apply the moment equation and use the other equation
as a check.
3000  48  36R  6000  18  4000  6  2000  12 2
 200  60  18  0
R  13,000 lb 2
As a check, we note that the sum of the reactions must equal the total applied
14,000  13,000  2000  4000  6000  3000  12,000
27,000  27,000
5.5.3 Internal Forces
Since a beam is in equilibrium under the forces applied to it, it is evident that at
every section internal forces are acting to prevent motion. For example, suppose
we cut the beam in Fig. 5.17 vertically just to the right of its center. If we total
the external forces, including the reaction, to the left of this cut (see Fig. 5.18a),
we find there is an unbalanced downward load of 4000 lb. Evidently, at the cut
section, an upward-acting internal force of 4000 lb must be present to maintain
equilibrium. Again, if we take moments of the external forces about the section,
we find an unbalanced moment of 54,000 ft-lb. So there must be an internal moment
of 54,000 ft-lb acting to maintain equilibrium.
This internal, or resisting, moment is produced by a couple consisting of a force
C acting on the top part of the beam and an equal but opposite force T acting on
FIGURE 5.18 Portions of a beam are held in equilibrium by internal
the bottom part (Fig. 18b). The top force is the resultant of compressive stresses
acting over the upper portion of the beam, and the bottom force is the resultant of
tensile stresses acting over the bottom part. The surface at which the stresses change
from compression to tension—where the stress is zero—is called the neutral surface.
FIGURE 5.19 .Shear diagram for the beam
with loads shown in Fig. 5.17.
5.5.4 Shear Diagrams
The unbalanced external vertical force
at a section is called the shear. It is equal
to the algebraic sum of the forces that
lie on either side of the section. Upward
acting forces on the left of the section
are considered positive, downward
forces negative; signs are reversed for
forces on the right.
A diagram in which the shear at
every point along the length of a beam
is plotted as an ordinate is called a shear
diagram. The shear diagram for the
beam in Fig. 5.17 is shown in Fig.
The diagram was plotted starting
from the left end. The 2000-lb load was
plotted downward to a convenient scale.
Then, the shear at the next concentrated
load—the left support—was determined.
This equals 2000  200  12,
or 4400 lb. In passing from must to
the left of the support to a point just to
the right, however, the shear changes by
the magnitude of the reaction. Hence, on
the right-hand side of the left support the shear is 4400  14,000, or 9600 lb. At
the next concentrated load, the shear is 9600  200  6, or 8400 lb. In passing
the 4000-lb load, however, the shear changes to 8400  4000, or 4400 lb. Proceeding
in this manner to the right end of the beam, we terminate with a shear of
3000 lb, equal to the load on the free end there.
It should be noted that the shear diagram for a uniform load is a straight line
sloping downward to the right (see Fig. 5.21). Therefore, the shear diagram was
completed by connecting the plotted points with straight lines.
FIGURE 5.20 Shear and moment diagrams
for a simply supported beam with concentrated
FIGURE 5.21 Shear and moment diagrams
for a simply supported, uniformly loaded beam.
Shear diagrams for commonly encountered loading conditions are given in Figs.
5.30 to 5.41.
5.5.5 Bending-Moment Diagrams
The unbalanced moment of the external forces about a vertical section through a
beam is called the bending moment. It is equal to the algebraic sum of the moments
about the section of the external forces that lie on one side of the section. Clockwise
moments are considered positive, counterclockwise moments negative, when the
forces considered lie on the left of the section. Thus, when the bending moment is
positive, the bottom of the beam is in tension.
A diagram in which the bending moment at every point along the length of a
beam is plotted as an ordinate is called a bending-moment diagram.
Figure 5.20c is the bending-moment diagram for the beam loaded with concentrated
loads only in Fig. 5.20a. The bending moment at the supports for this simply
supported beam obviously is zero. Between the supports and the first load, the
bending moment is proportional to the distance from the support, since it is equal
to the reaction times the distance from the support. Hence the bending-moment
diagram for this portion of the beam is a sloping straight line.
The bending moment under the 6000-lb load in Fig. 5.20a considering only the
force to the left is 7000  10, or 70,000 ft-lb. The bending-moment diagram, then,
between the left support and the first concentrated load is a straight line rising from
zero at the left end of the beam to 70,000 ft-lb, plotted to a convenient scale, under
the 6000-lb load.
The bending moment under the 9000-lb load, considering the forces on the left
of it, is 7000  20  6000  10, or 80,000 ft-lb. (It could have been more easily
obtained by considering only the force on the right, reversing the sign convention:
8000  10  80,000 ft-lb.) Since there are no loads between the two concentrated
loads, the bending-moment diagram between the two sections is a sloping straight
If the bending moment and shear are known at any section of a beam, the
bending moment at any other section may be computed, providing there are no
unknown forces between the two sections. The rule is:
The bending moment at any section of a beam is equal to the bending
moment at any section to the left, plus the shear at that section times the
distance between sections, minus the moments of intervening loads. If the section
with known moment and share is on the right, the sign convention must
be reversed.
For example, the bending moment under the 9000-lb load in Fig. 5.20a could
also have been obtained from the moment under the 6000-lb load and the shear to
the right of the 6000-lb load given in the shear diagram (Fig. 5.20b). Thus,
80,000  70,000  1000  10. If there had been any other loads between the two
concentrated loads, the moment of these loads about the section under the 9000-lb
load would have been subtracted.
Bending-moment diagrams for commonly encountered loading conditions are
given in Figs. 5.30 to 5.41. These may be combined to obtain bending moments
for other loads.
5.5.6 Moments in Uniformly Loaded Beams
When a bean carries a uniform load, the bending-moment diagram does not consist
of straight lines. Consider, for example, the beam in Fig. 5.21a, which carries a
uniform load over its entire length. As shown in Fig. 5.21c, the bending-moment
diagram for this beam is a parabola.
The reactions at both ends of a simply supported, uniformly loaded beam are
both equal to wL/2  W/2, where w is the uniform load in pounds per linear foot,
W  wL is the total load on the beam, and L is the span.
The shear at any distance x from the left support is R1 wx  wL/2  wx (see
Fig. 5.21b). Equating this expression to zero, we find that there is no shear at the
center of the beam.
The bending moment at any distance x from the left support is
2 x wLx wx w
M  R x  wx    x(L  x) (5.51)   1 2 2 2 2
The bending moment at any section of a simply supported, uniformly loaded
beam is equal to one-half the product of the load per linear foot and the
distances to the section from both supports.
The maximum value of the bending moment occurs at the center of the beam.
It is equal to wL2/8  WL/8.
5.5.7 Shear-Moment Relationship
The slope of the bending-moment curve for any point on a beam is equal to the
shear at that point; i.e.,
V  (5.52)
Since maximum bending moment occurs when the slope changes sign, or passes
through zero, maximum moment (positive or negative) occurs at the point of zero
After integration, Eq. (5.52) may also be written
M  M   V dx (5.53) 1 2
5.5.8 Moving Loads and Influence Lines
One of the most helpful devices for solving problems involving variable or moving
loads is an influence line. Whereas shear and moment diagrams evaluate the effect
of loads at all sections of a structure, an influence line indicates the effect at a
given section of a unit load placed at any point on the structure.
For example, to plot the influence line for bending moment at some point A on
a beam, a unit load is applied at some point B. The bending moment is A due to
the unit load at B is plotted as an ordinate to a convenient scale at B. The same
procedure is followed at every point along the beam and a curve is drawn through
the points thus obtained.
Actually, the unit load need not be placed at every point. The equation of the
influence line can be determined by placing the load at an arbitrary point and
computing the bending moment in general terms. (See also Art. 5.10.5.)
Suppose we wish to draw the influence line for reaction at A for a simple beam
AB (Fig. 5.22a). We place a unit load at an arbitrary distance of xL from B. The
reaction at A due to this load is 1 xL/L  x. Then, RA  x is the equation of the
influence line. It represents a straight line sloping upward from zero at B to unity
at A (Fig. 5.22a). In other words, as the unit load moves across the beam, the
reaction at A increases from zero to unity in proportion to the distance of the load
from B.
Figure 5.22b shows the influence line for bending moment at the center of a
beam. It resembles in appearance the bending-moment diagram for a load at the
center of the beam, but its significance is entirely different. Each ordinate gives the
moment at midspan for a load at the corresponding location. It indicates that, if a
unit load is placed at a distance xL from one end, it produces a bending moment
of 1?2 xL at the center of the span.
Figure 5.22c shows the influence line for shear at the quarter point of a beam.
When the load is to the right of the quarter point, the shear is positive and equal
to the left reaction. When the load is to the left, the shear is negative and equal to
the right reaction.
The diagram indicates that, to produce maximum shear at the quarter point, loads
should be placed only to the right of the quarter point, with the largest load at the
quarter point, if possible. For a uniform load, maximum shear results when the load
extends from the right end of the beam to the quarter point.
FIGURE 5.22 Influence lines for simple beam AB for (a) reaction at A; (b) midspan bending
moment; (c) quarter-point shear; and (d ) bending moments for unit load at several points on
the beam.
Suppose, for example, that the beam is a crane girder with a span of 60 ft. The
wheel loads are 20 and 10 kips, respectively, and are spaced 5 ft apart. For maximum
shear at the quarter point, the wheels should be placed with the 20-kip wheel
at that point and the 10-kip wheel to the right of it. The corresponding ordinates
of the influence line (Fig. 5.22c) are 3?4 and 40?45  3?4. Hence, the maximum shear
is 20  3?4  10  40?45  3?4  21.7 kips.
Figure 5.22d shows influence lines for bending moment at several points on a
beam. It is noteworthy that the apexes of the diagrams fall on a parabola, as shown
by the dashed line. This indicates that the maximum moment produced at any given
section by a single concentrated load moving across a beam occurs when the load
is at that section. The magnitude of the maximum moment increases when the
section is moved toward midspan, in accordance with the equation shown in Fig.
5.22d for the parabola.
5.5.9 Maximum Bending Moment
When there is more than one load on the span, the influence line is useful in
developing a criterion for determining the position of the loads for which the bending
moment is a maximum at a given section.
Maximum bending moment will occur at a section C of a simple beam as loads
move across it when one of the loads is at C. The proper load to place at C is the
one for which the expression Wa /a  Wb /b (Fig. 5.23) changes sign as that load
passes from one side of C to the other.
When several loads move across a simple beam, the maximum bending moment
produced in the beam may be near but not necessarily at midspan. To find the
maximum moment, first determine the position of the loads for maximum moment
FIGURE 5.23 .Moving loads on simple beam
AB ae placed for maximum bending moment at
point C on the beam.
FIGURE 5.24 Moving loads are placed to
subject a simple beam to the largest possible
bending moment.
at midspan. Then shift the loads until the load P2 that was at the center of the beam
is as far from midspan as the resultant of all the loads on the span is on the other
side of midspan (Fig. 5.24). Maximum moment will occur under P2.
When other loads move on or off the span during the shift of P2 away from
midspan, it may be necessary to investigate the moment under one of the other
loads when it and the resultant are equidistant from midspan.
5.5.10 Bending Stresses in a Beam
To derive the commonly used flexure formula for computing the bending stresses
in a beam, we have to make the following assumptions:
1. The unit stress at a point in any plane parallel to the neutral surface of a beam
is proportional to the unit strain in the plane at the point.
2. The modulus of elasticity in tension is the same as that in compression.
3. The total and unit axial strain in any plane parallel to the neutral surface are
both proportional to the distance of that plane from the neutral surface. (Cross
sections that are plane before bending remain plane after bending. This requires
that all planes have the same length before bending; thus, that the beam be
4. The loads act in a plane containing the centroidal axis of the beam and are
perpendicular to that axis. Furthermore, the neutral surface is perpendicular to
the plane of the loads. Thus, the plane of the loads must contain an axis of
symmetry of each cross section of the beam. (The flexure formula does not apply
to a beam loaded unsymmetrically. See Arts. 5.5.18 and 5.5.19.)
5. The beam is proportioned to preclude prior failure or serious deformation by
torsion, local buckling, shear, or any cause other than bending.
Equating the bending moment to the resisting moment due to the internal stresses
at any section of a beam yields
M  (5.54)
FIGURE 5.25 Unit stresses on a beam cross
section caused by bending of the beam.
M is the bending moment at the section,
? is the normal unit stress in a plane at
a distance c from the neutral axis (Fig.
5.25), and I is the moment of inertia of
the cross section with respect to the neutral
axis. If ? is given in pounds per
square inch (psi), I in in4, and c in
inches, then M will be in inch-pounds.
For maximum unit stress, c is the distance
to the outermost fiber. See also
Arts. 5.5.11 and 5.5.12.
5.5.11 Moment of Inertia
The neutral axis in a symmetrical beam is coincidental with the centroidal axis;
i.e., at any section the neutral axis is so located that
 y dA  0 (5.55)
where dA is a differential area parallel to the axis (Fig. 5.25), y is its distance from
the axis, and the summation is taken over the entire cross section.
Moment of inertia with respect to the neutral axis is given by
2 I   y dA (5.56)
Values of I for several common types of cross section are given in Fig. 5.26. Values
for structural-steel sections are presented in manuals of the American Institute of
Steel Construction, Chicago, Ill. When the moments of inertia of other types of
sections are needed, they can be computed directly by application of Eq. (5.56) or
by braking the section up into components for which the moment of inertia is
If I is the moment of inertia about the neutral axis, A the cross-sectional area,
and d the distance between that axis and a parallel axis in the plane of the cross
section, then the moment of inertia about the parallel axis is
2 I   I  Ad (5.57)
With this equation, the known moment of inertia of a component of a section about
the neutral axis of the component can be transferred to the neutral axis of the
complete section. Then, summing up the transferred moments of inertia for all the
components yields the moment of inertia of the complete section.
When the moments of inertia of an area with respect to any two perpendicular
axes are known, the moment of inertia with respect to any other axis passing
through the point of intersection of the two axes may be obtained through the use
FIGURE 5.26 Geometric properties of various cross sections.
of Mohr’s circle, as for stresses (Fig. 5.10). In this analog, Ix corresponds with ?x,
Iy with ?y , and the product of inertia Ixy with vxy (Art. 5.3.6).
I   xy dA (5.58) xy
The two perpendicular axes through a point about which the moments of inertia
are a maximum and a minimum are called the principal axes. The products of
inertia are zero for the principal axes.
5.5.12 Section Modulus
The ratio S  I /c in Eq. (5.54) is called the section modulus. I is the moment of
inertia of the cross section about the neutral axis and c the distance from the neutral
axis to the outermost fiber. Values of S for common types of sections are given in
Fig. 5.26.
FIGURE 5.27 Unit shearing stresses on a
beam cross section.
5.5.13 Shearing Stresses in a
The vertical shear at any section of a
beam is resisted by nonuniformly distributed,
vertical unit stresses (Fig.
5.27). At every point in the section,
there is also a horizontal unit stress,
which is equal in magnitude to the vertical
unit shearing stress there [see Eq.
At any distances y from the neutral
axis, both the horizontal and vertical
shearing unit stresses are equal to
v  Ay (5.59)
where V  vertical shear at the cross section
t  thickness of beam at distance y from neutral axis
I  moment of inertia about neutral axis
A  area between the outermost fiber and the fiber for which the shearing
stress is being computed
 y distance of center of gravity of this area from the neutral axis (Fig.
For a rectangular beam with width b and depth d, the maximum shearing stress
occurs at middepth. Its magnitude is
2 12V bd 3 V
v  3 bd b 8 2bd
That is, the maximum shear stress is 50% greater than the average shear stress on
the section. Similarly, for a circular beam, the maximum is one-third greater than
the average. For an I beam, however, the maximum shearing stress in the web is
not appreciably greater than the average for the web section alone, if it is assumed
that the flanges take no shear.
5.5.14 Combined Shear and Bending Stress
For deep beams on short spans and beams made of low-strength materials, it is
sometimes necessary to determine the maximum stress ? on an inclined plane
caused by a combination of shear and bending stress—v and ?, respectively. This
stress ?, which may be either tension or compression, is greater than the normal
stress. Its value may be obtained by application of Mohr’s circle (Art. 5.3.6), as
indicated in Fig. 5.10, but with ?y  0, and is
2 ? ? 2 ?  v  (5.60)    2 2
5.5.15 Beam Deflections
When a beam is loaded, it deflects. The new position of its longitudinal centroidal
axis is called the elastic curve.
At any point of the elastic curve, the radius of curvature is given by
R  (5.61)
where M  bending moment at the point
E  modulus of elasticity
I  moment of inertia of the cross section about the neutral axis
Since the slope dy/dx of the curve is small, its square may be neglected, so that,
for all practical purposes, 1/R may be taken equal to d2y/dx2, where y is the
deflection of a point on the curve at a distance x from the origin of coordinates.
Hence, Eq. (5.61) may be rewritten
2 d y
M  EI (5.62) 2 dx
To obtain the slope and deflection of a beam, this equation may be integrated, with
M expressed as a function of x. Constants introduced during the integration must
be evaluated in terms of known points and slopes of the elastic curve.
Equation (5.62), in turn, may be rewritten after one integration as
     dx (5.63) B A
in which A and B are the slopes of the elastic curve at any two points A and B.
If the slope is zero at one of the points, the integral in Eq. (5.63) gives the slope
of the elastic curve at the other. It should be noted that the integral represents the
area of the bending-moment diagram between A and B with each ordinate divided
by EI.
FIGURE 5.28 Load and M/ EI diagrams and
elastic curve for a simple beam with mispan
The tangential deviation t of a point on the elastic curve is the distance of this
point, measured in a direction perpendicular to the original position of the beam,
from a tangent drawn at some other point on the elastic curve.
B Mx
t  t   dx (5.64) B A
Equation (5.64) indicates that the tangential deviation of any point with respect
to a second point on the elastic curve equals the moment about the first point of
the M/EI diagram between the two points. The moment-area method for determining
the deflection of beams is a technique in which Eqs. (5.63) and (5.64) are
Suppose, for example, the deflection at midspan is to be computed for a beam
of uniform cross section with a concentrated load at the center (Fig. 5.28).
Since the deflection at midspan for this loading is the maximum for the span,
the slope of the elastic curve at the center of the beam is zero; i.e., the tangent is
parallel to the undeflected position of the beam. Hence, the deviation of either
support from the midspan tangent is equal to the deflection at the center of the
beam. Then, by the moment-area theorem [Eq. (5.64)], the deflection yc is given
by the moment about either support of the area of the M/EI diagram included
between an ordinate at the center of the beam and that support.
3 1 PL L 2L PL
y  c 2 4EI 2 3 2 48EI
Suppose now, the deflection y at any point D at a distance xL from the left
support (Fig. 5.28) is to be determined. Referring to the sketch, we note that the
distance DE from the undeflected point of D to the tangent to the elastic curve at
support A is given by
y  t  xt AD AB
where tAD is the tangential deviation of D from the tangent at A and tAB is the
tangential deviation of B from that tangent. This equation, which is perfectly general
for the deflection of any point of a simple beam, no matter how loaded, may be
rewritten to give the deflection directly:
y  xt  t (5.65) AB AD
But tAB is the moment of the area of the M/EI diagram for the whole beam about
support B. And tAD is the moment about D of the area of the M/EI diagram included
between ordinates at A and D. Hence
3 1 PL L 2 1 1PLx xL PL 2 y  x  L  xL  x(3  4x )   2 4EI2 3 3 2 2EI 3 48EI
It is also noteworthy that, since the tangential deviations are very small distances,
the slope of the elastic curve at A is given by
tAB   (5.66) A L
This holds, in general, for all simple beams regardless of the type of loading.
The procedure followed in applying Eq. (5.65) to the deflection of the loaded
beam in Fig. 5.28 is equivalent to finding the bending moment at D with the M/
EI diagram serving as the load diagram. The technique of applying the M/EI diagram
as a load and determining the deflection as a bending moment is known as
the conjugate-beam method.
The conjugate beam must have the same length as the given beam; it must be
in equilibrium with the M/EI load and the reactions produced by the load; and the
bending moment at any section must be equal to the deflection of the given beam
at the corresponding section. The last requirement is equivalent to requiring that
the shear at any section of the conjugate beam with the M/EI load be equal to the
slope of the elastic curve at the corresponding section of the given beam. Figure
5.29 shows the conjugates for various types of beams.
Deflections for several types of loading on simple beams are given in Figs. 5.30
to 5.35 and for overhanging beams and cantilevers in Figs. 5.36 to 5.41.
When a beam carries a number of loads of different types, the most convenient
method of computing its deflection generally is to find the deflections separately
for the uniform and concentrated loads and add them up.
For several concentrated loads, the easiest solution is to apply the reciprocal
theorem (Art. 5.10.5). According to this theorem, if a concentrated load is applied
to a beam at a point A, the deflection it produces at point B is equal to the deflection
at A for the same load applied at B(dAB  dBA).
Suppose, for example, the midspan deflection is to be computed. Then, assume
each load in turn applied at the center of the beam and compute the deflection at
the point where it originally was applied from the equation of the elastic curve
given in Fig. 5.33. The sum of these deflections is the total midspan deflection.
Another method for computing deflections of beams is presented in Art. 5.10.4.
This method may also be applied to determining the deflection of a beam due to
FIGURE 5.29 Various types of beams and corresponding conjugate beams.
5.5.16 Combined Axial and Bending Loads
For stiff beams, subjected to both transverse and axial loading, the stresses are
given by the principle of superposition if the deflection due to bending may be
neglected without serious error. That is, the total stress is given with sufficient
accuracy at any section by the sum of the axial stress and the bending stresses. The
maximum stress equals
P Mc
?  (5.67)
where P  axial load
A  cross-sectional area
M  maximum bending moment
c  distance from neutral axis to outermost surface at the section where
maximum moment occurs
I  moment of inertia of cross section about neutral axis at that section
FIGURE 5.30 Uniform load over the whole
span of a simple beam.
FIGURE 5.31 Uniform load over only part of
a simple beam.
When the deflection due to bending is large and the axial load produces bending
stresses that cannot be neglected, the maximum stress is given by
P c
? (M  Pd) (5.68)
where d is the deflection of the beam. For axial compression, the moment Pd should
be given the same sign as M, and for tension, the opposite sign, but the minimum
value of M  Pd is zero. The deflection d for axial compression and bending can
be obtained by applying Eq. (5.62). (S. Timoshenko and J. M. Gere, ‘‘Theory of
Elastic Stability,’’ McGraw-Hill Publishing company, New York; Friedrich Bleich,
‘‘Buckling Strength of Metal Structures,’’ McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New
York.) However, it may be closely approximated by
do d  (5.69)
1  (P/P ) c
where do  deflection for the transverse loading alone
Pc  the critical buckling load 
2EI/L2 (see Art. 5.7.2)
5.5.17 Eccentric Loading
An eccentric longitudinal load in the plane of symmetry produces a bending moment
Pe where e is the distance of the load from the centroidal axis. The total unit
FIGURE 5.32 Concentrated load at any point
of a simple beam.
FIGURE 5.33 Concentrated load at midspan
of a simple beam.
stress is the sum of the stress due to this moment and the stress due to P applied
as an axial load:
P Pec P ec
?    1  (5.70)  2 A I A r
where A  cross-sectional area
c  distance from neutral axis to outermost fiber
I  moment of inertia of cross section about neutral axis
r  radius of gyration, which is equal to I /A
Figure 5.26 gives values of the radius of gyration for some commonly used cross
For an axial compression load, if there is to be no tension on the cross section,
e should not exceed r2 /c. For a rectangular section with width b and depth d, the
eccentricity, therefore, should be less than b/6 and d/ 6; i.e., the load should not
be applied outside the middle third. For a circular cross section with diameter D,
the eccentricity should not exceed D/8.
When the eccentric longitudinal load produces a deflection too large to be neglected
in computing the bending stress, account must be taken of the additional
bending moment Pd, where d is the deflection. This deflection may be computed
by employing Eq. (5.62) or closely approximated by
FIGURE 5.34 Two equal concentrated
loads on a simple beam.
4eP/Pc d  (5.71)

(1  P/P ) c
Pc is the critical buckling load 
2EI/L2 (see Art. 5.7.2).
If the load P does not lie in a plane containing an axis of symmetry, it produces
bending about the two principal axes through the centroid of the cross section. The
stresses are given by
Pe c P Pec y y x x ?    (5.72)
A I I y x
where A  cross-sectional area
ex  eccentricity with respect to principal axis YY
ey  eccentricity with respect to principal axis XX
cx  distance from YY to outermost fiber
cy  distance from XX to outermost fiber
Ix  moment of inertia about XX
Iy  moment of inertia about YY
FIGURE 5.35 Several equal concentrated loads
on a simple beam.
The principal axes are the two perpendicular axes through the centroid for which
the moments of inertia are a maximum or a minimum and for which the products
of inertia are zero.
5.5.18 Unsymmetrical Bending
Bending caused by loads that do not lie in a plane containing a principal axis of
each cross section of a beam is called unsymmetrical bending. If the bending axis
of the beam lies in the plane of the loads, to preclude torsion (see Art. 5.4.1), and
if the loads are perpendicular to the bending axis, to preclude axial components,
the stress at any point in a cross section is given by
M x M y y x ?   (5.73)
I I x y
FIGURE 5.36 Concentrated load at the end of a
beam overhang.
FIGURE 5.37 Concentrated load at the end
of a cantilever.
FIGURE 5.38 Uniform load over the full length of a
beam with overhang.
where Mx  bending moment about principal axis XX
My  bending moment about principal axis YY
x  distance from point for which stress is to be computed to YY axis
y  distance from point to XX axis
Ix  moment of inertia of the cross section about XX
Iy  moment of inertia about YY
If the plane of the loads makes an angle  with a principal plane, the neutral
surface will form an angle  with the other principal plane such that
Ix tan  tan  (5.74)
5.5.19 Beams with Unsymmetrical Sections
In the derivation of the flexure formula ?  Mc/ I [Eq. (5.54)], the assumption is
made that the beam bends, without twisting, in the plane of the loads and that the
neutral surface is perpendicular to the plane of the loads. These assumptions are
correct for beams with cross sections symmetrical about two axes when the plane
of the loads contains one of these axes. They are not necessarily true for beams
that are not doubly symmetrical. The reason is that in beams that are doubly sym5.52
FIGURE 5.39 Uniform load over the whole
length of a cantilever.
FIGURE 5.40 Uniform load on a beam overhang.
metrical the bending axis coincides with the centroidal axis, whereas in unsymmetrical
sections the two axes may be separate. In the latter case, if the plane of
the loads contains the centroidal axis but not the bending axis, the beam will be
subjected to both bending and torsion.
The bending axis may be defined as the longitudinal line in a beam through
which transverse loads must pass to preclude the beam’s twisting as it bends. The
point in each section through which the bending axis passes is called the shear
center, or center of twist. The shear center is also the center of rotation of the
section in pure torsion (Art. 5.4.1).
Computation of stresses and strains in members subjected to both bending and
torsion is complicated, because warping of the cross section and buckling effects
should be taken into account. Preferably, twisting should be prevented by use of
bracing or avoided by selecting appropriate shapes for the members and by locating
and directing loads to pass through the bending axis.
(F. Bleich, ‘‘Blucking Strength of Metal Structures,’’ McGraw-Hill Publishing
Company, New York.)
Structural members, such as arches, crane hooks, chain links, and frames of some
machines, that have considerable initial curvature in the plane of loading are called
FIGURE 5.41 Triangular loading on a cantilever.
curved beams. The flexure formula of Art. 5.5.10, ?  Mc/ I, cannot be applied to
them with any reasonable degree of accuracy unless the depth of the beam is small
compared with the radius of curvature.
Unlike the condition in straight beams, unit strains in curved beams are not
proportional to the distance from the neutral surface, and the centroidal axis does
not coincide with the neutral axis. Hence the stress distribution on a section is not
linear but more like the distribution shown in Fig. 5.42c.
5.6.1 Stresses in Curved Beams
Just as for straight beams, the assumption that plane sections before bending remain
plane after bending generally holds for curved beams. So the total strains are proportional
to the distance from the neutral axis. But since the fibers are initially of
unequal length, the unit strains are a more complex function of this distance. In
Fig. 5.42a, for example, the bending couples have rotated section AB of the curved
beam into section AB through an angle d . If o is the unit strain at the centroidal
axis and  is the angular unit strain d /d , then the unit strain at a distance y
from the centroidal axis (measured positive in the direction of the center of curvature)
FIGURE 5.42 Bending stresses in a curved beam.
DD R d yd  y o     (  ) (5.75) o o DD (R  y) d  R  y o
where R  radius of curvature of centroidal axis.
Equation (5.75) can be expressed in terms of the bending moment if we take
advantage of the fact that the sum of the tensile and compressive forces on the
section must be zero and the moment of these forces must be equal to the bending
moment M. These two equations yield
2 M M AR
  and  1  (5.76)   o ARE ARE I 
where A is the cross-sectional area, E the modulus of elasticity, and
2 2 y dA y y 2 I      y 1     dA (5.77)   2 1  y/R R R
It should be noted that I  is very nearly equal to the moment of inertia I about the
centroidal axis when the depth of the section is small compared with R, so that the
maximum ratio of y to R is small compared with unity. M is positive when it
decreases the radius of curvature.
Since the stress ?  E , we obtain the stresses in the curved beam from Eq.
(5.75) by multiplying it by E and substituting o and  from Eq. (5.76):
M My 1
?  (5.78)
AR I  1  y/R
The distance yo of the neutral axis from the centroidal axis (Fig. 5.42) may be
obtained from Eq. (5.78) by setting ?  0:
I R
y  (5.79) o 2 I   AR
Since yo is positive, the neutral axis shifts toward the center of curvature.
