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# Structural

Engineering
Design Notes
&
Rules of Thumb
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Author
Caroline MacVey
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1 GENERAL .......................................................................... 5
1.1 CONVERSIONS 5
2.1 RULES OF THUMB - SIMPLE MATHS 6
2.2 GENERAL NOTES 7
2.6 OTHER 10
3 STEEL ............................................................................... 11
3.1 RULES OF THUMB 11
3.2 FORMULA 12
3.3 DEFLECTIONS 13
3.4 COMPOSITE DESIGN 13
3.5 GENERAL NOTES 14
4 CONCRETE ..................................................................... 17
4.1 RULES OF THUMB 17
4.2 FORMULA 18
4.3 GENERAL NOTES 20
5 MASONRY ....................................................................... 22
5.1 GENERAL NOTES 22
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6 TIMBER ............................................................................ 23
6.1 RULES OF THUMB 23
7 GEOTECHNICAL & FOUNDATIONS ......................... 24
7.1 RULES OF THUMB 24
7.2 GENERAL NOTES 25
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1 General
o Tension (-ve) --->-----<---
o Compression (+ve) ---<----->---
o Always check wind load paths reach
the foundations
1.1 Conversions
o 1 Pascal = 0.001 kN/m
2
o 1 kPa = 1 kN/m
2
o 1 Tonne = 1000kg = 10kN
o 1m
2
= 10,000cm
2
= 1,000,000mm
2
1.2
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2.1 Rules of Thumb - Simple Maths
1. 10 Gravity; Institutional Office DL +
LL
2. 8 General Office Floor DL + LL
3. 3 Deafened Timber Floor DL + LL
4. 2 Timber Roof DL + LL
5. 1.5 Average Load Factor
6. 2.5 Reasonable Zone A Wind Load
7. 2.0 Reasonable Zone B Wind Load
8. 1.0 Reasonable Zone C Wind Load
9. 4 4 x M
x
Z
xx
(S275)
10. 3 3 x M
x
Z
xx
(S375)
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2.2 General Notes
o 3 Main combos
a. 1.4DL + 1.6LL
b. 1.2DL + 1.2LL + 1.2WL
c. 1.0DL + 1.4WL
o Dont combine NHF with wind loads

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-
1.3
-
0.3
+0.6 -
0.5
-
1.3
+0.
2
+0.6 -
0.5
o Raised Floor = 0.5 kN/m
2
o Ceilings = 0.15 kN/m
2
o Services (Typical) = 0.25 kN/m
2
o Services (Plant) = 0.5 to 0.75 kN/m
2
o Finishes (Typical) = 0.15 kN/m
2
o Finishes (60mm Screed) = 1.5 kN/m
2
o SW Steel = 0.3 kN/m
2
o Blockwork = 3.02 / 2.5 kN/m
2
o Brickwork = 2.16 kN/m
2
o Construction = 1.5 kN/m2
o Stud Partitions = 1.0 kN/m
2
o
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o Trocal & Outer Sheet = 0.05 kN/m
2
o Insulation = 0.02 kN/m
2
o Inner sheet = 0.03 kN/m
2
o Ceilings = 0.15 kN/m
2
o Services (Typical) = 0.25 kN/m
2
o Services (Plant) = 0.5 kN/m
2
o Timber = 1.0 kN/m
2
o Slate = 1.0 kN/m
2
o Snow (min) = 0.6 kN/m
2
o Snow Fresh = 0.94 kN/m
3
o Snow Compacted = 3.14 kN/m
3
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2.6 Other
o 38mm Asphalt = 0.85 kN/m
2
o Cladding = 0.15 / 0.2 kN/m
2
o Curtain Walling = 1.0 / 0.5 kN/m
2
o Windows = 0.8 kN/m
2
o Tenement Rehabilitation Contracts - Floor
Joists (265x63 @ 450 c/c) = 0.25
kN/m
2
Boarding (25mm T&G) = 0.15 kN/m
2
Plaster Ceiling = 0.35 kN/m
2
Deadening (100mm Ash Fill) = 0.75
kN/m
2
Total Dead = 1.5 kN/m
2
Imposed = 1.5 kN/m
2
o Tenement Rehabilitation Contracts - Roof
Slates = 0.5 kN/m
2
Felt & Sarking = 0.10 kN/m
2
Trusses = 0.15 kN/m
2
Plaster Ceiling = 0.35 kN/m
2
Total Dead = 1.1 kN/m
2
Imposed = 0.6 kN/m
2
Storage = 0.25 kN/m
2

