Author: J. Miller (CTP Consulting Engineers)
1 June 2016
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J. Miller (CTP Consulting Engineers)
When existing buildings need to be inspected and assessed, the structural engineer is often presented with the challenge of needing X-ray eyes. Lacking such a gift, and despite what clients may assume, the engineer draws instead on knowledge and experience to make value judgements in many situations, with appropriate margins of safety and consideration of appropriate risk incorporated along the way. Codes of practice and British Standards are not to be ignored, but are a useful tool to assist with this process. This article aims to discuss some of the issues, challenges, tools and techniques available to the practising structural engineer when assessing existing structures. While the article focuses principally on floor structures, the techniques can be used on a range of applications to provide an understanding of how existing structures are actually behaving, rather than how we might think they are working.
The Vegas High Roller is the latest and most progressive of the modern giant observation wheel concepts first developed by Marks Barfield Architects with Arup for the London Eye in the late 1990s. Unlike other cable-tensioned wheels, the structural design of the rim has been reduced to a single tubular chord carrying 28 actively stabilised, large spherical cabins (each accommodating up to 40 passengers). The benefit of improved structural stability is exploited by using a 35m long hub-and-spindle assembly connecting the cable spokes to the rim. The result is an elegant and distinctive structural solution. It is also the first giant observation wheel to operate in a desert environment. This article describes the project’s development and some of the challenges that this unique structure created. The project won the Institution’s 2015 Structural Award for Arts and Entertainment Structures.
We received a terrific response to The Structural Engineer 2016 reader survey, with 1614 of you taking the time to complete the questionnaire. Respondents reflected the diverse membership of the Institution: 68% were based in the UK and 32% outside the UK; the largest categories were Chartered Members (34%), Graduate Members (29%) and Student Members (12%). Here’s what you told us…