5.6.2 Curved Beams with Various Cross Sections
Equation (5.78) for bending stresses in curved beams subjected to end moments in
the plane of curvature can be expressed for the inside and outside beam faces in
the form:
?  K (5.80)
where c  distance from the centroidal axis to the inner or outer surface. Table 5.4
gives values of K calculated from Eq. (5.78) for circular, elliptical, and rectangular
cross sections.
If Eq. (5.78) is applied to 1 or T beams or tubular members, it may indicate
circumferential flange stresses that are much lower than will actually occur. The
error is due to the fact that the outer edges of the flanges deflect radially. The effect
is equivalent to having only part of the flanges active in resisting bending stresses.
Also, accompanying the flange deflections, there are transverse bending stresses in
the flanges. At the junction with the web, these reach a maximum, which may be
greater than the maximum circumferential stress. Furthermore, there are radial
stresses (normal stresses acting in the direction of the radius of curvature) in the
web that also may have maximum values greater than the maximum circumferential
A good approximation to the stresses in I or T beams is as follows: for circumferential
stresses, Eq. (5.78) may be used with a modified cross section, which is
obtained by using a reduced flange width. The reduction is calculated from b 
b, where b is the length of the portion of the flange projecting on either side from
the web, b is the corrected length, and  is a correction factor determined from
equations developed by H. Bleich,  is a function of b2 / rt, where t is the flange
thickness and r the radius of the center of the flange:
b2 / rt  0.5 0.7 1.0 1.5 2 3 4 5
 0.9 0.6 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.37 0.33
When the parameter b2 / rt is greater than 1.0, the maximum transverse bending
stress is approximately equal to 1.7 times the stress obtained at the center of the
flange from Eq. (5.78) applied to the modified section. When the parameter equals
0.7, that stress should be multiplied by 1.5, and when it equals 0.4, the factor is
1.0 in Eq. (5.78), I  for I beams may be taken for this calculation approximately
equal to
2 c
I   I 1  (5.81)  2 R
TABLE 5.4 Values of K for Curved Beams
Inside face Outside face yo
where I  moment of inertia of modified section about its centroidal axis
R  radius of curvature of centroidal axis
c  distance from centroidal axis to center of the more sharply curved flange
Because of the high stress factor, it is advisable to stiffen or brace curved I-beam
The maximum radial stress will occur at the junction of web and flange of I
beams. If the moment is negative, that is, if the loads tend to flatten out the beam,
the radial stress is tensile, and there is a tendency for the more sharply curved
flange to pull away from the web. An approximate value of this maximum stress
A M ? ?   (5.82) r A t c r w g
where ?r  radial stress at junction of flange and web of a symmetrical I beam
A?  area of one flange
A  total cross-sectional area
M  bending moment
tw  thickness of web
cg  distance from centroidal axis to center of flange
r  radius of curvature of inner face of more sharply curved flange
(A. P. Boresi, O. Sidebottom, F. B. Seely, and J. O. Smith, ‘‘Advanced Mechanics
of Materials,’’ John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.)
5.6.3 Axial and Bending Loads on Curved Beams
If a curved beam carries an axial load P as well as bending loads, the maximum
unit stress is
P Mc
?   K (5.83)
where K is a correction factor for the curvature [see Eq. (5.80)]. The sign of M is
taken positive in this equation when it increases the curvature, and P is positive
when it is a tensile force, negative when compressive.
5.6.4 Slope and Deflection of Curved Beams
If we consider two sections of a curved beam separated by a differential distance
ds (Fig. 5.42), the change in angle d  between the sections caused by a bending
moment M and an axial load P may be obtained from Eq. (5.76), noting that d 
M ds I P ds
d  1  (5.84)  2 EI AR ARE
where E is the modulus of elasticity, A the cross-sectional area, R the radius of
curvature of the centroidal axis, and I  is defined by Eq. (5.77).
If P is a tensile force, the length of the centroidal axis increases by
P ds M ds
ds  (5.85)
The effect of curvature on shearing deformations for most practical applications is
For shallow sections (depth of section less than about one-tenth the span), the
effect of axial forces on deformations may be neglected. Also, unless the radius of
curvature is very small compared with the depth, the effect of curvature may be
ignored. Hence, for most practical applications, Eq. (5.84) may be used in the
simplified form:
M ds
d  (5.86)
For deeper beams, the action of axial forces, as well as bending moments, should
be taken into account; but unless the curvature is sharp, its effect on deformations
may be neglected. So only Eq. (5.86) and the first term in Eq. (5.85) need be used.
(S. Timoshenko and D. H. Young, ‘‘Theory of Structures,’’ McGraw-Hill Publishing
Company, New York.) See also Arts. 5.14.1 to 5.14.3.
Columns are compression members whose cross-sectional dimensions are relatively
small compared with their length in the direction of the compressive force. Failure
of such members occurs because of instability when a certain axial load Pc (called
critical or Euler load) is equated or exceeded. The member may bend, or buckle,
suddenly and collapse.
Hence the strength P of a column is not determined by the unit stress in Eq.
(5.21) (P  A?) but by the maximum load it can carry without becoming unstable.
The condition of instability is characterized by disproportionately large increases
in lateral deformation with slight increase in axial load. Instability may occur in
slender columns before the unit stress reaches the elastic limit.
FIGURE 5.43 Buckling of a pin-ended long
5.7.1 Stable Equilibrium
Consider, for example, an axially loaded
column with ends unrestrained against
rotation, shown in Fig. 5.43. If the member
is initially perfectly straight, it will
remain straight as long as the load P is
less than the critical load Pc. If a small
transverse force is applied, the column
will deflect, but it will return to the
straight position when this force is removed.
Thus, when P is less than Pc,
internal and external forces are in stable
5.7.2 Unstable Equilibrium
If P  Pc and a small transverse force
is applied, the column again will deflect,
but this time, when the force is removed,
the column will remain in the
bent position (dashed line in Fig. 5.43).
The equation of this elastic curve can be obtained from Eq. (5.62):
2 d y
EI  P y (5.87) c 2 dx
in which E  modulus of elasticity
I  least moment of inertia
y  deflection of the bent member from the straight position at a distance
x from one end
This assumes, of course, that the stresses are within the elastic limit. Solution of
Eq. (5.87) gives the smallest value of the Euler load as
P  (5.88) c 2 L
Equation (5.88) indicates that there is a definite finite magnitude of an axial load
that will hold a column in equilibrium in the bent position when the stresses are
below the elastic limit. Repeated application and removal of small transverse forces
or small increases in axial load above this critical load will cause the member to
fail by buckling. Internal and external forces are in a state of unstable equilibrium.
It is noteworthy that the Euler load, which determines the load-carrying capacity
of a column, depends on the stiffness of the member, as expressed by the modulus
of elasticity, rather than on the strength of the material of which it is made.
By dividing both sides of Eq. (5.88) by the cross-sectional area A and substituting
r 2 for I /A (r is the radius of gyration of the section), we can write the solution
of Eq. (5.87) in terms of the average unit stress on the cross section:
2 P 
 E c  (5.89) 2 A (L/ r)
This holds only for the elastic range of buckling; i.e. for values of the slenderness
ratio L/ r above a certain limiting value that depends on the properties of the material.
For inelastic buckling, see Art. 5.7.4.
5.7.3 Effect of End Conditions
Equation (5.89) was derived on the assumption that the ends of the column are free
to rotate. It can be generalized, however, to take into account the effect of end
2 P 
 E c  (5.90) 2 A (kL/ r)
where k is the factor that depends on the end conditions. For a pin-ended column,
k  1; for a column with both ends fixed, k  1?2; for a column with one end fixed
and one end pinned, k is about 0.7; and for a column with one end fixed and one
end free from all restraint, k  2.
5.7.4 Inelastic Buckling
Equations (5.88) and (5.90) are derived from Eq. (5.87), the differential equation
for the elastic curve. They are based on the assumption that the critical average
stress is below the elastic limit when the state of unstable equilibrium is reached.
In members with slenderness ratio L/ r below a certain limiting value, however, the
elastic limit is exceeded before the column buckles. As the axial load approaches
the critical load, the modulus of elasticity varies with the stress. Hence Eqs. (5.88)
and (5.90), based on the assumption that E is a constant, do not hold for these short
FIGURE 5.44 Column curves: (a) stress-strain curve for a material that does not have a sharply
defined yield pont: (b) column curve for this material; (c) stress-strain curve for a material with a
sharply defined yield point; (d ) column curve for that material.
After extensive testing and analysis, prevalent engineering opinion favors the
Engesser equation for metals in the inelastic range:
2 P 
 E t t  (5.91) 2 A (kL/ r)
This differs from Eqs. (5.88) to (5.90) only in that the tangent modulus Et (the
actual slope of the stress-strain curve for the stress Pt /A) replaced the modulus of
elasticity E in the elastic range. Pt is the smallest axial load for which two equilibrium
positions are possible, the straight position and a deflected position.
5.7.5 Column Curves
Curves obtained by plotting the critical stress for various values of the slenderness
ratio are called column curves. For axially loaded, initially straight columns, the
column curve consists of two parts: (1) the Euler critical values, and (2) the Engesser,
or tangent-modulus critical values.
The latter are greatly affected by the shape of the stress-strain curve for the
material of which the column is made, as shown in Fig. 5.44. The stress-strain
curve for a material, such as an aluminum alloy or high-strength steel, which does
not have a sharply defined yield point, is shown in Fig. 5.44a. The corresponding
column curve is drawn in Fig. 5.44b. In contrast, Fig. 5.44c presents the stressstrain
curve for structural steel, with a sharply defined point, and Fig. 5.44d the
related column curve. This curve becomes horizontal as the critical stress approaches
the yield strength of the material and the tangent modulus becomes zero,
whereas the column curve in Fig. 5.44b continues to rise with decreasing values of
the slenderness ratio.
Examination of Fig. 44d also indicates that slender columns, which fall in the
elastic range, where the column curve has a large slope, are very sensitive to variations
in the factor k, which represents the effect of end conditions. On the other
hand, in the inelastic range, where the column curve is relatively flat, the critical
stress is relatively insensitive to changes in k. Hence the effect of end conditions
on the stability of a column is of much greater significance for long columns than
for short columns.
5.7.6 Local Buckling
A column may not only fail by buckling of the member as a whole but as an
alternative, by buckling of one of its components. Hence, when members like I
beams, channels, and angles are used as columns or when sections are built up of
plates, the possibility of the critical load on a component (leg, half flange, web,
lattice bar) being less than the critical load on the column as a whole should be
Similarly, the possibility of buckling of the compression flange or the web of a
beam should be looked into.
Local buckling, however, does not always result in a reduction in the loadcarrying
capacity of a column. Sometimes, it results in a redistribution of the
stresses enabling the member to carry additional load.
5.7.7 Behavior of Actual Columns
For many reasons, columns in structures behave differently from the ideal column
assumed in deriving Eqs. (5.88) and (5.91). A major consideration is the effect of
accidental imperfections, such as nonhomogeneity of materials, initial crookedness,
and unintentional eccentricities of the axial load, since neither field nor shopwork
can be perfect. These and the effects of residual stresses usually are taken into
account by a proper choice of safety factor.
There are other significant conditions, however, that must be considered in any
design rule: continuity in frame structures and eccentricity of the axial load. Continuity
affects column action in two ways. The restraint at column ends determines
the value of k, and bending moments are transmitted to the column by adjoining
structural members.
Because of the deviation of the behavior of actual columns from the ideal,
columns generally are designed by empirical formulas. Separate equations usually
are given for short columns, intermediate columns, and long columns. For specific
materials—steel, concrete, timber—these formulas are given in Secs. 7 to 10.
For more details on column action, see F. Bleich, ‘‘Buckling Strength of Metal
Structures,’’ McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New York, 1952: S. Timoshenko
and J. M. Gere, ‘‘Theory of Elastic Stability,’’ McGraw-Hill Publishing Company,
New York, 1961; and T. V. Galambos, ‘‘Guide to Stability Design Criteria for Metal
Structures,’’ 4th ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Somerset, N.J., 1988.
FIGURE 5.45 Addition of forces by (a) parallelogram law; (b) triangle
construction; (c) polygon construction.
A force may be represented by a straight line of fixed length. The length of line to
a given scale represents the magnitude of the force. The position of the line parallels
the line of action of the force. And an arrowhead on the line indicates the direction
in which the force acts.
Forces are concurrent when their lines of action meet. If they lie in the same
plane, they are coplanar.
5.8.1 Parallelogram of Forces
The resultant of several forces is a single forces that would produce the same effect
on a rigid body. The resultant of two concurrent forces is determined by the parallelogram
If a parallelogram is constructed with two forces as sides, the diagonal represents
the resultant of the forces (Fig. 5.45a).
The resultant is said to be equal to the sum of the forces, sum here meaning,
of course, addition by the parallelogram law. Subtraction is carried out in the same
manner as addition, but the direction of the force to be subtracted is reversed.
If the direction of the resultant is reversed, it becomes the equilibrant, a single
force that will hold the two given forces in equilibrium.
5.8.2 Resolution of Forces
To resolve a force into two components, a parallelogram is drawn with the force
as a diagonal. The sides of the parallelogram represent the components. The procedure
is: (1) Draw the given force. (2) From both ends of the force draw lines
parallel to the directions in which the components act. (3) Draw the components
along the parallels through the origin of the given force to the intersections with
the parallels through the other end. Thus, in Fig. 5.45a, P1 and P2 are the components
in directions OA and OB of the force represented by OC.
5.8.3 Force Polygons
Examination of Fig. 5.45a indicates that a step can be saved in adding the two
forces. The same resultant could be obtained by drawing only the upper half of the
parallelogram. Hence, to add two forces, draw the first force; then draw the second
force beginning at the end of the first one. The resultant is the force drawn from
the origin of the first force to the end of the second force, as shown in Fig. 5.45b.
Again, the equilibrant is the resultant with direction reversed.
From this diagram, an important conclusion can be drawn: If three forces meeting
at a point are in equilibrium, they will form a closed force triangle.
The conclusions reached for addition of two forces can be generalized for several
concurrent forces: To add several forces, P1, P2, P3, . . . , Pn, draw P2 from the end
of P1, P3 from the end of P2, etc. The force required to close the force polygon is
the resultant (Fig. 5.45c).
If a group of concurrent forces are in equilibrium, they will form a closed
force polygon.
A truss is a coplanar system of structural members joined together at their ends to
form a stable framework. If small changes in the lengths of the members due to
loads are neglected, the relative positions of the joints cannot change.
5.9.1 Characteristics of Trusses
Three bars pinned together to form a triangle represents the simplest type of truss.
Some of the more common types of roof trusses are shown in Fig. 6.46.
The top members are called the upper chord; the bottom members, the lower
chord; and the verticals and diagonals web members.
The purpose of roof trusses is to act like big beams, to support the roof covering
over long spans. They not only have to carry their own weight and the weight of
the roofing and roof beams, or purlins, but cranes, wind loads, snow loads, suspended
ceilings, and equipment, and a live load to take care of construction, maintenance,
and repair loading. These loads are applied at the intersection of the members,
or panel points, so that the members will be subjected principally to axial
stresses—tension or compression.
Methods of computing stresses in trusses are presented in Arts. 5.9.3 and 5.9.4.
A method of computing truss deflections is described in Art. 5.10.4.
5.9.2 Bow’s Notation
For simple designation of loads and stresses, capital letters are placed in the spaces
between truss members and between forces. Each member and load is then designated
by the letters on opposite sides of it. For example, in Fig. 5.47a, the upper
chord members are AF, BH, CJ, and DL. The loads are AB, BC, and CD, and the
reactions are EA and DE. Stresses in the members generally are designated by the
same letters but in lowercase.
5.9.3 Method of Joints
A useful method for determining the stresses in truss members is to select sections
that isolate the joints one at a time and then apply the laws of equilibrium to each.
FIGURE 5.46 Common types of roof trusses.
Considering the stresses in the cut members as external forces, the sum of the
horizontal components of the forces acting at a joint must be zero, and so must be
the sum of the vertical components. Since the lines of action of all the forces are
known, we can therefore compute two unknown magnitudes at each joint by this
method. The procedure is to start at a joint that has only two unknowns (generally
at the support) and then, as stresses in members are determined, analyze successive
Let us, for illustration, apply the method to joint 1 of the truss in Fig. 5.47a.
Equating the sum of the vertical components to zero, we find that the vertical
component of the top-chord must be equal and opposite to the reaction, 12 kips
(12,000 lb). The stress in the top chord at this joint, then, must be a compression
equal to 12  30?18  20 kips. From the fact that the sum of the horizontal components
must be zero, we find that the stress in the bottom chord at the joint must
be equal and opposite to the horizontal component of the top chord. Hence the
stress in the bottom chord must be a tension equal to 20  24?30  16 kips.
Moving to joint 2, we note that, with no vertical loads at the joint, the stress in
the vertical is zero. Also, the stress is the same in both bottom chord members at
the joint, since the sum of the horizontal components must be zero.
Joint 3 now contains only two unknown stresses. Denoting the truss members
and the loads by the letters placed on opposite sides of them, as indicated in Fig.
5.47a, the unknown stresses are SBH and SHG. The laws of equilibrium enable us to
FIGURE 5.47 Method of joints applied to the roof truss shown in (a).
Stresses in members at each joint are determined graphically in sucession (b)
to (e).
write the following two equations, one for the vertical components and the second
for the horizontal components:
V  0.6S  8  0.6S  0.6S  0 FA BH HG
H  0.8S  0.8S  0.8S  0 FA BH HG
Both unknown stresses are assumed to be compressive; i.e., acting toward the joint.
The stress in the vertical does not appear in these equations, because it was already
determined to be zero. The stress in FA, SFA, was found from analysis of joint 1 to
be 20 kips. Simultaneous solution of the two equations yields SHG  6.7 kips and
SBH  13.3 kips. (If these stresses had come out with a negative sign, it would
have indicated that the original assumption of their directions was incorrect; they
would, in that case, be tensile forces instead of compressive forces.) See also Art.
All the force polygons in Fig. 5.47 can be conveniently combined into a single
stress diagram. The combination (Fig. 5.47?) is called a Maxwell diagram.
FIGURE 5.48 Stresses in truss members cut by section XX, shown in (a),
are determined by method of sections (b).
5.9.4 Method of Sections
An alternative method to that described in Art. 5.9.3 for determining the stresses
in truss members is to isolate a portion of the truss by a section so chosen as to
cut only as many members with unknown stresses as can be evaluated by the laws
of equilibrium applied to that portion of the truss. The stresses in the cut members
are treated as external forces. Compressive forces act toward the panel point and
tensile forces away from the joint.
Suppose, for example, we wish to find the stress in chord AB of the truss in
Fig. 5.48a. We can take a vertical section XX close to panel point A. This cuts not
only AB but AD and ED as well. The external 10-kip (10,000-lb) loading and 25-
kip reaction at the left are held in equilibrium by the compressive force C in AB,
tensile force T in ED, and tensile force S in AD (Fig. 5.48b). The simplest way to
find C is to take moments about D, the point of intersection of S and T, eliminating
these unknowns from the calculation.
9C  36  25  24  10  12  10  0
from which C is found to be 60 kips.
Similarly, to find the stress in ED, the simplest way is to take moments about
A, the point of intersection of S and C:
9T  24  25  12  10  0
from which T is found to be 53.3 kips.
On the other hand, the stress in AD can be easily determined by two methods.
One takes advantage of the fact that AB and ED are horizontal members, requiring
AD to carry the full vertical shear at section XX. Hence we know that the vertical
component V of S  25  10  10  5 kips. Multiplying V by sec  (Fig. 5.48b),
which is equal to the ratio of the length of AD to the rise of the truss (15?9), S is
found to be 8.3 kips. The second method—presented because it is useful when the
chords are not horizontal—is to resolve S into horizontal and vertical components
at D and take moments about E. Since both T and the horizontal component of S
pass through E, they do not appear in the computations, and C already has been
computed. Equating the sum of the moments to zero gives V  5, as before.
Some trusses are complex and require special methods of analysis. (Norris et
al., ‘‘Elementary Structural Analysis,’’ 4th ed., McGraw-Hill Book Company, New
For some types of structures, the equilibrium equations are not sufficient to determine
the reactions or the internal stresses. These structures are called statically
For the analysis of such structures, additional equations must be written on the
basis of a knowledge of the elastic deformations. Hence methods of analysis that
enable deformations to be evaluated in terms of unknown forces or stresses are
important for the solution of problems involving statically indeterminate structures.
Some of these methods, like the method of virtual work, are also useful in solving
complicated problems involving statically determinate systems.
5.10.1 Virtual Work
A virtual displacement is an imaginary small displacement of a particle consistent
with the constraints upon it. Thus, at one support of a simply supported beam, the
virtual displacement could be an infinitesimal rotation d  of that end but not a
vertical movement. However, if the support is replaced by a force, then a vertical
virtual displacement may be applied to the beam at that end.
Virtual work is the product of the distance a particle moves during a virtual
displacement by the component in the direction of the displacement of a force
acting on the particle. If the displacement and the force are in opposite directions,
the virtual work is negative. When the displacement is normal to the force, no work
is done.
Suppose a rigid body is acted upon by a system of forces with a resultant R.
Given a virtual displacement ds at an angle  with R, the body will have virtual
work done on it equal to R cos  ds. (No work is done by internal forces. They
act in pairs of equal magnitude but opposite direction, and the virtual work done
by one force of a pair is equal but opposite in sign to the work done by the other
force.) If the body is in equilibrium under the action of the forces, then R  0 and
the virtual work also is zero.
Thus, the principle of virtual work may be stated: If a rigid body in equilibrium
is given a virtual displacement, the sum of the virtual work of the forces acting
on it must be zero.
FIGURE 5.49 Principle of virtual work applied
to determination of a simple-beam reaction
(a) and (b) and to the reaction of a beam with
a suspended span (c) and (d ).
As an example of how the principle
may be used to find a reaction of a statically
determinate beam, consider the
simple beam in Fig. 5.49a, for which the
reaction R is to be determined. First, replace
the support by an unknown force
R. Next, move that end of the beam upward
a small amount dy as in Fig. 5.49b.
The displacement under the load P will
be x dy/L, upward. Then, by the principle
of virtual work, R dy  Px dy/L 
0, from which R  Px/L.
The principle may also be used to
find the reaction R of the more complex
beam in Fig. 5.49c. The first step again
is to replace the support by an unknown
force R. Next, apply a virtual downward
displacement dy at hinge A (Fig. 5.49d
). Displacement under load P is x dy/c,
and at the reaction R, a dy/ (a  b). According
to the principle of virtual work,
Ra dy/ (a  b)  Px dy/c  0, from
which reaction R  Px(a  b) /ac. In
this type of problem, the method has the
advantage that only one reaction need
be considered at a time and internal
forces are not involved.
5.10.2 Strain Energy
When an elastic body is deformed, the
virtual work done by the internal forces
is equal to the corresponding increment
of the strain energy dU, in accordance with the principle of virtual work.
Assume a constrained elastic body acted upon by forces P1, P2, . . . , for which
the corresponding deformations are e1, e2 . . . . Then, Pn den  dU. The increment
of the strain energy due to the increments of the deformations is given by
dU  de  de     1 2 e e 1 2
In solving a specific problem, a virtual displacement that is not convenient in simplifying
the solution should be chosen. Suppose, for example, a virtual displacement
is selected that affects only the deformation en corresponding to the load Pn, other
deformations being unchanged. Then, the principle of virtual work requires that
P de  de n n n en
This is equivalent to
 P (5.92) n en
FIGURE 5.50 Statically indeterminate truss.
which states that the partial derivative of
the strain energy with respect to any
specific deformation gives the corresponding
Suppose, for example, the stress in
the vertical bar in Fig. 5.50 is to be determined.
All bars are made of the same
material and have the same cross section.
If the vertical bar stretches an
amount e under the load P, the inclined
bars will each stretch an amount e cos
. The strain energy in the system is
[from Eq. (5.30)]
AE 2 2 3 U  (e  2e cos )
and the partial derivative of this with respect to e must be equal to P; that is
AE 3 P  (2e  4e cos )
AEe 3  (1  2 cos )
Noting that the force in the vertical bar equals AEe/L, we find from the above
equation that the required stress equals P/ (1  2 cos3 ).
Castigliano’s Theorems. It can also be shown that, if the strain energy is expressed
as a function of statically independent forces, the partial derivative of the
strain energy with respect to one of the forces gives the deformation corresponding
to that force. (See Timoshenko and Young, ‘‘Theory of Structures,’’ McGraw-Hill
Publishing Company, New York.)
 e (5.93) n Pn
This is known as Castigliano’s first theorem. (His second theorem is the principle
of least work.)
5.10.3 Method of Least Work
If displacement of a structure is prevented, as at a support, the partial derivative of
the strain energy with respect to that supporting force must be zero, according to
Castigliano’s first theorem. This establishes his second theorem:
The strain energy in a statically indeterminate structure is the minimum
consistent with equilibrium.
As an example of the use of the method of least work, we shall solve again for
the stress in the vertical bar in Fig. 5.50. Calling this stress X, we note that the
stress in each of the inclined bars must be (P  X)/2 cos . With the aid of Eq.
(5.30), we can express the strain energy in the system in terms of X as
2 2 X L (P  X) L
U  3 2AE 4AE cos 
Hence, the internal work in the system will be a minimum when
U XL (P  X)L
  0 3 X AE 2AE cos 
Solving for X gives the stress in the vertical bar as P/ (1  2 cos3 ), as before
(Art. 5.10.1).
5.10.4 Dummy Unit-Load Method
In Art. 5.2.7, the strain energy for pure bending was given as U  M2L/2EI in Eq.
(5.33). To find the strain energy due to bending stress in a beam, we can apply this
equation to a differential length dx of the beam and integrate over the entire span.
L 2 M dx
U   (5.94)
0 2EI
If M represents the bending moment due to a generalized force P, the partial derivative
of the strain energy with respect to P is the deformation d corresponding
to P. Differentiating Eq. (5.94) under the integral sign gives
d   dx (5.95)
0 EI P
The partial derivative in this equation is the rate of change of bending moment with
the load P. It is equal to the bending moment m produced by a unit generalized
load applied at the point where the deformation is to be measured and in the
direction of the deformation. Hence, Eq. (5.95) can also be written
L Mm
d   dx (5.96)
0 EI
To find the vertical deflection of a beam, we apply a vertical dummy unit load at
the point where the deflection is to be measured and substitute the bending moments
due to this load and the actual loading in Eq. (5.96). Similarly, to compute a rotation,
we apply a dummy unit moment.
Beam Deflections. As a simple example, let us apply the dummy unit-load
method to the determination of the deflection at the center of a simply supported,
uniformly loaded beam of constant moment of inertia (Fig. 5.51a). As indicated in
Fig. 5.51b, the bending moment at a distance x from one end is (wL/2)x  (w/
2)x2. If we apply a dummy unit load vertically at the center of the beam (Fig.
FIGURE 5.51 Dummy unit-load method applied
to a uniformly loaded, simple beam (a) to
find mid-span deflection; (b) moment diagram
for the uniform load; (c) unit load at midspan:
(d ) moment diagram for the unit load.
FIGURE 5.52 End rotation of a simple beam
due to an end moment: (a) by dummy unit-load
method; (b) moment diagram for the end moment;
(c) unit moment applied at beam end;
(d ) moment diagram for the unit moment.
5.51c), where the vertical deflection is to be determined, the moment at x is x/2,
as indicated in Fig. 5.51d. Substituting in Eq. (5.96) and taking advantage of the
symmetry of the loading gives
L / 2 4 wL w x dx 5wL 2 d  2  x  x    0 2 2 2EI 384EI
Beam End Rotations. As another example, let us apply the method to finding the
end rotation at one end of a simply supported, prismatic beam produced by a
moment applied at the other end. In other words, the problem is to find the end
rotation at B, B, in Fig. 5.52a, due to MA. As indicated in Fig. 5.52b, the bending
moment at a distance x from B caused by MA is MAx/L. If we applied a dummy
unit moment at B (Fig. 5.52c), it would produce a moment at x of (L  x) /L (Fig.
5.52d). Substituting in Eq. (5.96) gives
L x L  x dx M L A    M  B A
0 L L EI 6EI
Shear Deflections. To determine the deflection of a beam caused by shear, Castigliano’s
theorems can be applied to the strain energy in shear
2 v
V    dA dx
where v  shearing unit stress
G  modulus of rigidity
A  cross-sectional area
Truss Deflections. The dummy unit-load method may also be adapted for the
determination of the deformation of trusses. As indicated by Eq. (5.30), the strain
energy in a truss is given by
2 S L
U  (5.97) 	 2AE
which represents the sum of the strain energy for all the members of the truss. S
is the stress in each member caused by the loads. Applying Castigliano’s first
theorem and differentiating inside the summation sign yield the deformation:
d  (5.98) 	 AE P
The partial derivative in this equation is the rate of change of axial stress with the
load P. It is equal to the axial stress u in each bar of the truss produced by a unit
load applied at the point where the deformation is to be measured and in the
direction of the deformation. Consequently, Eq. (5.98) can also be written
d  (5.99) 	 AE
To find the deflection of a truss, apply a vertical dummy unit load at the panel
point where the deflection is to be measured and substitute in Eq. (5.99) the stresses
in each member of the truss due to this load and the actual loading. Similarly, to
find the rotation of any joint, apply a dummy unit moment at the joint, compute
the stresses in each member of the truss, and substitute in Eq. (5.99). When it is
necessary to determine the relative movement of two panel points, apply dummy
unit loads in opposite directions at those points.
