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Advanced Structural Frames

Executive Summary

Advanced Structural Frames


Summary 2

Advanced Structural Frames 1 2 Introduction.................................................................................................... 2 Benefits of a Double skin Facade ........................... 4 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 3 4 5 6 Natural Ventilation.4 Cost Benefits...................................................................................... 5 Better Acoustic Insulation.................................................................. 5 Fire Protection.... 6 Construction Scheduling 6 Environmental Issues................. 7 Quality Control.. 7 Life Cycle Costs. 7

Recommendation... 8 Construction and Cost Efficiency.. 8 Building Alteration 8 References. 10 Appendix 1 Appendix 2

Advanced Structural Frames

1. Introduction

This report by DK consultants is required by our clients to suggest a structural frame for a design proposed for a nine storey building with a ground floor consisting of entrance reception, stairs and lifts, fire stairs, toilet with an atrium above. The layout consists of two drawings the ground floor and a typical upper floor for the other nine levels. The design is done with intent to supply an open office area within the centre of the city which may or may not have traffic congestion, transport or delivery limitations.

The developer (client) is adamant about with developing the building by using the latest high-tech material and services available on the market to produce a well manageable and maintainable building for long term sustainability.

The recommendation is to be made based on the internal design but with reasonable recommendation can be slightly altered to accommodate structural design.

The client also wants to start construction in November 2010 which only leaves a few months before construction begins. This report will consist of recommendations of Performance Criteria consisting of structural stability, durability, thermal insulation, exclusion of moisture, acoustic insulation, flexibility, aesthetics, sense of place, environmental sustainability, build ability and maintenance. It will also cover any concerns of availability of material and labour in order to make a successful conclusion.

The report will also consist of a structural arrangement layout plan. These drawings will be detailed with annotation and dimensions where needed. All drawings would be produced on A3 paper size to a suitable scale for review.

There are three recommendations for frames material and type. These are :4

Advanced Structural Frames Wood Concrete Steel

Each of these materials would be tested within performance criteria.

2. Wood Framing

Timber framing as been ideally used for simple two storey construction. History has shown these framing to be platform and balloon framing. Platform framing construction is basically construction one slab on top of each other which was most commonly used. This type of framing was only used for a single storey building because of its weight tolerance for light weight mass above.


3.1 Availability of Steel

Since the global downturn steel has become sought out material in some countries and not for others. The market for steel is growing in Asia and the markets for steel in the UK and Continental Europe have remained suppressed. There is an availability of steel templates that is used by designers for which manufactures make available for use in the market.

3.2 Steel Framing

Advanced Structural Frames Steel strength lies when it is highly stressed. This increases the observed yield and tensile strength of steel. The consideration is more given to yield rather than the tensile strength. It also transfers horizontal and vertical loads efficiently throughout a building to its foundation. Its flexibility in combining different forms of slabs using concrete and steel and its connectivity to each other is wide in range. It can support a composite or a non-composite floor structure by means of connections.

3.3 Engineering Requirements for Steel

The client wants to use the building for office use using the latest technological advances. Typical grid system usually go up to 5 to 7.5 meters but with steel the client is able to go up to a recommended span of 9m to 12m to maximise usable floor space thus keeping structured integrity intact. Its strength lies in many forms they have an extremely good weight-to-strength ration its very efficient in pre-assembly, speed of delivery and erection, flexibility in using different styles of frames and also an ease of modification and renovation. Traditionally connection designs have been made in may forms by means of bolted angles and plates presently there is a growing use of wielding and bolted connections to provide a semi ridged frame to increase stability, strength as well as flexibility.

3.4 Project Time for Steel Framing

With steel the project delivery time has to do with a lot of variables such as the size of structure, time to manufacture frames, treatment to frames and the procurement process involved. This delivery time may be from three months to half a year depending on the process. There is a desire from the client to have construction start in November of this year. With this in mind a design and build approach can be adopted to reach this goal and save in time and cost. If the design was to be completed before the structural drawings are sent out the construction time would be pushed back to the following year.

Sustainability is also a consideration with steel its flexibility, offsite manufacturing speed, resource efficiency, safety, long lasting appeal, adaptability, buildability, demountability, and strength to weight ratio are its characteristics that has environmental and economical benefits in using steel for the building frame.

Advanced Structural Frames 3.5 Cost of Steel Framing

Steel framing are affordable and cheaper in the long run compared to reinforced concrete pre-cast, hybrid concrete because of its diversity and flexibility of this system.

