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SCI PUBLICATION P341

Guidance on meeting
the Robustness Requirements in
Approved Document A
(2004 Edition)
A G J Way MEng, CEng, MICE

Published by:
The Steel Construction Institute
Silwood Park
Ascot
Berkshire SL5 7QN
Tel:
Fax:

01344 623345
01344 622944

2005 The Steel Construction Institute


Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study or criticism or review, as permitted under the
Copyright Designs and Patents Act, 1988, this publication may not be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by
any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction only in
accordance with the terms of the licences issued by the UK Copyright Licensing Agency, or in accordance with the terms
of licences issued by the appropriate Reproduction Rights Organisation outside the UK.
Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the terms stated here should be sent to the publishers, The Steel Construction
Institute, at the address given on the title page.
Although care has been taken to ensure, to the best of our knowledge, that all data and information contained herein are
accurate to the extent that they relate to either matters of fact or accepted practice or matters of opinion at the time of
publication, The Steel Construction Institute, the authors and the reviewers assume no responsibility for any errors in or
misinterpretations of such data and/or information or any loss or damage arising from or related to their use.
Publications supplied to the Members of the Institute at a discount are not for resale by them.
Publication Number: SCI P341
ISBN 1 85942 163 6
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data.
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

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FOREWORD
Under the 2004 Amendment of the Building Regulations 2000, the changes to Part A
(Structure) include important changes to the limits on application for buildings designed
to avoid disproportionate collapse. The guidance given in the revised Approved
Document A on how to meet the requirements to avoid disproportionate collapse has also
changed.
This publication provides designers of hot-rolled steel framed buildings with the
necessary guidance to enable them to ensure compliance with the disproportionate
collapse requirements of the Regulations.
The author is indebted to his colleagues at the SCI for their input and advice, in
particular to Charles King and Tom Cosgrove. In addition, a number of other
individuals have contributed to this guide and their input is gratefully acknowledged:
Stuart Alexander

WSP Group

Professor D Blockley University of Bristol


Roger Davies

Gifford & Partners Ltd

Chris Dolling

Corus Construction and Industrial

Geoff Harding

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

Roger Pope

Consultant

David Moore

The British Constructional Steelwork Association Ltd

The preparation of this guide was funded entirely by Corus Construction and Industrial,
and their support is gratefully acknowledged.

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Contents
Page No.
FOREWORD

iii

SUMMARY

vi

INTRODUCTION
1.1
Robustness, Integrity, Disproportionate collapse, and Tying
1.2
The Building Regulations Part A and Approved Document A
1.3
BS 5950
1.4
Eurocode 1
1.5
Disproportionate collapse

1
1
1
2
2
2

CLASSIFICATION OF BUILDINGS
2.1
Introduction

4
4

CLASS 1 BUILDINGS
3.1
The requirements for Class 1 buildings
3.2
How BS 5950-1:2000 applies to Class 1 buildings
3.3
Practical solutions for Class 1 buildings

11
11
11
12

CLASS 2A BUILDINGS
4.1
The requirements for Class 2A buildings
4.2
How BS 5950-1:2000 applies to Class 2A buildings
4.3
Practical solutions for Class 2A buildings

13
13
13
13

CLASS 2B BUILDINGS
5.1
The requirements for Class 2B buildings
5.2
How BS 5950-1:2000 applies to Class 2B buildings
5.3
Practical solutions for Class 2B buildings

15
15
17
26

CLASS 3 BUILDINGS
6.1
The requirements for Class 3 buildings
6.2
Risk Assessment
6.3
Critical Situations for Design
6.4
Hazards
6.5
Risk Reduction Measures
6.6
Sources of further guidance
6.7
Unclassified Buildings

27
27
27
28
28
29
30
31

REFERENCES

32

APPENDIX
A.1
A.2
A.3

A WORKED EXAMPLE
Introduction
Member sizes
Disproportionate collapse checks using fin plate
beam-to-column connections
A.4
Disproportionate collapse checks using flexible end plate
beam-to-column connections

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SUMMARY
This publication provides guidance on designing hot-rolled steel framed buildings to avoid
disproportionate collapse. Consideration of disproportionate collapse is required for all
buildings in order to satisfy Requirement A3 of Part A of the Building Regulations.
Guidance for each of the four classes of building specified in Approved Document A
(2004 edition) is provided. The guidance includes explanation of the requirements,
advice on which Clauses of BS 5950-1:2000 are applicable to each building type, and
practical guidance concerning tying of the structural frame to provide robustness.
A worked example of the calculations for a Class 2B building is also included.

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Building Classification

Table 2.1
Class

Building type and occupancy

Houses not exceeding 4 storeys.


Agricultural buildings
Buildings into which people rarely go, provided no part of the building is
closer to another building, or area where people do go, than a distance of
1.5 times the building height

2A

5 storey single occupancy houses


Hotels not exceeding 4 storeys
Flats, apartments and other residential buildings not exceeding 4 storeys
Offices not exceeding 4 storeys
Industrial buildings not exceeding 3 storeys
Retailing premises not exceeding 3 storeys of less than 2000 m2 floor
area in each storey
Single storey educational buildings
All buildings not exceeding 2 storeys to which members of the public are
admitted and which contain floor areas not exceeding 2000 m2 at each
storey

2B

Hotels, flats, apartments and other residential buildings greater than 4


storeys but not exceeding 15 storeys
Educational buildings greater than 1 storey but not exceeding 15 storeys
Retailing premises greater than 3 storeys but not exceeding 15 storeys
Hospitals not exceeding 3 storeys
Offices greater than 4 storeys but not exceeding 15 storeys
All buildings to which members of the public are admitted which contain
floor areas exceeding 2000 m2 but less than 5000 m2 at each storey
Car parking not exceeding 6 storeys

All buildings defined above as Class 2A and 2B that exceed the limits on
area and/or number of storeys
Grandstands accommodating more than 5000 spectators
Buildings containing hazardous substances and/or processes

Note 1: For buildings intended for more than one type of use the Class should be that
pertaining to the most onerous type.
Note 2: In determining the number of storeys in a building, basement storeys may be
excluded provided such basement storeys fulfil the robustness requirements of Class
2B buildings.

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BUILDING TYPE

BUILDING CLASS

Agricultural

Class 1
Class 1
Is building height times
Yes
1.5 less than the distance
to another building or area
No
where people go?

Building where
people rarely go

Yes

Class 2A

Is building multi
occupancy?

Is building less than or


equal to 4 storeys?

Residential

No

Is building 5 storey single


occupancy housing?

No

Class 1

Yes

Class 2A

Yes
No

Yes
Is building less than or
equal to 4 storeys?

Hotel or Office

Is building less than or


equal to 3 storeys?

No

Is building less than or


equal to 15 storeys?

Retail

Class 2B
No

Yes

Class 3
Class 2A
Class 3

Yes

Class 2A

Yes

No
Is building less than or
equal to 15 storeys?

Is building single storey?

Is building less than or


equal to 6 storeys?

Car park

Class 2A

Yes
Is building less than or
equal to 15 storeys?

Class 3
No

Yes
Is building less than or
equal to 3 storeys?

Class 2B

Class 2B
No

Hospital

Does building have less Yes


than 2000 m2 floor area in
each storey?
No

Class 3
No

Yes
Educational

Class 3

Yes

No

Is building less than or


equal to 3 storeys and
less than 2000 m2 floor
area in each storey?

Class 2B

Class 2A
No

Industrial

Yes
Is building less than or
equal to 15 storeys?

Class 2B

No

Class 3

Yes

Class 2B

No

Class 3
Class 2A

Is building less than or


equal to 2 storeys and
less than 2000 m2 floor
area in each storey?

Public

Yes
Class 2B
No

Is capacity less than or


equal to 5000 spectators?

Grandstand

Is floor area less than


5000 m2 in each storey?

Yes
Class 3
No

Yes

Class 2B

No

Class 3
Class 3

Building containing
hazardous
substance and/or
processes

Note 1: For buildings intended for more than one type of use the Class should be that pertaining to the
most onerous type.
Note 2: In determining the number of storeys in a building, basement storeys may be excluded provided
such basement storeys fulfil the robustness requirements for Class 2B buildings.

Figure 2.1

Flowchart for building classification

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The following Sections provide further guidance on building classification for


some specific situations. The NHBC has also produced some guidance[8] on
building classification, which is available from their website, www.nhbc.co.uk.

2.1.2

Mezzanine floors

Each situation needs to be judged on its own merits. As an approximate guide a


mezzanine floor should only be considered as a storey if it is greater than 20%
of the building footprint. Guidance on the design of mezzanine floors for lateral
stability is provided in Advisory Desk note AD267[9].

2.1.3

Habitable roof spaces

Habitable areas of roof space should be included as a storey irrespective of the


slope of the roof.

