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This paper is concerned with the explanation of the theory of metric dimensional co-ordination in so far as it relates to the structural framework of a building. It follows through the planning and design processes necessary to arrive at a point where either the structure itself can be built as a series of dimensionally co-ordinated components or if is capable of accommodating the maximum number of nonstructural components. The historical background to dimensional co-ordination is touched on, and the advantages to be gained to the construction industry by changing to metric by this means are given. The paper is intended to be an explanation of the work of Functional Group Panel No. 1 and the contents of the British Standards and other PD documents issued by the British Standards Institution on the subject of Dimensional Co-ordination in Buildings. The conclusion is reached that there is now sufficient information available to commence designs for new structural engineering works using the system of dimensional co-ordination.
Mr. James Stevenson of Paisley and six colleagues at a College of Further Education commented that 'Change to Metric' lacked clarity in dealing with mass and weight; they conceded that the Imperial and metric systems confuse unit mass with unit force, 1 Ib with 1 Ibf and 1 kg with 1 kgf and that this results in misunderstandings during the analysis of problems involving both quantity and weight. The SI system, they point out, clearly differentiates between mass and force (as the author explained) but in the final paragraph on p. 335 the author mixed them up. Weight, they say, is a specific type of force and thus must always be quoted in Newtons; the same argument must also be applied to loads, whether gravity loads, dead loads or wind loads.
It is hoped that these reports of the performance of candidates in the Institution Parts 1, 2 and 3 examinations held in July 1969 will be of help to those who are preparing for future examinations and to those members and others responsible for teaching or guiding potential candidates.