3.6 Local Supply of Steel

Due to sustainability into British local business, the aspects of social, economical and environmental are taken into consideration, thus creating a need for target development. Taking into consideration the small, medium and large business developer there is more interaction with special trade contractor, steelwork contractor and mechanical engineering professional. More and more businesses are getting involved like Bovis and Mace, because they see the need for sustainable development.

3.7 Environmental Concerns for steel structures

The 3 major concerns are: Energy consumption Harmful air emissions and their impact on global warming Depletion of the limited supply of natural resources.

Energy consumption can be sub-divided into two categories :-

Operational energy Embodied energy

Operational energy is the amount of energy needed to operate and maintain the structure eg AC, lights and water. 7

Advanced Structural Frames

Embodied energy is the amount of energy needed to construct and pre-use phase.

The relationship between operational energy and embodied is shown because of the increase in operational energy efficiency the average life span of the building will also increase. Therefore there would be a desire to lower embodied energy and sustain longer building life spans and resources.

Industries emit harmful gasses to the environment which is harmful to the ozone layer. These industries have been looking for ways to decrease such emissions.

3.8 Depletion of Resources

There is no depletion of steel because of its recyclable properties that allows steel to be recyclable many amount of times this making it a renewable resource.

3.9 Professional Choice

The Architect-: The frame material is favourable by the Architect depending on the complexity and shape of the building and the height intended for the building. If the shape is complex In situ concrete or pre-cast concrete is chosen over steel, and if it is simple and has many floors steel is chosen over concrete.

The Engineer:- Seel framing system is frequently used by engineers more often than any other frame system because of its flexibility it provides for change in design, the light weight properties could also accommodate use of a wider grid span for offices and open space areas if needed. It also 8

Advanced Structural Frames has a wide range of connections for any situations that arise it being a simple, semi rigid connection. It also provides a level of service that is attractive to the engineer.

The Contractor:- Depending on the trade of the contractor and the level of work done this is divided because of experience of working with this system. Properly trained workers in a contracting company are favourable with this system and require less labour that cost in place system for concrete. Using steel framing system also increases build ability and efficient of the contractors workforce.

3.10 Fire Protection for Steel

Fire protection is very important for steel frame to avoid and structural durability due to accidents from fire or blast. There are many ways to fire proof steel they consist of :

General concrete encashment which is the steel frame being encased by concrete as concrete is a very good thermal insulation the more concrete, the greater time it takes to get to the steel. Blast work or masonry along with tile could also be a deterrent from fire.

Insulating Boards Systems

They range from gypsum, calcium silicate or fire board which comes in a slab form. These boards are used because of easy installation of he boards o the steel beam, and also the aesthetics of the board finish is appealing to architects and contractors. A level of control and quality can be adapted to this which would fit requirements.

Sprayed Applied fireproofing.

They are gypsum or cement based products their advantages are:

Advanced Structural Frames Installation is easy but it is very messy Easy to protect connection and detailed hard to reach areas It is used inside of outside of buildings but it must be protected and is not aesthetically pleasing High level of waste and it may be applied improperly on the surface.

An example of this is Intumescent paint which has a chemical reaction when it is heated the paint releases gases that creates a foam which protects the steel.

Membrane protection

Where hollow reactions of steel are filled in order to increase heat capacity. This can be done with concrete, water. These advantages include: It does not affect the extension of the steel nor does it take away any floor space or expand the column.

Unprotected Steel

This is simply a steel structure which is thicker than normal thus increasing the structure ability of the steel to restrain heat layers.

Fire resistant steel

This is steel that has additive element molybdenum that affects the steel yield strength. Due to the specific requirement of the client he has a need to use the advance technologies with the building.

This consists of:


Advanced Structural Frames Structured Fire engineering:- this is set of standards sort out and tested by engineers to set requirements for minimum steel requirements. The International Standards Organisation (ISO) is one of these organisations that set standards for everyone in the construction industry to follow.

In the past intumescent coatings have been used but they was a level of harmful vapour that emit from it. Advances in this technology have brought about water-based intumescent coatings that is easier to install, no harmful vapour and has a quicker drying time.

Ablative Coating

This coating gradually erodes during a fire which changes into a gas which prevents heat transfer to the material.

