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Professor S. Mackey (F) : My main concern is to learn why, in Britain, limited records of wind and pressure measurements are being extrapolated to such a degree that if applied to Hong Kong conditions would render economic design of buildings impossible.
The author's experience on several codes-of-practice committees has led him to the conclusion that one of the greatest fields of uncertainty lies in the specifying of effective lengths of continuous columns. This is coincidental with the difficulty of calculating elastic critical load factors and dealing with frame instability. Comprehensive design charts are given for effective lengths of columns with any local degree of end restraint, both for sway and no sway conditions. To design for the limit-state of collapse it is essential to discover new 'desk' methods of dealing with overall frame instability when effective lengths based on local restraints are not accurate enough. A new technique of 'stiffness distribution', akin to moment distribution, will be acceptable in a drawing office, both for steel and reinforced concrete frames, at the same time providing rapid estimates of the other limit-state of permissible sidesway. Important modifications for strain hardening and composite panel stiffening are included, indicating the urgent need for more full-scale tests on composite action with cladding. The emphasis throughout has been on simplicity of theory and of the many worked examples. R.H. Wood
On 20 July last, under ref. BRA/1068/2, the DOE addressed the letter given below to local authorities, new town development corporations, etc. The letter contains an assessment of the BRE Report on the failure of roof beams at Sir John Cass's Foundation and Red Coat Church of England Secondary School, Stepney, and sets out a programme of action for inspection and assessment. Attached to the letter was an annex 'Suggestions for testing high alumina cement concrete' which is published on page 326.