It is worth noting that members that are not stressed by the actual loads or the
dummy loads do not enter into the calculation of a deformation.
As an example of the application of Eq. (5.99), let us compute the deflection of
the truss in Fig. 5.53. The stresses due to the 20-kip load at each panel point are
shown in Fig. 5.53a, and the ratio of length of members in inches to their crosssectional
area in square inches is given in Table 5.5. We apply a vertical dummy
unit load at L2, where the deflection is required. Stresses u due to this load are
shown in Fig. 5.53b and Table 5.5.
The computations for the deflection are given in Table 5.5. Members not stressed
by the 20-kip loads or the dummy unit load are not included. Taking advantage of
the symmetry of the truss, we tabulate the values for only half the truss and double
the sum.
SuL 2  13.742,000
d  0.916 in
AE 30,000,000
Also, to reduce the amount of calculation, we do not include the modulus of
elasticity E, which is equal to 30,000,000, until the very last step, since it is the
same for all members.
FIGURE 5.53 Dummy unit-load method applied to the loaded truss shown in (a) to find midspan
deflection; (b) unit load applied at midspan.
TABLE 5.5 Deflection of a Truss
Member L/A S u SuL/A
5.10.5 Reciprocal Theorem and Influence Lines
Consider a structure loaded by a group of independent forces A, and suppose that
a second group of forces B are added. The work done by the forces A acting over
the displacements due to B will be WAB.
Now, suppose the forces B had been on the structure first, and then load A had
been applied. The work done by the forces B acting over the displacements due to
A will be WBA.
The reciprocal theorem states that WAB  WBA.
Some very useful conclusions can be drawn from this equation. For example,
there is the reciprocal deflection relationship: The deflection at a point A due to
a load at B is equal to the deflection at B due to the same load applied at A.
Also, the rotation at A due to a load (or moment) at B is equal to the rotation
at B due to the same load (or moment) applied at A.
Another consequence is that deflection curves may also be influence lines to
some scale for reactions, shears, moments, or deflections (Muller-Breslau principles).
(Influence lines are defined in Art. 5.5.8.) For example, suppose the influence
FIGURE 5.56 Moment-influence line for a
continuous beam.
FIGURE 5.57 Deflection-influence line for a
continuous beam.
FIGURE 5.54 Reaction-influence line for a
continuous beam.
FIGURE 5.55 Shear-influence line for a continuous
line for a reaction is to be found; that is, we wish to plot the reaction R as a unit
load moves over the structure, which may be statically indeterminate. For the loading
condition A, we analyze the structure with a unit load on it at a distance x from
some reference point. For loading condition B, we apply a dummy unit vertical
load upward at the place where the reaction is to be determined, deflecting the
structure off the support. At a distance x from the reference point, the displacement
in dxR and over the support the displacement is dRR. Hence WAB   1 (DxR) 
RdRR. On the other hand, WBA is zero, since loading condition A provides no displacement
for the dummy unit load at the support in condition B. Consequently,
from the reciprocal theorem,
dxR R 
Since dRR is a constant, R is proportional to dxR. Hence the influence line for a
reaction can be obtained from the deflection curve resulting from a displacement
of the support (Fig. 5.54). The magnitude of the reaction is obtained by dividing
each ordinate of the deflection curve by the displacement of the support.
Similarly, the influence line for shear can be obtained from the deflection curve
produced by cutting the structure and shifting the cut ends vertically at the point
for which the influence line is desired (Fig. 5.55).
The influence line for bending moment can be obtained from the deflection curve
produced by cutting the structure and rotating the cut ends at the point for which
the influence line is desired (Fig. 5.56).
And finally, it may be noted that the deflection curve for a load of unity at some
point of a structure is also the influence line for deflection at that point (Fig. 5.57).
5.10.6 Superposition Methods
The principle of superposition applies when the displacement (deflection or rotation)
of every point of a structure is directly proportional to the applied loads. The
principle states that the displacement at each point caused by several loads equals
the sum of the displacements at the point when the loads are applied to the structure
individually in any sequence. Also, the bending moment (or shear) at every point
induced by applied loads equals the sum of the bending moments (or shears) induced
at the point by the loads applied individually in any sequence.
The principle holds for linearly elastic structures, for which unit stresses are
proportional to unit strains, when displacements are very small and calculations can
be based on the underformed configuration of the structure without significant error.
As a simple example, consider a bar with length L and cross-sectional area A
loaded with n axial loads P1, P2 . . . Pn. Let F equal the sum of the loads. From
Eq. (5.23), F causes an elongation  FL/AE, where E is the modulus of elasticity
of the bar. According to the principle of superposition, if e1 is the elongation caused
by P1 alone, e2 by P2 alone, . . and en by Pn alone, then regardless of the sequence
in which the loads are applied, when all the loads are on the bar,
 e  e      e 1 2 n
This simple case can be easily verified by substituting e1  P1L/AE, e2  P2L/AE,
. . . , and en  PnL/AE in this equation and noting that F  P1  P2      Pn:
P L P L P L L FL 1 2 n      (P  P      P )  1 2 n AE AE AE AE AE
In the preceding equations, L/AE represents the elongation induced by a unit
load and is called the flexibility of the bar.
The reciprocal, AE/L, represents the force that causes a unit elongation and is
called the stiffness of the bar.
Analogous properties of beams, columns, and other structural members and the
principle of superposition are useful in analysis of many types of structures. Calculation
of stresses and displacements of statically indeterminate structures, for
example, often can be simplified by resolution of bending moments, shears, and
displacements into components chosen to supply sufficient equations for the solution
from requirements for equilibrium of forces and compatibility of displacements.
Consider the continuous beam ALRBC shown in Fig. 5.58a. Under the loads
shown, member LR is subjected to end moments ML and MR (Fig. 5.58b) that are
initially unknown. The bending-moment diagram for LR for these end moments is
shown at the left in Fig. 5.58c. If these end moments were known, LR would be
statically determinate; that is LR could be treated as a simply supported beam
subjected to known end moments ML and MR. The analysis can be further simplified
by resolution of the bending-moment diagram into the three components shown to
the right of the equal sign in Fig. 5.58c. This example leads to the following
The bending moment at any section of a span LR of a continuous beam or
frame equals the simple-beam moment due to the applied loads, plus the simple-
beam moment due to the end moment at L, plus the simple-beam moment
due to the end moment at R.
When the moment diagrams for all the spans of ALRBC in Fig. 5.58 have been
resolved into components so that the spans may be treated as simple beams, all the
end moments (moments at supports) can be determined from two basic requirements:
FIGURE 5.58 Any span of a continuous beam (a) can be treated as a
simple beam, as shown in (b) and (c), the moment diagram is resolved into
basic components.
1. The sum of the moments at every support equals zero.
2. The end rotation (angular change at the support) of each member rigidly connected
at the support is the same.
5.10.7 Influence-Coefficient Matrices
A matrix is a rectangular array of numbers in rows and columns that obeys certain
mathematical rules known generally as matrix algebra and matrix calculus. A matrix
consisting of only a single column is called a vector. In this book, matrices and
vectors are represented by boldfaced letters and their elements by lightface symbols,
with appropriate subscripts. It often is convenient to use numbers for the subscripts
to indicate the position of an element in the matrix. Generally, the first digit indicates
the row and the second digit the column. Thus, in matrix A, A23 represents
the element in the second row and third column:
A A A 11 12 13
A  A A A (5.100) 21 22 23  	 A A A 31 32 33
Methods based on matrix representations often are advantageous for structural
analysis and design of complex structures. One reason is that matrices provide a
compact means of representing and manipulating large quantities of numbers. Another
reason is that computers can perform matrix operations automatically and
speedily. Computer programs are widely available for this purpose.
Matrix Equations. Matrix notation is especially convenient in representing the
solution of simultaneous liner equations, which arise frequently in structural analysis.
For example, suppose a set of equations is represented in matrix notation by
AX  B, where X is the vector of variables X1, X2, . . . , Xn, B is the vector of the
constants on the right-hand side of the equations, and A is a matrix of the coeffi-
cients of the variables. Multiplication of both sides of the equation by A , the 1
inverse of A, yieldsA AXA B. SinceA A I, the identity matrix, and IX 1 1 1
 X, the solution of the equations is represented by X A B. The matrix inver- 1
sion A can be readily performed by computers. For large matrices, however, it 1
often is more practical to solve the equations, for example, by the Gaussian procedure
of eliminating one unknown at a time.
In the application of matrices to structural analysis, loads and displacements are
considered applied at the intersection of members (joints, or nodes). The loads may
be resolved into moments, torques, and horizontal and vertical components. These
may be assembled for each node into a vector and then all the node vectors may
be combined into a force vector P for the whole structure.
P2 P  (5.101)
Similarly, displacement corresponding to those forces may be resolved into rotations,
twists, and horizontal and vertical components and assembled for the whole
structure into a vector .
2   (5.102)
If the structure meets requirements for application of the principle of superposition
(Art. 5.10.6) and forces and displacements are arranged in the proper sequence, the
vectors of forces and displacements are related by
P  K (5.103a)
  FP (5.103b)
where K  stiffness matrix of the whole structure
F  flexibility matrix of the whole structure  K1
The stiffness matrix K transform displacements into loads. The flexibility matrix
F transforms loads into displacements. The elements of K and F are functions of
material properties, such as the modules of elasticity; geometry of the structure;
and sectional properties of members of the structure, such as area and moment of
inertia. K and F are square matrices; that is, the number of rows in each equals
the number of columns. In addition, both matrices are symmetrical; that is, in each
matrix, the columns and rows may be interchanged without changing the matrix.
Thus, Kij  Kji, and Fij  Fji, where i indicates the row in which an element is
located and j the column.
Influence Coefficients. Elements of the stiffness and flexibility matrices are in-
fluence are coefficients. Each element is derived by computing the displacements
(or forces) occurring at nodes when a unit displacement (or force) is imposed at
one node, while all other displacements (or forces) are taken as zero.
Let i be the ith element of matrix . Then a typical element Fij of F gives the
displacement of anode i in the direction of i when a unit force acts at a node j in
the direction of force Pj and no other forces are acting on the structure. The jth
column of F, therefore, contains all the nodal displacements induced by a unit force
acting at node j in the direction of Pj.
Similarly, Let Pi be the ith element of matrix P. Then, a typical element Kij of
K gives the force at a node i in the direction of Pi when a node j is given a unit
displacement in the direction of displacement j and no other displacements are
permitted. The jth column of K, therefore, contains all the nodal forces caused by
a unit displacement of node j in the direction of j.
Application to a Beam. A general method for determining the forces and moments
in a continuous beam is as follows: Remove as many redundant supports or
members as necessary to make the structure statically determinant. Compute for
the actual loads the deflections or rotations of the statically determinate structure
in the direction of the unknown forces and couples exerted by the removed supports
and members. Then, in terms of these forces and couples, treated as variables,
compute the corresponding deflections or rotations the forces and couples produce
in the statically determinate structure (see Arts. 5.5.16 and 5.10.4). Finally, for each
redundant support or member write equations that give the known rotations or
deflections of the original structure in terms of the deformations of the statically
determinate structure.
For example, one method of finding the reactions of the continuous beam AC
in Fig. 5.59a is to remove supports 1, 2, and 3 temporarily. The beam is now
simply supported between A and C, and the reactions and moments can be computed
from the laws of equilibrium. Beam AC deflects at points 1, 2, and 3, whereas
we know that the continuous beam is prevented from deflecting at these points by
the supports there. This information enables us to write three equations in terms of
the three unknown reactions that were eliminated to make the beam statically determinate.
To determine the equations, assume that nodes exist at the location of the supports
1, 2, and 3. Then, for the actual loads, compute the vertical deflections d1,
d2, and d3 of simple beam AC at nodes 1, 2, and 3, respectively (Fig. 5.59b). Next,
form two vectors, d with element d1, d2 and R with the unknown reactions R1 at
node 1, R2 at node 2, and R3 at node 3 as elements. Since the beam may be assumed
to be linearly elastic, set d  FR, where F is the flexibility matrix for simple beam
AC. The elements yij of F are influence coefficients. To determine them, calculate
column 1 of F as the deflections y11, y21, and y31 at nodes 1, 2, and 3, respectively,
when a unit force is applied at node 1 (Fig. 5.59c). Similarly, compute column 2
of F for a unit force at node 2 (Fig. 5.59d) and column 3 for a unit force at node
3 (Fig. 5.59e). The three equations then are given by
y y y R d 11 12 13 1 1
y y y R  d (5.104) 21 22 23 2 2  		 	 y y y R d 31 32 33 3 3
The solution may be represented by R F dand obtained by matrix or algebraic 1
methods. See also Art. 5.13.
Fixed-end beams, continuous beams, continuous trusses, and rigid frames are statically
indeterminate. The equations of equilibrium are not sufficient for the deterSTRUCTURAL
FIGURE 5.59 Determination of reactions of
continuous beam AC: (a) Loaded beam with supports
at points 1, 2, and 3. (b) Deflection of beam
when supports are removed. (c) to (e) Deflections
when a unit load is applied successively at points
1, 2, and 3.
mination of all the unknown forces and moments. Additional equations based on a
knowledge of the deformation of the member are required.
Hence, while the bending moments in a simply supported beam are determined
only by the loads and the span, bending moments in a statically indeterminate
member are also a function of the geometry, cross-sectional dimensions, and modulus
of elasticity.
5.11.1 Sign Convention
For computation of end moments in continuous beams and frames, the following
sign convention is most convenient: A moment acting at an end of a member or at
a joint is positive if it tends to rotate the joint clockwise, negative if it tends to
rotate the joint counterclockwise.
Similarly, the angular rotation at the end of a member is positive if in a clockwise
direction, negative if counterclockwise. Thus, a positive end moment produces a
positive end rotation in a simple beam.
For ease in visualizing the shape of the elastic curve under the action of loads
and end moments, bending-moment diagrams should be plotted on the tension side
FIGURE 5.60 End rotations of a simple beam LR when a unit moment
is applied (a) at end L and (b) at end R.
of each member. Hence, if an end moment is represented by a curved arrow, the
arrow will point in the direction in which the moment is to be plotted.
5.11.2 Carry-Over Moments
When a member of a continuous beam or frame is loaded, bending moments are
induced at the ends of the member as well as between the ends. The magnitude of
the end moments depends on the magnitude and location of the loads, the geometry
of the member, and the amount of restraint offered to end rotation of the member
by other members connected to it. Because of the restraint, end moments are induced
in the connecting members, in addition to end moments that may be induced
by loads on those spans.
If the far end of a connecting member is restrained by support conditions against
rotation, a resisting moment is induced at that end. That moment is called a carryover
moment. The ratio of the carry-over moment to the other end moment is called
carry-over factor. It is constant for the member, independent of the magnitude and
direction of the moments to be carried over. Every beam has two carry-over factors,
one directed toward each end.
As pointed out in Art. 5.10.6, analysis of a continuous span can be simplified
by treating it as a simple beam subjected to applied end moments. Thus, it is
convenient to express the equations for carry-over factors in terms of the end rotations
of simple beams: Convert a continuous member LR to a simple beam with
the same span L. Apply a unit moment to one end (Fig. 5.60). The end rotation at
the support where the moment is applied is , and at the far end, the rotation is .
By the dummy-load method (Art. 5.10.4), if x is measured from the  end,
L 2 1 x
  dx (5.105) 2 0 L EIx
L 1 x(L  x)
  dx (5.106) 2 0 L EIx
in which Ix  moment of inertia at a section a distance of x from the  end
E  modulus of elasticity
In accordance with the reciprocal theorem (Art. 5.10.5)  has the same value regardless
of the beam end to which the unit moment is applied (Fig. 5.60). For
prismatic beams (Ix  constant),
FIGURE 5.61 Effect of applying an end moment M to any span of a continuous
beam: (a) An end moment CRM is induced at the opposite end. (b) and (c) The
moment diagram in (a) is resolved into moment diagrams for a simple beam. (d )
and (e) Addition of the end rotations corresponding to conditions (b) and (c) yields
( ? ), the end rotations induced by M in the beam shown in (a)
    (5.107) L R 3EI
Carry-Over Factors. The preceding equations can be used to determine carryover
factors for any magnitude of end restraint. The carry-over factors toward fixed
ends, however, are of special importance.
The bending-moment diagram for a continuous span LR that is not loaded except
for a moment M applied at end L is shown in Fig. 5.61a. For determination of the
carry-over factor CR toward R, that end is assumed fixed (no rotation can occur
there). The carry-over moment to R then is CRM. The moment diagram in Fig.
5.61a can be resolved into two components: a simple beam with M applied at L
(Fig. 5.61b) and a simple beam with CRM applied at R (Fig. 5.61c). As indicated
in Fig. 5.61d, M causes an angle change at R of . As shown in Fig. 5.61e, CR
M induces an angle change at R of CRMR. Since the net angle change at R is zero
(Fig. 5.61?), CRMR  M 0, from which

C  (5.109) R R
Similarly, the carry-over factor toward support L is given by

C  (5.110) L L
Since the carry-over factors are positive, the moment carried over has the same
sign as the applied moment. For prismatic beams,   L/6EI and   L/3EI.
L 3EI 1
C  C   (5.111) L R 6EI L 2
For beams with variable moment of inertia,  and  can be determined from Eqs.
(5.105) and (5.106) and the carry-over factors from Eqs. (5.109) and (5.110).
If an end of a beam is free to rotate, the carry-over factor toward that end is
FIGURE 5.62 Determination of fixed-end
stiffness: (a) elastic curve for moment KR causing
a unit end rotation; (b) the moment diagram
for condition (a).
5.11.3 Fixed-End Stiffness
The fixed-end stiffness of a beam is de-
fined as the moment that is required to
induce a unit rotation at the support
where it is applied while the other end
of the beam is fixed against rotation.
Stiffness is important because, in the
moment-distribution method, it determines
the proportion of the total moment
applied at a joint, or intersection
of members, that is distributed to each
member of the joint.
In Fig. 5.62a, the fixed-end stiffness
of beam LR at end R is represented by
KR. When KR is applied to beam LR at
R, a moment ML  CLKR is carried over
to end L, where CL is the carry-over factor
toward L (see Art. 5.11.2). KR induces
an angle change R at R, where R is given by Eq. (5.105). The carry-over
moment induces at R an angle change CLkR , where  is given by Eq. (5.106).
Since, by the definition of stiffness, the total angle change at R is unit, KR R 
CLKR  1, from which
1/ R K  (5.112) R 1  C C R L
when CR is substituted for / R [see Eq. (5.109)].
In a similar manner, the stiffness at L is found to be
1/ L K  (5.113) L 1  C C R L
With the use of Eqs. (5.107) and (5.111), the stiffness of a beam with constant
moment of inertia is given by
K  K  (5.114) L R 1  1/2  1/2 L
where L  span of the beam
E  modulus of elasticity
I  moment of inertia of beam cross section
Beam with Hinge. The stiffness of one end of a beam when the other end is free
to rotate can be obtained from Eqs. (5.112) or (5.113) by setting the carry-over
factor toward the hinged end equal to zero. Thus, for a prismatic beam with one
end hinged, the stiffness of the beam at the other end is given by
FIGURE 5.63 Determination of fixed-end moments in beam LR: (a) Loads on the fixed-end
beam are resolved (b) to (d ) into the sum of loads on a simple beam. (e) to (h) Bending-moment
diagrams for conditions (a) to (d ), respectively.
K  (5.115)
This equation indicates that a prismatic beam hinged at only one end has threefourths
the stiffness, or resistance to end rotation, of a beam fixed at both ends.
5.11.4 Fixed-End Moments
A beam so restrained at its ends that no rotation is produced there by the loads is
called a fixed-end beam, and the end moments are called fixed-end moments. Fixedend
moments may be expressed as the product of a coefficient and WL, where W
is the total load on the span L. The coefficient is independent of the properties of
other members of the structure. Thus, any member can be isolated from the rest of
the structure and its fixed-end moments computed.
Assume, for example, that the fixed-end moments for the loaded beam in Fig.
5.63a are to be determined. Let M be the moment at the left end L and M the F F
moment at the right end R of the beam. Based on the condition that no rotation is
permitted at either end and that the reactions at the supports are in equilibrium with
the applied loads, two equations can be written for the end moments in terms of
the simple-beam end rotations, L at L and R, at R for the specific loading.
Let KL be the fixed-end stiffness at L and KR the fixed-end stiffness at R, as
given by Eqs. (5.112) and (5.113). Then, by resolution of the moment diagram into
simple-beam components, as indicated in Fig. 5.63? to h, and application of the
superposition principle (Art. 5.10.6), the fixed-end moments are found to be
F M  K (   C  ) (5.116) L L L R R
F M  K (   C  ) (5.117) R R R L L
where CL and CR are the carry-over factors to L and R, respectively [Eqs. (5.109)
and (5.110)]. The end rotations L and R can be computed by a method described
in Art. 5.5.15 or 5.10.4.
Prismatic Beams. The fixed-end moments for beams with constant moment of
inertia can be derived from the equations given above with the use of Eqs. (5.111)
and (5.114):
FIGURE 5.64 End moments caused by displacement
d of one end of a fixed-end beam.
FIGURE 5.65 End moment caused by displacement
d of one end of a propped beam.
4EI 1 F M      (5.118)   L L R L 2
4EI 1 F M      (5.119)   R R L L 2
where L  span of the beam
E  modulus of elasticity
I  moment of inertia
For horizontal beams with gravity loads only, R is negative. As a result, M is FL
negative and M positive. FR
For propped beams (one end fixed, one end hinged) with variable moment of
inertia, the fixed-end moments are given by
  L R F F M  or M  (5.120) L R   L R
where L and R are given by Eq. (5.105). For prismatic propped beams, the fixedend
moments are
3EI  3EI  L R F F M  or M  (5.121) L R L L
Deflection of Supports. Fixed-end moments for loaded beams when one support
is displaced vertically with respect to the other support may be computed with the
use of Eqs. (5.116) to (5.121) and the principle of superposition: Compute the fixedend
moments induced by the deflection of the beam when not loaded and add them
to the fixed-end moments for the loaded condition with immovable supports.
The fixed-end moments for the unloaded condition can be determined directly
from Eqs. (5.116) and (5.117). Consider beam LR in Fig. 5.64, with span L and
support R deflected a distance d vertically below its original position. If the beam
were simply supported, the angle change caused by the displacement of R would
be very nearly d/L. Hence, to obtain the fixed-end moments for the deflected conditions,
set L  R  d/L and substitute these simple-beam end rotations in Eqs.
(5.116) and (5.117):
F M  K (1  C )d/L (5.122) L L R
F M  K (1  C )d/L (5.123) R R L
If end L is displaced downward with respect to R, d/L would be negative and the
fixed-end moments positive.
FIGURE 5.68 Moments for two equal loads
on a prismatic fixed-end beam.
FIGURE 5.69 Moments for several equal
loads on a prismatic fixed-end beam.
FIGURE 5.66 Moments for concentrated load
on a prismatic fixed-end beam.
FIGURE 5.67 Moments for a uniform load on
a prismatic fixed-end beam.
For beams with constant moment of inertia, the fixed-end moments are given
6EI d F F M  M   (5.124) L R L L
The fixed-end moments for a propped beam, such as beam LR shown in Fig.
5.65, can be obtained similarly from Eq. (5.120). For variable moment of inertia,
d 1 F M  (5.125)
For a prismatic propped beam,
3EI d F M   (5.126)
Reverse signs for downward displacement of end L.
Computation Aids for Prismatic Beams. Fixed-end moments for several common
types of loading on beams of constant moment of inertia (prismatic beams) are
given in Figs. 5.66 to 5.69. Also, the curves in Fig. 5.71 enable fixed-end moments
to be computed easily for any type of loading on a prismatic beam. Before the
FIGURE 5.70 Characteristics of loadings.
curves can be entered, however, certain characteristics of the loading must be calculated.
These include L, the location of the center of gravity of the loading with x
respect to one of the loads: G2  b Pn /W, where bnL is the distance from each 2n
load Pn to the center of gravity of the loading (taken positive to the right); and
S3  b Pn /W. (See Case 9, Fig. 5.70.) These values are given in Fig. 5.70 for 3n
some common types of loading.
The curves in Fig. 5.71 are entered with the location a of the center of gravity
with respect to the left end of the span. At the intersection with the proper G curve,
proceed horizontally to the left to the intersection within the proper S line, then
vertically to the horizontal scale indicating the coefficient m by which to multiply
WL to obtain the fixed-end moment. The curves solve the equations:
F ML 2 2 3 m G [1  3(1  a)]  a(1  a)  S (5.127) L WL
F MR 2 2 3 m  G (1  3a)  a (1  a)  S (5.128) R WL
where M is the fixed-end moment at the left support and M at the right support. F F
As an example of the use of the curves, find the fixed-end moments in a prismatic
beam of 20-ft span carrying a triangular loading of 100 kips, similar to the
loading shown in Case 4, Fig. 5.70, distributed over the entire span, with the maximum
intensity at the right support.
FIGURE 5.71 Chart for fixed-end moments due to any type of loading.
FIGURE 5.72 Elastic curve for a span LR of a continuous
beam subjected to end moments and displacement of one end.
Case 4 gives the characteristics of the loading: y  1; the center of gravity is
0.33L from the right support, so a  0.667; G2  1?18  0.056; and S3  1?135 
0.007. To find M , enter Fig. 5.71 with a  0.67 on the upper scale at the bottom FR
of the diagram, and proceed vertically to the estimated location of the intersection
of the coordinate with the G2  0.06 curve. Then, move horizontally to the intersection
with the line for S3  0.007, as indicated by the dash line in Fig. 5.71.
Referring to the scale at the top of the diagram, find the coefficient mR to be 0.10.
Similarly, with a  0.67 on the lowest scale, find the coefficient mL to be 0.07.
Hence, the fixed-end moment at the right support is 0.10  100  20  200 ftkips,
and at the left support 0.07  100  20  140 ft-kips.
5.11.5 Slope-Deflection Equations
In Arts. 5.11.2 and 5.11.4, moments and displacements in a member of a continuous
beam or frame are obtained by addition of their simple-beam components. Similarly,
moments and displacements can be determined by superposition of fixed-end-beam
components. This method, for example, can be used to derive relationships between
end moments and end rotations of a beam known as slope-deflection equations.
These equations can be used to compute end moments in continuous beams.
Consider a member LR of a continuous beam or frame (Fig. 5.72). LR may have
a moment of inertia that varies along its length. The support R is displaced vertically
FIGURE 5.73 Elastic curve for a simple beam LR
subjected to end moments.
downward a distance d from its original position. Because of this and the loads on
the member and adjacent members, LR is subjected to end moments ML are so
small that the member can be considered to rotate clockwise through an angle
nearly equal to d/L, where L is the span of the beam.
Assume that rotation is prevented at ends L and R by end moments mL at L and
mR at R. Then, by application of the principle of superposition (Art. 5.10.6) and
Eqs. (5.122) and (5.123),
d F m  M  K (1  C ) (5.129) L L L R L
d F m  M  K (1  C ) (5.130) R R R L L
where M  FL
fixed-end moment at L due to the load on LR
fixed-end moment at R due to the load on LR
KL  fixed-end stiffness at end L
KR  fixed-end stiffness at end R
CL  carry-over factor toward end L
CR  carry-over factor toward end R
Since ends L and R are not fixed but actually undergo angle changes L and R
at L and R, respectively, the joints must now be permitted to rotate while an end
moment M is applied at L and an end moment M at R to produce those angle   L R
changes (Fig. 5.73). With the use of the definitions of carry-over factor (Art. 5.11.2)
and fixed-end stiffness (Art. 5.11.3), these moments are found to be
M  K (   C  ) (5.131) L L L RR
M  K (   C  ) (5.132) R R R LL
The slope-deflection equations for LR then result from addition of M to mL, which L
yields ML, and of M to mR, which yields MR: R
d F M  K (   C  )  M  K (1  C ) (5.133) L L L RR L L R L
d F M  K (   C  )  M  K (1  C ) (5.134) R R R LL R R L L
For beams with constant moment of inertia, the slope-deflection equations become
4EI 1 6EI d F M      M  (5.135)   L L R L L 2 L L
4EI 1 6EI d F M      M  (5.136)   R R L R L 2 L L
where E  modulus of elasticity
I  moment of inertia of the cross section
Note that if end L moves downward with respect to R, the sign for d in the
preceding equations is changed.
If the end moments ML and MR are known and the end rotations are to be
determined, Eqs. (5.131) to (5.134) can be solved for L and R or derived by
superposition of simple-beam components, as is done in Art. 5.11.4. For beams
with moment of inertia varying along the span:
d F F   (M  M )   (M  M )  (5.137) L L L L R R L
d F F   (M  M )   (M  M )  (5.138) R R R R L L L
where  is given by Eq. (5.105) and  by Eq. (5.106). For beams with constant
moment of inertia:
L L d F F   (M  M )  (M  M )  (5.139) L L L R R 3EI 6EI L
L L d F F   (M  M )  (M  M )  (5.140) R R R L L 3EI 6EI L
The slope-deflection equations can be used to determine end moments and rotations
of the spans of continuous beams by writing compatibility and equilibrium
equations for the conditions at each support. For example, the sum of the moments
at each support must be zero. Also, because of continuity, the member must rotate
through the same angle on both sides of every support. Hence, ML for one span,
given by Eq. (5.133) or (5.135), must be equal to MR for the adjoining span,
given by Eq. (5.134) or (5.136), and the end rotation  at that support must be the
same on both sides of the equation. One such equation with the end rotations at
the supports as the unknowns can be written for each support. With the end rotations
determined by simultaneous solution of the equations, the end moments can be
computed from the slope-deflection equations and the continuous beam can now
be treated as statically determinate.
