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The Structural Engineer

The South-Eastern Counties Branch was established in 1985, along with three other branches, to cover the area previously served direct from Institution headquarters. It has, therefore, the double distinction of being both the youngest branch and the branch with the largest membership. P.P. Brambley

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The Structural Engineer

I realise that I’m treading on thin ice with this subject-matter - engineers and other building professionals are often either ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ the use of computers and CAD with a fervour verging on the religious. But information technology, in all its diverse forms, is with us for good and, far from going away, it will penetrate our professional and domestic lives ever deeper as time goes by. What does concern me is that nowadays we engineers have tremendous analytical computing power at our disposal but I feel we are in danger of losing the ability (and maybe the responsibility) to design because of fragmentation and deskilling of the design function. There is also a growing tendency to turn the engineering design function into little more than a production line process because of the empowerment of computing tools available. Economic considerations, with reducing fees, falling workload, etc., are driving the profession ever more quickly toward this way of working. The end is not inevitable but, unless we promote the benefits of good engineering design to clients and other construction disciplines, I feel that it could be. It is not computers per se that are the problem, it is the way we are using them. D.J. Atherton

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The Structural Engineer

From the beginning of time, stone has formed part of the culture and needs of man. As a material, it dates back nearly 400M years. Man’s recorded history is a mere 6000 years old. M. Wilson

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The Structural Engineer

La Lumière is a seven-storey speculative office block development on the edge of London’s docklands. The aim of the design-and-build contract was to produce a building of high architectural merit, low energy consumption and good quality of construction at a modest cost, offering 10 OOOm² of lettable floor area. Rick Mather was chosen to be the architect by the developer, Calderford Ltd. The client appointed Hanscombe Associates to act as his Project Manager and quantity surveyor. A.M. Showan, R.E. Naman and J.N. Tutt

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Author – Showam, A M;Naman, R E;Tutt, J N

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The Structural Engineer

This paper is concerned with the design method for providing resistance against punching shear for flat slabs where the slab extends substantially up to the surrounding supports - e.g. an internal panel of a multibay flat slab. A signifcant aspect generally ignored in the design of flat slab structures is the development of what is commonly referred to as membrane action. When a load is applied to the slab, the deflection of the slab is accompanied by an outward expansion of the slab boundaries. This tendency to expand laterally is restrained by the supporting columns, beams or walls. The adjacent area of the slab also acts as a stiff restraining diaphragm. This membrane action induces internal axial compressive stresses that significantly influence and enhance the punching shear resistance of the slab. The design method is developed on the basis of a test programme jointly funded by the Department of the Environment and the British Cement Association. The specimens were 9m x 9m in plan and 250mm thick and represented an area of slab surrounding an internal column of a continuous flat slab. It is shown that there is a significant increase in punching shear resistance compared with the smaller conventional specimens. A design method taking membrane action into account is proposed. P.S. Chana and S.B. Desai

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Author – Chana, P S;Desai, S B

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The Structural Engineer

Restoration of the Archbishop’s Palace in Maidstone allowed an interesting insight into how the building was altered and structurally weakened over the centuries. As a local authority funded project, extensive precontract surveying was carried out in an attempt to minimise unforeseen costs. Strengthening of floors to meet public-use loading led to the testing of a number of full-size secondary floor beams. This paper describes in general terms the restoration works and provides details of the testing and the results produced. R.C. Lemon and G.E. Dickinson

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The Structural Engineer

‘Privatisation’, ‘market economy’ and ‘competition’ are some of the words most frequently heard at work, in the home, and in the media, in Moscow. What happens in Moscow also holds true to a greater or lesser degree across the countries of the former USSR. Lyudmila M. Burke

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Author – Burke, Lyudmila M

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