Author: The Institution of Structural Engineers
2 July 2012
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The Institution of Structural Engineers
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Once the concept and scheme for a structure has been settled upon, the initial sizing of the elements that it is made up of commences. This Technical Guidance Note provides a set of hints as to how to initially size elements, prior to carrying out the detailed design. This process allows the engineer to gain an appreciation of the form of the structure and the changes that may be required if element sizes prove to be too onerous following this size estimation process. Access more Technical Guidance Notes through our series homepage .
This Technical Guidance Note is an introduction to the assessment of floor vibrations. Since the adventof lighter structures that have longer spanning elements within them, the built in dampening effectbuildings have had historically has become less pronounced. Despite this, floor vibration canbe an overlooked criterion during the design process. This can lead to expensive remedial works being carried out on structures after they have been built, as occupants complain of discomfort due to excessive movements and vibrations. (This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)
When analysing structures it is important to adopt a methodical approach wherever possible. By breaking down the structure into manageable portions, the complexity of the analysis is reduced and thus becomes easier to control and review. By adopting such an approach, a seemingly insurmountable task becomes a much more approachable one. This Technical Guidance Note is a good practice guide for analysing and designing structures. It explains how structures are given form, modelled, analysed and designed. Mention is made of the need to rationalise the analysis process, but not at the expense of an economic design.