See also Arts. 5.11.9 and 5.13.2.
(C. H. Norris et al., ‘‘Elementary Structural Analysis,’’ 4th ed., McGraw-Hill
Book Company, New York.)
5.11.6 Moment Distribution
The frame in Fig. 5.74 consists of four prismatic members rigidly connected together
at O at fixed at ends A, B, C, and D. If an external moment U is applied at
O, the sum of the end moments in each member at O must be equal to U. Furthermore,
all members must rotate at O through the same angle , since they are
assumed to be rigidly connected there. Hence, by the definition of fixed-end stiffness,
the proportion of U induced in the end of each member at O is equal to the
ratio of the stiffness of that member to the sum of the stiffnesses of all the members
at the joint (Art. 5.11.3).
FIGURE 5.74 Effect of an unbalanced moment
at a joint in a frame.
Suppose a moment of 100 ft-kips is
applied at O, as indicated in Fig. 5.74b.
The relative stiffness (or I /L) is assumed
as shown in the circle on each member.
The distribution factors for the moment
at O are computed from the stiffnesses
and shown in the boxes. For example,
the distribution factor for OA equals its
stiffness divided by the sum of the stiffnesses
of all the members at the joint:
3/(3  2  4  1)  0.3. Hence, the
moment induced in OA at O is 0.3 
100  30 ft-kips. Similarly, OB gets 10
ft-kips, OC 40 ft-kips and OD 20 ftkips.
Because the far ends of these members
are fixed, one-half of these moments
are carried over to them (Art.
5.11.2). Thus MAO  0.5  30  15;
MBO  0.5  10  5; MCO  0.5 
40  20; and MDO  0.5  20  10.
Most structures consist of frames
similar to the one in Fig. 5.74, or even
simpler, joined together. Though the
ends of the members are not fixed, the
technique employed for the frame in
Fig. 5.74b can be applied to find end
moments in such continuous structures.
Before the general method is presented, one short cut is worth noting. Advantage
can be taken when a member has a hinged end to reduce the work of distributing
moments. This is done by using the true stiffness of a member instead of the fixedend
stiffness. (For a prismatic beam with one end hinged, the stiffness is threefourth
the fixed-end stiffness; for a beam with variable I, it is equal to the fixedend
stiffness times 1  CLCR, where CL and CR are the carry-over factors for the
beam.) Naturally, the carry-over factor toward the hinge is zero.
When a joint is neither fixed nor pinned but is restrained by elastic members
connected there, moments can be distributed by a series of converging approximations.
All joints are locked against rotation. As a result, the loads will create
fixed-end moments at the ends of every member. At each joint, a moment equal to
the algebraic sum of the fixed-end moments there is required to hold it fixed. Then,
one joint is unlocked at a time by applying a moment equal but opposite in sign
to the moment that was needed to prevent rotation. The unlocking moment must
be distributed to the members at the joint in proportion to their fixed-end stiffnesses
and the distributed moments carried over to the far ends.
After all joints have been released at least once, it generally will be necessary
to repeat the process—sometimes several times—before the corrections to the fixedSTRUCTURAL
FIGURE 5.75 Moment distribution by converging approximations for a
continuous beam.
end moments become negligible. To reduce the number of cycles, the unlocking of
joints should start with those having the greatest unbalanced moments.
Suppose the end moments are to be found for the prismatic continuous beam
ABCD in Fig. 5.75. The I /L values for all spans are equal; therefore, the relative
fixed-end stiffness for all members is unity. However, since A is a hinged end, the
computation can be shortened by using the actual relative stiffness, which is 3?4.
Relative stiffnesses for all members are shown in the circle on each member. The
distribution factors are shown in boxes at each joint.
The computation starts with determination of fixed-end moments for each member
(Art. 5.11.4). These are assumed to have been found and are given on the first
line in Fig. 5.75. The greatest unbalanced moment is found from inspection to be
at hinged end A; so this joint is unlocked first. Since there are no other members
at the joint, the full unlocking moment of 400 is distributed to AB at A and onehalf
of this is carried over to B. The unbalance at B now is 400  480 plus the
carry-over of 200 from A, or a total of 120. Hence, a moment of 120 must
be applied and distributed to the members at B by multiplying by the distribution
factors in the corresponding boxes.
The net moment at B could be found now by adding the entries for each member
at the joint. However, it generally is more convenient to delay the summation until
the last cycle of distribution has been completed.
The moment distributed to BA need not be carried over to A, because the carryover
factor toward the hinged end is zero. However, half the moment distributed to
BC is carried over to C.
Similarly, joint C is unlocked and half the distributed moments carried over to
B and D, respectively. Joint D should not be unlocked, since it actually is a fixed
end. Thus, the first cycle of moment distribution has been completed.
The second cycle is carried out in the same manner. Joint B is released, and the
distributed moment in BC is carried over to C. Finally, C is unlocked, to complete
the cycle. Adding the entries for the end of each member yields the final moments.
5.11.7 Maximum Moments in Continuous Frames
In design of continuous frames, one objective is to find the maximum end moments
and interior moments produced by the worst combination of loading. For maximum
moment at the end of a beam, live load should be placed on that beam and on the
FIGURE 5.76 Bending moments in a continuous frame obtained by moment distribution.
beam adjoining the end for which the moment is to be computed. Spans adjoining
these two should be assumed to be carrying only dead load.
For maximum midspan moments, the beam under consideration should be fully
loaded, but adjoining spans should be assumed to be carrying only dead load.
The work involved in distributing moments due to dead and live loads in continuous
frames in buildings can be greatly simplified by isolating each floor. The
tops of the upper columns and the bottoms of the lower columns can be assumed
fixed. Furthermore, the computations can be condensed considerably by following
the procedure recommended in ‘‘Continuity in Concrete Building Frames.’’
EB033D, Portland Cement Association, Skokie, IL 60077, and indicated in Fig.
Figure 5.74 presents the complete calculation for maximum end and midspan
moments in four floor beams AB, BC, CD, and DE. Building columns are assumed
to be fixed at the story above and below. None of the beam or column sections is
known to begin with; so as a start, all members will be assumed to have a fixedend
stiffness of unity, as indicated on the first line of the calculation.
On the second line, the distribution factors for each end of the beams are shown,
calculated from the stiffnesses (Arts. 5.11.3 and 5.11.4). Column stiffnesses are not
shown, because column moments will not be computed until moment distribution
to the beams has been completed. Then the sum of the column moments at each
joint may be easily computed, since they are the moments needed to make the sum
of the end moments at the joint equal to zero. The sum of the column moments at
each joint can then be distributed to each column there in proportion to its stiffness.
In this example, each column will get one-half the sum of the column moments.
Fixed-end moments at each beam end for dead load are shown on the third line,
just above the heavy line, and fixed-end moments for live plus dead load on the
fourth line. Corresponding midspan moments for the fixed-end condition also are
shown on the fourth line and, like the end moments, will be corrected to yield
actual midspan moments.
For maximum end moment at A, beam AB must be fully loaded, but BC should
carry dead load only. Holding A fixed, we first unlock joint B, which has a totalload
fixed-end moment of 172 in BA and a dead-load fixed-end moment of 37
in BC. The releasing moment required, therefore, is (172  37), or  135. When
B is released, a moment of 135  1?4 is distributed to BA One-half of this is
carried over to A, or 135  1?4  1?2  17. This value is entered as the carryover
at A on the fifth line in Fig. 5.76. Joint B is then relocked.
At A, for which we are computing the maximum moment, we have a total-load
fixed-end moment of 172 and a carry-over of 17, making the total 189, shown
on the sixth line. To release A, a moment of 189 must be applied to the joint. Of
this, 189  1?3, or 63, is distributed to AB, as indicated on the seventh line of the
calculation. Finally, the maximum moment at A is found by adding lines 6 and 7:
189  63  126.
For maximum moment at B, both AB and BC must be fully loaded but CD
should carry only dead load. We begin the determination of the moment at B by
first releasing joints A and C, for which the corresponding carry-over moments at
BA and BC are 29 and (78  70)  1?4  1?2  1, shown on the fifth line
in Fig. 5.76. These bring the total fixed-end moments in BA and BC to 201 and
79, respectively. The releasing moment required is (201  79)  122. Multiplying
this by the distribution factors for BA and BC when joint B is released, we
find the distributed moments, 30, entered on line 7. The maximum end moments
finally are obtained by adding lines 6 and 7: 171 at BA and 109 at BC. Maximum
moments at C, D, and E are computed and entered in Fig. 5.76 in a similar
manner. This procedure is equivalent to two cycles of moment distribution.
The computation of maximum midspan moments in Fig. 5.76 is based on the
assumption that in each beam the midspan moment is the sum of the simple-beam
midspan moment and one-half the algebraic difference of the final end moments
(the span carries full load but adjacent spans only dead load). Instead of starting
with the simple-beam moment, however, we begin with the midspan moment for
the fixed-end condition and apply two corrections. In each span, these corrections
are equal to the carry-over moments entered on line 5 for the two ends of the beam
multiplied by a factor.
For beams with variable moment of inertia, the factor is 1?2[(1 /C )  D  1] F
where C is the fixed-end-carry-over factor toward the end for which the correction F
factor is being computed and D is the distribution factor for that end. The plus sign
is used for correcting the carry-over at the right end of a beam, and the minus sign
for the carry-over at the left end. For prismatic beams, the correction factor becomes
1?2(1  D).
For example, to find the corrections to the midspan moment in AB, we first
multiply the carry-over at A on line 5, 17, by 1?2(1  1?3). The correction, 11,
is also entered on the fifth line. Then, we multiply the carry-over at B,  29, by
1?2(1  1?4) and enter the correction, 18, on line 6. The final midspan moment
is the sum of lines 4, 5, and 6: 99  11  18  128. Other midspan moments
in Fig. 5.74 are obtained in a similar manner.
See also Arts. 5.11.9 and 5.11.10.
5.11.8 Moment-Influence Factors
In certain types of framing, particularly those in which different types of loading
conditions must be investigated, it may be convenient to find maximum end moments
from a table of moment-influence factors. This table is made up by listing
for the end of each member in the structure the moment induced in that end when
a moment (for convenience, 1000) is applied to every joint successively. Once
this table has been prepared, no additional moment distribution is necessary for
computing the end moments due to any loading condition.
For a specific loading pattern, the moment at any beam end MAB may be obtained
from the moment-influence table by multiplying the entries under AB for the various
TABLE 5.6 Moment-Influence Factors
for Fig. 5.77
Member 1000 at B 1000 at C
joints by the actual unbalanced moments at those joints divided by 1000, and summing
(see also Art. 5.11.9 and Table 5.6).
5.11.9 Procedure for Sidesway
Computations of moments due to sidesway, or drift, in rigid frames is conveniently
executed by the following method:
1. Apply forces to the structure to prevent sidesway while the fixed-end moments
due to loads are distributed.
2. Compute the moments due to these forces.
3. Combine the moments obtained in Steps 1 and 2 to eliminate the effect of the
forces that prevented sidesway.
FIGURE 5.77 Rigid frame.
Suppose the rigid frame in Fig. 5.77
is subjected to a 2000-lb horizontal load
acting to the right at the level of beam
BC. The first step is to compute the moment-
influence factors (Table 5.6) by
applying moments of 1000 at joints B
and C, assuming sidesway prevented.
Since there are no intermediate loads
on the beams and columns, the only
fixed-end moments that need be considered
are those in the columns resulting
from lateral deflection of the frame
caused by the horizontal load. This de-
flection, however is not known initially.
So assume an arbitrary deflection, which
produces a fixed-end moment of
1000M at the top of column CD. M is an unknown constant to be determined
from the fact that the sum of the shears in the deflected columns must be equal to
the 2000-lb load. The same deflection also produces a moment of 1000M at the
bottom of CD [see Eq. (5.126)].
From the geometry of the structure, furthermore, note that the deflection of B
relative to A is equal to the deflection of C relative to D. Then, according to Eq.
(5.126) the fixed-end moments in the columns are proportional to the stiffnesses of
the columns and hence are equal in AB to 1000M  6?2  3000M. The column
fixed-end moments are entered in the first line of Table 5.7, which is called a
moment-collection table.
In the deflected position of the frame, joints B and C are unlocked. First, apply
a releasing moment of 3000M at B and distribute it by multiplying by 3 the
entries in the column marked ‘‘1000 at B’’ in Table 5.6. Similarly, a releasing
moment of 1000M is applied at C and distributed with the aid of Table 5.6. The
distributed moments are entered in the second and third lines of Table 5.7. The
final moments are the sum of the fixed-end moments and the distributed moments
and are given in the fifth line.
Isolating each column and taking moments about one end, we find that the
overturning moment due to the shear is equal to the sum of the end moments. There
is one such equation for each column. Addition of these equations, noting that the
sum of the shears equals 2000 lb, yields
M(2052  1104  789  895)  2000  20
from which M  8.26. This value is substituted in the sidesway totals in Table 5.7
to yield the end moments for the 2000-lb horizontal load.
Suppose now a vertical load of 4000 lb is applied to BC of the rigid frame in
Fig. 5.77, 5 ft from B. Tables 5.6 and 5.7 can again be used to determine the end
moments with a minimum of labor:
The fixed-end moment at B, with sidesway prevented, is 12,800, and at C 
3200. With the joints locked, the frame is permitted to move laterally an arbitrary
amount, so that in addition to the fixed-end moments due to the 4000-lb load,
column fixed-end moments of 3000M at B and  1000M at C are induced. Table
5.7 already indicates the effect of relieving these column moments by unlocking
joints B and C. We now have to superimpose the effect of releasing joints B and
C to relieve the fixed-end moments for the vertical load. This we can do with the
aid of Table 5.6. The distribution is shown in the lower part of Table 5.7. The sums
of the fixed-end moments and distributed moments for the 4000-lb load are shown
on the line ‘‘No-sidesway sum.’’
The unknown M can be evaluated from the fact that the sum of the horizontal
forces acting on the columns must be zero. This is equivalent to requiring that the
sum of the column end moments equals zero:
M(2052  1104  789  895)  4826  9652  2244  1120  0
from which M  2.30. This value is substituted in the sidesway total in Table 5.7
to yield the sidesway moments for the 4000-lb load. The addition of these moments
to the totals for no sidesway yields the final moments.
This procedure enables one-story bents with straight beams to be analyzed with
the necessity of solving only one equation with one unknown regardless of the
number of bays. If the frame is several stories high, the procedure can be applied
to each story. Since an arbitrary horizontal deflection is introduced at each floor or
roof level, there are as many unknowns and equations as there are stories.
The procedure is more difficult to apply to bents with curved or polygonal
members between the columns. The effect of the change in the horizontal projection
of the curved or polygonal portion of the bent must be included in the calculations.
In many cases, it may be easier to analyze the bent as a curved beam (arch).
(A. Kleinlogel, ‘‘Rigid Frame Formulas,’’ Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., New
TABLE 5.7 Moment-Collection Table for Fig. 5.77
Sidesway, FEM 3,000M 3,000M 1,000M 1,000M
B moments 1,053M 2,106M 894M 210M 210M 105M
C moments 105M 210M 210M 579M 421M 210M
Partial sum 1,053M 3,105M 2,106M 3,210M 1,104M 789M 421M 1,210M 210M 1,105M
Totals 2,052M 1,104M 1,104M 789M 789M 895M
For 2000-lb load 17,000 9,100 9,100 6,500 6,500 7,400
4000-lb load, FEM 12,800 3,200
B moments 4,490 8,980 3,820 897 897 448
C moments 336 672 672 1,853 1,347 672
Partial sum 4,826 9,652 3,820 13,472 4,097 1,853 2,244 1,120
No-sidesway sum 4,826 9,652 9,652 2,244 2,244 1,120
Sidesway M 4,710 2,540 2,540 1,810 1,810 2,060
Totals 120 7,110 7,110 4,050 4,050 3,180
5.11.10 Rapid Approximate Analysis of Multistory Frames
Exact analysis of multistory rigid frames subjected to lateral forces, such as those
from wind or earthquakes, involves lengthy calculations, and they are timeconsuming
and expensive, even when performed with computers. Hence, approximate
methods of analysis are an alternative, at least for preliminary designs and,
for some structures, for final designs.
It is noteworthy that for some buildings even the ‘‘exact’’ methods, such as those
described in Arts. 5.11.8 and 5.11.9, are not exact. Usually, static horizontal loads
are assumed for design purposes, but actually the forces exerted by wind and earthquakes
are dynamic. In addition, these forces generally are uncertain in intensity,
direction, and duration. Earthquake forces, usually assumed as a percentage of the
mass of the building above each level, act at the base of the structure, not at each
floor level as is assumed in design, and accelerations at each level vary nearly
linearly with distance above the base. Also, at the beginning of a design, the sizes
of the members are not known. Consequently, the exact resistance to lateral deformation
cannot be calculated. Furthermore, floors, walls, and partitions help resist
the lateral forces in a very uncertain way. See Art. 5.12 for a method of calculating
the distribution of loads to rigid-frame bents.
Portal Method. Since an exact analysis is impossible, most designers prefer a
wind-analysis method based on reasonable assumptions and requiring a minimum
of calculations. One such method is the so-called ‘‘portal method.’’
It is based on the assumptions that points of inflection (zero bending moment)
occur at the midpoints of all members and that exterior columns take half as much
shear as do interior columns. These assumptions enable all moments and shears
throughout the building frame to be computed by the laws of equilibrium.
Consider, for example, the roof level (Fig. 5.78a) of a tall building. A wind load
of 600 lb is assumed to act along the top line of girders. To apply the portal method,
we cut the building along a section through the inflection points of the top-story
columns, which are assumed to be at the column midpoints, 6 ft down from the
top of the building. We need now consider only the portion of the structure above
this section.
Since the exterior columns take only half as much shear as do the interior columns,
they each receive 100 lb, and the two interior columns, 200 lb. The moments
at the tops of the columns equal these shears times the distance to the inflection
point. The wall end of the end girder carries a moment equal to the moment in the
column. (At the floor level below, as indicated in Fig. 5.78b, that end of the end
girder carries a moment equal to the sum of the column moments.) Since the
inflection point is at the midpoint of the girder, the moment at the inner end of the
girder must the same as at the outer end. The moment in the adjoining girder can
be found by subtracting this moment from the column moment, because the sum
of the moments at the joint must be zero. (At the floor level below, as shown in
Fig. 5.78b, the moment in the interior girder is found by subtracting the moment
in the exterior girder from the sum of the column moments.)
Girder shears then can be computed by dividing girder moments by the half
span. When these shears have been found, column loads can be easily computed
from the fact that the sum of the vertical loads must be zero, by taking a section
around each joint through column and girder inflection points. As a check, it should
be noted that the column loads produce a moment that must be equal to the moments
of the wind loads above the section for which the column loads were computed.
For the roof level (Fig. 5.78a), for example, 50  24  100  48 
600  6.
FIGURE 5.78 Portal method for computing wind stresses in a tall building.
Cantilever Method. Another wind-analysis procedure that is sometimes employed
is the cantilever method. Basic assumptions here are that inflection points are at
the midpoints of all members and that direct stresses in the columns vary as the
distances of the columns from the center of gravity of the bent. The assumptions
are sufficient to enable shears and moments in the frame to be determined from the
laws of equilibrium.
For multistory buildings with height-to-width ratio of 4 or more, the Spurr modification
is recommended (‘‘Welded Tier Buildings,’’ U.S. Steel Corp.). In this
method, the moments of inertia of the girders at each level are made proportional
to the girder shears.
The results obtained from the cantilever method generally will be different from
those obtained by the portal method. In general, neither solution is correct, but the
answers provide a reasonable estimate of the resistance to be provided against
lateral deformation. (See also Transactions of the ASCE, Vol. 105, pp. 1713–1739,
5.11.11 Beams Stressed into the Plastic Range
When an elastic material, such as structural steel, is loaded in tension with a gradually
increasing load, stresses are proportional to strains up to the proportional limit
(near the yield point). If the material, like steel, also is ductile, then it continues to
carry load beyond the yield point, though strains increase rapidly with little increase
in load (Fig. 5.79a).
Similarly, a beam made of a ductile material continues to carry more load after
the stresses in the outer surfaces reach the yield point. However, the stresses will
no longer vary with distance from the neutral axis, so the flexure formula [Eq.
(5.54)] no longer holds. However, if simplifying assumptions are made, approximating
the stress-strain relationship beyond the elastic limit, the load-carrying capacity
of the beam can be computed with satisfactory accuracy.
FIGURE 5.79 Stress-strain relationship for a
ductile material generally is similar to the curve
shown in (a). To simplify plastic analysis, the
portion of (a) enclosed by the dash lines is approximated
by the curve in (b), which extends
to the range where strain hardening begins.
Modulus of rupture is defined as
the stress computed from the flexure
formula for the maximum bending moment
a beam sustains at failure. This is
not a true stress but it is sometimes used
to compare the strength of beams.
For a ductile material, the idealized
stress-strain relationship in Fig. 5.79b
may be assumed. Stress is proportional
to strain until the yield-point stress ?y is
reached, after which strain increases at
a constant stress.
For a beam of this material, the following
assumptions will also be made:
1. Plane sections remain plane, strains
thus being proportional to distance
from the neutral axis.
2. Properties of the material in tension
are the same as those in compression.
3. Its fibers behave the same in flexure
as in tension.
4. Deformations remain small.
Strain distribution across the cross
section of a rectangular beam, based on
these assumptions, is shown in Fig. 5.80a. At the yield point, the unit strain is y
and the curvature 	y, as indicated in (1). In (2), the strain has increased several
times, but the section still remains plane. Finally, at failure, (3), the strains are very
large and nearly constant across upper and lower halves of the section.
Corresponding stress distributions are shown in Fig. 5.80b. At the yield point,
(1), stresses vary linearly and the maximum if ?y . With increase in load, more and
more fibers reach the yield point, and the stress distribution becomes nearly constant,
as indicated in (2). Finally, at failure, (3), the stresses are constant across the
top and bottom parts of the section and equal to the yield-point stress.
The resisting moment at failure for a rectangular beam can be computed from
the stress diagram for stage 3. If b is the width of the member and d its depth, then
the ultimate moment for a rectangular beam is
2 bd
M  ? (5.141) p y 4
Since the resisting moment at stage 1 is My  ?ybd2 / 6, the beam carries 50% more
moment before failure than when the yield-point stress is first reached at the outer
FIGURE 5.80 Strain distribution is shown in (a) and stress distribution in
(b) for a cross section of a beam as it is loaded beyond the yield point, for
the idealized stress-strain relationship in Fig. 5.79b: stage (1) shows the condition
at the yield point of the outer surface; (2) after yielding starts; (3) at
ultimate load.
A circular section has an Mp /My ratio of about 1.7, while a diamond section has
a ratio of 2. The average wide-flange rolled-steel beam has a ratio of about 1.14.
Plastic Hinges. The relationship between moment and curvature in a beam can
be assumed to be similar to the stress-strain relationship in Fig. 5.80b. Curvature
	 varies linearly with moment until My  Mp is reached, after which 	 increases
indefinitely at constant moment. That is, a plastic hinge forms.
Moment Redistribution. This ability of a ductile beam to form plastic hinges
enables a fixed-end or continuous beam to carry more load after MP occurs at a
section, because a redistribution of moments takes place. Consider, for example, a
uniformly loaded, fixed-end, prismatic beam. In the elastic range, the end moments
of ML  MR  WL/12, while the midspan moment MC is WL/24. The load when
the yield point is reached at the outer surfaces at the beam ends is Wy  12My /L.
Under this load the moment capacity of the ends of the beam is nearly exhausted;
plastic hinges form there when the moment equals MP. As load is increased, the
ends then rotate under constant moment and the beam deflects like a simply supSTRUCTURAL
THEORY 5.101
ported beam. The moment at midspan increases until the moment capacity at that
section is exhausted and a plastic hinge forms. The load causing that condition is
the ultimate load Wu since, with three hinges in the span, a link mechanism is
formed and the member continues to deform at constant load. At the time the third
hinge is formed, the moments at ends and center are all equal to MP. Therefore,
for equilibrium, 2MP  WuL/8, from which Wu  16MP /L. Since for the idealized
moment-curvature relationship, MP was assumed equal to My , the carrying capacity
due to redistribution of moments is 33% greater than Wy .
Buildings must be designed to resist horizontal forces as well as vertical loads. In
tall buildings, the lateral forces must be given particular attention, because if they
are not properly provided for, they can collapse the structure (Art. 3.2.3). The usual
procedure for preventing such disasters is to provide structural framing capable of
transmitting the horizontal forces from points of application to the building foundations.
Because the horizontal loads may come from any direction, they generally are
resolved into perpendicular components, and correspondingly the lateral-forceresisting
framing is also placed in perpendicular directions. The maximum magnitude
of load is assumed to act in each of those directions. Bents or shear walls,
which act as vertical cantilevers and generally are often also used to support some
of the building’s gravity loads, usually are spaced at appropriate intervals for transmitting
the loads to the foundations.
A bent consists of vertical trusses or continuous rigid frames located in a plane.
The trusses usually are an assemblage of columns, horizontal girders, and diagonal
bracing (Art. 3.2.4). The rigid frames are composed of girders and columns, with
so-called wind connections between them to establish continuity. Shear walls are
thin cantilevers braced by floors and roofs (Art. 3.2.4).
5.12.1 Diaphragms
Horizontal distribution of lateral forces to bents and shear walls is achieved by the
floor and roof systems acting as diaphragms (Fig. 5.81).
To qualify as a diaphragm, a floor or roof system must be able to transmit the
lateral forces to bents and shear walls without exceeding a horizontal deflection
that would cause distress to any vertical element. The successful action of a diaphragm
also requires that it be properly tied into the supporting framing. Designers
should ensure this action by appropriate detailing at the juncture between horizontal
and vertical structural elements of the building.
Diaphragms may be considered analogous to horizontal (or inclined, in the case
of some roofs) plate girders. The roof or floor slab constitutes the web; the joists,
beams, and girders function as stiffeners; and the bents and shear walls act as
Diaphragms may be constructed of structural materials, such as concrete, wood,
or metal in various forms. Combinations of such materials are also possible. Where
a diaphragm is made up of units, such as plywood, precast-concrete planks, or steel
FIGURE 5.81 Floors of building distribute horizontal
loads to shear walls (diaphragm action).
FIGURE 5.82 Horizontal section through shear walls connected
by a rigid diaphragm. R  relative rigidity and  shear-wall v
decking, its characteristics are, to a large degree, dependent on the attachments of
one unit to another and to the supporting members. Such attachments must resist
shearing stresses due to internal translational and rotational actions.
The stiffness of a horizontal diaphragm affects the distribution of the lateral
forces to the bents and shear walls. For the purpose of analysis, diaphragms may
be classified into three groups—rigid, semirigid or semiflexible, and flexible—
although no diaphragm is actually infinitely rigid or infinitely flexible.
A rigid diaphragm is assumed to distribute horizontal forces to the vertical
resisting elements in proportion to the relative rigidities of these elements (Fig.
Semirigid or semiflexible diaphragms are diaphragms that deflect significantly
under load, but have sufficient stiffness to distribute a portion of the load to the
vertical elements in proportion to the rigidities of these elements. The action is
analogous to a continuous beam of appreciable stiffness on yielding supports (Fig.
5.83). Diaphragm reactions are dependent on the relative stiffnesses of diaphragm
and vertical resisting elements.
A flexible diaphragm is analogous to a continuous beam or series of simple
beams spanning between nondeflecting supports. Thus, a flexible diaphragm is conSTRUCTURAL
THEORY 5.103
FIGURE 5.83 Horizontal sections through shear walls connected
by a semirigid diaphragm. D  diaphragm horizontal deflection.
FIGURE 5.84 Horizontal section through shear walls connected by
a flexible diaphragm.
sidered to distribute the lateral forces to the vertical resisting elements in proportion
to the exterior-wall tributary areas (Fig. 5.84).
A rigorous analysis of lateral-load distribution to shear walls or bents is sometimes
very time-consuming, and frequently unjustified by the results. Therefore, in
many cases, a design based on reasonable limits may be used. For example, the
load may be distributed by first considering the diaphragm rigid, and then by considering
it flexible. If the difference in results is not great, the shear walls can then
be safely designed for the maximum applied load. (See also Art. 5.12.2.)
5.12.2 Torque Distribution to Shear Walls
When the line of action of the resultant of lateral forces acting on a building does
not pass through the center of rigidity of a vertical, lateral-force-resisting system,
distribution of the rotational forces must be considered as well as distribution of
the transnational forces. If rigid or semirigid diaphragms are used, the designer may
assume that torsional forces are distributed to the shear walls in proportion to their
relative rigidities and their distances from the center of rigidity. A flexible diaphragm
should not be considered capable of distributing torsional forces.
See also Art. 5.12.5.
Example of Torque Distribution to Shear Walls. To illustrate load-distribution
calculations for shear walls with rigid or semirigid diaphragms, Fig. 5.85 shows a
horizontal section through three shear walls A, B, and C taken above a rigid floor.
Wall B is 16 ft from wall A, and 24 ft from wall C. Rigidity of A 0.33, of B 0.22,
and of C 0.45 (Art. 5.12.5). A 20-kip horizontal force acts at floor level parallel to
the shear walls and midway between A and C.
