The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 81 (2003) > Issues > Issue 21 > Concepts for designing stiffer structures
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Concepts for designing stiffer structures

The paper demonstrates concepts for designing stiffer structures. They are: (a) the more direct the internal force path, the stiffer the structure; (b) the more uniform the internal force distribution, the stiffer the structure; and (c) the smaller the internal forces, the stiffer the structure. These concepts are applicable to the design of many structures. Two ways of implementing the concepts into practice are provided. Simple examples are given to illustrate the implementation and the efficiency of the concepts. Laboratory tests and the demonstration of two physical models further confirm the findings. Several practical designs are also provided to show the applicability and significance of these concepts. An alternative definition of structural stiffness is given which complements the existing definition and allows for designing stiffer structures. It is interesting to note that using the concepts may lead to not only stiffer but also more economical and elegant designs. Tianjian Ji, PhD, CEng, MIStructE Manchester Centre for Civil and Construction Engineering, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester M60 1QD UK

Author(s): Ji, Tianjian

Keywords: stiffness;design examples;structures;internal forces;frames;laboratory tests