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3 Steel
3.1 Rules of Thumb
1. Grade S355 for major structures
Medium Span/20; Heavy Span/15
3. Frame Form Economics and ease of
calculation
4. Stanchions Portal Leg D H / 10
5. Columns D No Storeys * 100 / 4
(rnd 50) NOT < 203
6. Economics Deeper the Beam the
more economical?
7. Eurocodes As above
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3.2 Formula
o Tension Capacity, Pt = t A
e
o Steel Required =
fy
Ac
95 . 0

## o For quick element sizing based on

criteria

L
req
E
wL
I
384
5
4

o Torsion Moment,
2
FeL
M
T

o Natural Frequency,

18
f
where =
Self weight + dead + 10% imposed
o Stress, = M*y / I
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3.3 Deflections
o Portal Eaves Metal cladding h/150
o Portal Eaves Masonry h/300
o Portal Apex S/200
o Dead Floor 15mm
o Imposed S/360
o Total S/250 (S/300 Mangan Factor)
3.4 Composite Design
o In composite design for 19mm studs
then minimum size of reinf is 10mm
bars
o Composite beams
Slab Perpendicular Studs per
trough
Slab Parallel Studs @ 200mm
c/c
o Effective Width
Secondary = Spacing or Span/4
Primary = 0.8*Spacing or Span/4
Edge Beams Half of above
values plus projection of slab
beyond the C/L of beam
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3.5 General Notes
o Buckling Intermediate restraint be
careful of effective length
o For cellbeams 8 out of 10 engineers
use 1.0L for effective length
o For a cantilever beam connected to the
flange of a column use the distance
from the point load to flange face as
lever arm and not the middle of
column. Use the middle when finding
the moment on the column itself.
o Hit & Miss Welds generally 150mm
weld then 400mm gap. Generally used
for angles on box sections as full weld
would damage the box.
o When there are moments about the
minor axis of a UB section. Better to
o For long span rafters the top flange is
restrained sufficiently by the purlins. Be
more careful of bottom flange for uplift
o Check angle for load P2. Check RHS for
load P1 & P2. P2 will cause a moment
about axis y-y therefore check RHS for
torsion.
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o If a channel has multiple point loads it
would be advisable to switch to a UB
section.
o For beam end shears 50kN state on
dwgs as 50kN.
o Capacity
Columns = 80% (MF)
Beams = 75% (MF)
Beams = 90% Non composite
Beams = 85% Composite
o Fabsec Beams
Flange Max 60mm wide, 100mm
thick
Web max 1500mm Deep, 75mm
thick
o Small
cr
i.e. < 4 carry out a 2
nd
order
analysis
o Box section cost twice as much to
manufacture than UB/UCs
o For holding down bolts the tolerance is
25mm in all directions
o Metsec says spans of side rails &
purlins are not efficient until 3 3.5m
lengths
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d
P2
RHS
P1 Y
X
o Purlins Small projects generally single
or double span. For Large buildings use
HEB system
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4 Concr ete
4.1 Rules of Thumb
1. Beams Simple span Span/20;
Continuous Span/26
2. Slabs Span / 26 generally
continuous span / 20 if not
3. Columns D No Storeys * 100 / 3
(rnd +50) NOT < 200
4. Walls Keep D > 200mm
5. Economics Deeper the Beam more
economical?
6. Eurocodes As above
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4.2 Formula
o
2
6
10
bd f
M
K
cu

o
1
]
1

+
9 . 0
25 . 0 5 . 0
K
d Z 0.95d
o
Z f
M
A
y
s
95 . 0
10
6

## o K = 0.156 when redistribution <10%

o ( ) ( )
2
4 . 0 18 . 0 4 . 0 402 . 0 '
b b
K
o
ution rredistrib Momentafte
bution reredistri Momentbefo
b