FIGURE 5.85 Rigid diaphragm distributes
20-kip horizontal force to shear walls A, B, and
The center of rigidity of the shear
walls is located, relative to wall A, by
taking moments about A of the wall rigidities
and dividing the sum of these
moments by the sum of the wall rigidities,
in this case 1.00.
x  0.22  16  0.45  40
 21.52 ft
Thus, the 20-kip lateral force has an eccentricity
of 21.52  20  1.52 ft. The
eccentric force may be resolved into a
20-kip force acting through the center of
rigidity and not producing torque, and a
couple producing a torque of 20 
1.52  30.4 ft-kips.
The nonrotational force is distributed to the shear walls in proportion to their
Wall A: 0.33  20  6.6 kips
Wall B: 0.22  20  4.4 kips
Wall C: 0.45  20  9.0 kips
For distribution of the torque to the shear walls, the equivalent of moment of inertia
must first be computed:
2 2 2 I  0.33(21.52)  0.22(5.52)  0.45(18.48)  313
Then, the torque is distributed in direct proportion to shear-wall rigidity and distance
from center of rigidity and in inverse proportion to I.
Wall A: 30.4  0.33  21.52/313  0.690 kips
Wall B: 30.4  0.22  5.52/313  0.118 kips
Wall C: 30.4  0.45  18.48/313  0.808 kips
The torsional forces should be added to the nonrotational forces acting on walls
A and B, whereas the torsional force on wall C acts in the opposite direction to the
nonrotational force. For a conservative design, the torsional force on wall C should
not be subtracted. Hence, the walls should be designed for the following forces:
Wall A: 6.6  0.7  7.3 kips
Wall B: 4.4  0.1  4.5 kips
Wall C: kips
5.12.3 Deflections of Bents or Shear Walls
When parallel bents or shear walls are connected by rigid diaphragms (Art. 5.12.1)
and horizontal loads are distributed to the vertical resisting elements in proportion
to their relative rigidities, the relative rigidity of the framing depends on the combined
horizontal deflections due to shear and flexure. For the dimensions of lateralforce-
resisting framing used in many high-rise buildings, however, deflections due
to flexure greatly exceed those due to shear. In such cases, only flexural rigidity
need be considered in determination of relative rigidity of the bents and shear walls
(Art. 5.12.5).
Horizontal deflections can be determined by treating the bents and shear walls
as cantilevers. Deflections of braced bents can be calculated by the dummy-unitload
method (Art. 5.10.4) or a matrix method (Art. 5.13.3). Deflections of rigid
frames can be obtained by summing the drifts of the stories, as determined by
moment distribution (Art. 5.11.9) or a matrix method. And deflections of shear
walls can be computed from formulas given in Art. 5.5.15, the dummy-unit-load
method, or a matrix method.
For a shear wall with a solid, rectangular cross section, the flexural deflection
at the top under uniform loading is given by the formula for a cantilever in Fig.
4 wH
  (5.142) c 8EI
where w  uniform lateral load
H  height of the wall
E  modulus of elasticity of the wall material
I  moment of inertia of wall cross section  tL3/12
t  wall thickness
L  length of wall
The cantilever shear deflection under uniform loading may be computed from
2 0.6wH
  (5.143) v E A v
where E  v modulus of rigidity of wall cross section
 E/2(1  	)
	 Poisson’s ratio for the wall material (0.25 for concrete and masonry)
A  cross-sectional area of the wall  tL
The total deflection then is
3 1.5wH H H
 c v Et L L
For a cantilever wall subjected to a concentrated load P at the top, the flexural
deflection at the top is
3 PH
  (5.145) c 3EI
The shear deflection at the top of the wall is
  (5.146) v E A v
Hence, the total deflection of the cantilever is
3 4P H H
 0.75 (5.147)   
 Et L L
For a wall fixed against rotation a the top and subjected to a concentrated load
P at the top, the flexural deflection at the top is
3 PH
  (5.148) c 12EI
The shear deflection for the fixed-end wall is given by Eq. (5.145). Hence, the total
deflection for the wall is
3 P H H
 3 (5.149)   
 Et L L
5.12.4 Diaphragm-Deflection Limitations
As indicated in Art. 5.12.1, horizontal deflection of diaphragms plays an important
role in determining lateral-load distribution to bents and shear walls. Another design
consideration is the necessity of limiting diaphragm deflection to prevent excessive
stresses in walls perpendicular to shear walls. Equation (5.150) was suggested by
the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California for allowable story
deflection , in, of masonry or concrete building walls.
2 h ?
where h  height of wall between adjacent horizontal supports, ft
t  thickness of wall, in
?  allowable flexural compressive stress of wall material, psi
E  modulus of elasticity of wall material, psi
This limit on deflection must be applied with engineering judgment. For example,
continuity of wall at floor level is assumed, and in many cases is not present
because of through-wall flashing. In this situation, the deflection may be based on
the allowable compressive stress in the masonry, if a reduced cross section of wall
is assumed. The effect of reinforcement, which may be present in a reinforced brick
masonry wall or as a tie to the floor system in a nonreinforced or partly reinforced
masonry wall, was not considered in development of Eq. (5.150). Note also that
the limit on wall deflection is actually a limit on differential deflection between
two successive floor, or diaphragm, levels.
Maximum span-width or span-depth ratios for diaphragms are usually used to
control horizontal diaphragm deflection indirectly. Normally, if the diaphragm is
designed with the proper ratio, the diaphragm deflection will not be critical. Table
5.8 may be used as a guide for proportioning diaphragms.
5.12.5 Shear-Wall Rigidity
Where shear walls are connected by rigid diaphragms so that they must deflect
equally under horizontal loads, the proportion of total horizontal load at any level
carried by a shear wall parallel to the load depends on the relative rigidity, or
stiffness, of the wall in the direction of the load (Art. 5.12.1). Rigidity of a shear
wall is inversely proportional to its deflection under unit horizontal load. This de-
flection equals the sum of the shear and flexural deflections under the load (Art.
Where a shear wall contains no openings, computations for deflection and rigidity
are simple. In Fig. 5.86a, each of the shear walls has the same length and
rigidity. So each takes half the total load. In Fig. 5.86b, length of wall C is half
that of wall D. By Eq. (5.142), C therefore receives less than one-eighth the total
Walls with Openings. Where shear walls contain openings, such as doors and
windows, computations for deflection and rigidity are more complex. But approximate
methods may be used.
FIGURE 5.87 Shear wall, 8 in thick, with
For example, the wall in Fig. 5.87,
subjected to a 1000-kip load at the top,
may be treated in parts. The wall is 8 in
thick, and its modulus of elasticity E 
2400 ksi. Its height-length ratio H/L is
12?20  0.6. The wall is perforated by
two, symmetrically located, 4-ft-square
Deflection of this wall can be estimated
by subtracting from the deflection
it would have if it were solid the deflection
of a solid, 4-ft-deep, horizontal
midstrip, and then adding the deflection
of the three coupled piers B, C, and D.
Deflection of the 12-ft-high solid
wall can be obtained from Eq. (5.147):
3 4  10 3  [(0.6)  0.75  0.6]  0.138 in 3 2.4  10  8
Rigidity of the solid wall then is
R 7.22
Similarly, the deflection of the 4-ft-deep solid midstrip can be computed from
Eq. (5.147), with H/L  4?20  0.20.
3 4  10 3  [(0.20)  0.75  0.20]  0.033 in 3 2.4  10  8
Deflection of the piers, which may be considered fixed top and bottom, can be
TABLE 5.8 Maximum Span-Width or Span-Depth Ratios for diaphragms—Roofs or
Diaphragm construction
Masonry and
and light
Concrete Limited by deflection
Steel deck (continuous sheet in a single
4:1 5:1
Steel deck (without continuous sheet) 2:1 21?2:1
Cast-in-place reinforced gypsum roofs 3:1 4:1
Plywood (nailed all edges) 3:1 4:1
Plywood (nailed to supports only—blocking
may be omitted between joists)
21?2:1 31?2:1
Diagonal sheating (special) 3:1† 31?2:1
Diagonal sheating (conventional
2:1† 21?2:1
*From California Administrative code, Title 21, Public Works.
† Use of diagonal sheathed or unblocked plywood diaphragms for buildings having masonry or reinforced
concrete walls shall be limited to one-story buildings or to the roof of a top story.
FIGURE 5.86 Distribution of horizontal load to parallel
shear walls: (a) walls with the same length and rigidity share
the load equally; (b) wall half the length of another carries
less than one-eighth of the load.
obtained from Eq. (5.149), with H/L  4?4  1. For any one of the piers, the
deflection is
3 10
v  (1  3)  0.208 in 3 2.4  10  8
The rigidity of a single pier is 1/0.208  4.81, and of the three piers, 3  4.81 
14.43. Therefore, the deflection of the three piers when coupled is
 0.069 in
The deflection of the whole wall, with openings, then is approximately
 0.138  0.033  0.069  0.174 in
And its rigidity is
R 5.74
5.12.6 Effects of Shear-Wall Arrangements
To increase the stiffness of shear walls and thus their resistance to bending, intersecting
walls or flanges may be used. Often in the design of buildings, A-, T-,
FIGURE 5.88 Effective flange width of shear
walls may be less than the actual width: (a) limits
for flanges of I and T shapes; (b) limits for
C and L shapes.
U-, L-, and I-shaped walls in plan develop
as natural parts of the design.
Shear walls with these shapes have better
flexural resistance than a single,
straight wall.
In calculation of flexural stresses in
masonry shear walls for symmetrical T
or I sections, the effective flange width
may not exceed one-sixth the total wall
height above the level being analyzed.
For unsymmetrical L or C sections, the
width considered effective may not exceed
one-sixteenth the total wall height
above the level being analyzed. In either
case, the overhang for any section may
not exceed six times the flange thickness
(Fig. 5.88).
The shear stress at the intersection of the walls should not exceed the permissible
shear stress.
5.12.7 Coupled Shear Walls
Another method than that described in Art. 5.12.6 for increasing the stiffness of a
bearing-wall structure and reducing the possibility of tension developing in masonry
shear walls under lateral loads is coupling of coplanar shear walls.
Figure 5.89 and 5.90 indicate the effect of coupling on stress distribution in a
pair of walls under horizontal forces parallel to the walls. A flexible connection
between the walls is assumed in Figs. 5.89a and 5.90a, so that the walls act as
independent vertical cantilevers in resisting lateral loads. In Figs. 5.89b and 5.90b,
the walls are assumed to be connected with a more rigid member, which is capable
of shear and moment transfer. A rigid-frame type action results. This can be accomplished
with a steel-reinforced concrete, or reinforced brick masonry coupling.
FIGURE 5.89 Stress distribution in end shear walls: (a) with flexible
coupling; (b) with rigid-frame-type action; (c) with plate-type action.
FIGURE 5.90 Stress distribution in interior shear walls: (a) with flexible
coupling; (b) with rigid-frame-type action; (c) with plate-type action.
A plate-type action is indicated in Figs. 5.89c and 5.90c. This assumes an extremely
rigid connection between walls, such as fully story-height walls or deep rigid spandrels.
From the basic principles given in preceding articles, systematic procedures have
been developed for determining the behavior of a structure from a knowledge of
the behavior under load of its components. In these methods, called finite-element
methods, a structural system is considered an assembly of a finite number of finitesize
components, or elements. These are assumed to be connected to each other
only at discrete points, called nodes. From the characteristics of the elements, such
as their stiffness or flexibility, the characteristics of the whole system can be derived.
With these known, internal stresses and strains throughout can be computed.
Choice of elements to be used depends on the type of structure. For example,
for a truss with joints considered hinged, a natural choice of element would be a
bar, subjected only to axial forces. For a rigid frame, the elements might be beams
subjected to bending and axial forces, or to bending, axial forces, and torsion. For
a thin plate or shell, elements might be triangles or rectangles, connected at vertices.
For three-dimensional structures, elements might be beams, bars, tetrahedrons,
cubes, or rings.
For many structures, because of the number of finite elements and nodes, analysis
by a finite-element method requires mathematical treatment of large amounts
of data and solution of numerous simultaneous equations. For this purpose, the use
of computers is advisable. The mathematics of such analyses is usually simpler and
more compact when the data are handled in matrix for. (See also Art. 5.10.7.)
5.13.1 Force and Displacement Methods
The methods used for analyzing structures generally may be classified as force
(flexibility) or displacement (stiffness) methods.
In analysis of statically indeterminate structures by force methods, forces are
chosen as redundants, or unknowns. The choice is made in such a way that equilibrium
is satisfied. These forces are then determined from the solution of equations
that ensure compatibility of all displacements of elements at each node. After the
redundants have been computed, stresses and strains throughout the structure can
be found from equilibrium equations and stress-strain relations.
In displacement methods, displacements are chosen as unknowns. The choice is
made in such a way that geometric compatibility is satisfied. These displacements
are then determined from the solution of equations that ensure that forces acting at
each node are in equilibrium. After the unknowns have been computed, stresses
and stains throughout the structure can be found from equilibrium equations and
stress-strain relations.
In choosing a method, the following should be kept in mind: In force methods,
the number of unknowns equals the degree of indeterminacy. In displacement methods,
the number of unknowns equals the degrees of freedom of displacement at
nodes. The fewer the unknowns, the fewer the calculations required.
Both methods are based on the force-displacement relations and utilize the stiffness
and flexibility matrices described in Art. 5.10.7. In these methods, displacements
and external forces are resolved into components—usually horizontal, vertical,
and rotational—at nodes, or points of connection of the finite elements. In
accordance with Eq. (5.103a), the stiffness matrix transforms displacements into
forces. Similarly, in accordance with Eq. (5.103b), the flexibility matrix transforms
forces into displacements. To accomplish the transformation, the nodal forces and
displacements must be assembled into correspondingly positioned elements of force
and displacement vectors. Depending on whether the displacement or the force
method is chosen, stiffness or flexibility matrices are then established for each of
the finite elements and these matrices are assembled to form a square matrix, from
which the stiffness or flexibility matrix for the structure as a whole is derived. With
that matrix known and substituted into equilibrium and compatibility equations for
the structure, all nodal forces and displacements of the finite elements can be determined
from the solution of the equations. Internal stresses and strains in the
elements can be computed from the now known nodal forces and displacements.
5.13.2 Element Flexibility and Stiffness Matrices
The relationship between independent forces and displacements at nodes of finite
elements comprising a structure is determined by flexibility matrices f or stiffness
FIGURE 5.92 Beam subjected to end moments and shears.
matrices k of the elements. In some cases, the components of these matrices can
be developed from the defining equations:
The jth column of a flexibility matrix of a finite element contains all the nodal
displacements of the element when one force Sj is set equal to unity and all other
independent forces are set equal to zero.
The jth column of a stiffness matrix of a finite element consists of the forces
acting at the nodes of the element to produce a unit displacement of the node at
which displacement j occurs and in the direction of j but no other nodal displacements
of the element.
Bars with Axial Stress Only. As an example of the use of the definitions of
flexibility and stiffness, consider the simple case of an elastic bar under tension
FIGURE 5.91 Elastic bar in tension.
applied by axial forces Pi and Pj at
nodes i and j, respectively (Fig. 5.91).
The bar might be the finite element of a
truss, such as a diagonal or a hanger.
Connections to other members are made
at nodes i and j, which an transmit only
forces in the directions i to j or j to i.
For equilibrium, Pi  Pj  P. Displacement of node j relative to node i is e.
From Eq. (5.23), e  PL/AE, where L is the initial length of the bar, A the bar
cross-sectional area, and E the modulus of elasticity. Setting P eq 1 yields the
flexibility of the bar,
?  (5.151)
Setting e  1 gives the stiffness of the bar,
k  (5.152)
Beams with Bending Only. As another example of the use of the definition to
determine element flexibility and stiffness matrices, consider the simple case of an
elastic prismatic beam in bending applied by moments Mi and Mj at nodes i and j,
respectively (Fig. 5.92a). The beam might be a finite element of a rigid frame.
Connections to other members are made at nodes i and j, which can transmit moments
and forces normal to the beam.
Nodal displacements of the element can be sufficiently described by rotations i
and j relative to the straight line between nodes i and j. For equilibrium, forces
Vj  Vi normal to the beam are required at nodes j and i, respectively, and Vj 
(Mi  Mj) /L, where L is the span of the beam. Thus, Mi and Mj are the only
independent forces acting. Hence, the force-displacement relationship can be written
for this element as
 M i i  f  fM (5.153) 
  M j j
M  i i M k  k  (5.154) 
 M  j j
The flexibility matrix f then will be a 2  2 matrix. The first column can be
obtained by setting Mi  1 and Mj  0 (Fig. 5.92b). The resulting angular rotations
are given by Eqs. (5.107) and (5.108): For a beam with constant moment of inertia
I and modulus of elasticity E, the rotations are   L/3EI and   L/6EI.
Similarly, the second column can be developed by setting Mi  0 and Mj  1.
The flexibility matrix for a beam in bending then is
 L 3EI 6EI 2 1 f  (5.155) 
 1 2 L L 6EI  	 
The stiffness matrix, obtained in a similar manner or by inversion of f, is
2EI 2 1 L L k  (5.156) 
 2EI 4EI 1 2 L  	 L L
Beams Subjected to Bending and Axial Forces. For a beam subjected to nodal
moments Mi and Mj and axial forces P, flexibility and stiffness are represented by
3  3 matrices. The load-displacement relations for a beam of span L, constant
moment of inertia I, modulus of elasticity E, and cross-sectional area A are given
 M M  i i i
  f M M  k  (5.157) j j j j  	  	  	  	 e P P e
In this case, the flexibility matrix is
2 1 0 L
f 1 2 0 (5.158)
6EI 	 0 0 
where  6I /A, and the stiffness matrix is
4 2 0 EI
k  2 4 0 (5.159)
L 	 0 0 
where  A/ I.
5.13.3 Displacement (Stiffness) Method
With the stiffness or flexibility matrix of each finite element of a structure known,
the stiffness or flexibility matrix for the whole structure can be determined, and
with that matrix, forces and displacements throughout the structure can be computed
(Art. 5.13.2). To illustrate the procedure, the steps in the displacement, or stiffness,
method are described in the following. The steps in the flexibility method are similar.
For the stiffness method:
Step 1. Divide the structure into interconnected elements and assign a number,
for identification purposes, to every node (intersection and terminal of elements).
It may also be useful to assign an identifying number to each element.
Step 2. Assume a right-handed cartesian coordinate system, with axes x, y, z.
Assume also at each node of a structure to be analyzed a system of base unit
vectors, e1 in the direction of the x axis, e2 in the direction of the y axis, and e3 in
the direction of the z axis. Forces and moments acting at a node are resolved into
components in the directions of the base vectors. Then, the forces and moments at
the node may be represented by the vector Piei, where Pi is the magnitude of the
force or moment acting in the direction of ei. This vector, in turn, may be conveniently
represented by a column matrix P. Similarly, the displacements—translations
and rotation—of the node may be represented by the vector iei, where i is the
magnitude of the displacement acting in the direction of ei. This vector, in turn,
may be represented by a column matrix .
For compactness, and because, in structural analysis, similar operations are performed
on all nodal forces, all the loads, including moments, acting on all the
nodes may be combined into a single column matrix P. Similarly, all the nodal
displacements may be represented by a single column matrix .
When loads act along a beam, they should be replaced by equivalent forces at
the nodes—simple-beam reactions and fixed-end moments, both with signs reversed
from those induced by the loads. The final element forces are then determined by
adding these moments and reactions to those obtained from the solution with only
the nodal forces.
Step 3. Develop a stiffness matrix ki for each element i of the structure (see Art.
5.13.2). By definition of stiffness matrix, nodal displacements and forces for the i
the element are related by
S  k  i  1, 2, . . . , n (5.160) i ii
where Si  matrix of forces, including moments and torques acting at the nodes
of the ith element
i  matrix of displacements of the nodes of the i th element
Step 4. For compactness, combine this relationship between nodal displacements
and forces for each element into a single matrix equation applicable to all the
S  k (5.161)
where S  matrix of all forces acting at the nodes of all elements
  matrix of all nodal displacements for all elements
k 0 . . . 0 1
0 k . . . 0 2 k  (5.162)
. . . . . . . . .  	 0 0 . . . kn
Step 5. Develop a matrix b0 that will transform the displacements of the nodes
of the structure into the displacement vector  while maintaining geometric compatibility:
  b  (5.163) 0
b0 is a matrix of influence coefficients. The jth column of b0 contains the element
nodal displacements when the node where j occurs is given a unit displacement
in the direction of j, and no other nodes are displaced.
Step 6. Compute the stiffness matrix K for the whole structure from
T K  b kb (5.164) 0 0
where b  transpose of b0  matrix b0 with rows and columns interchanged T0
This equation may be derived as follows: From energy relationship, P  b S. T0
Substitution of k for S [Eq. (5.161)] and then substitution of b0 for  [Eq.
(5.163)] yields P  b kb0 . Comparison of this with Eq. (5.103a), P  k leads T0
to Eq. (5.164).
Step 7. With the stiffness matrix K now known, solve the simultaneous equations
1  K P (5.165)
for the nodal displacements . With these determined, calculate the member forces
S  kb  (5.166) 0
(N. M. Baran, ‘‘Finite Element Analysis on Microcomputers,’’ and H. Kardesluncer
and D. H. Norris, ‘‘Finite Element Handbook,’’ McGraw-Hill Publishing
Company, New York; K. Bathe, ‘‘Finite Element Procedures in Engineering Analysis,’’
T. R. Hughes, ‘‘The Finite Element Method,’’ W. Weaver, Jr., and P. R.
Johnston, ‘‘Structural Dynamics by Finite Elements,’’ and H. T. Y. Yang, ‘‘Finite
Element Structural Analysis,’’ Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.)
An arch is a curved beam, the radius of curvature of which is very large relative
to the depth of the section. It differs from a straight beam in that: (1) loads induce
both bending and direct compressive stresses in an arch; (2) arch reactions have
horizontal components even though loads are all vertical; and (3) deflections have
horizontal as well as vertical components (see also Arts. 5.6.1 to 5.6.4). Names of
arch parts are given in Fig. 5.93.
FIGURE 5.93 Components of an arch.
The necessity of resisting the horizontal components of the reactions is an important
consideration in arch design. Sometimes these forces are taken by the tie
rods between the supports, sometimes by heavy abutments or buttresses.
Arches may be built with fixed ends, as can straight beams, or with hinges at
the supports. They may also be built with a hinge at the crown.
5.14.1 Three-Hinged Arches
An arch with a hinge at the crown as well as at both supports (Fig. 5.94) is statically
determinate. There are four unknowns—two horizontal and two vertical components
of the reactions—but four equations based on the laws of equilibrium are
available: (1) The sum of the horizontal forces must be zero. (2) The sum of the
moments about the left support must be zero. (3) The sum of the moments about
the right support must be zero. (4) The bending moment at the crown hinge must
be zero (not to be confused with the sum of the moments about the crown, which
also must be equal to zero but which would not lead to an independent equation
for the solution of the reactions).
FIGURE 5.94 Three-hinged arch.
Stresses and reactions in threehinged
arches can be determined graphically
by taking advantage of the fact
that the bending moment at the crown
hinge is zero. For example, in Fig.
5.94a, a concentrated load P is applied
to segment AB of the arch. Then, since
the bending moment at B must be zero,
the line of action of the reaction at C
must pass through the crown hinge. It
intersects the line of action of P at X.
The line of action of the reaction at A
must also pass through X. Since P is
equal to the sum of the reactions, and
since the directions of the reactions have
thus been determined, the magnitude of
the reactions can be measured from a parallelogram of forces (Fig. 5.94b). When
the reactions have been found, the stresses can be computed from the laws of statics
(see Art. 5.14.3) or, in the case of a trussed arch, determined graphically.
FIGURE 5.95 Two-hinged arch.
5.14.2 Two-Hinged Arches
When an arch has hinges at the supports only (Fig. 5.95), it is statically indeterminate,
and some knowledge of its deformations is required to determine the reactions.
One procedure is to assume that one of the supports is on rollers. This
makes the arch statically determinate. The reactions and the horizontal movement
of the support are computed for this condition (Fig. 5.95b). Then, the magnitude
of the horizontal force required to return the movable support to its original position
is calculated (Fig. 5.95c). The reactions for the two-hinged arch are finally found
by superimposing the first set of reactions on the second (Fig. 5.95d).
For example, if x is the horizontal movement of the support due to the loads,
and if x is the horizontal movement of the support due to a unit horizontal force
applied to the support, then
x  Hx  0 (5.167)
H   (5.168)
where H is the unknown horizontal reaction. (When a tie rod is used to take the
thrust, the right-hand side of Eq. (5.167) is not zero, but the elongation of the rod,
HL/AE.) The dummy unit-load method [Eq. (5.96)] can be used to compute x and
x:
B B My N dx
x   ds   (5.169)
FIGURE 5.96 Interior stresses at X hold portion LX of an
arch rib in equilibrium.
where M  moment at any section resulting from loads
N  normal thrust on cross section
A  cross-sectional area of arch
y  ordinate of section measured from A as origin, when B is on rollers
I  moment of inertia of section
E  modulus of elasticity
ds  differential length along axis of arch
dx  differential length along horizontal
B B 2 2 y cos  dx
x    ds   (5.170)
where  the angle the tangent to the axis at the section makes with the horizontal.
Unless the thrust is very large and would be responsible for large strains in the
direction of the arch axis, the second term on the right-hand side of Eq. (5.169)
can usually be ignored.
In most cases, integration is impracticable. The integrals generally must be evaluated
by approximate methods. The arch axis is divided into a convenient number
of sections and the functions under the integral sign evaluated for each section. The
sum is approximately equal to the integral. Thus, for the usual two-hinged arch,
(My s /EI) 	A H  (5.171) B B
2 2 (y s /EI)  (cos  x/AE) 	 	 A A
(S. Timoshenko and D. H. Young, ‘‘Theory of Structures,’’ McGraw-Hill Book
Company, New York; S. F. Borg and J. J. Gennaro, ‘‘Modern Structural Analysis,’’
Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, Inc., New York.)
5.14.3 Stresses in Arch Ribs
When the reactions have been found for an arch (Arts. 5.14.1 to 5.14.2), the principal
forces acting on any cross section can be found by applying the equations of
equilibrium. For example, consider the portion of an arch in Fig. 5.96, where the
forces acting at an interior section X are to be found. The load P, HL (or HR), and
VL (or VR) may be resolved into components parallel to the axial thrust N and the
shear S at X, as indicated in Fig. 5.96. Then, by equating the sum of the forces in
each direction to zero, we get
N  V sin   H cos   P sin (   ) (5.172) L x L x x
S  V cos   H sin   P cos (   ) (5.173) L x L x x
And the bending moment at X is
M  V x  H y  Pa cos  Pb sin  (5.174) L 1
The shearing unit stress on the arch cross section at X can be determined from
S wit the aid of Eq. (5.59). The normal unit stresses can be calculated from N and
M with the aid of Eq. (5.67).
In designing an arch, it may be necessary to compute certain secondary stresses,
in addition to those caused by live, dead, wind, and snow loads. Among the secondary
stresses to be considered are those due to temperature changes, rib shortening
due to thrust or shrinkage, deformation of tie rods, and unequal settlement
of footings. The procedure is the same as for loads on the arch, with the deformations
producing the secondary stresses substituted for or treated the same as the
deformations due to loads.
A structural membrane or shell is a curved surface structure. Usually, it is capable
of transmitting loads in more than two directions to supports. It is highly efficient
structurally when it is so shaped, proportioned, and supported that it transmits the
loads without bending or twisting.
A membrane or a shell is defined by its middle surface, halfway between its
extrados, or outer surface and intrados, or inner surface. Thus, depending on the
geometry of the middle surface, it might be a type of dome, barrel arch, cone, or
hyperbolic paraboloid. Its thickness is the distance, normal to the middle surface,
between extrados and intrados.
5.15.1 Thin-Shell Analysis
A thin shell is a shell with a thickness relatively small compared with its other
dimensions. But it should not be so thin that deformations would be large compared
with the thickness.
The shell should also satisfy the following conditions: Shearing stresses normal
to the middle surface are negligible. Points on a normal to the middle surface before
it is deformed lie on a straight line after deformation. And this line is normal to
the deformed middle surface.
Calculation of the stresses in a thin shell generally is carried out in two major
steps, both usually involving the solution of differential equations. In the first, bending
and torsion are neglected (membrane theory, Art. 5.15.2). In the second step,
corrections are made to the previous solution by superimposing the bending and
shear stresses that are necessary to satisfy boundary conditions (bending theory,
Art. 5.15.3).
Ribbed Shells. For long-span construction, thin shells often are stiffened at intervals
by ribs. Usually, the construction is such that the shells transmit some of the
load imposed on them to the ribs, which then perform structurally as more than
just stiffeners. Stress and strain distributions in shells and ribs consequently are
complicated by the interaction between shells and ribs. The shells restrain the ribs,
and the ribs restrain the shells. Hence, ribbed shells usually are analyzed by approximate
methods based on reasonable assumptions.
For example, for a cylindrical shell with circumferential ribs, the ribs act like
arches. For an approximate analysis, the ribbed shell therefore may be assumed to
be composed of a set of arched ribs with the thin shell between the ribs acting in
the circumferential direction as flanges of the arches. In the longitudinal direction,
it may be assumed that the shell transfers load to the ribs in flexure. Designers may
adjust the results of a computation based on such assumptions to correct for a
variety of conditions, such as the effects of free edges of the shell, long distances
between ribs, relative flexibility of ribs and shell, and characteristics of the structural
5.15.2 Membrane Theory for Thin Shells
Thin shells usually are designed so that normal shears, bending moments, and
torsion are very small, except in relatively small portions of the shells. In the
membrane theory, these stresses are ignored.
Despite the neglected stresses, the remaining stresses ae in equilibrium, except
possibly at boundaries, supports, and discontinuities. At any interior point, the number
of equilibrium conditions equals the number of unknowns. Thus, in the
membrane theory, a thin shell is statically determinate.
