Author: S. Fray (Institution of Structural Engineers)
1 January 2012
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S. Fray (Institution of Structural Engineers)
This Technical Guidance Note acts as an introduction to the core design concepts that are found within the current codes of practice used within the UK. It also explains the relationship between each of the other guidance notes and how the reader is to navigate and use them. All of the subsequent notes make reference, be they direct or implied to this core guide; it is therefore imperative that anyone seeking to use these guides must be fully conversant with what is contained within this note.
This Technical Guidance Note concerns the derivation of dead loads. This is a core guidance note and as such, subsequent notes will make reference to this one. It is therefore important to understand the contents of this note before attempting to digest any of the others. Dead load is defined as the weight of static materials contained with a structure. This includes the self weight of the structure as well as the materials it is supporting that are fixed to it. Within Eurocode 1 it is defined as a 'Permanent Action'.
While the advancement of computer based analysis continues to grow exponentially within the field of structural engineering, the tools that are used to analyse structures by hand are no less relevant. Many would argue that such tools are even more vital today than they have ever been if we are to fully understand the output of analysis applications. With this in mind, this Technical Guidance Note describes one of the most powerful analysis tools available: moment distribution. Moment distribution is a method by which statically indeterminate structures are analysed elastically. It’s based on the relative stiffness of elements that make up a structure and shifts bending moments from one section of the structure to another until they become balanced. Once this balance has been achieved, the forces and bending moments within the structure are modelled. (This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)