The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 94 (2016) > Issue 5 > Conservation compendium. Part 17: Filler-joist floors – development, capacity and typical defects
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Conservation compendium. Part 17: Filler-joist floors – development, capacity and typical defects

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The filler-joist floor was – at the time – a very important structural development, now long superseded by other systems, such as flat slabs and composite decks.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.

Author(s): J. Miller (CTP Consulting Engineers)