The membrane theory does not hold for concentrated loads normal to the middle
surface, except possibly at a peak or valley. The theory does not apply where
boundary conditions are incompatible with equilibrium. And it is in exact where
there is geometric incompatibility at the boundaries. The last is a common condition,
but the error is very small if the shell is not very flat. Usually, disturbances
of membrane equilibrium due to incompatibility with deformations at boundaries,
supports, or discontinuities are appreciable only in a narrow region about each
source of disturbance. Much larger disturbances result from incompatibility with
equilibrium conditions.
To secure the high structural efficiency of a thin shell, select a shape, proportions,
and supports for the specific design conditions that come as close as possible to
satisfying the membrane theory. Keep the thickness constant; if it must change, use
a gradual taper. Avoid concentrated and abruptly changing loads. Change curvature
gradually. Keep discontinuities to a minimum. Provide reactions that are tangent to
the middle surface. At boundaries, ensure, to the extent possible, compatibility of
shell deformations with deformations of adjoining members, or at least keep restraints
to a minimum. Make certain that reactions along boundaries are equal in
magnitude and direction to the shell forces there.
Means usually adopted to satisfy these requirements at boundaries and supports
are illustrated in Fig. 5.97. In Fig. 5.97a, the slope of the support and provision for
movement normal to the middle surface ensure a reaction tangent to the middle
surface. In Fig. 5.97b, a stiff rib, or ring girder, resists unbalanced shears and
FIGURE 5.97 Special provisions made at supports and boundaries of thin shells to
meet requirements of the membrane theory include: (a) a device to ensure a reaction
tangent to the middle surface; (b) stiffened edges, such as the ring girder at the base of
a dome; (c) gradually increased shell thicknesses at a stiffening member; (d ) a transition
curve at changes in section; (e) a stiffening edge obtained by thickening the shell; ( ? )
scalloped edges; (g) a flared support.
transmits normal forces to columns below. The enlarged view of the ring girder in
Fig. 5.97c shows gradual thickening of the shell to reduce the abruptness of the
change in section. The stiffening ring at the lantern in Fig. 5.97d, extending around
the opening at the crown, projects above the middle surface, for compatibility of
strains, and connects through a transition curve with the shell; often, the rim need
merely be thickened when the edge is upturned, and the ring can be omitted. In
Fig. 5.97e, the boundary of the shell is a stiffened edge. In Fig. 5.97f, a scalloped
shell provides gradual tapering for transmitting the loads to the supports, at the
same time providing access to the shell enclosure. And in Fig. 5.97g, a column is
flared widely at the top to support a thin shell at an interior point.
Even when the conditions for geometric compatibility are not satisfactory, the
membrane theory is a useful approximation. Furthermore, it yields a particular
solution to the differential equations of the bending theory.
(D. P. Billington, ‘‘Thin Shell Concrete Structures,’’ 2d ed., and S. Timoshenko
and S. Woinowsky-Krieger, ‘‘Theory of Plates and Shells,’’ McGraw-Hill Book
Company, New York: V. S. Kelkar and R. T. Sewell, ‘‘Fundamentals of the Analysis
and Design of Shell Structures,’’ Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.)
5.15.3 Bending Theory for Thin Shells
When equilibrium conditions are not satisfied or incompatible deformations exist
at boundaries, bending and torsion stresses arise in the shell. Sometimes, the design
of the shell and its supports can be modified to reduce or eliminate these stresses
(Art. 5.15.2). When the design cannot eliminate them, provisions must be made for
the shell to resist them.
But even for the simplest types of shells and loading, the stresses are difficult
to compute. In bending theory, a thin shell is statically indeterminate; deformation
conditions must supplement equilibrium conditions in setting up differential equations
for determining the unknown forces and moments. Solution of the resulting
equations may be tedious and time-consuming, if indeed solution if possible.
In practice, therefore, shell design relies heavily on the designer’s experience
and judgment. The designer should consider the type of shell, material of which it
is made, and support and boundary conditions, and then decide whether to apply a
bending theory in full, use an approximate bending theory, or make a rough estimate
of the effects of bending and torsion. (Note that where the effects of a disturbance
are large, these change the normal forces and shears computed by the membrane
theory.) For concrete domes, for example, the usual procedure is to use as support
a deep, thick girder or a heavily reinforced or prestressed tension ring, and the shell
is gradually thickened in the vicinity of this support (Fig. 5.97c).
Circular barrel arches, with ratio of radius to distance between supporting arch
ribs less than 0.25 may be designed as beams with curved cross section. Secondary
stresses, however, must be taken into account. These include stresses due to volume
change of rib and shell, rib shortening, unequal settlement of footings, and temperature
differentials between surfaces.
Bending theory for cylinders and domes is given in W. Flu?gge, ‘‘Stresses in
Shells,’’ Springer-Verlag, New York; D. P. Billington, ‘‘Thin Shell Concrete Structures,’’
2d ed., and S. Timoshenko and S. Woinowsky-Krieger, ‘‘Theory of Plates
and Shells,’’ McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York; ‘‘Design of Cylindrical Concrete
Shell Roofs,’’ Manual of Practice No. 31, American Society of Civil Engineers.
5.15.4 Stresses in Thin Shells
The results of the membrane and bending theories are expressed in terms of unit
forces and unit moments, acting per unit of length over the thickness of the shell.
To compute the unit stresses from these forces and moments, usual practice is to
assume normal forces and shears to be uniformly distributed over the shell thickness
and bending stresses to be linearly distributed.
Then, normal stresses can be computed from equations of the form
N M x x ?   z (5.175) x 3 t t /12
where z  distance from middle surface
t  shell thickness
Mx  unit bending moment about axis parallel to direction of unit normal
force Nx
Similarly, shearing stresses produced by central shears and twisting moments may
be calculated from equations of the form
v   z (5.176) xy 3 t t /12
where D  twisting moment and T  unit shear force along the middle surface.
Normal shearing stresses may be computed on the assumption of a parabolic stress
distribution over the shell thickness:
FIGURE 5.98 Folded-plate structure.
2 V t 2 v  z (5.177)   xz 3 t / t 4
where V  unit shear force normal to middle surface.
5.15.5 Folded Plates
A folded-plate structure consists of a series of thin planar elements, or flat plates,
connected to one another along their edges. Usually used on long spans, especially
for roofs, folded plates derive their economy from the girder action of the plates
and the mutual support they give one another.
Longitudinally, the plates may be continuous over their supports. Transversely,
there may be several plates in each bay (Fig. 5.98). At the edges, or folds, they
may be capable of transmitting both moment and shear or only shear.
A folded-plate structure has a two-way action in transmitting loads to its supports.
Transversely, the elements act as slabs spanning between plates on either
side. The plates then act as girders in carrying the load from the slabs longitudinally
to supports, which must be capable of resisting both horizontal and vertical forces.
If the plates are hinged along their edges, the design of the structure is relatively
simple. Some simplification also is possible if the plates, though having integral
edges, are steeply sloped or if the span is sufficiently long with respect to other
dimensions that beam theory applies. But there are no criteria for determining when
such simplification is possible with acceptable accuracy. In general, a reasonably
accurate analysis of folded-plate stresses is advisable.
Several good methods are available (D. Yitzhaki, ‘‘The Design of Prismatic and
Cylindrical Shell Roofs,’’ North Holland Publishing Company, Amsterdam; ‘‘Phase
I Report on Folded-plate Construction,’’ Proceedings Paper 3741, Journal of the
Structural Division, American Society of Civil Engineers, December 1963; and A.
L. Parme and J. A. Sbarounis, ‘‘Direct Solution of Folded Plate Concrete Roofs,’’
EB021D, Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.). They all take into account the
effects of plate deflections on the slabs and usually make the following assumptions:
The material is elastic, isotropic, and homogeneous. The longitudinal distribution
of all loads on all plates is the same. The plates carry loads transversely only by
bending normal to their planes and longitudinally only by bending within their
planes. Longitudinal stresses vary linearly over the depth of each plate. Supporting
members, such as diaphragms, frames, and beams, are infinitely stiff in their own
planes and completely flexible normal to their own planes. Plates have no torsional
stiffness normal to their own planes. Displacements due to forces other than bending
moments are negligible.
Regardless of the method selected, the computations are rather involved; so it
is wise to carry out the work by computer or, when done manually, in a wellorganized
table. The Yitzhaki method offers some advantages over others in that
the calculations can be tabulated, it is relatively simple, it requires the solution of
no more simultaneous equations than one for each edge for simply supported plates,
it is flexible, and it can easily be generalized to cover a variety of conditions.
Yitzhaki Method. Based on the assumptions and general procedure given above,
the Yitzhaki method deals with the slab and plate systems that comprise a foldedplate
structure in two ways. In the first, a unit width of slab is considered continuous
over supports immovable in the direction of the load (Fig. 5.99b). The strip usually
is taken where the longitudinal plate stresses are a maximum. Second, the slab
reactions are taken as loads on the plates, which now are assumed to be hinged
along the edged (Fig. 5.99c). Thus, the slab reactions cause angle changes in the
plates at each fold. Continuity is restored by applying to the plates an unknown
moment at each edge. The moments can be determined from the fact that at each
edge the sum of the angle changes due to the loads and to the unknown moments
must equal zero.
The angle changes due to the unknown moments have two components. One is
the angle change at each slab end, now hinged to an adjoining slab, in the transverse
strip of unit width. The second is the angle change due to deflection of the plates.
The method assumes that the angle change at each fold varies in the same way
longitudinally as the angle changes along the other folds.
For example, for the folded-plate structure in Fig. 5.99a, the steps in analysis
are as follows:
Step 1. Compute the loads on a 12-in-wide transverse strip at midspan.
Step 2. Consider the strip as a continuous slab supported at the folds (Fig. 5.99b),
and compute the bending moments by moment distribution.
Step 3. From the end moments M found in Step 2, compute slab reactions and
plate loads. Reactions (positive upward) at the nth edge are
M M M  M n1 n n n1 R  V  V   (5.178) n n n1 a a n n1
where Vn, V  n1 shears at both sides of edge n
Mn  moment at edge n
M  n1 moment at edge (n  1)
M  n1 moment at edge (n  1)
a  horizontal projection of depth h
Let k  tan 	n  tan 	 , where 	 is positive as shown in Fig. 99a. Then, the n1
load (positive downward) on the nth plate is
FIGURE 5.99 Folded plate is analyzed by first considering a transverse strip (a) as a continuous
slab on supports that do not settle (b). then, (c) the slabs are assumed hinged and acted upon by
the reactions computed in the first step and by unknown moments to correct for this assumption.
(d ) Slab reactions are resolved into plate forces, parallel to the planes of the plates. (e) In the
longitudinal direction, the plates act as deep girders with shears along the edges. ( ? ) Arrows
indicate the positive directions for the girder shears.
R R n n1 P  (5.179) n k cos 	 k cos 	 n n n1 n
(Figure 5.99d shows the resolution of forces at edge n; n  1 is similar.) Equation
(5.179) does not apply for the case of a vertical reaction on a vertical plate, for
R/k is the horizontal component of the reaction.
Step 4. Calculate the midspan (maximum) bending moment in each plate. In this
example, each plate is a simple beam and M  PL2 / 8, where L is the span in feet.
Step 5. Determine the free-edge longitudinal stresses at midspan. In each plate,
these can be computed from
72M 72M
?  ?   (5.180) n1 n Ah Ah
where ? is the stress in psi, M the moment in ft-lb from Step 4, A  plate crosssectional
area and tension is taken as positive, compression as negative.
Step 6. Apply a shear to adjoining edges to equalize the stresses there. Compute
the adjusted stresses by converging approximations, similar to moment distribution.
To do this, distribute the unbalanced stress at each edge in proportion to the reciprocals
of the areas of the plates, and use a carry-over factor of 1?2 to distribute
the tress to a far edge. Edge 0, being a free edge, requires no distribution of the
stress there. Edge 3, because of symmetry, may be treated the same, and distribution
need be carried out only in the left half of the structure.
Step 7. Compute the midspan edge deflections. In general, the vertical component
 can be computed from
E 15 ? ? ?  ? n1 n n n1   (5.181)   n 2L k a a n n n1
where E  modulus of elasticity, psi
k  tan 	n  tan 	 , as in Step 3 n1
The factor E/L2 is retained for convenience; it is eliminated by dividing the simultaneous
angle equations by it. For a vertical plate, the vertical deflection is
given by
E 15(?  ? ) n1 n   (5.182) n 2L hn
Step 8. Compute the midspan angle change P at each edge. This can be determined
E     n1 n n n1     (5.183) P 2L a a n n1
Step 9. To correct the edge rotations with a symmetrical loading, apply an unknown
moment of 100mn sin (
x/L), in-lb (positive when clockwise) to plate n
at edge n and 1000mn sin (
x/L) to its counterpart, plate n at edge n. Also,
apply 1000mn sin (
x/L) to plate (n  1) at edge n and 1000mn sin (
sine function is assumed to make the loading vary longitudinally in approximately
the same manner as the deflections.) At midspan, the absolute value of these moments
is 1000mn.
The 12-in-wide transverse strip at midspan, hinged at the supports, will then be
subjected at the supports to moments of 1000mn. Compute the rotations thus caused
in the slabs from
E 166.7h m n n   n1 2 23 L Lt n
E 333.3m h h n n n1   (5.184)   n 2 2 3 3 L L t t n n1
E 166.7h m n1 n   n1 2 23 L Lt n1
Step 10. Compute the slab reactions and plate loads due to the unknown moments.
The reactions are
1000m 1 1 1000m n n R  R  1000m  R   (5.185)   n1 n n n1 a a a a n n n1 n1
The plate loads are
1 R R n n1 P  (5.186)   n cos 	 k k n n n1
Step 11. Assume that the loading on each plate is Pn sin (
x/L) (Fig. 5.99e), and
calculate the midspan (maximum) bending moment. For a simple beam,
2 PL
M  2 

Step 12. Using Eq. (5.180), compute the free-edge longitudinal stresses at midspan.
Then, as in Step 6, apply a shear at each edge to equalize the stresses.
Determine the adjusted stresses by converging approximations.
Step 13. Compute the vertical component of the edge deflections at midspan from
n1 E 144 ? ? ?  ? n n n1   (5.187)   n 2 2 L 
k a a n n n1
or for a vertical plate from
E 144(?  ? ) n1 n   (5.188) n 2 2 L 
Step 14. Using Eq. (5.183), determine the midspan angle change  at each edge.
Step 15. At each edge, set up an equation by putting the sum of the angle changes
equal to zero. Thus, after division by E/L2: P      0. Solve these
simultaneous equations for the unknown moments.
Step 16. Determine the actual reactions, loads, stresses, and deflections by substituting
for the moments the values just found.
Step 17. Compute the shear stresses. The shear stresses at edge n (Fig. 5.99?) is
?  ? n1 n T T A (5.189) n n1 n 2
In the example, To  0, so the shears at the edges can be obtained successively,
since the stresses ? are known.
For a uniformly loaded folded plate, the shear stress S, psi, at any point on an
edge n is approximately
2T 1 x max S  (5.190)   3Lt 2 L
With a maximum at plate ends of
Tmax S  (5.191) max 3Lt
The shear stress, psi, at middepth (not always a maximum) is
3P L S  S 1 x n n1 n  v    (5.192)    n 2A 2 2 L n
and has its largest value at x  0:
0.75P L S  S n n1 n v   (5.193) max A 4 n
For more details, see D. Yitzhaki and Max Reiss, ‘‘Analysis of Folded Plates,’’
Proceedings Paper 3303, Journal of the Structural Division, American Society of
Civil Engineers, October 1962.
A cable is a linear structural member, like a bar of a truss. The cross-sectional
dimensions of a cable relative to its length, however, are so small that it cannot
withstand bending or compression. Consequently, under loads at an angle to its
longitudinal axis, a cable sags and assumes a shape that enables it to develop tensile
stresses that resist the loads.
Structural efficiency results from two cable characteristics: (1) uniformity of
tensile stresses over the cable cross section, and (2) usually, small variation of
tension along the longitudinal axis. Hence, it is economical to use materials with
very high tensile strength for cables.
Cables sometimes are used in building construction as an alternative to such
tension members as hangers, ties, or tension chords of trusses. For example, cables
are used in a form of long-span cantilever-truss construction in which a horizontal
* Reprinted with permission from F. S. Merritt, ‘‘Structural Steel Designers’ Handboo,’’ McGraw-Hill
Book Company, New York.
FIGURE 5.101 Simple cable: (a) cable with a uniformly distributed load; (b) cable with
supports at different levels.
FIGURE 5.100 Two types of cable-stayed girder construction for roofs.
roof girder is supported at one end by a column and near the other end by a cable
that extends diagonally upward to the top of a vertical mast above the column
support (cable-stayed-girder construction, Fig. 5.100). Cable stress an be computed
for this case from the laws of equilibrium.
Cables also may be used in building construction instead of girders, trusses, or
membranes to support roofs, For the purpose, cables may be arranged in numerous
ways. It is consequently impractical to treat in detail in this book any but the
simplest types of such applications of cables. Instead, general procedures for analyzing
cable-supported structures are presented in the following.
5.16.1 Simple Cables
An ideal cable has o resistance to bending. Thus, in analysis of a cable in equilibrium,
not only is the sum of the moments about any point equal to zero but so is
the bending moment at any point. Consequently, the equilibrium shape of the cable
corresponds to the funicular, or bending-moment, diagram for the loading (Fig.
5.101a). As a result, the tensile force at any point of the cable is tangent there to
the cable curve.
The point of maximum sag of a cable coincides with the point of zero shear.
(Sag in this case should be measured parallel to the direction of the shear forces.)
Stresses in a cable are a function of the deformed shape. Equations needed for
analysis, therefore, usually are nonlinear. Also, in general, stresses and deformations
cannot be obtained accurately by superimposition of loads. A common procedure
in analysis is to obtain a solution in steps by using linear equations to approximate
the nonlinear ones and by starting with the initial geometry to obtain better estimates
of the final geometry.
For convenience in analysis, the cable tension, directed along the cable curve,
usually is resolved into two components. Often, it is advantageous to resolve the
tension T into a horizontal component H and a vertical component V (Fig. 5.100b).
Under vertical loading then, the horizontal component is constant along the cable.
Maximum tension occurs at the support. V is zero at the point of maximum sag.
For a general, distributed vertical load q, the cable must satisfy the second-order
linear differential equation
n Hy  q (5.194)
where y  rise of cable at distance x from low point (Fig. 5.100b)
y  n d2y/dx2
Catenary. Weight of a cable of constant cross-section represents a vertical loading
that is uniformly distributed along the length of cable. Under such a loading, a
cable takes the shape of a catenary.
Take the origin of coordinates at the low point C and measure distance s along
the cable from C (Fig. 5.100b). If qo is the load per unit length of cable, Eq. (5.194)
q ds o n 2 Hy q 1  y (5.195) o dx
where y  dy/dx. Solving for y gives the slope at any point of the cable
3 q x q x 1 q x o o o y  sinh      (5.196)   H H 3! H
A second integration then yields the equation for the cable shape, which is called
a catenary.
3 2 4 H qx qx q x o o o y  cosh  1      (5.197)    q H H 2! H 4! o
If only the first term of the series expansion is used, the cable equation represents
a parabola. Because the parabolic equation usually is easier to handle, a catenary
often is approximated by a parabola.
For a catenary, length of arc measured from the low point is
2 H qx 1 q o o 3 s  sinh  x  x     (5.198)   q H 3! H o
Tension at any point is
2 22 T  H  q s  H  q y (5.199) o o
The distance from the low point C to the left support L is
H qo 1 a  cosh ?  1 (5.200)   L q H o
where ?L  vertical distance from C to L. The distance from C to the right support
R is
H qo 1 b  cosh ?  1 (5.201)   R q H o
where ?R  vertical distance from C to R.
Given the sags of a catenary ?L and ?R under a distributed vertical load qo, the
horizontal component of cable tension H may be computed from
q l q ? q ? o oL o R 1 1  cosh  1  cosh  1 (5.202)     H H H
where l  span, or horizontal distance between supports L and R  a  b. This
equation usually is solved by trial. A first estimate of H for substitution in the righthand
side of the equation may be obtained by approximating the catenary by a
parabola. Vertical components of the reactions at the supports can be computed
q a q b o o R  H sinh R  H sinh (5.203) L R H H
Parabola. Uniform vertical live loads and uniform vertical dead loads other than
cable weight generally may be treated as distributed uniformly over the horizontal
projection of the cable. Under such loadings, a cable takes the shape of a parabola.
Take the origin of coordinates at the low point C (Fig. 5.100b). If wo is the load
per foot horizontally, Eq. (5.194) becomes
n Hy  w (5.204) o
Integration gives the slope at any point of the cable
w x o y  (5.205)
A second integration yields the parabolic equation for the cable shape
2 w x o y  (5.206)
The distance from the low point C to the left support L is
l Hh
a  (5.207)
2 w l o
where l  span, or horizontal distance between supports L and R  a  b
h  vertical distance between supports
The distance from the low point C to the right support R is
l Hh
b  (5.208)
2 w l o
When supports are not at the same level, the horizontal component of cable
tension H may be computed from
2 2 w l h w l o o H  ?   ? ?  (5.209)   R LR 2 h 2 8?
where ?L  vertical distance from C to L
?R  vertical distance from C to R
?  sag of cable measured vertically from chord LR midway between supports
(at x  Hh/wo l )
As indicated in Fig. 5.100b,
?  ?  y (5.210) L M 2
where yM  Hh2/2wo l 2. The minus sign should be used in Eq. (5.209) when low
point C is between supports. If the vertex of the parabola is not between L and R,
the plus sign should be used.
The vertical components of the reactions at the supports can be computed from
w l Hh w l Hh o o V  w a  V  w b  (5.211) L o R o 2 l 2 l
Tension at any point is
2 2 2 T  H  w x (5.212) o
Length of parabolic arc RC is
2 2 b wb H w b 1 w o o o 3 L  1  sinh  b  b     (5.213)     RC  2 KH 2w H 6 H o
Length of parabolic are LC is
2 2 a wa H w a 1 w o o o 3 L  1  sinh  a  a     (5.214)     LC  2 H 2w H 6 H o
When supports are at the same level, ?L  ?R  ?, h  0, and a  b  l/2.
The horizontal component of cable tension H may be computed from
2 w l o H  (5.215)
The vertical components of the reactions at the supports are
w l o V  V  (5.216) L R 2
Maximum tension occurs at the supports and equals
2 w l l o T  T  1  (5.217) L R 2  2 16?
Length of cable between supports is
2 1 w l H w l o o L  1  sinh    2 2H w 2H o (5.218)
2 4 6 8 ? 32 ? 256 ?
 l 1        2 4 6 3 l 5 l 7 l
If additional uniformly distributed load is applied to a parabolic cable, the change
in sag is approximately
15 l L
?  (5.219) 2 2 16 ? 5  24? / l
For a rise in temperature t, the change in sag is about
2 2 15 l ct 8 ?
?  1  (5.220)   2 2 2 16 ?(5  24? / l) 3l
where c  coefficient of thermal expansion.
Elastic elongation of a parabolic cable is approximately
2 Hl 16 ?
L  1  (5.221)  2 ARE 3 l
where A  cross-sectional area of cable
E  modulus of elasticity of cable steel
H  horizontal component of tension in cable
If the corresponding change in sag is small, so that the effect on H is negligible,
this change may be computed from
2 2 2 15 Hl 1  16? /3l
?  (5.222) 2 2 16 ARE? 5  24? / l
For the general case of vertical dead load on a cable, the initial shape of the
cable is given by
MD y  (5.223) D HD
where MD  dead-load bending moment that would be produced by the load in a
simple beam
HD  horizontal component of tension due to dead load
For the general case of vertical live load on the cable, the final shape of the cable
is given by
M  M D L y   (5.224) D H  H D L
where  vertical deflection of cable due to live load
ML  live-load bending moment that would be produced by the live load in
a simple beam
HL  increment in horizontal component of tension due to live load
Subtraction of Eq. (5.223) from Eq. (5.224) yield
M  H y L LD  (5.225)
H  H D L
If the cable is assumed to take a parabolic shape, a close approximation to HL may
be obtained from
l l H w 1 L D K    dx     dx (5.226)
0 0 AE H 2 D
2 2 2 1 5 16? 16? 3l 4? 16?
K  l  1  log  1  (5.227)    
 e 2 2 2   4 2 l l 32? l l
where   d2 /dx2.
If elastic elongation and  can be ignored, Eq. (5.226) simplifies to
l  M dx L l
0 3
H   M dx (5.228) L L l
0 2?l  y dx D
Thus, for a load uniformly distributed horizontally wL,
l 3 w l L  M dx  (5.229) L
0 12
and the increase in the horizontal component of tension due to live load is
3 2 2 3 w l w l w l 8H w L L L D L H    H (5.230) L D 2 2?l 12 8? 8 w l w D D
When a more accurate solution is desired, the value of HL obtained from Eq. (5.230)
can be used for an initial trial in solving Eqs. (5.225) and (5.226).
(S. P. Timoshenko and D. H. Young, ‘‘Theory of Structures,’’ McGraw-Hill Book
Company, New York: W. T. O’Brien and A. J. Francis, ‘‘Cable Movements under
Two-dimensional Loads,’’ Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 90, No.
ST3, Proceedings Paper 3929, June 1964, pp. 89–123; W. T. O’Brien, ‘‘General
Solution of Suspended Cable Problems,’’ Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE,
Vol. 93, No. ST1, Proceedings Paper 5085, February, 1967, pp. 1–26; W. T.
O’Brien, ‘‘Behavior of Loaded Cable Systems,’’ Journal of the Structural Division,
ASCE, Vol. 94, No. ST10, Proceedings Paper 6162, October 1968, pp. 2281–2302;
G. R. Buchanan, ‘‘Two-dimensional Cable Analysis,’’ Journal of the Structural
Division, ASCE, Vol. 96, No. ST7, Proceedings Paper 7436, July 1970, pp. 1581–
FIGURE 5.102 Cable network.
5.16.2 Cable Systems
Analysis of simple cables is described in Art. 5.16.1. Cables, however, may be
assembled into many types of systems. One important reason for such systems is
that roofs to be supported are two- or three-dimensional. Consequently, threedimensional
cable arrangements often are advantageous. Another important reason
is that cable systems can be designed to offer much higher resistance to vibrations
than simple cables do.
Like simple cables, cable systems behave nonlinearly. Thus, accurate analysis is
difficult, tedious, and time-consuming. As a result, many designers use approximate
methods that appear to have successfully withstood the test of time. Because of the
numerous types of systems and the complexity of analysis, only general procedures
will be outlined in this article.
Cable systems may be stiffened or unstiffened. Stiffened systems, usually used
for suspension bridges are rarely used in buildings. This article will deal only with
unstiffened systems, that is, systems where loads are carried to supports only by
Often, unstiffened systems may be classified as a network or as a cable truss,
or double-layered plane system.
Networks consist of two or three sets of cables intersecting at an angle (Fig.
5.102). The cables are fastened together at their intersections.
Cable trusses consist of pairs of cables, generally in a vertical plane. One cable
of each pair is concave downward, the other concave upward (Fig. 5.103).
Cable Trusses. Both cables of a cable truss are initially tensioned, or prestressed,
to a predetermined shape, usually parabolic. The prestress is made large enough
that any compression that may be induced in a cable by loads only reduces the
tension in the cable; thus, compressive stresses cannot occur. The relative vertical
position of the cables is maintained by verticals, or spreaders, or by diagonals.
Diagonals in the truss plane do not appear to increase significantly the stiffness of
a cable truss.
Figure 5.103 shows four different arrangements of the cables, with spreaders, in
a cable truss. The intersecting types (Fig. 5.103b and c) usually are stiffer than the
others, for given size cables and given sag and rise.
FIGURE 5.103 Planar cable systems: (a) completely separated cables; (b) cables intersecting at
midspan; (c) crossing cables; (d ) cables meeting at supports.
FIGURE 5.104 Cable trusses placed radially to support a round
For supporting roofs, cable trusses often are placed radially at regular intervals
(Fig. 5.104). Around the perimeter of the roof, the horizontal component of the
tension usually is resisted by a circular or elliptical compression ring. To avoid a
joint with a jumble of cables at the center, the cables usually are also connected to
a tension ring circumscribing the center.
Properly prestressed, such double-layer cable systems offer high resistance to
vibrations. Wind or other dynamic forces difficult or impossible to anticipate may
cause resonance to occur in a single cable, unless damping is provided. The probability
of resonance occurring may be reduced by increasing the dead load on a
single cable. But this is not economical, because the size of cable and supports
usually must be increased as well. Besides, the tactic may not succeed, because
future loads may be outside the design range. Damping, however, may be achieved
economically with interconnected cables under different tensions, for example, with
cable trusses or networks.
The cable that is concave downward (Fig. 5.103) usually is considered the loadcarrying
cable. If the prestress in that cable exceeds that in the other cable, the
natural frequencies of vibration of both cables will always differ for any value of
live load. To avoid resonance, the difference between the frequencies of the cables
should increase with increase in load. Thus, the two cables will tend to assume
different shapes under specific dynamic loads. As a consequence, the resulting flow
of energy from one cable to the other will dampen the vibrations of both cables.