o M
u
= 0.156f
cu
bd
2
o
1
]
1

+
9 . 0
'
25 . 0 5 . 0
K
d Z 0.95d
o
( ) ' 95 . 0
10
'
6
d d f
M M
A
y
u
s

&
'
95 . 0
10
6
As
Z f
M
A
y
u
s
+

o Shear,
bd
V
3
10

cu
f 8 . 0
or 5N/mm
2
o
3
1
4
1
3
1
25
400 100
79 . 0
,
_

1
1
]
1

,
_

,
_

cu
m c
f
d bd
As

o Modification Factors for deflection
Tension Reinforcement:
Mod F =
( )
2
9 . 0 120
477
55 . 0
2

,
_

+
bd
M
fs
Where
( )
b prov
req
As
fyAs
fs

1
3
2

Compression Reinforcement:
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Mod F =
5 . 1
' 100
' 100
1

,
_

,
_

+
bd
s A
S
bd
s A
prov
prov
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4.3 General Notes
o Stair checks done as simple beam for
simplicity
o Factor of Safety
Uplift = 1.4
Sliding = 1.5
Overturning = 2.0 (1.5 GS)
o Foundations
Sizing, Bearing capacity & Uplift
calcs use unfactored loads
Area of steel use factored loads
o Steel reinf strength, f
y
= 500N/mm
2
o Min area of steel = 0.13(bh/100)
(b=1000)
Foundations C35
Internal Slab C30
o Design ground beams as continuous
Span min. = clear span +
effective depth
o Columns
Biaxial bending min. moment =
0.05xdimension but 20mm
Min. steel = 0.4%
Longitudinal bars 12mm and
max spacing = 250mm
o If M
u
< M then compression reinf
required
o Also if K > K then compression reinf
required
o Reinforcement Spacing
Min Spacing = h
agg
+5mm
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Max Spacing 47000/f
s
300
o Pre-cast stairs ideally need 180-200mm
bearing. Minimum of 165mm. Creagh
say 100mm min.
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5 Masonry
5.1 General Notes
o Freestanding walls and wall panels are
2 different things
o Typical Masonry Values
o Brick
102.5mm thk
Density = 20kN/m
3
Mortar Type 3
Water Absorption = 7%
o Block
140mm thk
Density (H) = 18kN/m
3
Density (M) = 15kN/m
3
Mortar Type 3
Compressive Strength =
7N/mm
2
o Partial Safety Factor = 2.5 (Special)
o Blockwork does not have a good lateral
strength in comparison to brickwork
o Wall Panels with H/L < 0.3 then wall will
tend to span vertically
o Wall Panels with H/L > 1.75 then wall
will tend to span horizontally
o Stress, = Load / Wall Area
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6 Timber
6.1 Rules of Thumb
1. Roof Joists Span (mm) / 20 RND +
25mm
2. Roof Joists Span (mm) / 20 +25 mm
RND + 25mm
3. Racking Model to suit published
tables
4. Hybrids Steel & Timber go well
together
5. Section Stability Engineered products
vs. natural products
6. Creep / Settlement Engineered
products vs. natural products
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7 Geotechnical & Foundations
7.1 Rules of Thumb
1. Cu Cohesive approx SBC = 2*Cu
2. N Granular approx SBC = 10*N
3. Concentric Find ways to remove
eccentricity
4. Getting Close Foundations &
Adjacent Buildings Cantilever so you
dont undermine
5. Piles Size & capacities approx SWL =
2*D (mm)
6. Tension Piles Friction only surface
area, surface texture, method big &
fat
7. Vibro Know its limitations not for
tall buildings
8. Pile Settlement Take care Clean
holes? Friction Failure? FOS Make
sure your spec is clear
9. Mass Footing Min Depth = width =
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7.2 General Notes
o Overburden pressure is the existing
load on the soil
o Gross Pressure is the new load on the
soil
o Net pressure is the change in load
o Secant piled walls are 3x more
expensive than contiguous
o Large diameter bored pile are required
when retaining 6m + to get enough
rock penetration
o Typical density, = 18 kN/m
2
o = 30
o Ka = 1-sin / 1+sin
o Kp = 1 / Ka
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