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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

This note focuses on 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.

Updated in October 2016.

Publish Date ‐ 12 January 2013

The Structural Engineer

This note focuses on 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 acting as columns within a braced steel frame structure.

Publish Date ‐ 1 February 2013

The Structural Engineer

This note focuses on 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

Publish Date ‐ 27 February 2013

The Structural Engineer

This note focuses on 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.

Updated in October 2016.

Publish Date ‐ 26 March 2013

The Structural Engineer

This note focuses 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 (typically square, rectangular or circular).

Publish Date ‐ 1 May 2013

The Structural Engineer

This note concerns the design of masonry walls subject to lateral loads (i.e.  those used as a cladding element). It discusses material assessment, restraint, geometry and exposure conditions. 

Updated in October 2016.

Publish Date ‐ 1 June 2013

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 footing for structures, and are the preferred solution for foundations due to the straightforward nature of their design and construction.

Updated in October 2016.

Publish Date ‐ 1 August 2013

The Structural Engineer

This note concerns the design of pile-caps for small groups of 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

The Structural Engineer

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. 

Updated in October 2016.

Publish Date ‐ 1 January 2014

The Structural Engineer

This 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

The Structural Engineer

This note describes how steel fibre reinforced concrete groundbearing slabs are designed.

Publish Date ‐ 1 May 2014

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 requiring large column-free spaces. 

Publish Date ‐ 29 May 2014

The Structural Engineer

This 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

The Structural Engineer

This note addresses the design of solid and glulam 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 beam's shear capacity.

Publish Date ‐ 20 November 2017

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.

Publish Date ‐ 1 February 2018

The Structural Engineer

This note describes the method by which bored piles are designed using current UK codes of practice. It explains how to interpret soil conditions and design piles to match what has been discovered following a site investigation.

 

Publish Date ‐ 1 March 2018

The Structural Engineer

This note clarifies the term 'simple connection' by explaining its use when designing connections within steel frames. Additionally, guidance on different types of simple connection and the design checks that need to be carried out, is provided.

Publish Date ‐ 3 September 2018

The Structural Engineer

This note is 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 intended.

 

Publish Date ‐ 1 October 2018

The Structural Engineer

Windposts are typically steel elements (vertical props) that provide lateral support to masonry panels. They help reduce destabilising horizontal forces that typically originate from wind pressure.

Publish Date ‐ 2 January 2019

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 available, their detailing requirements and design.

Publish Date ‐ 1 March 2019

The Structural Engineer

Base plates are the primary means by which steel-framed structures transmit vertical loads into their foundations. 

Publish Date ‐ 1 May 2019

The Structural Engineer

This note covers the inspection of structural elements typically present within buildings during their construction and/or alteration phases.

Publish Date ‐ 2 September 2019

The Structural Engineer

A specialist contractor design item that is usually outside the responsibility of the structural engineer. However, in order to assess a truss design, the engineer needs to understand the theory underpinning it.

Publish Date ‐ 18 November 2019

The Structural Engineer

Designing a post-fixed anchor (either resin-based or mechanical) can be a convoluted process - principally due to the number of variables involved when considering its use in any given situation. 

Publish Date ‐ 3 February 2020

The Structural Engineer

This note discusses the impact torsion has on the design and detailing of reinforced concrete elements.

Publish Date ‐ 1 April 2020