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We are accustomed, sometimes, to applying load to beams without giving much thought to the inherent stiffness of the load itself, either in the direction of the force or normal to it. Whether or not we consider arching of masonry is a matter of ‘engineering judgment', perhaps influenced by the requirements of BS 5977: Part 1: Lintels. Studwork partitions have considerable load-relieving stiffness, which we wisely ignore, at least for strength considerations. Items of plant, such as water tanks, have inherent degrees of stiffness that, frequently, are able to distribute load towards the beam’s bearings. In a particular situation, it may be worthwhile considering these factors when we make an ultimate or serviceability limit state assessment of a beam’s behaviour. Richard Harris
The Housing & Development Board (HDB) is the sole public housing authority in Singapore charged with the primary responsibility of providing quality, affordable housing for all Singaporeans. In addition to this, HDB also undertakes infrastructure development for all its estates, as well as other agency works. Since its inception in 1960, HDB is credited with completing well over 700 000 flats which currently house 86% of Singapore’s population; about 90% of these flats are owned by their occupants. J.M. Lau, H.H. Tay and N.B. Chen
Hip Roofs and Rafters Walter Redmond has written from Smith’s in Bermuda, giving a new twist to this topic: I was greatly interested in the article (4 January 2000) regarding hipped roofs and rafters, especially Professor Arthur Bolton’s comments. The problem of hipped roofs also exists in Bermuda. I have been in the construction/engineering industry for the past 35 years, dealing with timber hipped roofs from the perspective of both industries.