Author: The Institution of Structural Engineers
1 June 2013
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The Institution of Structural Engineers
Until relatively recently, masonry was the major load bearing component in a building structure. With the advent of steel and concrete frame technologies, masonry has become a part of a building’s cladding envelope and as such is more prone to being exposed to lateral loads than vertical ones. This Technical Guidance Note concerns the design of masonry walls that are subject to lateral loads i.e. they are being used as a cladding element. It will discuss the way in which the material is assessed against how it is being restrained and its geometry. All of these factors have an impact on the design of masonry walls as well as the mortar within them and the exposure conditions. This is discussed in Technical Guidance Note 27 (Level 1) and should be read in conjunction with this guide. (This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)
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.)
This Technical Guidance Note describes the concept of biaxial bending of columns, as well as the effect direct bending has on column design. The guidance given here can be applied to columns made from any material, be it steel, concrete, timber or even glass.