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Dr. D. Tordoff (BCSA): We are all conscious of the fact that changes are taking place in design specifications and I should like to ask Mr Needham to comment on the changing philosophy of connection design with the introduction of limit state principles. Will a different design approach be required, and is there any research needed, or being undertaken currently, for a new design approach?
Though the steel portal frame is one of the simplest structural arrangements for covering a given area, the designer probably has to satisfy at least as many different structural criteria as for more complex structures. Present-day design of portal frames is reviewed in the light of recent research studies into certain aspects of the behaviour of portal frames, particularly the problem of stability of haunched rafters. Guidance is given for checking the lateral stability of such members. L.J. Morris
The role of Codes as an aid in achieving good construction is much in dispute. Should they be somewhere between recent research and standardised proven requirements, telling engineers what is good practice, or should they be precise documents that set out how the task should be handled? Assuming that such precision is even possible, is it in fact desirable, or will innovation and flair be stifled? Are they a guide to the knowledgeable or a safety net for the amateur? If precise in their demands, should such Codes be the means of meeting statutory requirements? J.G. Sunley and R.G. Taylor