2.1.4

Buildings with a varying number of storeys

For buildings with varying numbers of storeys that fall into more than one class,
the robustness measures for the more onerous class may need to continue until a
structural discontinuity (such as a movement joint) is reached. However, each
case should be considered on its merits, even where the only areas of more
onerous class are common parts such as stairwells.
Example
Figure 2.2 shows a block of flats partly of 4 storeys and partly of 5 storeys.
Class 2B robustness measures should be applied to the 5-storey areas and
extending to a suitable structural discontinuity in the 4-storey area and Class 2A
robustness measures may be applied to the remaining 4-storey area.
2A

2B

Movement
joint
Flats

Figure 2.2

2.1.5

Flats

Classification of 4 and 5 storey flats

Mixed use buildings

For buildings intended for more than one type of use the class should be that
pertaining to the most onerous type. Where different occupancies are in
horizontally adjacent parts of the same building, the same approach to
robustness measures may be adopted as described in Section 2.1.4 for buildings
with varying numbers of storeys,. i.e. the robustness measures for the more
onerous class may need to continue horizontally until a structural discontinuity
(such as a movement joint) is reached. Each case should be considered on its
merits.

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The following series of examples illustrate the classification of mixed use


buildings.
Examples
2 storeys of flats over 1 storey of retailing premises (as shown in Figure 2.3)
should be considered as 3 storeys of retailing premises. Therefore, apply Class
2A robustness measures to the whole building, or apply Class 2B robustness
measures to the whole building if floor area of retailing premises is 2000m or
more.

2A, or 2B if retail
premises>2,000 m

Flats
Shop

Figure 2.3

Classification of 2 storey flats over 1 storey retail

2 storeys of flats over 2 storeys of retailing premises (as shown in Figure 2.4)
should be taken as 4 storeys of retailing premises. Therefore, apply Class 2B
robustness measures to the whole building.

Flats
Shop

2B

Shop

Figure 2.4

Classification of 2 storey flats over 2 storey retail

Figure 2.5 shows 4 storeys of flats adjacent to 5 storeys of offices. Class 2B


robustness measures should be applied to the 5-storey office area and extending
to a suitable structural discontinuity in the 4-storey residential area and Class 2A
robustness measures should be applied to the remaining 4-storey residential
area.
2A

2B

Movement
joint
Flats

Figure 2.5

Offices

Classification of 4 storey flats attached to 5 storey offices

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2.1.6

Buildings with basements

To qualify as a basement storey for the purpose of building classification, the


distance between external ground level and the top surface of the basement floor
should be at least 1.2 m for a minimum of 50% of the plan area of the building.
The minimum robustness measures required to the part of the building above the
basement depend on the total number of storeys and the robustness measures
applied to the basement storey.
In determining the number of storeys for classification, basement storeys may
be excluded if such basement storeys fulfil the robustness requirements of Class
2B buildings.
The basement can be for habitable accommodation or parking. The following
examples illustrate the appropriate robustness measures to be applied.
Examples
Figure 2.6 shows examples of single occupancy houses over basements and the
classes of robustness measures to be applied.

2A

1 or
2A

2B
3 storey over
basement

Figure 2.6

2B

2B
4 storey over
basement

5 storey over
basement

6 storey over
basement

Classification of single occupancy houses over basements

Figure 2.7 shows examples of flats above basements and the classes of
robustness measure to be applied.

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2B

2A
2A

Flats

2B

Flats

Flats

Flats

5 storey over
basement

15 storey over
basement

16 storey over
basement

Flats

2B
3 storey over
basement

Figure 2.7

4 storey over
basement

Classification of flats over basements

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CLASS 1 BUILDINGS

3.1

The requirements for Class 1 buildings

Class 1 buildings are low consequence buildings such as small residential


properties, agricultural buildings and buildings where people rarely go.
Therefore, the robustness requirements for Class 1 buildings are modest.
Approved Document A states in Clause 5.1.b:
For Class 1 buildings - Provided the building has been designed and
constructed in accordance with the rules given in this Approved
Document, or other guidance referenced under Section 1, for meeting
compliance with requirement A1 and A2 in normal use, no additional
measures are likely to be necessary.
This requirement means that provided the structural steel frame of the building
has been designed to BS 5950-1[3] then this is sufficient and no further action to
avoid disproportionate collapse is required.
However, the guidance of
Approved Document A includes the words no additional measures are likely
to be necessary.
This is a reminder that, in designing to avoid
disproportionate collapse, it is important to consider each individual structure
using engineering judgement together with BS 5950 and Approved Document A
rather than simply assume that no potential collapse scenarios need to be
considered.

3.2

How BS 5950-1:2000 applies to Class 1


buildings

BS 5950-1 states that Clause 2.4.5.2 Tying of buildings should be applied to all
buildings (which includes Class 1) and recommends that:

Columns should be tied in two directions, approximately at right angles, at


each principal floor level

All ties (along the edges of the building and along each column line) and
their end connections should be capable of resisting a factored tensile load
of at least 75 kN

Horizontal ties should also be provided at roof level, except where


steelwork only supports cladding that weighs not more than 0.7 kN/m2 and
that carries only imposed roof loads and wind loads.

Figure 3.1 shows which members need to be designed as ties under


Clause 2.4.5.2 of BS 5950-1. In practice, the required tying capacity of 75 kN
is achieved by any reasonable member and connection, see Section 3.3.

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Beams between columns


are ties

Secondary beams
are not ties

Figure 3.1

3.3

Ties required in Class 1 buildings

Practical solutions for Class 1 buildings

As stated in BS 5950 members that are required to be horizontal ties, as defined


in Section 3.2, should have a tension capacity of at least 75 kN. This is easily
satisfied for any hot-rolled section with a cross-section area of 3 cm2 or higher.
The end connections of horizontal ties should also have tension capacities of at
least 75 kN. All the standard connections for simply supported beams given in
SCI publication P212[10] can carry at least 75 kN in tension.
Bolt capacities for M16 and M20 8.8 bolts in S275 steel are shown in
Table 3.1. All reasonable connections will have at least two bolts (and usually
more), which will provide the necessary connection capacity.
Table 3.1

Bolt capacities for grade 8.8 bolts in S275 steel

Bolt Diameter

Nominal tension
capacity

Shear capacity

Bearing capacity
(8 mm plate)

M16

70 kN

58.9 kN

58.9 kN

M20

110 kN

91.9 kN

73.6 kN

Note: Tabulated capacities are calculated in accordance with BS 5950-1:2000,


Clause6.3

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CLASS 2A BUILDINGS

4.1

The requirements for Class 2A buildings

Class 2A buildings are medium consequence buildings such as low rise flats,
offices, hotels, industrial buildings and relatively small public buildings. The
robustness requirements for Class 2A buildings are given in Approved
Document A, Clause 5.1.c as:
For Class 2A buildings - Provide effective horizontal ties, or effective
anchorage of suspended floors to walls, as described in the Codes and
Standards listed under paragraph 5.2 for framed and load-bearing wall
construction.
The guidance in Approved Document A for Class 2A buildings does not
mention notional removal of members if effective horizontal ties are not
provided. This is in contrast to the requirements for Class 2B buildings, see
Section 5.1. If effective horizontal ties or anchorage of floors to walls can not
be provided (for whatever reason) then an acceptable approach may be to reclassify the building as Class 2B and use the notional removal of members
approach (see Section 5.2).

4.2

How BS 5950-1:2000 applies to Class 2A


buildings

BS 5950-1, Clause 2.4.5.2, which applies to all buildings, requires horizontal


ties to have a minimum capacity of 75 kN as explained in Section 3.2. For
steel framed buildings designed to BS 5950-1 there is no difference between the
robustness provisions for Class 1 and Class 2A buildings.
The tying requirements of BS 5950-1 for Class 1 and Class 2A buildings are
thus the same, as were the requirements for buildings with less than or equal to
four storeys under the 1991 Building Regulations.

4.3

Practical solutions for Class 2A buildings

As explained in Section 3.3, ordinary beam connections are easily able to meet
the requirement for tying.

4.3.1

Floor systems

Although there are no requirements in the Building Regulations or in BS 5950-1


to tie the floor system (such as precast units or steel deck with in-situ concrete)
to the structural frame in Class 2A buildings, there are obvious benefits in terms
of structural robustness, practicality, safety during construction and mobilising
floor diaphragm action.
Fixing of decking
Decking sheets should be fixed to the top of the supporting structure. All
fixings (e.g. shot-fired pins) should be made through the troughs in the decking.
Fixings should be at approximately 300 mm centres (or in every trough) along
the end supports and at 600 mm centres (or in alternate troughs) along the
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internal supports. As an absolute minimum, each sheet should be connected at


least twice to each permanent support.
The fixings, together with welded shear studs (if present), normally provide
lateral restraint to the beams during the construction stages.
Further advice on fixing of decking and types of fixing is provided in SCI
publication P300[11].
Fixing of precast units
Detailed guidance for fixing and tying of precast units is provided in Section
5.2.5. Further guidance regarding precast units is given in SCI publication
P287[12].