Subliming Coating

This acts the same way as ablative coating but the gas that emits from the coating when heated is eventually burnt out. This is not good for long fires due to it evaporating quickly. Another example of this is aero gels which when tested at 1000 degrees for five hours unit no physical and performance deterioration.

Fire Protection Techniques

Sprinkler systems have been used for many years but recently there has been an additive use of the system for columns, which runs down the column cooling and preventing heating. Mist is also used to cover a wide range of the floor to also cool and avoid overheating.


Advanced Structural Frames

4.1 In situ Concrete Framing

Cost in place framing is the combination of steel embedded into concrete fixed together in resisting forces. The reinforce steel band are strategically placed to absorb the tensile shear and compress stress in concrete thus making it stronger. The framing system is very good against horizontal load brought about by wind or vibration and transferable load to the foundation which is considerably more than steel because of the density of concrete when harden.

4.2 Concrete Cost

The demand for concrete in structures has been strong for many years and still is with competition from steel neck to neck in the construction race. What was once a clear affordable choice for concrete couple years ago because of cost steel has caught up with concrete because not only of cost but the use of less labour and in particularly for urban areas that have traffic and time restrictions. The desire for quick construction depends on the procurement practice adopted and the system choices.

4.3 Engineering Requirements

The office building spans could differ depending on the engineer design which should maximise all space. This system allows this but because of the weight of concrete thicker beams would have to be used to accomplish this along with greater reinforcement for stress of beams due to

4.4 Supply of In situ Concrete

Concrete is a renewable resource that is highly demanded and the quality and quantity of hightly demanded skilled workers are available due to the dominance of the use of concrete frames in the past. Thus making the supply plentiful of contractors or developers to use.


Advanced Structural Frames 4.5 Environmental Issues for Concrete

Energy Consumption for Concrete

Embodied energy is the amount of energy dispersed to construction the office building. This would be high because of the location of the site and traffic restrictions that may be effect within the city. There is a need for borders, concrete specialists, labourers and other workers to get the job done. There will also be a high level of noise contamination due to cutting and loading of bars, mixing and form work being done to erect columns. This might interfere with production of work being done in the area as it is an urban area.

Air Emissions from Concrete Production

These emissions are exhaust gas that is harmful to the ozone layer and are difficult to absorb in the atmosphere which can cause cancer after long term exposure. Pollution from quarries destroy the vivid surrounding of that area by collecting sand and gravel which may be left there thus killing any greenery in the area.

4.6 Recycled In Situ Concrete

Concrete can be recycled by grinding the boulders down to fine grains so that it can be used as a soil conditioner or for road material which has no energy cost.

The bars in In situ Concrete can also be melted down and reformed to be reused as rebars for the construction of building as a binding element. The use of old or abandoned vehicles can be used as rebars after being placed through a process and the base being rolled and used as reinforcement for concrete structures.

4.7 Fire resistance in Concrete 13

Advanced Structural Frames

Concrete has a very high resistance to fire and needs to be heated at extremely high temperatures in order for structural breakdown. The reinforced base hold the concrete together once the fire reaches those bars, structural integrity is breached. This may take several houses depending on mixture and thickness of the concrete. Standards are created by (ISO) and must be kept in order to meet that sustainability of the structure which was tested in labs by engineers.

4.8 Durability Using Concrete

Service of reinforced concrete frame is extremely low to none because of its finish. It may be required to be cleaned depending on the type of system used.

4.9 Preferred Choice


Once time is not an issue based on design to site construction reinforced concrete is their clear choice because of its flexibility and endurance. They are able to design anything without limitations and required finish, which they would require to project a certain image.



Advanced Structural Frames They also are in favour of concrete framing because it improves build ability of the project. Also because of their under knowledge of the system allows them to maximise staff to get the work done.


Engineers are able to design to far span column grids with concrete using proper calculations by increasing column and beam sizes, but because of the strength to weight ratio calculations are critical. Therefore steel is there choice due to the strength to weight ratio, this ratio being higher in strength and lighter in weight a level of flexibility is allowable thus being favourable for engineers.


5.1 Pre-cast Concrete

As with In situ concrete there is a high supply for pre-cast concrete and the market for this is great because of its benefits of concrete that are manufactured off site. This is convenient for city construction site because of the traffic, noise and city restrictions that may exist with city limits. This system also has an efficient columns and slab configuration for different types of buildings.