Natural frequency, cycles per second, of each cable may be estimated from
w  (5.231) n  l w
where n  integer, 1 for the fundamental mode of vibration, 2 for the second
mode, . . .
l  span of cable, ft
w  load on cable, kips per ft
g  acceleration due to gravity  32.2 ft / s2
T  cable tension, kips
The spreaders of a cable truss impose the condition that under a given load the
change in sag of the cables must be equal. But the changes in tension of the two
cables may not be equal. If the ratio of sag to span ?/ l is small (less than about
0.1). Eq. (5.222) indicates that, for a parabolic cable, the change in tension is given
approximately by
16 AE?
H  ? (5.232) 2 3 l
where ?  change in sag
A  cross-sectional area of cable
E  modulus of elasticity of cable steel
Double cables interconnected with struts may be analyzed as discrete or continuous
systems. For a discrete system, the spreaders are treated as individual members.
For a continuous system, the spreaders are replaced by a continuous diaphragm
that ensures that the changes in sag and rise of cables remain equal under
changes in load. Similarly, for analysis of a cable network, the cables, when treated
as a continuous system, may be replaced by a continuous membrane.
(C. H. Mollman, ‘‘Analysis of Plane Prestressed Cable Structures,’’ Journal of
the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 96, No. ST10, Proceedings Paper 7598,
October 1970, pp. 2059–2082; D. P. Greenberg, ‘‘Inelastic Analysis of Suspension
Roof Structures,’’ Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 96, No. ST5,
Proceedings Paper 7284, May 1970, pp. 905–930; H. Tottenham and P. G. Williams,
‘‘Cable Net: Continuous System Analysis,’’ Journal of the Engineering Mechanics
Division, ASCE, Vol. 96, No. EM3, Proceedings Paper 7347, June 1970,
pp. 277–293; A. Siev, ‘‘A General Analysis of Prestressed Nets,’’ Publications,
International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering, Vol. 23, pp. 283–
292, Zurich, Switzerland, 1963; A. Siev, ‘‘Stress Analysis of Prestressed Suspended
Roofs,’’ Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 90, No. ST4, Proceedings
Paper 4008. August 1964, pp. 103–121; C. H. Thornton and C. Birnstiel, ‘‘Threedimensional
Suspension Structures,’’ Journal of the Structural Division, ASCE, Vol.
93, No. ST2, Proceedings Paper 5196, April 1967, pp. 247–270.)
A true membrane is able to withstand tension but is completely unable to resist
bending. Although it is highly efficient structurally, like a shell, a membrane must
be much thinner than a shell and therefore can be made of a very lightweight
material, such as fabric, with considerable reduction in dead load compared with
other types of construction. Such a thin material, however, would buckle if subjected
to compression. Consequently, a true membrane, when loaded, deflects and
assumes a shape that enables it to develop tensile stresses that resist the loads.
Membranes may be used for the roof of a building or as a complete exterior
enclosure. One way to utilize a membrane for these purposes is to hang it with
initial tension between appropriate supports. For example, a tent may be formed by
supporting fabric atop one or more tall posts and anchoring the outer edges of the
stretched fabric to the ground. As another example, a dish-shaped roof may be
constructed by stretching a membrane and anchoring it to the inner surface of a
ring girder. In both examples, loads induce only tensile stresses in the membrane.
The stresses may be computed from the laws of equilibrium, because a membrane
is statically determinate.
Another way to utilize a membrane as an enclosure or roof is to pretension the
membrane to enable it to carry compressive loads. For the purpose, forces may be
applied, and retained as long as needed, around the edges or over the surface of
the membrane to induce tensile stresses that are larger than the larger compressive
stresses that loads will impose. As a result, compression due to loads will only
reduce the prestress and the membrane will always be subjected only to tensile
5.17.1 Pneumatic Construction
A common method of pretensioning a membrane enclosure is to pressurize the
interior with air. Sufficient pressure is applied to counteract dead loads, so that the
membrane actually floats in space. Slight additional pressurization is also used to
offset wind and other anticipated loads. Made of lightweight materials, a membrane
thus can span large distances economically. This type of construction, however, has
the disadvantage that energy is continuously required for operation of air compressors
to maintain interior air at a higher pressure than that outdoors.
Pressure differentials used in practice are not large. They often range between
0.02 and 0.04 psi (3 and 5 psf). Air must be continually supplied, because of
leakage. While there may be some leakage of air through the membrane, more
important sources of air loss are the entrances and exits to the structure. Air locks
and revolving doors, however, can reduce these losses.
An air-stabilized enclosure, in effect is a membrane bag held in place by small
pressure differentials applied by environmental energy. Such a structure is analogous
to a soap film. The shape of a bubble is determined by surface-tension forces.
The membrane is stressed equally in all directions at every point. Consequently,
the film forms shapes with minimum surface area, frequently spherical. Because of
the stress distribution, any shape that can be obtained with soap films is feasible
for an air-stabilized enclosure. Figure 5.105c shows a configuration formed by a
conglomeration of bubbles as an illustration of a shape that can be adopted for an
air-stabilized structure.
In practice, shapes of air-stabilized structures often resemble those used for thinshell
enclosures. For example, spherical domes (Fig. 5.105a) are frequently conSTRUCTURAL
THEORY 5.139
FIGURE 5.105 Some shapes for air-supported structures. (Reprinted with permission
from F. S. Merritt, ‘‘Building Engineering and Systems Design,’’ Van Nostrand Reinhold
Company, New York.)
FIGURE 5.106 Inflated dual-wall structure. FIGURE 5.107 Air-supported structure.
structed with a membrane. Also, membranes are sometimes shaped as semi-circular
cylinders with quarter-sphere ends (Fig. 5.105b).
Air-stabilized enclosures may be classified as air-inflated, air-supported, or hybrid
structures, depending on the type of support.
Air-inflated enclosures are completely supported by pressurized air entrapped
within membranes. There are two main types, inflated-rib structures and inflated
dual-wall structures.
In inflated-rib construction, the membrane enclosure is supported by a framework
of air-pressurized tubes, which serve much like arch ribs in thin-shell construction
(Art. 5.15.1). The principle of their action is demonstrated by a water
hose. A flexible hose, when empty, collapses under its own weight on short spans
or under loads normal to its length; but it stiffens when filled with water. The water
pressure tensions the hose walls and enables them to withstand compressive
In inflated dual-walled construction, pressurized air is trapped between two concentric
membranes (Fig. 5.106). The shape of the inner membrane is maintained
by suspending it from the outer one. Because of the large volume of air compressed
between the membranes, this type of construction can span longer distances than
can inflated-rib structures.
Because of the variation of air pressure with changes in temperature, provision
must be made for adjustment of the pressure of the compressed air in air-inflated
structures. Air must be vented to relieve excessive pressures, to prevent overtensioning
of the membranes. Also, air must be added to compensate for pressure
drops, to prevent collapse.
Air-supported enclosures consist of a single membrane supported by the difference
between internal air pressure and external atmospheric pressure (Fig. 5.107).
The pressure differential deflects the membrane outward, inducing tensile stresses
in it, thus enabling it to withstand compressive forces. To resist the uplift, the
construction must be securely anchored to the ground. Also, the membrane must
be completely sealed around its perimeter to prevent air leakage.
Hybrid structures consist of one of the preceding types of pneumatic construction
augmented by light metal framing, such as cables. The framing may be merely
a safety measure to support the membrane if pressure should be lost or a means of
shaping the membrane when it is stretched. Under normal conditions, air pressure
against the membrane reduces the load on the framing from heavy wind and snow
5.17.2 Membrane Stresses
Air-supported structures are generally spherical or cylindrical because of the supporting
uniform pressure.
When a spherical membrane with radius R, in, its subjected to a uniform radial
internal pressure, p, psi, the internal unit tensile force, lb / in, in any direction, is
given by
T  (5.233)
In a cylindrical membrane, the internal unit tensile force, lb / in, in the circumferential
direction is given by
T  pR (5.234)
where R  radius, in, of the cylinder. The longitudinal membrane stress depends
on the conditions at the cylinder ends. For example, with immovable end enclosures,
the longitudinal stress would be small. If, however the end enclosure is
flexible, a tension about half that given by Eq. (5.234) would be imposed on the
membrane in the longitudinal direction.
Unit stress in the membrane can be computed by dividing the unit force by the
thickness, in, of the membrane.
(R. N. Dent, ‘‘Principles of Pneumatic Architecture,’’ John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,
New York; J. W. Leonard, ‘‘Tension Structures,’’ McGraw-Hill Publishing Company,
New York.)
Article 5.1.1 notes that loads can be classified as static or dynamic and that the
distinguishing characteristic is the rate of application of load. If a load is applied
slowly, it may be considered static. Since dynamic loads may produce stresses and
deformations considerably larger than those caused by static loads of the same
magnitude, it is important to know reasonably accurately what is meant by slowly.
A useful definition can be given in terms of the natural period of vibration of
the structure or member to which the load is applied. If the time in which a load
rises from zero to its maximum value is more than double the natural period, the
load may be treated as static. Loads applied more rapidly may be dynamic. Structural
analysis and design for such loads are considerably different from and more
complex than those for static loads.
In general, exact dynamic analysis is possible only for relatively simple structures,
and only when both the variation of load and resistance with time are a
convenient mathematical function. Therefore, in practice, adoption of approximate
methods that permit rapid analysis and design is advisable. And usually, because
of uncertainties in loads and structural resistance, computations need not be carried
out with more than a few significant figures, to be consistent with known conditions.
5.18.1 Properties of Materials under Dynamic Loading
In general mechanical properties of structural materials improve with increasing
rate of load application. For low-carbon steel, for example, yield strength, ultimate
strength, and ductility rise with increasing rate of strain. Modulus of elasticity in
the elastic range, however, is unchanged. For concrete, the dynamic ultimate
strength in compression may be much greater than the static strength.
Since the improvement depends on the material and the rate of strain, values to
use in dynamic analysis and design should be determined by tests approximating
the loading conditions anticipated.
Under many repetitions of loading, though, a member or connection between
members may fail because of ‘‘fatigue’’ at a stress smaller than the yield point of
the material. In general, there is little apparent deformation at the start of a fatigue
failure. A crack forms at a point of high stress concentration. As the stress is
repeated, the crack slowly spreads, until the member ruptures without measurable
yielding. Though the material may be ductile, the fracture looks brittle.
Some materials (generally those with a well-defined yield point) have what is
known as an endurance limit. This is the maximum unit stress that can be repeated,
through a definite range, an indefinite number of times without causing structural
damage. Generally, when no range is specified, the endurance limit is intended for
a cycle in which the stress is varied between tension and compression stresses of
equal value.
A range of stress may be resolved into two components—a steady, or mean,
stress and an alternating stress. The endurance limit sometimes is defined as the
maximum value of the alternating stress that can be superimposed on the steady
stress an indefinitely large number of times without causing fracture.
Design of members to resist repeated loading cannot be executed with the certainty
with which members can be designed to resist static loading. Stress concentrations
may be present for a wide variety of reasons, and it is not practicable to
calculate their intensities. But sometimes it is possible to improve the fatigue
strength of a material or to reduce the magnitude of a stress concentration below
the minimum value that will cause fatigue failure.
In general, avoid design details that cause severe stress concentrations or poor
stress distribution. Provide gradual changes in section. Eliminate sharp corners and
notches. Do not use details that create high localized constraint. Locate unavoidable
stress raisers at points where fatigue conditions are the least severe. Place connections
at points where stress is low and fatigue conditions are not severe. Provide
structures with multiple load paths or redundant members, so that a fatigue crack
in any one of the several primary members is not likely to cause collapse of the
entire structure.
Fatigue strength of a material may be improved by cold-working the material
in the region of stress concentration, by thermal processes, or by prestressing it in
such a way as to introduce favorable internal stresses. Where fatigue stresses are
unusually severe, special materials may have to be selected with high energy absorption
and notch toughness.
(J. H. Faupel, ‘‘Engineering Design,’’ John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York;
C. H. Norris et al., ‘‘Structural Design for Dynamic Loads,’’ McGraw-Hill Book
FIGURE 5.108 Mass on a weightless spring (b) or (d ) may represent
the motion of (a) a beam or (c) a rigid frame in free vibration.
Company, New York; W. H. Munse, ‘‘Fatigue of Welded Steel Structures,’’Welding
Research Council, 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017.)
5.18.2 Natural Period of Vibration
A preliminary step in dynamic analysis and design is determination of this period.
It can be computed in many ways, including by application of the laws of conservation
of energy and momentum or Newton’s second law, F  M(dv/ dt), where F
is force, M mass, v velocity, and t time. But in general, an exact solution is possible
only for simple structures. Therefore, it is general practice to seek an approximate—
but not necessarily inexact—solution by analyzing an idealized representation of
the actual member or structure. Setting up this model and interpreting the solution
require judgment of a high order.
Natural period of vibration is the time required for a structure to go through one
cycle of free vibration, that is, vibration after the disturbance causing the motion
has ceased.
To compute the natural period, the actual structure may be conveniently represented
by a system of masses and massless springs, with additional resistances
provided to account for energy losses due to friction, hysteresis, and other forms
of damping. In simple cases, the masses may be set equal to the actual masses;
otherwise, equivalent masses may have to be computed (Art. 5.18.6). The spring
constants are the ratios of forces to deflections.
For example, a single mass on a spring (Fig. 5.108b) may represent a simply
supported beam with mass that may be considered negligible compared with the
load W at midspan (Fig. 5.108a). The spring constant k should be set equal to the
load that produces a unit deflection at midspan; thus, k  48EI/L3, where E is the
modulus of elasticity, psi; I the moment of inertia, in4; and L the span, in, of the
beam. The idealized mass equals W/g, where W is the weight of the load, lb, and
g is the acceleration due to gravity, 386 in / s2.
Also, a single mass on a spring (Fig. 5.108d) may represent the rigid frame in
Fig. 5.108c. In that case, k  2  12EI/h3, where I is the moment of inertia, in4,
of each column and h the column height, in. The idealized mass equals the sum of
the masses on the girder and the girder mass. (Weight of columns and walls is
assumed negligible.)
The spring and mass in Fig. 5.108b and d form a one-degree system. The degree
of a system is determined by the least number of coordinates needed to define the
positions of its components. In Fig. 5.108, only the coordinate y is needed to locate
the mass and determine the state of the spring. In a two-degree system, such as
one comprising two masses connected to each other and to the ground by springs
and capable of movement in only one direction, two coordinates are required to
locate the masses.
If the mass with weight W, lb, in Fig. 5.108 is isolated, as shown in Fig. 5.108e
it will be in dynamic equilibrium under the action of the spring force  ky and the
inertia force (d2y/ dt 2)(W/g). Hence, the equation of motion is
2 W d y
 ky  0 (5.235) 2 g dt
where y  displacement of mass, in, measured from rest position. Equation (5.235)
may be written in the more convenient form
2 2 d y kg d y 2  y  y  0 (5.236) 2 2 dt W dt
The solution is
y  A sin t  B cos t (5.237)
where A and B are constants to be determined from initial conditions of the system,
 (5.238) W
is the natural circular frequency, rad/ s.
The motion defined by Eq. (5.237) is harmonic. Its natural period, s, is
T 2
 (5.239)   kg
Its natural frequency, Hz, is
1 1 kg
?  (5.240)  T 2
If, at time t  0, the mass has an initial displacement y0 and velocity v0, substitution
in Eq. (5.237) yields A  v0 / and B  y0. Hence, at any time t, the mass
is completely located by
v0 y  sin t  y cos t (5.241) 0 
The stress in the spring can be computed from the displacement y.
Vibrations of Lumped Masses. In multiple-degree systems, an independent differential
equation of motion can be written for each degree of freedom. Thus, in
an N-degree system with N masses, weighing W1, W2, . . . , WN lb, and N2 springs
with constants krj (r  1, 2, . . . , N; j  1, 2, . . . , N), there are N equations of
the form
N 2 W d y r r k y  0 r  1, 2, . . . , N (5.242) 	 rj j 2 g dt j1
Simultaneous solution of these equations reveals that the motion of each mass can
be resolved into N harmonic components. They are called the fundamental, second
third, etc., harmonics. Each set of harmonics for all the masses is called a normal
mode of vibration.
There are as many normal modes in a system as degrees of freedom. Under
certain circumstances, the system could vibrate freely in any one of these modes.
During any such vibration, the ratio of displacement of any two of the masses
remains constant. Hence, the solution of Eqs. (5.242) take the form
y  a sin  (t   ) (5.243) 	 r rn n n
where arn and n are constants to be determined from the initial conditions of the
system and n is the natural circular frequency for each normal mode.
To determine n, set y1  A1 sin t; y2  A2 sin t . . . . Then, substitute these
values of yr and their second derivatives in Eqs. (5.242). After dividing each equation
by sin t, the following N equations result:
W1 2 k   A  k A     k A  0   11 1 12 2 1N N g
W2 k A  k  A     k A  0   21 1 22 2 2N N g
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
kN1A1  kN2A2      AN  0
WN 2 k     NN g
If there are to be nontrivial solutions for the amplitudes A1, A2, . . . , AN, the
determinant of their coefficients must be zero. Thus,
 W1 2 k   11 g
W2 2 
k2N 	  0 (5.245) . .
kN1 kN2   
kNN  2
Solution of this equation for yields one real root for each normal mode. And the
natural period for each normal mode can be obtained from Eq. (5.239).
If  for a normal mode now is substituted in Eqs. (5.244), the amplitudes A1,
A2, . . . , AN for that mode can be computed in terms of an arbitrary value, usually
unity, assigned to one of them. The resulting set of modal amplitudes defines the
characteristic shape for that mode.
The normal modes are mutually orthogonal; that is,
W A A  0 (5.246) 	 r rn rm
where Wr is the rth mass out of a total of N, A represents the characteristic amplitude
of a normal mode, and n and m identify any two normal modes. Also, for a
total of S springs
k y y  0 (5.247) 	 s sn sm
where ks is the constant for the sth spring and y represents the spring distortion.
When there are many degrees of freedom, this procedure for analyzing free
vibration becomes very lengthy. In such cases, it may be preferable to solve Eqs.
(5.244) by numerical, trial-and-error procedures, such as the Stodola-Vianello
method. In that method, the solution converges first on the highest or lowest mode.
Then, the other modes are determined by the same procedure after elimination of
one of the equations by use of Eq. (5.246). The procedure requires assumption of
a characteristic shape, a set of amplitudes Ar1. These are substituted in one of Eqs.
(5.244) to obtain a first approximation of 2. With this value and with AN1  1,
the remaining N  1 equations are solved to obtain a new set of Ar1. Then, the
procedure is repeated until assumed and final characteristic amplitudes agree.
Because even this procedure is very lengthy for many degrees of freedom, the
Rayleigh approximate method may be used to compute the fundamental mode. The
frequency obtained by this method, however, may be a little on the high side.
The Rayleigh method also starts with an assumed set of characteristic amplitudes
Ar1 and depends for its success on the small error in natural frequency produced
by a relatively large error in the shape assumption. Next, relative inertia forces
acting at each mass are computed: Fr  WrAr1 /AN1, where AN1 is the assumed
displacement at one of the masses. These forces are applied to the system as a
static load and displacements Br1 due to them calculated. Then, the natural frequency
can be obtained from
g FB 	 r r1
r1 2   (5.248) N
2 W B 	 r r1
where g is the acceleration due to gravity, 386 in / s2. For greater accuracy, the
computation can be repeated with Br1 as the assumed characteristic amplitudes.
When the Rayleigh method is applied to beams, the characteristic shape assumed
initially may be chosen conveniently as the deflection curve for static loading.
The Rayleigh method may be extended to determination of higher modes by the
Schmidt orthogonalization procedure, which adjusts assumed deflection curves to
satisfy Eq. (5.246). The procedure is to assume a shape, remove components associated
with lower modes, then use the Rayleigh method for the residual deflection
curve. The computation will converge on the next higher mode. The method is
shorter than the Stodola-Vianello procedure when only a few modes are needed.
For example, suppose the characteristic amplitudes Ar1 for the fundamental mode
have been obtained and the natural frequency for the second mode is to be computed.
Assume a value for the relative deflection of the rth mass Ar2. Then, the
shape with the fundamental mode removed will be defined by the displacements
a  A  c A (5.249) r2 r2 1 r1
where c1 is the participation factor for the first mode.
W A A 	 r r2 r1
r1 c  (5.250) 1 N
2 W A 	 r r1
Substitute ar2 for Br1 in Eq. (5.248) to find the second-mode frequency and, from
deflections produced by Fr  Wrar2, an improved shape. (For more rapid covergence,
Ar2 should be selected to make c1 small.) The procedure should be repeated,
starting with the new shape.
For the third mode, assume deflections Ar3 and remove the first two modes:
A  A  c A  c A (5.251) r3 r3 1 r1 2 r2
The participation factors are determined from
W A A W A A 	 	 r r3 r1 r r3 r2
r1 r1 c  c  (5.252) 1 2 N N
2 2 W A W A 	 	 r r1 r r2
r1 r1
Use ar3 to find an improved shape and the third-mode frequency.
Vibrations of Distributed Masses. For some structures with mass distributed
throughout, it sometimes is easier to solve the dynamic equations based on distributed
mass than the equations based on equivalent lumped masses. A distributed
mass has an infinite number of degrees of freedom and normal modes. Every particle
in it can be considered a lumped mass on springs connected to other particles.
Usually, however, only the fundamental mode is significant, though sometimes the
second and third modes must be taken into account.
For example, suppose a beam weighs w lb / lin ft and has a modulus of elasticity
E, psi, and moment of inertia I, in4. Let y be the deflection at a distance x from
one end. Then, the equation of motion is
4 2 y w y
EI  0 (5.253) 4 2 x gt
(This equation ignores the effects of shear and rotational inertia.) The deflection yn
for each mode, to satisfy the equation, must be the product of a harmonic function
of time ?n(t) and of the characteristic shape Yn(x), a function of x with undetermined
amplitude. The solution is
? (t)  c sin  t  c cos  t (5.254) n 1 n 2 n
where n is the natural circular frequency and n indicates the mode, and
Y (x)  A sin  x  B cos  x  C sinh  x  D cosh  x (5.255) n n n n n n n n n
2 wn 4   (5.256) n EIg
For a simple beam, the boundary (support) conditions for all values of time t
are y  0 and bending moment M  EI 2y/x2  0. Hence, at x  0 and x  L,
the span length, Yn(x)  0 and d2Yn /dx2  0. These conditions require that

B  C  D  0   n n n n L
to satisfy Eq. (5.255). Hence, according to Eq. (5.256), the natural circular frequency
for a simply supported beam is
2 2 n 
  (5.257) n 2  L w
The characteristic shape is defined by
Y (x)  sin (5.258) n L
The constants c1 and c2 in Eq. (5.254) are determined by the initial conditions of
the disturbance. Thus, the total deflection, by superposition of modes, is
y  A (t) sin (5.259) 	 n L n1
where An(t) is determined by the load (see Art. 5.18.4).
Equations (5.254) to (5.256) apply to spans with any type of end restraints.
Figure 5.109 shows the characteristic shape and gives constants for determination
FIGURE 5.109 Coefficients for computing natural circular frequencies  and natural periods of
vibration T, s, of prismatic beams. w  weight of beam, lb / lin ft; L  span, ft; E  modulus of
elasticity of the beam material, psi; I  moment of inertia of the beam cross section, in4.
of natural circular frequency  and natural period T for the first four modes of
cantilever simply supported, fixed-end, and fixed-hinged beams. To obtain , select
the appropriate constant from Fig. 5.109 and multiply it by . where L  4 EI/wL
span of beam, ft. To get T, divide the appropriate constant by . 4 EI/wL
To determine the characteristic shapes and natural periods for beams with variable
cross section and mass, use the Rayleigh method. Convert the beam into a
lumped-mass system by dividing the span into elements and assuming the mass of
each element to be concentrated at its center. Also, compute all quantities, such as
deflection and bending moment, at the center of each element. Start with an assumed
characteristic shape and apply Eq. (5.255).
Methods are available for dynamic analysis of continuous beams. (R. Clough
and J. Penzien, ‘‘Dynamics of Structures,’’ McGraw-Hill Book Company, New
York; D. G. Fertis and E. C. Zobel, ‘‘Transverse Vibration Theory,’’ The Ronald
Press Company, New York.) But even for beams with constant cross section, these
procedures are very lengthy. Generally, approximate solutions are preferable.
(J. M. Biggs, ‘‘Introduction to Structural Dynamics,’’ McGraw-Hill Book Company,
New York; N. M. Newmark and E. Rosenblueth, ‘‘Fundamentals of Earthquake
Engineering,’’ Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.)
5.18.3 Impact and Sudden Loads
Under impact, there is an abrupt exchange or absorption of energy and drastic
change in velocity. Stresses caused in the colliding members may be several times
larger than stresses produced by the same weights applied statically.
An approximation of impact stresses in the elastic range can be made by neglecting
the inertia of the body struck and the effect of wave propagation and
assuming that the kinetic energy is converted completely into strain energy in that
body. Consider a prismatic bar subjected to an axial impact load in tension. The
energy absorbed per unit of volume when the bar is stressed to the proportional
limit is called the modulus of resilience. It is given by ? /2E, where ?y is the yield 2y
stress and E the modulus of elasticity, both in psi.
Below the proportional limit, the unit stress, psi, due to an axial load U, in-lb,
?  (5.260)  AL
where A is the cross-sectional area, in2, and L the length of bar, in. This equation
indicates that, for a given unit stress, energy absorption of a member may be improved
by increasing its length or area. Sharp changes in cross section should be
avoided, however, because of associated high stress concentrations. Also, uneven
distribution of stress in a member due to changes in section should be avoided. For
example, if part of a member is given twice the diameter of another part, the stress
under axial load in the larger portion is one-fourth that in the smaller. Since the
energy absorbed is proportional to the square of the stress, the energy taken per
unit of volume by the larger portion is therefore only one-sixteenth that absorbed
by the smaller. So despite the increase in volume caused by doubling of the diameter,
the larger portion absorbs much less energy than the smaller. Thus, energy
absorption would be larger with a uniform stress distribution throughout the length
of the member.
Impact on Short Members. If a static axial load W would produce a tensile stress
? in the bar and an elongation e, in, then the axial stress produced in a short
member when W falls a distance h, in, is
?  ?  ? 1  (5.261)  e
if ? is within the proportional limit. The elongation due to this impact load is
e  e  e 1  (5.262)  e
These equations indicate that the stress and deformation due to an energy load may
be considerably larger than those produced by the same weight applied gradually.
The same equations hold for a beam with constant cross section struck by a
weight at midspan, except that ? and ? represent stresses at midspan and e and e,
midspan deflections.
According to Eqs. (5.261) and (5.262), a sudden load (h  0) causes twice the
stress and twice the deflection as the same load applied gradually.
Impact on Long Members. For very long members, the effect of wave propagation
should be taken into account. Impact is not transmitted instantly to all parts of
the struck body. At first, remote parts remain undisturbed, while particles struck
accelerate rapidly to the velocity of the colliding body. The deformations produced
move through the struck body in the form of elastic waves. The waves travel with
a constant velocity, ft / s,
c  68.1 (5.263) 
where E  modulus of elasticity, psi
p  density of the struck body, lb/ ft3
If an impact imparts a velocity v, ft / s, to the particles at one end of a prismatic
bar, the stress, psi, at that end is
?  E  0.0147v Ep  0.000216pcv (5.264)
if ? is in the elastic range. In a compression wave, the velocity of the particles is
in the direction of the wave. In a tension wave, the velocity of the particles is in
the direction opposite the wave.
In the plastic range, Eqs. (6.263) and (5.264) hold, but with E as the tangent
modulus of elasticity. Hence, c is not a constant and the shape of the stress wave
changes as it moves. The elastic portion of the stress wave moves faster than the
wave in the plastic range. Where they overlap, the stress and irrecoverable strain
are constant.
(The impact theory is based on an assumption difficult to realize in practice—
that contact takes place simultaneously over the entire end of the bar.)
At the free end of a bar, a compressive stress wave is reflected as an equal
tension wave, and a tension wave as an equal compression wave. The velocity of
the particles there equals 2v.
At a fixed end of a bar, a stress wave is reflected unchanged. The velocity of
the particles there is zero, but the stress is doubled, because of the superposition
of the two equal stresses on reflection.
For a bar with a fixed end struck at the other end by a moving mass weighing
Wm lb, the initial compressive stress, psi, is
?  0.0147v Ep (5.265) o o
where vo is the initial velocity of the particles, ft / s, at the impacted end of the bar
and E and p, the modulus of elasticity, psi, and density, lb/ ft3, of the bar. As the
velocity of Wm decreases, so does the pressure on the bar. Hence, decreasing compressive
stresses follow the wave front. At any time t 	 2L/c, where L is the length
of the bar, in, the stress at the struck end is
2 t /  ?  ? e (5.266) o
where e  2.71828,  is the ratio of Wb, the weight of the bar, to Wm, and  
When t  , the wave front with stress ?o arrives back at the struck end, assumed
still to be in contact with the mass. Since the velocity of the mass cannot change
suddenly, the wave will be reflected as from a fixed end. During the second interval,
	 t 	 2 , the compressive stress is the sum of two waves moving away from the
struck end and one moving toward this end.
Maximum stress from impact occurs at the fixed end. For  greater than 0.2,
this stress is
2  ?  2? (1  e ) (5.267) o
For smaller values of , it is given approximately by
? ? 1 (5.268)   o 
Duration of impact, time it takes for the impact stress at the struck end to drop
to zero, is approximately

T  (5.269)
for small values of .