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CLASS 2B BUILDINGS

5.1

The requirements for Class 2B buildings

Class 2B buildings are high consequence buildings and as such the robustness
requirements are significantly more stringent than those for Class 2A buildings.
Typical Class 2B buildings include residential, office and retail buildings
between four and fifteen storeys, hospitals less than four storeys and car parks
less than seven storeys. The robustness requirements for Class 2B buildings are
given in Approved Document A, Clause 5.1.d. However, the typographical
presentation in Approved Document A is misleading as it gives the impression
that horizontal ties are invariably required. The ODPM intend to reprint the
Approved Document to clarify the intention. The following is the text as it is
expected to be reprinted.
For Class 2B buildings:
a) Provide effective horizontal ties, as described in the Codes and
Standards listed under paragraph 5.2 for framed and load-bearing
wall construction, together with effective vertical ties, as defined in
the Codes and Standards listed under paragraph 5.2, in all
supporting columns and walls,
or alternatively
b) Check that upon the notional removal of each supporting column and
each beam supporting one or more columns, or any nominal length
of load-bearing wall (one at a time in each storey of the building)
that the building remains stable and that the area of floor at any
storey at risk of collapse does not exceed 15% of the floor area of
that storey or 70 m2, whichever is smaller, and does not extend
further than the immediate adjacent storeys (see Diagram 25).
Where the notional removal of such columns (or beams supporting one
or more columns) and lengths of walls would result in an extent of
damage in excess of the above limit, then such elements should be
designed as a "key element" as defined in paragraph 5.3 below.
Note: The requirements for Class 2B buildings are very similar to the
requirements for buildings over four storeys given in the 1992 Edition
of Approved Document A.
The principle of providing horizontal ties notionally allows for the removal of
the support provided by a column and the remaining beam members to support
the loads by forming catenaries, as shown in Figure 5.1. The robustness rules
are not meant to fully describe systems of structural mechanics but are
considered as prescriptive rules intended to produce structures that perform
adequately in accidental circumstances.

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Column removed

Figure 5.1

Concept of horizontal ties

In summary, Class 2B buildings either require a) horizontal and vertical ties, or


b) a check can be carried out to ensure that the removal of any single
supporting member will not cause an unreasonable area of the structure to fall
down i.e. will not cause disproportionate collapse. The rest of the building is
only required to remain stable and not necessarily serviceable for use. If the
removal of any supporting member would cause disproportionate collapse then it
should be designed as a key element. The limiting area for disproportionate
collapse is shown in Diagram 25 of Approved Document A (reproduced here as
Figure 5.2). The limit of 70 m2 given in Approved Document A can be quite
limiting with regard to many practical span arrangements in steel structures.
The recommended limit given in prEN 1991-1-7[5] is more generous at 200 m2.
The scope of this publication only covers hot-rolled steel-framed buildings;
therefore, the requirements concerning load-bearing walls are not discussed
here.
Area at risk of collapse
limited to 15% of the
floor area of that storey
or 70 m, whichever is
the less, and does not
extend further than the
immediate adjacent
storeys.

Column
notionally
removed

Plan

Section

Note:
Three storeys may be affected by the notional removal of one column section but no more than
two floors.

Figure 5.2

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Maximum allowable area at risk of collapse (reproduced


from Approved Document A, Diagram 25)

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5.2

How BS 5950-1:2000 applies to Class 2B


buildings

All buildings now need to be designed to avoid disproportionate collapse.


However, Class 2B buildings can be considered to be specially designed to
avoid disproportionate collapse and therefore Clause 2.4.5.3 of BS 5950-1[3] is
applicable, as is Clause 2.4.5.4 for the design of key elements, if required. The
requirements of Clause 2.4.5.3 and its sub-clauses a) to e) are described in the
following Sections. As explained in Section 1.3, BS 5950-1 is being amended
and reworded to clarify which clauses are applicable in conformance with the
new regulations.
In BS 5950-1, there are three possible routes that can be adopted for designing
to avoid disproportionate collapse:

Provision of tying

Notional removal

Key element design.

BS 5950-1, Clause 2.4.5.3 states that if any of the first three sub-clauses a) to
c) are not met then, the building should be checked, each storey in turn, to
ensure that disproportionate collapse would not be precipitated by the notional
removal, one at a time, of each column (or beam supporting one or more
columns). The guidance for Class 2B buildings in light of the 2004 edition of
Approved Document A may be re-expressed as:
1) If any of the sub-clauses a), b) or c) are not met, then each storey in turn
should be checked to ensure that disproportionate collapse would not be
precipitated by the notional removal, one at a time, of each column (or
transfer beam).
2) If sub-clause d) is not met then, each storey in turn should be checked to
ensure that disproportionate collapse would not be precipitated by the
notional removal, one at a time, of each element of the systems providing
resistance to horizontal forces.
3) If heavy floor or roof units are used, sub-clause e) should be satisfied.
Clause 2.4.5.3 of BS 5950-1 further states
If the notional removal of a column, or of an element of a system
providing resistance to horizontal forces, would risk the collapse of a
greater area [than 15% of the floor area or 70 m2], that column or
element should be designed as a key element, as recommended in
Clause 2.4.5.4.
The design process for considering the notional removal of elements is
described in Section 5.2.6.
The requirements of BS 5950-1 for Class 2B buildings are essentially the same
as the requirements were for buildings with greater than four storeys under the
1991 Building Regulations.
Appendix A presents a fully worked example for the tying checks and design to
avoid disproportionate collapse for a Class 2B building.

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5.2.1

General Tying

Clause 2.4.5.3 a) General tying, describes which horizontal members should be


designed as ties and the tensile loads that the ties and their end connections
should be capable of resisting. General tying is notionally intended to enable
beams to bridge damaged areas of structure by hanging as catenaries (as shown
in Figure 5.1). Examination of the equations in Clause 2.4.5.3 shows that the
tying force is generally equal to the shear reaction, but is not less than 75 kN.
Figure 5.3 indicates which members need to be considered as ties under
Clause 2.4.5.3 a).
In the next revision to BS 5950-1 it is likely that there will be a reduction factor
that may be applied to the required tying capacities of horizontal ties and their
connections. Table 5.1 shows the values proposed at the time of writing for the
reduction factor n. The proposed tying capacity requirements are:
- for internal ties: 0.5(1.4 gk + 1.6 qk) st L n

but not less than 75 kN

- for edge ties: 0.25(1.4 gk + 1.6 qk) st L n

but not less than 75 kN

Where
gk

is the specified dead load per unit area of the floor or roof

is the span

qk

is the specified imposed floor or roof load per unit area

st

is the mean transverse spacing of the ties adjacent to that being


checked

is a factor related to the number of storeys in the structure see


Table 5.1.

Table 5.1

Proposed reduction factors for required tie capacities

Number of storeys in building

Reduction factor, n

5 or more

1.0

0.75

0.50

0.25

Note: In determining the number of storeys in a building, basement storeys may be


excluded provided such basement storeys fulfil the robustness requirements of Class
2B buildings.

The use of a reduction factor recognises that for lower rise buildings there are
fewer floors potentially available to collapse onto the structure below.
In Class 1 and Class 2A buildings, only the beams along the column lines need
to be designed for general tying. For Class 2B buildings, the members which
may be ties when designing to avoid disproportionate collapse are shown in
Figure 5.3. The beams not on the column lines (e.g. A to B) do not have to be
designed as ties provide that the beams on the column lines are designed for the
additional share of tying force.

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B
All beams may be ties

Members which may be ties in Class 2B buildings

Figure 5.3

Frequently, ties may be discontinuous, or have no anchor at the end distant to


the column. Two examples are shown in Figure 5.3, where at points A and B,
there is no reaction to the tie force assumed in the beam. The connection is
simply designed for the applied tie force. This situation is also common at
external columns, where only the local design of the connection is considered.
The column itself is not designed to resist the tying force.

5.2.2

Edge columns

Tying to edge columns is required to ensure that the edge columns cannot
become separated from the building. Clause 2.4.5.3 b) Tying of edge columns,
states that ties connected to edge columns should be capable of resisting the
larger of the following forces:

The design loads for general tying specified in Clause 2.4.5.3 a)

1% of the factored vertical dead and imposed load in the column at that
level.

By observation, 1% of the factored load in the column only becomes the more
critical load if there are a great many storeys (100 storeys if all floors are
identical, and this would then be a Class 3 building). Columns carrying transfer
trusses or similar massive loads may have high axial loads, and 1% of the
factored axial load should always be considered in such cases.
For any member also acting as a restraint to a column, a force of 1% of the
column load needs to be resisted by the restraint members in each restraint
direction, in accordance with Clause 4.7.1.2 of BS 5950-1.

5.2.3

Vertical tying

Vertical tying is provided by the tension capacity of column splices as required


by Clause 2.4.5.3 c) Continuity of columns. This clause requires that all
column splices should be capable of resisting an axial tension equal to the
largest factored vertical dead and imposed load reaction applied to the column at
a single floor level located between that column splice and the next column
splice down (or to the base). When applying this clause it is the largest total
reaction applied to the column at a floor level that should be used (i.e. the
reactions from all the beams connected to the column at that floor level).
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The intention of providing vertical ties in addition to horizontal ties is to share


the floor loads among all the floors, recognising that some floors are not as
heavily loaded as others. This provides an additional level of robustness that
will assist the remaining structure support the loads after an accidental event, as
shown by Figure 5.4. If the column splice in Figure 5.4 did not have sufficient
tying capacity, the displacement of beams A and B would be significantly
greater and the beams could potentially collapse.