5.2 Cost of Pre-cast Concrete

These cost are similar to reinforced concrete but has an installation cost factor added on to it as well as machinery and transport, whereas reinforced concrete has a labour cost. A crane may be requested to lift and set in place where as reinforced concrete is mainly done by construction workers. Therefore the cost may be a little higher than that of reinforced concrete due to machinery cost.

5.3 Engineering Assurance Using Pre-cast Concrete 15

Advanced Structural Frames

The use of pre-cast concrete would be required over In situ concrete because there is a lack of human error via connection and insufficient use of rebars. This also allows great spans as this would be valuable for the office space that is needed for the site. Also proper tests would be made before and after manufacturing the pre cast concrete within International Standards Organisation requirements.

5.4 Delivery with Pre-cast

Pre-cast concrete differs when it comes to on site application like reinforced concrete. It has all the components of reinforced concrete but is manufactured off site like steel. In-situ concrete will start on site before pre-cast concrete or steel but once manufacturing these frames off site starts at the same time with the work on site, pre-cast and steel would win the construction race. In most cases with prefab concrete there is an order process or weighting period because of other works being done. So although the actual work would be faster, because of that weighting period In-situ concrete has an edge over the rest once it is in an area conducive for a high labour force like in urban areas.

5.5 Local Supply

This is very high because it allows small or medium contractor to order the columns beams and slabs from the manufacturer with liability being in the manufacture thus eliminating his risk. He also eliminated human risk for error in construction and uses his workers for minor works to complete the job.

5.6 Floor Slab Consideration

The pre-cast system is one which is more design oriented than steel or cast in place concrete. This system requires testing and mixing properties with additions being added to increase fire protection in the concrete. This could make it stronger than In-situ concrete. There are two types of slab systems available which is metal deck and hollow core planks system.


Advanced Structural Frames Metal Deck system uses an angles metal sheet that is filled with concrete and spread over a wide span. This metal sheet is attached to the column. Hollow core planks system are concrete slabs with holes for services and allows like metal deck a composite or no-composite structure.

5.7 Preferred Choice


Engineer calculations are not needed in this system because of the pre-calculated amount of load that each column, beam or slab would need by standards. Although calculations may not be required the different systems are service oriented which engineers like.


The flexibility in the system allows the contractor to undertake part of the construction e.g by doing only the columns and ordering the slabs. This allows him to maximise staff and not overworking them and also saves time by having the manufacturing team and contracting team work on the same project but in different areas to complete the building. They appreciate the flexibility of the system.

5.8 Hybrid Concrete

This framing is a mixture of both pre-cast and cast in place concrete system and is efficient if worker availability is not at the contractors reach.

.6. Performance Appraisal for Frame 17

Advanced Structural Frames

A composite Frame

This is a framing system that is a mixture of steel and concrete. The strength of a light weight steel column or beam along with the attachment of a concrete floor system for additional structural stability thus reducing vibration and forces on the structure. There are many attachments either on top of the flange of the beam or the web of the beam.





Steel In-situ Concrete Pre-Cast concrete Hybrid Concrete A composite frame

2 1 5 2 5

2 5 2 5 2

5 2 2 2 5

2 2 2 5 2

5 5 2 2 5


2 2 5 2 5

5 5 2 2 5

23 22 20 20 29

KEY: 1 not recommended 2 favourable 5 very favourable

7.0 Conclusion

Taking into consideration all factors associated with choosing a frame there is a clear choice of a composite frame structure that will satisfy client needs. The composite structure is one of steel and either slim deck or slim floor system. The fact that the site area is high in density and volume the slim deck approach would be flawed because of the site restrictions. The slim floor system of the other hand can be delivered on site at night time to avoid traffic pile up or noise pollution in the area at peak hours. So with this in mind I would recommend you use steel columns with a slim deck hollow core flooring system for services in an office environment. Using new technologies I 18



Advanced Structural Frames recommend using Slim Floor Beams (SFB) to have integrate fire protection and layer spans for office area. The beam usually has a wider base to accommodate the slim floor slab see appendixes 2.

I recommend you use pre design table for (SFB) which shows you can get a beam to beam span of 9m apart and the length of the slab can go up to 12m. Since the atrium is 24m in length and 9m wide I recommend you use a column grid spacing as recommended in Appendixes 3 using the maximum allowable space for slab and 9m between beams.

The building has a grid structure that supports open office area with column spacing at recommended distance with intermediate beams. These beams also reduce loads by transferring the loads to the columns see appendixes 5.

