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Technical Guidance Notes (Level 2)

The Institution's Technical Guidance Notes have been conceived to provide technical guidance to both undergraduates and those in the early stages of their careers.

Experienced Technicians may also find these notes helpful when looking to develop a greater understanding of structural design.

The notes are intended to be easily accessible and to form the foundation of a personal technical reference library.

Level 2 guides build on what has been described previously in the Level 1 series. The topics covered at Level 2 are of a more complex nature, as they typically deal with the design of elements as opposed to core concepts such as loading and stability. As such, the amount of prior knowledge the reader is assumed to have is at the very least the contents of relevant Level 1 notes.

 

Articles in this series

The Structural Engineer

The subject of this guide is the design of non-composite steel beams to BS EN 1993-1-1 – Eurocode 3: Design of Steel Structures – Part 1-1: General Rules for Buildings. It covers both restrained and unrestrained rolled steel ‘I’ and ‘H’ beam sections.

This is the first in the series of Level 2 guides and as such,the reader is assumed to be familiar with the concepts explained in relevant Level 1 Technical Guidance Notes.

(This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)

Publish Date - 12 January 2013

Author – The Institution of Structural Engineers

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

The subject of this guide is the design of columns in simple construction to BS EN 1993-1-1 – Eurocode 3: Design of Steel Structures – Part 1-1: General Rules for Buildings. It covers rolled steel ‘I’ and ‘H’ sections that are acting as columns within a braced steel frame structure.

Publish Date - 1 February 2013

Author – The Institution of Structural Engineers

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

The subject of this guide is the design of one way spanning concrete slabs to BS EN 1992-1-1 – Eurocode 2: Design of Concrete Structures – Part 1-1: General Rules for Buildings. The design of such elements is very simple to carry out and thus acts as a good introduction to the concept of reinforced concrete.

Publish Date - 27 February 2013

Author – The Institution of Structural Engineers

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

The subject of this guidance note is the design of reinforced concrete beams to BS EN 1992-1-1 – Eurocode 2: Design of Concrete Structures – Part 1-1: General Rules for Buildings. It covers the design of multispan beams that have both ‘L’ and ‘T’ cross section profiles.

(This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)

Publish Date - 26 March 2013

Author – The Institution of Structural Engineers

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

This Technical Guidance Note concentrates on the design of reinforced concrete columns to BS EN 1992-1-1 – Eurocode 2: Design of Concrete Structures – Part 1-1: General Rules for Buildings. It covers the design of columns of all cross section profiles, which are typically square, rectangular and circular.

Publish Date - 1 May 2013

Author – The Institution of Structural Engineers

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

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.)

Publish Date - 1 June 2013

Author – The Institution of Structural Engineers

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

The purpose of a pad foundation is to spread a concentrated force into soil. They are one of the most simple and cost effective types of footings for structures. Provided the founding soil is of sufficient strength and is not too deep to reach, pad foundations are the preferred solution for foundations due to the straight forward nature of their design and construction.

This Technical Guidance Note covers the design of concrete pad foundations, both mass and reinforced concrete forms. It will not, however, discuss how the bearing capacity of the soil is determined, as that is explained in Technical Guidance Note 19 (Level 1) Soil bearing capacity. It is suggested that you read that text in conjunction with this, in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the topic.

(This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)

Publish Date - 1 August 2013

Author – The Institution of Structural Engineers

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

This Technical Guidance Note concerns the design of pile-caps for small groups of piles e.g. 2-4 piles. It relies on the strut and tie method to determine the amount of reinforcement required in the pile-cap; which is dependent upon the depth of the cap, the magnitude of the axial load being placed upon it, the cap’s concrete strength and the pile size and spacing.

Publish Date - 28 November 2013

Author – The Institution of Structural Engineers

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

Although retaining walls have been the subject of two earlier Technical Guidance Notes; No. 8 (Level 1): Derivation of loading to retaining structures and No. 33 (Level 1): Retaining wall construction, their design has not been covered. This guidance note focuses specifically on the design of reinforced concrete gravity retaining walls.

There are three different forms of this type of wall, all of which are designed to resist overturning and sliding failure. The primary difference between them is their height. The taller the retaining wall, the more likely that counterforts and beams spanning between them will be necessary. This note describes how all of these forms of retaining wall can be designed.

(This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)

Publish Date - 1 January 2014

Author – The Institution of Structural Engineers

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

This Technical Guidance Note explains how reinforced concrete walls are designed to withstand high in-plane bending forces, in accordance with Eurocode 2.

Publish Date - 1 April 2014

Author – The Institution of Structural Engineers

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

This Technical Guidance Note describes how steel fibre reinforced concrete ground bearing slabs are designed. This is a relatively recent innovation that continues to evolve. As such, this note aims to motivate the design and development of steel fibre reinforced ground bearing slabs, based on the most up-to-date information available at the time of writing.

Publish Date - 1 May 2014

Author – The Institution of Structural Engineers

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

Portal frames are a simple and very common type of framed (or skeleton) structure. Steel portal frames, in particular, are a cost-effective structural system to support building envelopes (such as warehouses and shopping complexes) requiring large column-free spaces. In general, the loads and consequent deformations for these frames are in the plane of the structure, and hence these are a 2D (or plane) frame structure. Due to the practical requirement of having a clear space between the supports of a portal frame, providing in-plane bracing is generally not feasible. Consequently, these frames undergo larger deflections and are prone to sway laterally, even under the vertical loads. The concept of sway frames is addressed in more detail in Technical Guidance Note No. 10 (Level 1) Principles of lateral stability. Thus, in spite of the inherent simplicity of portal frames, many aspects of their analysis, design and detailing require careful consideration.