Splice
A

Column removed

Figure 5.4

Concept of horizontal and vertical ties

In practice, providing vertical tying should not be an onerous obligation, as


most splices designed for adequate stiffness and robustness during erection are
likely to be sufficient to carry the axial tying force. SCI publication P212[10] has
details of standard splices, and quotes axial tension capacities to simplify the
design checks. Either bearing or non-bearing column splices (as shown in
Figure 5.5) can be used to satisfy the vertical tying requirements. Non-bearing
splices will generally have higher tension capacities because they require thicker
cover plates and more bolts for normal design.

Division
plate

Air gap

Bearing

Figure 5.5

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Table 5.2 gives indicative tensile axial capacities for standard bearing-type
column splices with cover plates.
Typical bearing type column splice tensile capacities (with
flange cover plates)

Table 5.2
Upper Column

Lower Column

203 UC

203 UC

Tensile Capacity (kN)

254 UC

254 UC

736

305 UC

305 UC

1588

203 UC

254 UC

500

736

The capacities quoted in Table 5.2 are limited by bolt shear, and adding
additional bolts can easily increase capacities. Detailed design checks for
bearing and non-bearing column splices are provided in SCI publication P212[10].
Note: It is likely to be more difficult to provide the necessary tensile capacities
with cap and base type column splices.

5.2.4

Bracing systems

Clause 2.4.5.3 d) Resistance to horizontal forces requires at least two sets of


bracing (or other system for resisting horizontal force) in each orthogonal
direction. No substantial part of the structure can be braced by only one set of
bracing in the direction being considered. Thus, for buildings designed to avoid
disproportionate collapse, the bracing arrangement in Figure 5.6 would not be
satisfactory.
3 sets of bracing in Y direction
1 set of bracing in X direction
Y
X

Unsatisfactory bracing arrangement for Class 2B buildings

Figure 5.6

BS 5950-1 allows moment resisting joints, cantilever columns, shear walls and
stair and lift cores, as well as triangulated bracing, to be used as systems for
resisting horizontal force.

5.2.5

Floor units

Clause 2.4.5.3 e) Heavy floor units requires that precast concrete or other heavy
floor or roof units are effectively anchored in the direction of their span, either
to each other over a support, or directly to their supports as, recommended in
BS 8110. The tying forces between floor units may be calculated from
BS 8110-1:1997 [13] Clause 3.12.3.4.
The intention of this clause is to prevent floor units simply falling through the
steel frame if the steelwork is moved or removed, or the floor units are uplifted
as a result of accidental loading (e.g. explosion).
BS 5950-1 only requires anchorages in the direction of the span of the precast
units, as the steel beams provide ties in the orthogonal direction.

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Tying of the floor units to the beams may be necessary for purposes other than
reducing sensitivity to disproportionate collapse, such as to mobilise floor
diaphragm action against wind loading. Further guidance on the use and design
of precast units is provided in SCI publication P287[12].
Tying across internal supports
If the precast units have a structural topping, it may be possible to use the
reinforcement in the topping to carry the tie forces, as shown in Figure 5.7 a),
or to provide additional reinforcing bars. Alternatively, it may be possible to
expose the voids in the pre-cast planks and place reinforcing bars between the
two units prior to concreting, as shown in Figure 5.7 b).
Reinforcement in topping

a) With structural topping

Figure 5.7

Reinforcement in core
with concrete infill

b) Without structural topping

Tying precast units

Special measures will be needed where precast planks are placed on shelf
angles, as shown in Figure 5.8, and with Slimflor construction, unless the tie
forces can be carried through the reinforcement in topping, above the top flange
of the steelwork. When it is not possible to use reinforcement in the topping,
straight reinforcement bars tying the precast units together are usually detailed
to pass through holes in the steel beam web.

Reinforcing
bar

Figure 5.8

Precast units on shelf angles

Tying to edge beams


Anchorage is best accomplished by exposing the voids in the plank, and placing
U-shaped bars around studs welded to the steelwork, as shown in Figure 5.9(a).
In this Figure, the studs have been provided in order to achieve adequate
anchorage (not for composite design of the edge beam in this case). Other,
more complicated solutions involve castellation of the plank edge (often on site),
so that the plank fits around the stud, and similar U-bars located in the voids
prior to concreting (Figure 5.9(b)).

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U-bar

U-bar
Plank castellated
around shear studs

Minimum flange
width = 230 mm

(a)

Minimum flange
width = 120 mm

(b)

Tying of precast planks to edge beams

Figure 5.9

It should be noted that loading a beam on only one side produces significant
torsion in the beam itself, which may well be the critical design case. The
eccentricity must be accounted for in design of the member and its connections.
In some circumstances, the floor units cantilever past the edge beam. Tying in
these situations is not straightforward, and a solution should be developed in
collaboration with the frame supplier and floor unit manufacturer.

5.2.6

Notional removal of members

The notional removal of members or elements is required if BS 5950-1[3] Clause


2.4.5.3 b), c) or d) are not satisfied, as described in Section 5.2.
It is recognised that in the event of an incident, it is unlikely that the structure
will be subjected to its full design load. Therefore, the load cases below should
be used when checking for the consequences of notional removal of members.
Design load when not considering overturning:
= 1.05 (1.0 Dead load + 0.33 Imposed Load + 0.33 Wind Load)
Design load for overturning (Dead load is assumed to be supplying a restoring
moment):
= 0.90 Dead load + 1.05 (0.33 Imposed Load + 0.33 Wind Load)
Note: If the building being considered is used predominately for storage, or
the imposed load is of a permanent nature, the full imposed load should
be used.
If the notional removal of any element would result in the collapse of an area
greater than 70 m2 or 15% of that floor (or roof) area, that element should be
designed as a key element, as recommended in Clause 2.4.5.4.
Notional removal of columns
To determine the consequences of the notional removal of a column, the beams
supported by the removed column (and their end connections) may be checked
in catenary action. Additional support provided by the column section above
the section which is notionally removed (see Figure 5.4), may be taken into
account. However, in determining the magnitude of this support, the designer
should consider the strength of the members connections and the resistance of
the structure supporting that member. In most cases the notional removal of a
column section will cause the supported beams to collapse. In this situation the
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floors below should be checked for the debris loading from the collapsed floors.
It is not necessary to consider the impact loading of the debris. The load
combinations given above may be used with the dead load component modified
to include the debris.
Notional removal of elements of the system for resisting horizontal
forces
If the notional removal of any element of the system for resisting horizontal
forces causes that system to fail (e.g. because a mechanism forms), then that
part of the building stabilised solely by the system should be considered to have
collapsed. In most cases this is likely to constitute disproportionate collapse.
Providing redundancy in the bracing (e.g. cross-bracing in which both members
can resist forces in compression) may be used to increase the robustness of the
system. Also note that at least two bracing systems are required, see
Section 5.2.4.
If a system for resisting horizontal forces is moment resisting connections (i.e.
frame action), then each element of the frame with a moment resisting joint is
part of that system and should be notionally removed, one at a time.
If the system for resisting horizontal forces is a concrete core, then each storey
high segment of wall forming part of the core should be considered as an
element of that system and notionally removed, one at a time. The length of
load-bearing wall to be considered as one element, is defined in Approved
Document A, as 2.25 times the storey height or the length between lateral
supports (e.g. returns), whichever is greater.
If the system for resisting horizontal forces is triangulated bracing (as shown in
Figure 5.10), then each element of the bracing system should be notionally
removed, one at a time. This includes the beam and column members forming
part of the bracing truss.

Figure 5.10 Triangulated bracing elements

5.2.7

Key elements

Approved Document A states in Clause 5.3 that a key element:


Should be capable of sustaining an accidental design loading of 34
kN/m2 applied in the horizontal and vertical directions (in one direction
at a time) to the member and any attached components (e.g. cladding

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etc.) having regard to the ultimate strength of such components and their
connections. Such accidental design loading should be assumed to act
simultaneously with 1/3 of all normal characteristic loading (i.e. wind
and imposed loading).
From this requirement and from BS 5950-1 it can be determined that the design
load for a key element is:
= 1.0 Accidental load + 1.05 (1.0 Dead load + 0.33 Imposed
Load + 0.33 Wind Load)
For the value of accidental loading to be applied, BS 5950-1 refers to
BS 6399-1[14], where the accidental loading is also given as 34 kN/m2.
BS 5950-1 recommends that any other structural component that provides
lateral restraint vital to the stability of a key element should also be designed
as a key element. The design of a key element is demonstrated in the worked
example in Appendix A.
When considering the accidental loading on a large area (e.g. on a floor slab
supported by a transfer beam), it is reasonable to limit the area that is subjected
to the 34 kN/m2 load because a blast pressure is unlikely to be this high on all
the surfaces of a large enclosed space. The maximum area is not defined in the
code or in Approved Document A, but could be inferred from the length of
load-bearing wall to be considered (Approved Document A, Section 5.3), which
is 2.25 times the storey height, say 2.25 2.9 = 6.5 m. Therefore, a
maximum area that would be subjected to the 34 kN/m2 could be a 6.5 6.5 m
square.
For the design of a key element, it is necessary to consider what components,
or proportion of components, will remain attached to the element in the event of
an incident. The application of engineering judgement will play a major part in
this process. For framed construction the walls and cladding will normally be
non-structural. Therefore, it is likely that the majority of these will become
detached from the key element during an incident, as shown in Figure 5.11.
For the column member key element shown in Figure 5.11, an accidental load
of 34 kN/m2 should be applied over a width of B for accidental loading about
the major axis. The column section should be checked for the combination of
moments and axial load using the design load case given above. The accidental
loading about the minor axis over a width of D (in this case) also needs to be
considered. The accidental loading should only be considered as acting in one
direction at a time and there is no requirement to consider a diagonal loading
case i.e. at angle to the major and minor axes.
B

