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The Structural Engineer

Mr D. A. Cook (M)/Mr P. McCombie (University of Bath) One of us attended the first presentation under this title, by Tomlinson, Driscoll & Burland (1978) as a member of the Institution, and participated in the ensuing discussion. This new contribution is appropriate to the changing circumstances of a drier climate and an increasing land scarcity leading to more construction on fill material. However, it is slightly disappointing to see that, after 17 years, the BRE still chooses to tackle one half of the problem only. The debate is about low-rise buildings, which are mainly in brick, and therefore for the most part we are talking about domestic houses.

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The Structural Engineer

Mr R. C. Sturrock (F) Earthquakes have become a significant factor in engineering in Australia as a result of the Newcastle earthquake a couple of years ago. I know that a lot of work has been done in New Zealand on base isolation of bridges. I believe that base isolation in a building would have a tremendous effect in reducing the sort of joint forces you are talking about. Have they actually tried base isolation on a building in New Zealand, and is my assumption correct that it would reduce joint forces?

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The Structural Engineer

This paper is concerned with the structural mechanics of pin-jointed structures and temporary grandstands. Particular attention is paid to horizontal stiffness which is one of the principal design checks for such structures. It is demonstrated that the stiffness of a pin-jointed structure can be increased by providing shorter or direct load paths between the loads and the supports and also by providing a uniform inner force distribution. Following these concepts, five simple criteria for arranging bracing members of temporary grandstands are obtained. Several bracing systems are examined and compared with equivalent systems obtained using these criteria. The results show that the criteria can be used to increase the lateral stiffness (or frequencies) without using extra bracing members. Then the structural characteristics of typical bracing svstems of parts of two temporary grandstands are studied. Following the proposed criteria, the bracing systems can be rearranged to provide a significant increase in lateral stiffness. The effects of misalignment or omission of bracing members are also considered. T. Ji and B.R. Ellis

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The Structural Engineer

As a British Colony, Hong Kong has the tradition of using British Standards in most construction and manufacturing sectors. Will this continue after the change of soveignty in 1997? Will Hong Kong adopt Chinese Standards or should Hong Kong have its own standards? If so, what should they be? Ignatius Y.S. Lau

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Author – Lau, Ignatius Y S

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The Structural Engineer

In this paper, it is suggested that there are now available, or can be made available, measurement devices, data collection, transmission and processing methods, together with the means of effectively presenting processed data, which will allow near real-time assessment of structural behaviour; known as ‘condition monitoring’. By using this approach, the present problems of analysing and predicting the performance of structural systems can be largely overcome and the management and operation of structures can be much more effectively achieved. Already in some branches of science and technology condition monitoring is widely employed. Experience gained in these other areas shows that, in order to move from occasional to continuous, real-time, long-term monitoring, it will be necessary to develop the concept of designing integrated monitoring systems which involve multilevel monitoring using instrumentation linked to fully automated and integrated data recording systems. Professor A. McGowan, Professor H.D. Wright and Professor J. James

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Author – McGown, Alan;Wright, H D;Innes, J;Michie, C;McGowan, Alan

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The Structural Engineer

Contributions to Verulam A member has complained that his contribution on an important subject was summarised rather than being quoted in full. He feels that heartfelt comments on important issues should be heard by the Institution and quotes the Institution's mission statement to support his views. Verulam receives large numbers of contributions, most of them on important subjects and presumably equally heartfelt by their authors. Verulam

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