Portal frames can be made from concrete, timber and even glass but the vast majority, in the UK certainly, are constructed from steel. This Technical Guidance Note gives an introduction to steel portal frames and their preliminary analysis. Steel portal frames usually have pinned bases and moment connections at the column/rafter interface and mid-span apex splice in the rafter. Although there are other forms of portal frame (described in Elastic Design of Single- Span Steel Portal Frame Buildings to Eurocode 3), for the sake of brevity and clarity this note will be dedicated to this particular form.

(This article was updated in October 2016 to reflect errata issued since its original publication.)

Publish Date - 29 May 2014

Author – The Institution of Structural Engineers

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

Since the invention of medium-storey framed structures in the late 1800s, there has been a need to clad them with a reasonably robust material that acts as an efficient barrier to the external environment. Masonry delivers the performance required of a cladding system on multiple fronts. It has therefore developed from a load-bearing element within structures to become a component of an envelope to larger framed buildings.

This Technical Guidance Note introduces structural engineers to the interfaces between a primary structure that is principally formed from steelwork and a masonry cladding system.

Publish Date - 2 October 2017

Author – C. O'Regan (AECOM)

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

This Technical Guidance Note addresses the design of timber elements that are unrestrained against lateral torsional buckling. It explains how such beams are analysed and designed. The impact of notching the supports of beams is also considered with respect to the shear capacity of the beam.

For clarity and brevity, this note only covers solid and glued laminated (glulam) timber elements; compound and composite beams, such as flitch beams, are not considered. The connections within timber frame assemblies will be addressed in a future note.

Readers should also be aware that this note forms part of a trio of Technical Guidance Notes leading to the design of bespoke timber trusses – assemblies made from unrestrained timber beams and posts. Notes on the design of timber posts and bespoke timber trusses will follow later in the series.

Publish Date - 20 November 2017

Author – C. O'Regan (AECOM)

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

The design of timber posts follows the same principles as the design of vertical structural elements formed from other materials. Extreme fibre stresses or buckling due to applied axial forces are the key components affecting a post’s ability to perform. The major difference is the anisotropic nature of timber, which, for vertical elements, has a significant impact on the assessment of their performance as a structural member.

The design of timber elements in the UK, according to current codes of practice, is based on limit state theory. This Technical Guidance Note adopts this approach to describe the design of timber posts. The note assumes that the reader is familiar with the use of coefficient factors prevalent within BS EN 1995-1-1 (Eurocode 5), as described in Technical Guidance Notes Level 1, No. 18 Design of timber floor joists and Level 2, No. 14 Design of unrestrained timber beams.

Publish Date - 1 February 2018

Author – C. O'Regan (AECOM)

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

Piled foundations are one of the first aspects of scheme design a structural engineer needs to consider during a project's development. It is at this crucial stage that, without any specialist input, the structural engineer must make recommendations based on the typically limited knowledge they have on the subject.

This Technical Guidance Note describes the method by which bored piles are designed using the current UK codes of practice, i.e. BS EN 1997 (Eurocode 7). It explains how to interpret soil conditions and design piles to match what has been discovered following a site investigation.

The note does not address the types of piling systems that are available, nor the technical issues concerning their installation; these questions are covered in Technical Guidance Note Level 1, No. 23 Introduction to piling.

The note explains how to design what is essentially a buried column of concrete to resist forces from the superstructure that are applied to it. It concerns the design of a single pile and not one that is part of a group. For information on how grouped piles differ in their design approach, the reader is directed to Cl. 6.3.3 of BS 8004:2015.

(This article was update on 9 March 2018 to correct an error in Table 6.)

Publish Date - 1 March 2018

Author – C. O'Regan (AECOM)

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

This Technical Guidance Note aims to clarify the term 'simple connection' by explaining its use when designing connections within steel frames. Additionally, guidance is offered on different types of simple connection and the design checks that need to be carried out.

Publish Date - 3 September 2018

Author – C. O'Regan (AECOM)

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

This Technical Guidance Note is intended to act as an aide to those seeking to design an unreinforced masonry retaining wall. Following this guidance will prevent cracking and ensure that the wall performs as originally intended.

The note will not cover the design of reinforced masonry retaining walls and variants of that form. Such reinforcement typically strengthens the wall itself against induced bending stresses and the wall’s geometry will therefore be somewhat different to that of an unreinforced retaining wall.

The note will also not discuss the applied actions that a retaining wall will be subjected to, nor the construction of retaining walls. These subjects have previously been covered in the following Technical Guidance Notes: Level 1, No. 8: Derivation of loading to retaining structures and Level 1, No. 33: Retaining wall construction. It is assumed that the reader is familiar with the content of both these notes.

Publish Date - 1 October 2018

Author – C. O'Regan (AECOM)

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

Thin panels of masonry in large buildings, or cavity wall skins, require additional horizontal support to make them stable. The element that provides this support is a vertical prop known as a ‘windpost’. Its principal role is to provide lateral support against destabilising horizontal forces that typically originate from wind pressure – hence, the name.

Windposts are typically steel elements – either open sections, such as channels or angles, or closed sections, such as rolled hollow rectangular sections. This Technical Guidance Note provides guidance on the design and detailing of windposts relating to their incorporation into building structures.

Publish Date - 2 January 2019

Author – C. O'Regan (AECOM)

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

A significant-sized opening in a masonry wall will always require a lintel to bridge over it. This note offers advice on the different types of lintel that are available, their detailing requirements and their design.

Publish Date - 1 March 2019

Author – C. O'Regan (AECOM)

Price – £0/£9

The Structural Engineer

This Technical Guidance Note describes the design and detailing of base plates – the primary means by which steel-framed structures transmit vertical loads into their foundations. 

Publish Date - 1 May 2019

Author – C. O'Regan (AECOM)

Price – £0/£9