Part of component
that remains attached
to key element
after an incident

Key element

Part of component
that is detached
from key element
during an incident

Plan view

Figure 5.11 Component attached to a key element (column)

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Determining the width B is very subjective. An estimation of what will


remain attached to the key element (during a loading of 34 kN/m2) will
obviously depend on what is attached and how it is fixed to the element.
If BS 5950-1 Clause 2.4.5.3 is satisfied either by the provision of tying or by
notional removal, no members of the building need to be designed as key
elements.

5.3

Practical solutions for Class 2B buildings

5.3.1

Connections

In most situations, horizontal ties will require end connections that have tying
capacities similar to their shear load. Table 5.3 gives approximate tying
capacities for commonly used nominally pinned connections. Exact tying
capacities for these connections can be obtained from P212[10].
Table 5.3

Typical simple connection tying capacities

Connection type

Tying capacity
(as a percentage of its shear capacity)

Fin Plate

100 210 %

Double Angle Cleat

60 230 %

Flexible End Plate

40 140 % (see note*)

*Note:

Percentages given are for connections with end plates of 10 mm and 12 mm thick.
Standard end plates are 8 mm or 10 mm, but to improve tying capacities end plates of
10 mm or 12 mm may be used. These can still be considered as simple connections
(i.e. nominal pins) for the analysis and design.

When the tying capacities of the connections given in Table 5.3 are used in
combination with the tying reduction factors given in Table 5.1, it can be seen
that all standard fin plate and angle cleat connections will be sufficient for
buildings up to three storeys.
Tying capacities do not need to be provided entirely by the steel frame. For
example, in composite construction a certain amount of the required horizontal
tying can be provided by the concrete slab reinforcement, provided that it is
designed and detailed for this purpose. SCI publication P213[15] provides
guidance on utilising slab reinforcement in the connection design.

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CLASS 3 BUILDINGS

6.1

The requirements for Class 3 buildings

Class 3 buildings are very high consequence buildings such as grandstands


(with capacity for over 5000 spectators), buildings greater than 15 storeys,
hospitals over three storeys and buildings containing hazardous substances
and/or processes. The requirements for Class 3 buildings given in Approved
Document A, Clause 5.1.e are different in nature to those for the other classes
of building (see below).
For Class 3 buildings - A systematic risk assessment of the building
should be undertaken taking into account all the normal hazards that
may reasonably be foreseen, together with any abnormal hazards.
Critical situations for design should be selected that reflect the
conditions that can reasonably be foreseen as possible during the life of
the building. The structural form and concept and any protective
measures should then be chosen and the detailed design of the structure
and its elements undertaken in accordance with the recommendations
given in the Codes and Standards given in paragraph 5.2.
Despite stating the need for a risk assessment and the selection of critical
situations for design, this guidance is vague and provides the designer with little
assistance on what is actually required or how to proceed. The following
Sections provide direction to the designer and sources of further information. It
is important that the degree of complexity of the risk assessment is appropriate
for the building being considered. When dealing with Class 3 buildings, the
designer needs to use applied common sense to ensure that there are no weak
links in the building which, if damaged, would result in substantial and
disproportionate damage.
The ODPM intend to produce specific guidance on dealing with Class 3
buildings. It is not known when this guidance is likely to be published.
Although not specifically stated in Approved Document A, all the provisions of
robustness that are recommended for Class 2B Buildings should also be applied
to Class 3 Buildings, unless there are specific reasons why they are not
appropriate.
It must be remembered that the objective is to design against disproportionate
collapse, not against collapse from any cause. If the event is sufficiently large
then a total collapse of the building may not be considered as disproportionate
(see reference 7 for further discussion).

6.2

Risk Assessment

The purpose of a risk assessment is to determine whether there are any


unacceptable risks and if so to suggest steps to mitigate the risks. The basic
steps required for a risk assessment are given below:

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1.

Identify hazards (see Section 6.4) to form the basis of a risk register.
This is an absolute minimum for Class 3 buildings, to demonstrate that
the possible hazards have at least been thought about by the designer.

2.

Determine or estimate the severity of the consequences of each hazard.

3.

Assess the likelihood of each hazard occurring.

4.

Estimate the risk of each hazard. The risk is usually expressed as a


function of the severity and the likelihood for each hazard.

5.

Evaluate which hazards have unacceptable levels of risk.

6.

Propose risk mitigation measures for any unacceptable risks.

The hierarchy of risk control is a) to prevent the hazard from occurring, b) to


reduce the probability of the hazard occurring, and c) to reduce the severity of
the consequences. Further guidance is provided in Section 6.5.

6.3

Critical situations for design

The guidance given in Approved Document A states that critical situations for
design should be considered. This consideration is partly covered by the
creation of a risk register (step 1, Section 6.2). However, having identified the
possible hazards, their possible effects on the building need to be addressed and
whether or not they are likely to cause disproportionate collapse.
The effect on the building of hazards will be difficult to judge accurately
because by their very nature they are unexpected actions. A possible solution to
this problem could be to consider the effect on the building of the notional
removal of a group of columns, provided that a hazard which could cause this
can be foreseen. For example, a building at the bottom of a railway
embankment could be hit by a derailed locomotive causing the removal of more
than one external column. If this damage caused disproportionate collapse to
part of the building, then action would need to be taken (see Section 6.5). It
could also be argued that a Class 3 Building should not be located where such
an incident is possible.
Determining whether collapse is disproportionate, is not a straightforward issue.
The only guidance which is given in Approved Document A is for the notional
removal of one column where damage not exceeding 70 m2 or 15% of the floor
area (whichever is less) is considered proportionate. Therefore, if a hazard
causes the removal of two columns, it seems reasonable to double this limit and
so forth for more columns up to the recommended 200 m2 limit from prEN
1991-1-7[5].

6.4

Hazards

Hazards are events that cause undesired affects i.e. harm to people, loss of life,
damage to property or environmental damage. However, Part A of the Building
Regulations is mainly concerned with the safety of people in and around
buildings. Hazards may be accidental or deliberate. Approved Document A
states that normal and abnormal hazards should be considered.
Reference 16 includes a list of possible hazards that may be considered, along
with proposals for designing to comply with the guidance in Approved
Document A.

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Abnormal hazards can be considered as hazards that are specific to certain


buildings, either because of their location (e.g. train impact, rock fall) or due to
their political, commercial or historical importance (e.g. terrorist attack).
Normal hazards can be considered as non building-specific hazards (e.g. gas
explosion, vehicle impact, design error). The categorisation of hazards as
normal or abnormal is largely immaterial, provided that all the reasonably
foreseeable hazards are considered.
In addition to the disproportionate collapse considerations, it may be a
requirement of certain buildings that they are designed to resist specific hazards
(e.g. earthquakes, terrorist explosions). Buildings constructed in seismic zones
should be designed to resist the affects of earthquakes using the appropriate
design code (e.g. Eurocode 8[17]). Comprehensive guidance for designing
buildings to resist terrorist explosions is given in SCI publication P244[18]. Any
hazard that has been specifically addressed outside the disproportionate collapse
requirements need not be reconsidered in the risk assessment required for Class
3 buildings. However, it should still be listed in the risk register.

6.5
6.5.1

Risk Reduction Measures


Preventing hazards

Totally preventing hazards from occurring is not possible for all types of
hazard. However, significantly reducing the consequences (see 6.5.3) or their
probability (see 6.5.2) is often achievable.
The overall building concept can have significant influence on the type and
magnitude of hazards that need to be addressed. This includes the building
location and proximity to specific hazards. For example, should a hospital be
located near a railway or chemical works? The building structural form must
also be considered. Large parts of the building should not be reliant on one or
two critical members, where possible loads should be distributed between many
members and alternative load paths should be present which could be utilised in
the event of an incident.
Some hazards can be avoided. Deliberate or accidental vehicular impact on the
building may be prevented by the installation of suitable external barriers.
Excluding explosive materials from a building will avoid the hazard of their
explosion.

6.5.2 Reducing the probability of hazards


The likelihood of hazards such as design or construction errors can be reduced
by improving procedures and applying additional precautions for critical
elements.
A simple but effective method of reducing the likelihood of terrorist attack is to
have security checks on people entering the building.

