All the articles published in the May 2016 issue.
(NB This issue was updated on 3 May 2016 to correct the diagrams for the 'And finally...' quiz on page 61.)
Publish Date ‐ 1 May 2016
Tim Lucas of Price & Myers explains how he threw the engineering and contracting rulebook out of the
window in building his own house in Kew, southwest London. He approaches the project from three different
points of view: as a structural engineer who designed the structure of his own new home; as a main contractor
who took the risks of building it; and finally as a client who wanted to commission a building that was both
respectful of Kew as a location and whose design approach to the architectural and engineering challenges of
the site was considered in an inventive way, from first principles.
The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is an annual commission of a temporary installation in the lawns of Kensington Gardens, London, and aims to be a fusion of art and contemporary architecture. An internationally acclaimed architect, who is yet to complete a project within the UK, is commissioned by the Gallery to deliver an initial concept and work together with the Technical Advisers, AECOM with David Glover, and the Main Contractor, Stage One, to deliver the final product over a period of less than six months.
In 2015, Spanish architects selgascano accepted the invitation of the Gallery to deliver its 15th Pavilion. This article provides a brief summary of the design-and-build process, detailing how the team developed the initial concept into the final Pavilion, which opened to the public in the summer of 2015.
The series on professional indemnity claims from Griffiths & Armour moves on to examine useful defence arguments, beginning with complete defences.
Sean Brady concludes his tale of the Panama Canal and looks ahead to the potential challenges of building the proposed Nicaragua Canal.
A check on stability is required for all structures in both their permanent and temporary states. An unstable structure is one that can begin to displace significantly under a small disturbing force and where further gross displacement follows any initial displacement. Reported failures have usually arisen because the parties involved just failed to consider the possibility. Many failures have occurred during construction when elements of the structures are necessarily not interconnected, or in building refurbishment/demolition when stabilising elements have inadvertently been removed out of sequence.
The forces that may cause instability are often unclear, but as a general principle, anything in its temporary or permanent condition should be considered to have an applied horizontal force acting. For external structures, an obvious force is wind. A clear danger for internal structures is the absence of wind, which leads to the possibility that a destabilising force will be overlooked.
According to the Institution’s librarians, one of the most common requests they receive is for information on structural floor systems dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In particular, engineers appear to have a thirst to know more about filler-joist floors. This article describes their origin and how they perform.
The term “filler joist” is a generic one used for certain types of building floors dating in particular from the late Victorian era to World War II. These may commonly have embedded iron or steel joists. Those of earlier date, from the 19th century, can have wrought iron sections, or even cast iron tees in early floors. They span one way between beams or bearings, and are encased in concrete made with coke-breeze, clinker, broken brick or conventional aggregates.
The filler-joist floor was – at the time – a very important structural development, now long superseded by other systems, such as flat slabs and composite decks. It grew out of an enthusiastic age of Victorian invention that had created a wide range of proprietary, patented make-ups that all worked in a roughly similar way. Filler joists are encountered frequently in the alteration and remodelling of large office and institutional buildings.
Richard Garry responds to Paul Bell’s article on the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, published in the February 2016 issue, and offers some further clarification of the Act.
Whatever the outcome of the UK’s EU referendum on 23 June, the structural Eurocodes are here to stay, believes former Institution President, David Nethercot.
This new guide for principal designers under CDM 2015 by and large offers pragmatic advice on how the role may be undertaken, concludes Steve Jones.
Angus Palmer enjoys this well-researched book describing the evolution of engineering technology and tools from the early Bronze Age to the Greek and Roman empires, and believes it will appeal to both engineers and the public at large.
This month's letters discuss media coverage of structural engineering, the thorny issue of "reasonably practicable", the role of the principal designer, the need for greater recognition of temporary works, and the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
Upcoming events at Institution HQ and around the regional groups.
In this section we shine a spotlight on papers recently published in Structures – the Research Journal of The Institution of Structural Engineers.
Structures is a collaboration between the Institution and Elsevier, publishing internationally-leading research across the full breadth of structural engineering which will benefit from wide readership by academics and practitioners.
Access to Structures is free to Institution members (excluding Student members) as one of their membership benefits, with access provided via the “My account” section of the Institution website. The journal is available online at: www.structuresjournal.org
This month we bring you another question from the Institution’s Structural Behaviour Course. The topic is bending moment diagrams. Answers will be published in the June issue.
(NB This article was updated on 3 May 2016 to correct the diagrams for May's question and possible answers.)