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The Structural Engineer

In July 1981 a committee of senior representatives of the Institutions of Civil, Structural and Municipal Engineers was formed to study ways in which closer working relationships might be established between the three Institutions in five specific areas: -meetings -external affairs -publications -professional conduct -education and training

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The Structural Engineer

Temporary grandstand seating in the form of demountable structures is a common feature at events such as golf tournaments, horse shows, civic occasions, motor races, pop concerts, and local fairs. The inherent flexibility of these demountable structures is also employed to advantage at permanent centres in providing a variety of arena layouts. Features such as erection, dismantling, and transportation, are more significant than normally posed by design considerations for a conventional structure. From the designer’s viewpoint the structural form combines many of the undesirable utilitarian features of temporary works such as scaffolding, together with the requirements for public safety needed in fixed seating auditoria. The recent collapse of a temporary stand during filming for the BBC television programme ‘It’s a knockout’, 3 May 1982, and the collapse at the Loftus Versefeld rugby ground in Pretoria on 30 August 1969 underline the catastrophe potential. The work described reviews relevant literature and is intended to provide guidance concerning the principal criteria affecting structural performance. J.F. Dickie

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The Structural Engineer

Mr C. Boswell (Health & Safety Executive): I am delighted to have the opportunity to open the discussion because the fact that Chris Wilshere’s paper is to be discussed by this Institution must surely signify that the Code of Practice has finally arrived after so many years of gestation. Mr Wilshere’s wide-ranging introduction to his paper this evening will probably stimulate a discussion across the whole field of falsework but I will limit my comments to one or two matters.

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The Structural Engineer

The basic change in the design philosophy for bolted joints resulting from the adoption of limit state design, is outlined. The initial decisions the designer has to make are outlined and the pros and cons of bolted and welded site joints, on which such decisions must be based, are listed. The types of connector currently available are described. F.H. Needham

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The Structural Engineer

The importance of stability and the resistance to horizontal forces imposed on a building often do not receive the same attention as does the analysis for vertical forces. For all structures, it is essential that there be a path passing through clearly defined structural members by which the stabilising forces and horizontal forces may be transmitted to the foundations. Assumptions are often made in column design which allow the effective heights to be reduced on the basis that one or both ends are ‘properly restrained in position and direction’. These are often of doubtful validity. B.H. Fisher

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The Structural Engineer

Structural calculations and the unqualified Mr D. S. Poppitt says that he has been tempted to write to us many times, and we are glad that he has now yielded to temptation to let us have his views on two matters of interest to many: As a member of a consulting practice, I have had the onerous task of checking calculations on behalf of a local authority. It is generally a pleasant matter to discuss any problems with fellow engineers, who will discuss ‘theories and ideas’ to explain their solutions. However, cases do arise when people who are not qualified prepare calculations under the assumption that ‘come what may’ they are correct, when in many instances they are not. Although such people are, thankfully, few in number, it brings to mind two points. One, that there are many unqualified people who are well capable of preparing calculations and being responsible; unfortunately, the former type ‘tar them all with the same brush’. Secondly, it would seem to confirm that the proposals for the new Building Regs-that a qualified engineer should certify designs-are well founded. Verulam

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