6.5.3 Reducing the consequences of hazards


There are many measures that can be adopted to reduce the consequences of
hazards. Providing increased levels robustness (e.g. providing reserves of
strength, alternative load paths, and resistance to degradation) is the most
obvious. Sub-dividing larger buildings with movement joints can be used to
restrict the spread of collapse. Sprinklers can be installed to control the spread

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of fire and venting panels can be installed to reduce the blast loading from
explosions. Traffic calming measures can be used to reduce the speed of
accidental vehicular impact.
Failure of beams supporting one or more columns and structure providing
lateral stability is likely to have particularly severe consequences and standard
tie forces may prove inadequate in this particular situation. It is recommended
that either element removal or key element design is used.

6.6

Sources of further guidance

The following references offer further guidance when a risk assessment for
Class 3 Buildings is necessary.
pr EN 1991-1-7[5]
This document contains a great deal of helpful information and guidance that
can be applied to Class 3 Buildings. Annex B provides guidance on risk
assessment methods, acceptance criteria and mitigation measures. Section 3
includes guidance on identifying accidental actions. Sections 4 (Impact) and 5
(Internal Explosions) provide guidance on the size of loads that accidental
actions might cause. This is likely to be a key source of guidance for engineers
designing Class 3 buildings.
SCI publication P244

[18]

This publication provides guidance on the protection of commercial buildings


and personnel from the effects of explosions caused by the detonation of high
explosives. It is aimed at engineers and architects who are involved in building
designs where this type of protection is required. Particularly useful topics that
are covered are; calculation of blast loads, structural design approach and nonstructural enhancements.
BS 7974: 2001

[19]

This code of practice provides a framework for developing a rational method for
designing buildings using fire safety engineering. However, there are several
aspects that could be applied more generally to Class 3 Buildings, particularly
the Qualitative Design Review (QDR).
ISO 2394:1998

[20]

This International Standard specifies general principles for the verification of the
reliability of structures subjected to known or foreseeable types of action.
Section 8 provides guidance on the principles of probability-based design and
Annex B provides examples of permanent, variable and accidental actions. The
information contained within this standard is similar to that contained in
EN1990 Eurocode: Basis of Structural Design[21].
A theory of structural vulnerability

[22]

This paper presents a theory of structural vulnerability based on structural form


and connectivity. The theory enables identification of weak links within a
structure and therefore determines elements or groups of elements that may
require special attention when considering structural robustness.

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Engineering Safety

[23]

This publication provides information on many issues relating to safety and risk.
Subjects of particular interest for dealing with Class 3 buildings are risk
assessments and acceptability of risk. Descriptions of how the theory may be
applied to different civil engineering projects are included.

6.7

Unclassified Buildings

Approved Document A suggests alternative approaches for buildings which


either,
(a) do not fall into any of the classifications of Table 11 (Table 2.1 of this
publication), or
(b) are buildings for which the consequences of collapse may warrant
particular examination of the risks involved.
For (a), the alternative approach suggested consists of following the guidance
given in two reports referenced in Approved Document A. The report titles are
given incorrectly in Approved Document A; they should be:

Guidance on Robustness and Provision against Accidental Actions, July


1999 [24]

Proposed Revised Guidance on meeting Compliance with the requirements


of Building Regulation A3: Revision of Allott and Lomax proposals.
Project report number 205966 [25]

Both of these reports (available from the ODPM website) provide methods for
determining the risk category of buildings. They may be used to classify
buildings which do not fall into the descriptions listed in Table 11 (Table 2.1 of
this publication). However, no risk assessment guidance or recommendations
for design are provided, which means their usefulness is limited.
For (b), it is recommended that buildings should be considered as Class 3
buildings and the guidance given in Section 6 of this publication should be
followed.

26

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REFERENCES

1.

Building Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/2531)


As amended by:
The Building (Amendment) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/3335),
The Building (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/440)
The Building (Amendment)(No. 2) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2871)
The Building (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/2692)
The Building (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/1465))
The Stationery Office

2.

Building Regulations 2000 Approved Document A (2004 Edition)


Structure
Approved Document A Amendments 2004
The Stationery Office

3.

BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTION


BS 5950 Structural use of steelwork in building
BS 5950-1:2000 Code of practice for design Rolled and welded
sections

4.

Advisory Desk Note 280


Structural integrity of light gauge steel structures, Building Regulations
Approved Document A (2004)
New Steel Construction, vol. 13 (1), Jan 2005

5.

prEN 1991-1-7 (July 2004)


Eurocode 1: Actions on structures
Part 1-7: General actions - Accidental Actions
CEN Document (Not a public document)

6.

Safety in tall buildings and other buildings of large occupancy


The Institution of Structural Engineers, 2002

7.

SHANKAR NAIR, R.qq


Progressive Collapse Basics
AISC, Modern Steel Construction, March 2004

8.

Technical Guidance Note: The Building Regulations 2004 Edition


England and Wales
Requirement A3 Disproportionate Collapse
NHBC, 2004

9.

Advisory Desk Note 267


Notional horizontal forces and industrial platforms
New Steel Construction, vol. 11 (5), Sept/Oct 2003

10.

Joints in Steel Construction: Simple connections (P212)


The Steel Construction Institute and The British Constructional
Steelwork Association, 2002

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11.

COUCHMAN, G. H., MULLET, D. L. and RACKHAM, J. W.


Composite slabs and beams using steel decking: Best practice for design
and construction (P300)
The Steel Construction Institute, 2000

12.

HICKS, S. J. and LAWSON, R. M.


Design of composite beams using precast concrete slabs (P287)
The Steel Construction Institute, 2003

13.

BS 8110 Structural use of concrete


BS 8110-1:1997 Code of practice for design and construction
British Standards Institution, 1997

14.

BS 6399-1:1996 Loading for buildings. Code of practice for dead and


imposed loads
British Standards Institution, 1996

15.

Joints in steel construction: Composite connections (P213)


The Steel Construction Institute, 1998

16.

ALEXANDER, S.qq
The New Approach to Disproportionate Collapse
The Structural Engineer, vol. 82, Issue 23, December 2004

17.

ENV 1998-1-1:1996
Eurocode 8: Design provisions for earthquake resistance of structures.
General rules. Seismic actions and general requirements for structures
British Standards Institution, 1996

18.

YANDZIO, E. and GOUGH, M.


Protection of buildings against explosions (P244)
The Steel Construction Institute,1999

19.

BS 7974: 2001 Application of fire safety engineering principles to the


design of buildings
British Standards Institution, 2001

20.

ISO 2394: 1998 Second Edition


General principles on reliability for structures
British Standards Institution, 1998

21.

BS EN 1990:2002
Eurocode 0: Basis of structural design
British Standards Institution, 2002

22.

LU, YU, WOODMAN and BLOCKLEY


A theory of structural vulnerability
The Structural Engineer, vol. 77, Issue 18, September 1999

23.

BLOCKLEY, D.
Engineering Safety
McGraw-Hill, 1992

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24.

Guidance on robustness and provision against accidental actions


(www.odpm.gov.uk)
ODPM, 1999

25.

Proposed revised guidance on meeting compliance with the requirements


of Building Regulation A3: Revision of Allot and Lomax proposal.
Project report number: 205966
(www.odpm.gov.uk)
ODPM, 2001

26

Steelwork design guide to BS 5950-1:2000. Volume 1: Section


properties and member capacities (Sixth Edition) (P202)
The Steel Construction Institute and The British Constructional
Steelwork Association,, 2001

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APPENDIX A

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WORKED EXAMPLE

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Silwood Park, Ascot, Berks SL5 7QN

Job No.

BCB987

Job Title

Worked Example

Subject

Tying and the avoidance of disproportionate


collapse of a Class 2B building

Client

SCI

Telephone: (01344) 623345

Sheet

Fax: (01344) 622944

CALCULATION SHEET

of

13

Rev.

Made by

MDH

Date

Jun 2003

Checked by

ASM

Date

Oct 2003

Tying and the avoidance of disproportionate


collapse of a Class 2B building
A.1

BS 59501:2000

Introduction

The ten-storey building shown in Figure A.1 has been designed on the basis of
Simple Design in accordance with the recommendations of BS 5950-1:2000.
All storeys are 4.0 m high, apart from the ground to first floor, which has a
height of 5.0 m. The columns are laid out on a 6 m 9 m grid with the
primary beams spanning 6 m and the secondary beams spanning 9 m as shown
in Figure A.2. The spacing of the secondary beams is 3.0 m. A composite
flooring system is used with steel decking spanning between the secondary
beams. All the secondary and primary beams are assumed to act compositely
with the floor slab. The steel frame is of simple construction, with two braced
bays on each of the four sides providing lateral stability.
Check that the building meets the requirements of Approved Document A and
BS 5950-1:2000 in terms of structural integrity and the avoidance of
disproportionate collapse.