A connection is needed to have reliable structural stability to withstand movement in the frame system for horizontal and vertical movements. I would therefore recommend a semi-ridged connection using wielded and bolted joints to frame, thus creating a composite frame and slab system that can withstand horizontal and vertical loads.

A recommendation is also made for the relocation of the washroom to line up with the atrium for structural alignment with the columns thus creating structural efficiency in the framing system see appendixes 5.


A recommendation would also be given to a possibility of the structure being erected a further 30 storeys high and the structural change needed to accommodate such a change. There may be alteration in the building by the removal of the core to replace a concrete core structured on the building aerodynamics. Efficiency might change making each floor smaller on top. A consideration could also be made to transfer load of the new floors to a modified foundation to take the new load keeping in mind the lateral and gravitational load.


Advanced Structural Frames From the change in the levels a further recommendation would be made for an alternative frame solution appropriate for this better structure climaxing a possible conclusion and solution to this modification.

If the building were to be increased 30 storeys additional rooms would be needed for the building to be and maintained efficiently. The addition of an Air handler room. a mechanical room and also a comm. Room would be needed. A handler room is needed for the AC machinery that is needed to cool each floor. Accommodation is not needed for every floor but a shaft should be provided for duct location. In most cases an electrical unit or fuse box location will also be incorporated in this system.

8.1 Mechanical Rooms

This room provides a range of services such as location of air handlers rooms, balcony room, chillers, elevators machinery, water heaters, tanks, water pumps, sprinker systems and most importantly for the type of building back up electrical generators.

8.2 Comms /Server Rooms

These rooms are specifically needed for IT infrastructure. The room will not be on every floor but would need allowable space to run services. These are specially treated rooms which must be at cool temperatures because of the computer equipment that is stored there. The office building also needs a security surveillance area for safety reasons.

With the increase in the height of the building the column sizes would have to increase to accommodate load. Thus the redesigning of the upper floors structural framing grid may have to be done in order to accommodate additional vertical and horizontal load that is placed on the building as it increases in height.

8.3 Additional Considerations 20

Advanced Structural Frames

An additional staircase would need to be provided because there is increase of floors and volume of people exiting and entering the building Clear luminous markings showing exits for rapid evacuation of the building on all levels. An additional service access elevator for fire services or any emergency services.

Based on the current design of the building it would be advisable to enhance the structural integrity of the building by adding additional bracing to the existing structure. With this in mind a recommendation of the following additional support are as below:


9.1 Shear True Frame

This is a series of trusses that takes advantage of the triangulation of the building. It works like a vertical cantilevered lightweight beam spanning from foundation to roof level. In case of the structure it would be appropriate to place the shear truss framing system on the outskirts of the atrium of the building to act as a central core. It is also a recommended use because of the additions needed for this structure e.g added staircase, service lift, mechanical and comms room. Thus maintaining office space and maximising building efficiency.

There are several form of bracing, typically K bracing and X bracing are commonly used along with several other upcoming technologies in the building industry. This system can be used to up to 30-40storeys high see appendixes 4.

9.2 Outrigger and Bell Trusses

There is a stronger connection between the shear truss and parameter columns with outrigger trusses. This connectivity can further be enhanced by using bell trusses that wrap around the 21

Advanced Structural Frames perimeter of he column at the same level as the outrigger trusses. This basically further enhances structural stability from the shear truss system by encaging the outskirts of the building via bracing capabilities. This system is adaptable to composite structures see appendixes 4.

9.3 Tube System

Framed tube system is a tabular form of columns and deep spanned beams rigidly connected together through the exterior frame spacing could be from 5 to 15ft on centres. This system could be cost effective by eliminating the use of millions in a building. Braced tubing system is a variation from the framed tube system. It is done by bracing the columns diagonally to create a roll like characteristic. This frame is inefficient over 60 storeys as they begin to behave as conventional rigid frames see appendixes 4.


Advanced Structural Frames


Advanced Structural Frames

10. REFERENCES %20Tall%20Buildings.pdf %20Developments%20in%20Tall%20Buildings.pdf design/choice_of_structural_systems_for_multi/vertical_bracing_systems/ %20Sustainability%20Supplement.pdf Value Engineering for Steel Construction Fire Protection of Structural Steel in High-Rise Buildings Michael G. Goode, Editor


Advanced Structural Frames