When Wm is the weight of a falling body, velocity at impact is , when it 2gh
falls a distance h, in. Substitution in Eq. (5.265) yields ?o  , since 2EhW /AL b
Wb  pAL is the weight of the bar. Putting Wb  Wm; Wm/A  ?, the stress
produced by Wm when applied gradually, and E  ?L/e, where e is the elongation
for the static load, gives ?o  ? . Then, for values of  smaller than 0.2, 2h /e
the maximum stress, from Eq. (5.268), is
2h  2h
?  ?  (5.270)     e e
For larger values of , the stress wave due to gravity acting on Wm during impact
should be added to Eq. (5.267). Thus, for  larger than 0.2,
2h  2  2  ?  2?(1  e )  2? (1  e ) (5.271)  e
Equations (5.270) and (5.271) correspond to Eq. (5.261), which was developed
without wave effects being taken into account. For a sudden load, h  0, Eq. (5.271)
gives for the maximum stress 2?(1  e ), not quite double the static stress, the 2 
result indicated by Eq. (5.261). (See also Art. 5.18.4.)
(S. Timoshenko and J. N. Goodier, ‘‘Theory of Elasticity,’’ McGraw-Hill Book
Company, New York; S. Timoshenko and D. H. Young, ‘‘Engineering Mechanics,’’
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.)
5.18.4 Dynamic Analysis of Simple Structures
Articles 5.181 to 5.18.3 present a theoretic basis for analysis of structures under
dynamic loads. As noted in Art. 5.18.2, an approximate solution based on an idealized
representation of an actual member of structure is advisable for dynamic
analysis and design. Generally, the actual structure may be conveniently represented
by a system of masses and massless springs, with additional resistances to account
for damping. In simple cases, the masses may be set equal to the actual masses;
otherwise, equivalent masses may be substituted for the actual masses (Art. 5.18.6).
The spring constants are the ratios of forces to deflections (see Art. 5.18.2).
Usually, for structural purposes the data sought are the maximum stresses in the
springs and their maximum displacements and the time of occurrence of the max5.152
FIGURE 5.110 One-degree system acted
on by a force varying with time.
imums. This time is generally computed in terms of the natural period of vibration
of the member or structure, or in terms of the duration of the load. Maximum
displacement may be calculated in terms of the deflection that would result if the
load were applied gradually.
The term D by which the static deflection e, spring forces, and stresses are
multiplied to obtain the dynamic effects is called the dynamic load factor. Thus,
the dynamic displacement is
y  De (5.272)
And the maximum displacement ym is determined by the maximum dynamic load
factor Dm, which occurs at time tm.
One-Degree Systems. Consider the one-degree-of-freedom system in Fig. 5.110a.
It may represent a weightless beam with a mass weighing W lb applied at midspan
and subjected to a varying force Fo?(t), or a rigid frame with a mass weighing W
lb at girder level and subjected to this force. The force is represented by an arbitrarily
chosen constant force Fo times F(t), a function of time.
If the system is not damped, the equation of motion in the elastic range is
2 W d y
 ky  F ?(t) (5.273) o 2 g dt
where k is the spring constant and g the acceleration due to gravity, 386 in / s2. The
solution consists of two parts. The first, called the complementary solution, is obtained
by setting ?(t)  0. This solution is given by Eq. (5.237). To it must be
added the second part, the particular solution, which satisfies Eq. (5.273).
The general solution of Eq. (5.273), arrived at by treating an element of the
force-time curve (Fig. 5.111b) as an impulse, is
t vo y  y cos t  sin t  e  ?( ) sin (t  ) d  (5.274) o
where y  displacement of mass from equilibrium position, in
yo  initial displacement of mass (t  0), in
 natural circular frequency of free vibration kg/W
FIGURE 5.111 Harmonic motion. (a) Constant force applied to an undamped onedegree
system, such as the one in Fig. 5.110a. (b) Displacements vary with time like
a cosine curve.
k  spring constant  force producing unit deflection, lb / in
vo  initial velocity of mass, in / s
e  Fo /k  displacement under static load, in
A closed solution is possible if the integral can be evaluated.
Assume, for example, the mass is subjected to a suddenly applied force Fo that
remains constant (Fig. 5.111a). If yo and vo are initially zero, the displacement y
of the mass at any time t can be obtained from the integral in Eq. (5.274) by setting
?( )  1:
y  e  sin (t  ) d  e(1  cos t) (5.275)
This equation indicates that the dynamic load factor D  1  cos t. It has a
maximum value Dm  2 when t  
/ . Figure 5.111b shows the variation of
displacement with time.
Multidegree Systems. A multidegree lumped-mass system may be analyzed by
the modal method after the natural frequencies of the normal modes have been
determined (Art. 5.18.2). This method is restricted to linearly elastic systems in
which the forces applied to the masses have the same variation with time. For other
cases, numerical analysis must be used.
In the modal method, each normal mode is treated as an independent one-degree
system. For each degree of the system, there is one normal mode. A natural frequency
and a characteristic shape are associated with each mode. In each mode,
the ratio of the displacements of any two masses is constant with time. These ratios
define the characteristic shape. The modal equation of motion for each mode is
g?(t) F 	 	 r rn 2 d A r1 n 2   A  (5.276) n n j 2 dt 2 W 	 	 r rn
where An  displacement in the nth mode of an arbitrarily selected mass
n  natural frequency of the nth mode
Fr?(t)  varying force applied to the rth mass
Wr  weight of the rth mass
j  number of masses in the system
	rn  ratio of the displacement in the nth mode of the rth mass to An
g  acceleration due to gravity
We define the modal static deflection as
g F	 	 r rn
r1 A  (5.277) n j
2 2  W 	 	 n r rn
Then, the response for each mode is given by
A  D A (5.278) n n n
where Dn  dynamic load factor.
Since Dn depends only on n and the variation of force with time ?(t), solutions
for Dn obtained for one-degree systems also apply to multidegree systems. The total
deflection at any point is the sum of the displacements for each mode, An	rn, at
that point.
Beams. The response of beams to dynamic forces can be determined in a similar
way. The modal static deflection is defined by
L  p(x)	 (x) dx n
0 A  (5.279) n L w 2 2   	 (x) dx n n
0 g
where p(x)  load distribution on the span [p(x)?(x) is the varying force]
	n(x)  characteristic shape of the nth mode (see Art. 5.18.2)
L  span length
w  uniformly distributed weight on the span
The response of the beam then is given by Eq. (5.278), and the dynamic deflection
is the sum of the modal components, An	n(x).
Nonlinear Responses. When the structure does not react linearly to loads, the
equations of motion can be solved by numerical analysis if resistance is a unique
function of displacement. Sometimes, the behavior of the structure can be represented
by an idealized resistance-displacement diagram that makes possible a solution
in closed form. Figure 5.112a shows such a diagram.
Elastic-Plastic Responses. Resistance is assumed linear (R  ky) in Fig. 5.112a
until a maximum Rm is reached. After that, R remains equal to Rm for increases in
y substantially larger than the displacement ye at the elastic limit. Thus, some portions
of the structure deform into the plastic range. Figure 5.112a, therefore, may
be used for ductile structures only rarely subjected to severe dynamic loads. When
FIGURE 5.112 Response in the plastic range of a one-degree system with resistance
characteristics indicated in (a) and subjected to a constant force (b) is shown in (c).
this diagram can be used for designing such structures, more economical designs
can be produced than for structures limited to the elastic range, because of the high
energy-absorption capacity of structures in the plastic range.
For a one-degree system, Eq. (5.273) can be used as the equation of motion for
the initial sloping part of the diagram (elastic range). For the second stage, ye 	
y 	 ym, where ym is the maximum displacement, the equation is
2 W d y
 R  F ?(t) (5.280) m o 2 g dt
For the unloading stage, y 	 ym, the equation is
2 W d y
 R  k(y  y)  F ?(t) (5.281) m m o 2 g dt
Suppose, for example, the one-degree undamped system in Fig. 5.109a behaves
in accordance with the bilinear resistance function of Fig. 5.112a and is subjected
to a suddenly applied constant load (Fig. 5.112b). With zero initial displacement
and velocity, the response in the first stage (y 	 ye), according to Eq. (5.281), is
y  e(1  cos t ) (5.282) 1
 e sin t (5.283) 1 dt
Equation (5.275) also indicates that displacement ye will be reached at a time te
such that cos te  1  ye /e.
For convenience, let t2  t  te be the time in the second stage; thus, t2  0 at
the start of that stage. Since the condition of the system at that time is the same as
at the end of the first stage, the initial displacement is ye and the initial velocity
e sin te.
The equation of motion of the second stage is
2 W d y
 R  F (5.284) m o 2 g dt
The solution, taking into account initial conditions for ye 	 y 	 ym is
g 2 y  (F  R )t  et sin t  y (5.285) o m 2 2 e e 2W
Maximum displacement occurs at the time
t  sin t (5.286) m e g(R  R ) m o
and can be obtained by substituting tm in Eq. (5.285).
The third stage, unloading after ym has been reached, can be determined from
Eq. (5.281) and conditions at the end of the second stage. The response, however,
is more easily found by noting that the third stage consists of an elastic, harmonic
residual vibration. In this stage the amplitude of vibration is (Rm  Fo) /k, since
this is the distance between the neutral position and maximum displacement, and
in the neutral position the spring force equals Fo. Hence, the response can be
obtained directly from Eq. (5.275) by substituting ym  (Rm  Fo) /k for e, because
the neutral position, located at y  ym  (Rm  Fo) /k, occurs when t3  
where t3  t  te  tm. The solution is
R F R  F m o m o y  y   cos t (5.287) m 3 k k
Response in the three stages is shown in Fig. 5.112c. In that diagram, however,
to represent a typical case, the coordinates have been made nondimensional by
expressing y in terms of ye and the time in terms of T, the natural period of vibration.
(J. M. Biggs, ‘‘Introduction to Structural Dynamics,’’ and R. Clough and J. Penzien,
‘‘Dynamics of Structures,’’ McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York; D. G.
Fertis and E. C. Zobel, ‘‘Transverse Vibration Theory,’’ The Ronald Press Company,
New York; N. M. Newmark and E. Rosenblueth, ‘‘Fundamentals of Earthquake
Engineering,’’ Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.)
5.18.5 Resonance and Damping
Damping in structures, resulting from friction and other causes, resists motion imposed
by dynamic loads. Generally, the effect is to decrease the amplitude and
lengthen the period of vibrations. If damping is large enough, vibration may be
When maximum stress and displacement are the prime concern, damping may
not be of great significance for short-time loads. These maximums usually occur
under such loads at the first peak of response, and damping, unless unusually large,
has little effect in a short period of time. But under conditions close to resonance,
damping has considerable effect.
Resonance is the condition of a vibrating system under a varying load such that
the amplitude of successive vibrations increases. Unless limited by damping or
changes in the condition of the system, amplitudes may become very large.
Two forms of damping generally are assumed in structural analysis, viscous or
constant (Coulomb). For viscous damping, the damping force is taken proportional
to the velocity but opposite in direction. For Coulomb damping, the damping force
is assumed constant and opposed in direction to the velocity.
Viscous Damping. For a one-degree system (Arts. 5.18.2 to 5.18.4), the equation
of motion for a mass weighing W lb and subjected to a force F varying with time
but opposed by viscous damping is
2 W d y dy
 ky  F  c (5.288) 2 g dt dt
where y  displacement of the mass from equilibrium position, in
k  spring constant, lb / in
t  time, s
c  coefficient of viscous damping
g  acceleration due to gravity  386 in / s2
Let us set  cg/2W and consider those cases in which  , the natural circular
frequency [Eq. (5.238)], to eliminate unusually high damping (overdamping). Then,
for initial displacement yo and velocity vo, the solution of Eq. (5.288) with F  0
v  y o o t y  e sin  t  y cos  t (5.289)   d o d d
where d  and e  2.71828. Equation (5.289) represents a decaying 2 2   
harmonic motion with  controlling the rate of decay and d the natural frequency
of the damped system.
t y  e [v t  (1  t)y ] (5.290) o o
which indicates that the motion is not vibratory. Damping producing this condition
is called critical, and, from the definition of , the critical coefficient is
2W 2W kW
c  2 (5.291) d  g g g
Damping sometimes is expressed as a percent of critical (  as a percent of ).
For small amounts of viscous damping, the damped natural frequency is approximately
equal to the undamped natural frequency minus 1?2 2 / . For example,
for 10% critical damping (  0.1), d  [1  1?2(0.1)2]  0.995. Hence, the
decrease in natural frequency due to small amounts of damping generally can be
Damping sometimes is measured by logarithmic decrement, the logarithm of
the ratio of two consecutive peak amplitudes during free vibration.

Logarithmic decrement  (5.292)

For example, for 10% critical damping, the logarithmic decrement equals 0.2
Hence, the ratio of a peak to the following peak amplitude is e  1.87. 0.2

The complete solution of Eq. (5.288) with initial displacement yo and velocity
vo is
v  y o o t y  e sin  t  y cos  t   d o d d
t 2  (t)  e  ?( )e sin  (t  ) d  (5.293) d
0 d
where e is the deflection that the applied force would produce under static loading.
Equation (5.293) is identical to Eq. (5.274) when  0.
Unbalanced rotating parts of machines produce pulsating forces that may be
represented by functions of the form Fo sin t. If such a force is applied to an
undamped one-degree system. Eq. (5.274) indicates that if the system starts at rest
the response will be
2 F g 1/  o y  sin t  sin t (5.294)    2 2 W 1   / 
And since the static deflection would be Fo /k  Fog/W2, the dynamic load factor
D  sin t  sin t (5.295)   2 2 1   / 
If is small relative to , maximum D is nearly unity; thus, the system is practically
statically loaded. If  is very large compared with , D is very small; thus, the
mass cannot follow the rapid fluctuations in load and remains practically stationary.
Therefore, when  differs appreciably from , the effects of unbalanced rotating
parts are not too serious. But if   , resonance occurs; D increases with time.
Hence, to prevent structural damage, measures must be taken to correct the unbalanced
parts to change , or to change the natural frequency of the vibrating mass,
or damping must be provided.
The response as given by Eq. (5.294) consists of two parts, the free vibration
and the forced part. When damping is present, the free vibration is of the form of
Eq. (5.289) and is rapidly damped out. Hence, the free part is called the transient
response, and the forced part, the steady-state response. The maximum value of
the dynamic load factor for the steady-state response Dm is called the dynamic
magnification factor. It is given by
D  (5.296) m 2 22 22 (1   /  )  (2 /  )
With damping, then, the peak values of Dm occur when    and 2 2 1   / 
are approximately equal to /2 . For example, for 10% critical damping.

D 5 m 0.2
So even small amounts of damping significantly limit the response at resonance.
Coulomb Damping. For a one-degree system with Coulomb damping, the equation
of motion for free vibration is
2 W d y
 ky  F (5.297) ? 2 g dt
where F is the constant friction force and the positive sign applies when the ve- ?
locity is negative. If initial displacement is yo and initial velocity is zero, the response
in the first half cycle, with negative velocity, is
F F ? ? y  y  cos t  (5.298)   o k k
equivalent to a system with a suddenly applied constant force. For the second half
cycle, with positive velocity, the response is
F F 
 ? ? y y  3 cos  t  (5.299)     o k  k
If the solution is continued with the sign of F changing in each half cycle, the ?
results will indicate that the amplitude of positive peaks is given by yo  4nF /k, ?
where n is the number of complete cycles, and the response will be completely
damped out when t  kyoT/4F , where T is the natural period of vibration, or ?
/ .
Analysis of the steady-state response with Coulomb damping is complicated by
the possibility of frequent cessation of motion.
(S. Timoshenko, D. H. Young, and W. Weaver, ‘‘Vibration Problems in Engineering,’’
4th ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York; D. D. Barkan, ‘‘Dynamics
of Bases and Foundations,’’ McGraw-Hill Book Company; W. C. Hurty and M. F.
Rubinstein, ‘‘Dynamics of Structures,’’ Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.)
5.18.6 Approximate Design for Dynamic Loading
Complex analysis and design methods seldom are justified for structures subject to
dynamic loading because of lack of sufficient information on loading, damping,
resistance to deformation, and other factors. In general, it is advisable to represent
the actual structure and loading by idealized systems that permit a solution in closed
form (see Arts. 5.18.1 to 5.18.5).
Whenever possible, represent the actual structure by a one-degree system consisting
of an equivalent mass with massless spring. For structures with distributed
mass. simplify the analysis in the elastic range by computing the response only for
one or a few of the normal modes. In the plastic range, treat each stage—elastic,
and plastic—as completely independent; for example, a fixed-end beam may be
treated, when in the elastic-plastic stage, as a simply supported beam.
Choose the parameters of the equivalent system to make the deflection at a
critical point, such as the location of the concentrated mass, the same as it would
be in the actual structure. Stresses in the actual structure should be computed from
the deflections in the equivalent system.
Compute an assumed shape factor 	for the system from the shape taken by the
actual structure under static application of the loads. For example, for a simple
beam in the elastic range with concentrated load at midspan, 	may be chosen, for
x 	 L/2, as (Cx/L3)(3L2  4x2), the shape under static loading, and C may be set
equal to 1 to make 	 equal to 1 when x  L/2. For plastic conditions (hinge at
midspan), 	 may be taken as Cx/L, and C set equal to 2, to make 	  1 when
x  L/2.
For a structure with concentrated forces, let Wr be the weight of the rth mass,
	r the value of 	 for a specific mode at the location of that mass, and Fr the
dynamic force acting on Wr. Then, the equivalent weight of the idealized system
2 W  W 	 (5.300) 	 e r r
where j is the number of masses. The equivalent force is
F  F 	 (5.301) 	 e r r
For a structure with continuous mass, the equivalent weight is
2 W   w	 dx (5.302) e
where w is the weight in lb / lin ft. The equivalent force is
F  q	 dx (5.303) e
for a distributed load q, lb/ lin ft.
The resistance of a member or structure is the internal force tending to restore
it to its unloaded static position. For most structures, a bilinear resistance function,
with slope k up to the elastic limit and zero slope in the plastic range (Fig. 5.112a),
may be assumed. For a given distribution of dynamic load, maximum resistance of
the idealized system may be taken as the total load with that distribution that the
structure can support statically. Similarly, stiffness is numerically equal to the total
load with the given distribution that would cause a unit deflection at the point where
the deflections in the actual structure and idealized system are equal. Hence, the
equivalent resistance and stiffness are in the same ratio to the actual as the equivalent
forces to the actual forces.
Let k be the actual spring constant, g acceleration due to gravity, 386 in / s2, and
We W  F (5.304)
where F represents the actual total load. Then, the equation of motion of an
equivalent one-degree system is
2 d y F 2   y  g (5.305) 2 dt W
and the natural circular frequency is
 (5.306) W
The natural period of vibration equals 2
/ . Equations (5.305) and (5.306) have
the same form as Eqs. (5.236), (5.238), and (5.273). Consequently, the response
can be computed as indicated in Arts. 5.18.2 to 5.18.4.
Whenever possible, select a load-time function for F to permit use of a known
For preliminary design of a one-degree system loaded into the plastic range by
a suddenly applied force that remains substantially constant up to the time of maximum
response, the following approximation may be used for that response:
ye y  (5.307) m 2(1  F /R ) o m
where ye is the displacement at the elastic limit, Fo the average value of the force,
and Rm the maximum resistance of the system. This equation indicates that for
purely elastic response, Rm must be twice Fo; whereas, if ym is permitted to be large,
Rm may be made nearly equal to Fo, with greater economy of material.
For preliminary design of a one-degree system subjected to a sudden load with
duration td less than 20% of the natural period of the system, the following approximation
can be used for the maximum response:
2 1 Fo y  y t  1 (5.308)   
 m e d 2 Rm
where Fo is the maximum value of the load and  the natural frequency. This
equation also indicates that the larger ym is permitted to be, the smaller Rm need
For a beam, the spring force of the equivalent system is not the actual force, or
reaction, at the supports. The real reactions should be determined from the dynamic
equilibrium of the complete beam. This calculation should include the inertia force,
with distribution identical with the assumed deflected shape of the beam. For example,
for a simply supported beam with uniform load, the dynamic reaction in
the elastic range is 0.39R  0.11F, where R is the resistance, which varies with
time, and F  qL is the load. For a concentrated load F at midspan, the dynamic
reaction is 0.78R  0.28F. And for concentrated loads F/2 at each third point, it
is 0.62R  0.12F. (Note that the sum of the coefficients equals 0.50, since the
dynamic-reaction equations must hold for static loading, when R  F.) These expressions
also can be used for fixed-end beams without significant error. If high
accuracy is not required, they also can be used for the plastic range.
The seismic loads on the structure during an earthquake result from inertia forces
which were created by ground accelerations. The magnitude of these loads is a
function of the following factors: mass of the building, the dynamic properties of
the building, the intensity, duration, and frequency content of the ground motion,
and soil-structure interaction. In recent years, a lot of achievements have been made
to incorporate these influential factors into building codes accurately as well as
practically. The basis for IBC 2000 seismic provisions is the 1997 NEHRP ‘‘Recommended
Provisions for the Development of Seismic Regulations for New Buildings
and Other Structures’’ (FEMA 302). The National Earthquake Hazard Reduction
Program (NEHRP) is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
In IBC 2000, the seismic loads are on a strength level limit state rather than on
a service load level, which was used in UBC 94 and prior versions. The seismic
limit state is based upon system performance, not member performance, and considerable
energy dissipation through repeated cycles of inelastic straining is assumed.
5.19.1 Criteria Selection
In IBC 2000, the following basic information is required to determine the seismic
1. Seismic Use Group According to the nature of Building Occupancy, each structure
is assigned a Seismic Use Group (I, II, or III) and a corresponding Occupancy
Importance (I) factor (I  1.0, 1.25, or 1.5).
Seismic Use Group I structures are those not assigned to either Seismic Use
Group II or III. Seismic Use Group II are structures whose failure would result
in a substantial public hazard due to occupancy or use. Seismic Use Group III
is assigned to structures for which failure would result in loss of essential facilities
required for post-earthquake recovery and those containing substantial
quantities of hazardous substances.
2. Site Class Based on the soil properties, the site of building is classified as A,
B, C, D, E, or F to reflect the soil-structure interaction. Refer to IBC 2000 for
Site Class definition.
3. Spectral Response Accelerations SS and S1 The spectral response seismic design
maps reflect seismic hazards on the basis of contours. They provide the
maximum considered earthquake spectral response acceleration at short period
SS and at 1-second period S1. They are for Site Class B, with 5% of critical
damping. Refer to the maps in IBC 2000.
4. Basic Seismic-Force-Resisting System Different types of structural system have
different energy-absorbing characteristics. The response modification coefficient
R in Table 5.9 is used to account for these characteristics. Systems with higher
ductility have higher R values.
With the above basic parameters available, the following design and analysis criteria
can be determined.
Seismic Design Category. The Seismic Design Category is based on the seismic
group and the design spectral response acceleration coefficients, SDS and SD1, which
will be explained later. The Seismic Design Category for a structure can be determined
in accordance with Tables 5.10 and 5.11.
Seismic Design Categories are used to determine the permissible structural systems,
the limitations on height and irregularity of the structural components that
must be designed for seismic resistance and the types of lateral force analysis that
must be performed.
Seismic Use Groups I and II structures located on sites with mapped maximum
considered earthquake spectral response acceleration at 1-second period S1, equal
to or greater than 0.75g, shall be assigned to Seismic Design Category E. Seismic
Use Group III structures located on such sites shall be assigned to Seismic Design
Category F. A structure assigned to Seismic Design Category E or F shall not be
sited where there is the potential for an active fault to cause rupture of the ground
surface at the structure.
Building Irregularity. Building with irregular shapes, changes in mass from floor
to floor, variable stiffness with height, and unusual setbacks do not perform well
during earthquakes. Thus, for each type of these irregularities, additional design
requirements shall be followed to maintain seismic-resisting capacity. IBC 2000
requires that all buildings be classified as regular or irregular based on the plan and
vertical configuration. See Tables 5.12 and 5.13 for classification and corresponding
Design Requirements for Seismic Design Category A. Structures assigned to
Seismic Design Category A need only comply with the following:
• Structure shall be provided with a complete lateral-force-resisting system designed
to resist the minimum lateral force, of 1% floor gravity load.
The gravity load should include the total dead load and other loads listed
• In areas used for storage, a minimum of 25% of the reduced floor live load
(floor live load in public garages and open parking structures need not be included)
• Where an allowance for partition load is included in the floor load design, the
actual partition weight or a minimum weight of 10 psf of floor area (whichever
is greater)
• Total operating weight of permanent equipment
• 20% of flat roof snow load where flat roof snow load exceeds 30 psf
• The direction of application of seismic forces used in design shall be that which
will produce the most critical load effect in each component. The design seismic
forces are permitted to be applied separately in each of two orthogonal directions
and orthogonal effects are permitted to be neglected.
• The effect of this lateral force shall be taken as E in the load combinations.
Special seismic load combinations that include Em need not to be considered.
TABLE 5.9 Design Coefficients and Factors for Basic Seismic-Force-Resisting Systems
Basic seismic-force-resisting system
coefficient, R
factor, o
factor, Cd
System limitations and building height limitations
(ft) by seismic design category
A and B C D E F
Bearing wall systems
Ordinary steel braced frames 4 2 31?2 NL NL 160 160 160
Special reinforced concrete shear walls 51?2 21?2 5 NL NL 160 160 100
Ordinary reinforced concrete shear walls 41?2 21?2 4 NL NL NP NP NP
Detailed plain concrete shear walls 21?2 21?2 4 NL NL NP NP NP
Ordinary plain concrete shear walls 11?2 21?2 11?2 NL NP NP NP NP
Special reinforced masonry shear walls 4 21?2 31?2 NL NL 160 160 100
Intermediate reinforced masonry shear walls 31?2 21?2 3 NL NL NP NP NP
Ordinary reinforced masonry shear walls 2 21?2 13?4 NL 160 NP NP NP
Detailed plain masonry shear walls 2 21?2 13?4 NL 160 NP NP NP
Ordinary plain masonry shear walls 11?2 21?2 11?4 NL NP NP NP NP
Light frame walls with shear panels, Wood Structural
61?2 3 4 NL NL 160 160 100
Light frame walls with shear panels—Gypsum Board 2 21?2 2 NL NL 35 NP NP
Building frame systems
Steel eccentrically braced frames, nonmoment resisting,
connections at columns away from links
7 2 4 NL NL 160 160 100
Special steel concentrically braced frames 6 21?2 5 NL NL 160 160 100
Ordinary steel concentrically braced frames 5 2 41?2 NL NL 160 100 100
Special reinforced concrete shear walls 6 21?2 5 NL NL 160 160 100
5.165 TABLE 5.9 Design Coefficients and Factors for Basic Seismic-Force-Resisting Systems (
Basic seismic-force-resisting system
coefficient, R
factor, o
factor, Cd
System limitations and building height limitations
(ft) by seismic design category
A and B C D E F
Bearing wall systems
Ordinary reinforced concrete shear walls 5 21?2 41?2 NL NL NP NP NP
Detailed plain concrete shear walls 3 21?2 21?2 NL NL NP NP NP
Ordinary plain concrete shear walls 2 21?2 2 NL NP NP NP NP
Composite eccentrically braced frames 8 2 4 NL NL 160 160 100
Composite concentrically braced frames 5 2 41?2 NL NL 160 160 100
Ordinary composite braced frames 3 2 3 NL NL NP NP NP
Composite steel plate shear walls 61?2 21?2 51?2 NL NL 160 160 100
Special composite reinforced concrete shear walls
with steel elements
6 21?2 5 NL NL 160 160 100
Ordinary composite reinforced concrete shear walls
with steel elements
5 21?2 41?2 NL NL NP NP NP
Special reinforced masonry shear walls 5 21?2 4 NL NL 160 160 100
Intermediate reinforced masonry shear walls 41?2 21?2 4 NL NL 160 160 100
Ordinary reinforced masonry shear walls 21?2 21?2 21?4 NL 160 NP NP NP
Detailed plain masonry shear walls 21?2 21?2 21?4 NL 160 NP NP NP
Ordinary plain masonry shear walls 11?2 21?2 11?4 NL NP NP NP NP
Light frame walls with shear panels 7 21?2 41?2 NL NL 160 160 160
TABLE 5.9 Design Coefficients and Factors for Basic Seismic-Force-Resisting Systems (Continued)
Basic seismic-force-resisting system
coefficient, R
factor, o
factor, Cd
System limitations and building height limitations
(ft) by seismic design category
A and B C D E F
Moment resisting frame systems
Special steel moment frames 8 3 51?2 NL NL NL NL NL
Special steel truss moment frames 7 3 51?2 NL NL 160 100 NP
Intermediate steel moment frames 6 3 5 NL NL 160 100 NP
Ordinary steel moment frames 4 3 31?2 NL NL 35 NP NP
Special reinforced concrete moment frames 8 3 51?2 NL NL NL NL NL
Intermediate reinforced concrete moment frames 5 3 41?2 NL NL NP NP NP
Ordinary reinforced concrete moment frames 3 3 21?2 NL NP NP NP NP
Special composite moment frames 8 3 51?2 NL NL NL NL NL
Intermediate composite moment frames 5 3 41?2 NL NL NP NP NP
Composite partially restrained moment frames 6 3 51?2 160 160 100 NP NP
Ordinary composite moment frames 3 3 4 NL NP NP NP NP
Masonry wall frames 51?2 3 5 NL NL 160 160 100
Dual systems with special moment frames
Steel eccentrically braced frames, moment-resisting
connections, at columns away from links
8 21?2 4 NL NL NL NL NL
Steel eccentrically braced frames, nonmomentresisting
connections, at columns away from links
7 21?2 4 NL NL NL NL NL
Special steel concentrically braced frames 8 21?2 61?2 NL NL NL NL NL
Ordinary steel concentrically braced frames 6 21?2 5 NL NL NL NL NL
Special reinforced concrete