4.0
4.0
4.0
4.0
4.0
4.0
4.0

6.0
6.0

4.0

6.0

4.0

6.0
6.0

5.0

6.0
9.0

9.0

9.0

9.0

Figure A.1

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In the first instance, check that integrity is achieved by ensuring that the five
conditions listed in sub-Clause 2.4.5.3 of BS 5950-1:2000 are satisfied. Where
this is not possible, the designer must check that the removal of any individual
member does not lead to disproportionate collapse as defined in BS 5950-1:2000
and Approved Document A. Finally, if the removal of a member would cause
disproportionate collapse, this member must be designed as a key element. All
three stages of this process are demonstrated in this example.
In practice, these checks must be carried out on all members to ensure adequate
robustness throughout the structure. However, in this example, the checks are
only performed on a typical secondary beam, an edge column and an internal
column. These columns are denoted B and E respectively in Figure A.2.
6.0
6.0
3.0 (typ.)

6.0

Secondary beams
(also acting as tie beams)

6.0
G

I
Primary beams
(also acting as tie beams)

6.0
D

6.0
9.0

9.0

9.0

9.0

Figure A.2
The composite floor system comprises steel decking spanning between the
secondary beams, as shown in Figure A.3, with a 125 mm thick slab in grade
C30 concrete.
Composite decking
panel

Secondary beams
6.0

Primary beam

9.0

Figure A.3

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A.1.2 Unfactored roof and floor loads


Dead load (assume the same for roof and floor)
S/w concrete
= 2.67 kN/m2
S/w decking
= 0.17 kN/m2
S/w beams
= 0.15 kN/m2
Total s/w
= 2.99 kN/m2
Allow 0.5 kN/m2 for ceilings and services.
Total unfactored dead load

= 3.49 kN/m2

Imposed load
Roof: 1.0 kN/m2
Floor: 5.0 kN/m2 + 1.0 kN/m2 (partitions)

= 6.0 kN/m2

A.1.3 Unfactored cladding loads


The external beams carry a brick and block cavity wall plastered on one side.
From BS 648:1964, the weight of the wall is 3.76 kN/m2. Since the storey
height is 4.0 m, the distributed load on each external beam is
= 4.0 3.76 = 15.04 kN/m
wclad

A.1.4 Factored roof loads


Edge column B
Edge columns support an area of 27 m2
WNroof,B = ((3.49 1.4) + (1.0 1.6)) 27 = 175 kN
Internal column E
Internal columns support an area of 54 m2
WNroof,E = ((3.49 1.4) + (1.0 1.6)) 54 = 350 kN

A.1.5 Factored floor loads on secondary beams


Edge beams
w = (15.04 1.4) + (1.5 3.49 1.4) + (1.5 6.0 1.6) = 42.8 kN/m
Total load per beam = 42.8 9.0 = 385.2 kN
Internal beams
w = (3.0 3.49 1.4) + (3.0 6.0 1.6) = 43.5 kN/m
Total load per beam = 43.5 9.0 = 391.5 kN

A.1.6 Factored floor loads on primary beams


It is assumed that the entire slab loading is carried by the secondary beams and
then transferred to the primary beams as point loads. Therefore, the only loads
applied to the primary beams are the internal secondary beam reactions. Each
internal primary beam supports two secondary beams.
Total load per beam = 2 0.5 391.5 = 391.5 kN

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A.1.7 Factored floor loads on columns


Edge column B
Column B supports 2 edge beams and 1 primary beam and carries half the load
from each beam.
WNfloor,B = (2 0.5 385.2) + (0.5 391.5)

= 581 kN

Internal column E
Column E supports 2 internal secondary beams and 2 internal primary beams
and carries half the load from each beam.
WNfloor,E = (2 0.5 391.5) + (2 0.5 391.5)

A.2

= 783 kN

Member sizes

The composite beams were designed using the BDES* software and the column
sizes were estimated using the member capacity tables in SCI publication
P202[26]. In sizing the beams, the final composite condition and the construction
stage non-composite condition were both checked. Since the internal and
external beams experience similar loading, only the internal beams were
considered. For simplicity, the columns were sized for compression only. In
practice, they would have to be designed as columns in simple construction,
following the procedure outlined in Example 14.
*Available from www.corusconstruction.com/page_679.htm

A.2.1 Beam sizes


Secondary beams
406 140 46 UB in grade S355.
Primary beams
457 152 52 UB in grade S355.

A.2.2 Column sizes


The factored loading, effective lengths and selected column sizes for columns B
and E are given in Tables A.1 and A.2 respectively.

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Table A.1

Factored load
ex. column
s/w (kN)

Selected section
(all S355)

Factored load
inc. column
s/w (kN)

of

13

Rev.

Resistance
(kN)

Roof-9

4.0

175

30530597UC

175

3310

9-8

4.0

756

30530597UC

761

3310

8-7

4.0

1337

30530597UC

1348

3310

7-6

4.0

1918

30530597UC

1934

3310

6-5

4.0

2499

30530597UC

2520

3310

5-4

4.0

3080

30530597UC

3107

3310

4-3

4.0

3661

305305137UC

3693

4620

3-2

4.0

4242

305305137UC

4282

4620

2-1

4.0

4823

305305198UC

4870

6780

1-0

5.0

5404

305305198UC

5462

5920

Table A.2

Edge column B
Leff
(m)

Column
location

Sheet

P202
Page D-6

Internal column E

Column Leff
location (m)

Factored
load ex.
column s/w
(kN)

Selected section
(all S355)

Factored
load inc.
column s/w
(kN)

Resistance
(kN)

Roof-9

4.0

350

30530597UC

350

3310

9-8

4.0

1133

30530597UC

1138

3310

8-7

4.0

1916

30530597UC

1927

3310

7-6

4.0

2699

30530597UC

2716

3310

6-5

4.0

3482

305305137UC

3504

4620

5-4

4.0

4265

305305137UC

4295

4620

4-3

4.0

5048

305305198UC

5085

6780

3-2

4.0

5831

305305198UC

5879

6780

2-1

4.0

6614

305305283UC

6674

9200

1-0

5.0

7397

305305283UC

7473

8030

P202
Page D-6

It is assumed that the columns are spliced every two storeys and that lateral
restraint is provided at every floor. It is further assumed that the columns may
be treated as pin-ended between the floor levels.

A.3

Disproportionate collapse checks using fin


plate beam-to-column connections

Designing Class 2B buildings to satisfy the five conditions listed in 2.4.5.3 of


BS 5950-1:2000 will meet the requirements of Approved Document A. These
five conditions are considered in the Sections below. It is assumed that fin
plates are used for all beam-to-column connections.

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A.3.1 General tying


Horizontal ties should be arranged in continuous lines throughout each floor and
roof level in two approximately perpendicular directions. All members acting as 2.4.5.3 a)
ties and their end connections should be designed to resist a tensile force equal
to the end reaction of the member under factored loads or 75 kN, whichever is
greater.
Typical secondary beam (406 140 46 UB in grade S355)
The connection should be designed to resist the beam-to-column reaction in
shear and then checked to ensure that it has an adequate tying capacity. The
values of shear capacity and tying capacity used in this example have been
obtained from P212 Joints in steel construction: Simple connections[10] and are
based on the steel connection alone. No allowance has been made for the
capacity of the reinforcement in the concrete to carry some of the load.
Try 290 x 150 x 10 mm fin plate in S275 with two lines of 4 bolts.
Basic requirement 1: Reaction Shear capacity
Reaction under factored loads = 196 kN
Shear capacity = 289 kN
196 kN < 289 kN
Therefore the shear capacity is adequate.
Basic requirement 2: Tying force Tying capacity
Required tying force = 196 kN
Tying capacity = 488 kN
196 kN < 488 kN
Therefore the tying capacity is adequate.

P212
Table H.30

P212
Table H.30

Typical primary beam (457 x 152 x 52 UB in grade S355)


Try 290 x 100 x 10 mm fin plate in S275 with a single line of 4 bolts.
Basic requirement 1: Reaction Shear capacity
Reaction under factored loads = 196 kN
Shear capacity = 212 kN
196 kN <212 kN
Therefore the shear capacity is adequate.
Basic requirement 2: Tying force Tying capacity
Required tying force = 196 kN
Tying capacity = 334 kN
196 kN < 334 kN
Therefore the tying capacity is adequate.

P212
Table H.29

P212
Table H.29

A.3.2 Tying of edge columns


Horizontal ties should be provided to hold the vertical perimeter columns in
position. These ties should be capable of resisting a tying force, acting 2.4.5.3 b)
perpendicular to the edge, equal to the greater of 1% of the maximum factored
vertical load in the column adjacent to that level or the load specified in the
general tying requirement.

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Consider the lowest level, where the load in the column is greatest.
From Table 23.1, the load in the column = 5462 kN
1% of 5462 kN = 54.62 kN
The tying force specified in A.3.1 = 196 kN.
Therefore, the general tying requirement is critical in this case.

A.3.3 Continuity of columns


The column splices should be capable of resisting a tensile force equal to the
largest factored vertical reaction applied to the column at a single floor level 2.4.5.3 c)
located between the column splice under consideration and the next column
splice down.
Basic requirement: Applied vertical floor load Column splice capacity
For the purpose of this example, consider column E as a typical internal
column. The factored vertical load applied to the column from each floor is
WNfloor,E = 783 kN.
Consider the weakest splice in that column (that between 305 305 97UC and
305 305 97UC). From Table H.32 of P212[10], the capacity of one external Table H.32
P212
flange cover plate is 794 kN.
Splice capacity = 2 794 kN = 1588 kN
783 kN < 1588 kN Therefore the column splice capacity is adequate.

A.3.4 Resistance to horizontal forces


Condition d) of Clause 2.4.5.3 states that there must be more than one system of
bracing stabilizing the structure in two approximately orthogonal directions. In 2.4.5.3 d)
this Example, this is satisfied by the braced bays shown in Figure A.1

A.3.5 Heavy floor units


Heavy precast floor units are not used in this Example, so condition e) of
Clause 2.4.5.3 does not apply. If heavy precast floor units are used, the 2.4.5.3 e)
designer must ensure that they are sufficiently secure against dislodgement.

A.3.6 Conclusion
Having satisfied the five conditions in Clause 2.4.5.3 of BS 5950-1:2000, it may
be assumed that this building meets the requirements of the regulations for the
avoidance of disproportionate collapse.

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Disproportionate collapse checks using flexible


end plate beam-to-column connections

As an alternative to fin plate connections, this Section considers the use of


flexible end plates.

A.4.1 General tying


Typical secondary beam (406 x 140 x 46 UB in grade S355)
Try 290 x 150 x 8 mm flexible end plate in S275 with 4 rows of bolts.
Basic requirement 1: Reaction Shear capacity
Reaction under factored loads = 196 kN
Shear capacity = 378 kN
196 kN < 378 kN
Therefore the shear capacity is adequate.
Basic requirement 2: Tying force Tying capacity
Required tying force = 196 kN
Tying capacity = 226 kN
196 kN < 226 kN
Therefore the tying capacity is adequate.

P212
Table H.21

P212
Table H.21

Now consider the situation in which the designer is unable to use such a deep
secondary beam and opts instead for the slightly heavier 305 165 54 UB in
S355.
Try 220 x 150 x 8 mm flexible end plate in S275 with 3 rows of bolts.
Basic requirement 1: Reaction Shear capacity
Reaction under factored loads = 196 kN
Shear capacity = 333 kN
196 kN < 333 kN
Therefore the shear capacity is adequate.

P212
Table H.21

Basic requirement 2: Tying force Tying capacity


Table H.21
Required tying force = 196 kN
P212
Tying capacity = 175 kN
196 kN > 175 kN
Therefore the tying capacity is NOT adequate and it is necessary to check for
disproportionate collapse. (In practice it may be more convenient to change the
connection detail and increase the tying capacity.)

A.4.2 Check for disproportionate collapse


If any of the first three conditions listed in Clause 2.4.5.3 of BS 5950-1:2000 2.4.5.3
are not satisfied, the building should be checked to ensure that the removal of
any one column would not lead to disproportionate collapse. Collapse is said to
be disproportionate if at any given level it exceeds 15% of the floor or roof area
or 70 m2. For the purpose of this example, this check has been restricted to
column E. In practice, each column should be checked in turn.

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The checks performed in Section A.4.1 have already established that the tying
capacity of the flexible end plate connections is inadequate, so the current check
becomes one of measuring the area supported by the column. In this case, the
removal of column E would lead to the collapse of a section of floor measuring
12 m 18 m, i.e. 216 m2 (and possibly more as the floor areas directly above
could also collapse). Therefore, there is a risk of disproportionate collapse
and the member should be designed as a key element using the accidental
loading specified in BS 6399-1, i.e. 34 kN/m2.

A.4.3 Key element design


The area to which the accidental loading is applied is dependent on the type of 2.4.5.4
cladding or floor decking and, in particular, its integrity under blast loading. In
this example, it is assumed that there is partitioning running between columns
D, E and F, but none in the perpendicular direction. As the partitioning is not
load-bearing, it is reasonable to assume that it is mostly blown out by the blast,
leaving only a small section as shown in Figure A.4. In this case, the breadth
of partitioning remaining after the blast is estimated to be B + 200 mm.
B + 200

Figure A.4
In the design of key elements, the accidental loading should be applied in all
directions, but only in one direction at a time. This means checking column E
in bending about both the major and minor axes. The ordinary dead and
imposed loads must also be taken into account (there is no wind loading on
column E) and should be applied simultaneously with the accidental loading. 2.4.5.3
However, the imposed load can be reduced to one third of its normal value for
this check, with a f factor of 1.05. The same f should also be applied to the
dead load, but the accidental load should be factored by 1.0.
All of the calculations below relate to the column length between ground and
first floor levels. In practice, all levels should be checked.
Section properties
The size of the internal column between ground and first floor levels is
305 x 305 x 283 UC, grade S355.

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From section property tables:
Depth
D
Width
B
Web thickness
t
Flange thickness
T
Depth between fillets
d
Area of cross-section
Ag
Plastic modulus
Sx
Plastic modulus
Sy
Elastic modulus
Zx
Elastic modulus
Zy
Radius of gyration
rx
Radius of gyration
ry

=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=

Sheet

10

of

365.3 mm
322.2 mm
26.8 mm
44.1 mm
246.7 mm
360 cm2
5110 cm3
2340 cm3
4320 cm3
1530 cm3
14.8 cm
8.27 cm

13

Rev.

P202
Page B 8

P202
Page B 9

3.1.1
Table 9

Grade of steel = S355


40 mm < T < 63 mm
Therefore py = 335 N/mm2
Axial load
For the purpose of key element design, the factored axial loads applied to the
column by the roof and each floor level are as follows:
Roof
WN

= 1.05(3.49 + (1.0/3)) 54 = 216.8 kN

Floor
WN

= 1.05(3.49 + (6.0/3)) 54 = 311.3 kN

Column self-weight
Unfactored column s/w
= ((44.097)+(24.0137)+(24.0198)+(4.0283)) 9.81/1000
= 52.6 kN
Factored column s/w

= 1.05 52.6 = 55.2 kN

Total factored axial load including self-weight


Fc

= 216.8 +(9 311.3) +55.2 = 3074 kN

Section classification
According to P202[26], the compact F/Pz limit for a 305 305 283UC in grade P202
Page D 126
S355 is 1.0. Therefore, the section is at least compact.
Major axis bending
Loading
The accidental loading about the major axis is applied to the section of
partitioning shown in Figure 23.4.
B

= 322.2 mm. Therefore, the total loaded width

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Accidental loading = 0.5222 34 = 17.8 kN/m.


The accidental load is applied uniformly along the column between ground and
first floor levels, with the section of column between floors 1 and 2 unloaded.
Although the column is continuous across the support at floor level 1, it is a safe
approximation to take the maximum moment as wL2/8, where L = 5.0 m. The
actual moment will not be greater than this value.
Mx = 17.8 52 /8 = 55.6 kNm.
Bending
Basic requirement: Mx Mcx
= 1710 kNm
From P202[26] 1, Mcx
= 55.6 kNm
From above,
Mx
55.6 kNm < 1710 kNm
Therefore, the moment capacity is adequate.

4.2.5
P202
Page D 126

Basic requirement: Mx Mb / mLT


From P202[26], for LE = 5.0 m, Mb = 1640 kNm

4.3.6
P202
Page D 127

mLT is obtained from Table 18 of BS 5950-1:2000 [3] according to the shape of


the bending moment diagram.
Table 18
mLT = 0.925
Mb / mLT = 1640/0.925 = 1773 kNm
From above, Mx = 55.6 kNm
55.6 kNm < 1773 kNm
Therefore, the buckling resistance moment is adequate.
Interaction checks section capacity
Basic requirement:

Fc
Ag p y

Mx
M cx

My
M cy

4.8.3.2. a)

From P202, Ag py = 12100 kN


P202
From above, Fc = 3074 kN
Page D 127
There is no minor axis loading in this case so the third term in the equation can
be ignored.
3074
12100

55.6
+ 0 = 0.254 + 0.033
1710

= 0.29 <1

Interaction checks member buckling


Basic requirement:

Fc
Pc

mx Mx
py Z x

my My
py Z y

For LE = 5.0 m, Pc = 8030 kN


mx is obtained from Table 26 of BS 5950-1:2000

4.8.3.3.1

P202
Page D 126
4.8.3.3.4
Table 26

mx = 0.95

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pyZx = 1450 kNm

3074 0.95 55.6


+
+ 0 = 0 .383 + 0.036
8030
1450
Basic requirement:

Fc
Pcy

m LT M LT
Mb

py Z y

MLT is the maximum major axis moment in the segment


For LE = 5.0 m, Pcy = 8030 kN
Mb
mLT

Rev.

P202
Page D 127

= 0.42 <1

my My

13

4.8.3.3.1
= 55.6 kNm.

= 1640 kNm
= 0.925

3074 0.925 55.6


+
+ 0 = 0.383 + 0.031 = 0.41 <1
8030
1640

P202
Page D 127
Table 18

Therefore, the column is adequate when subjected to the accidental load


causing bending about the major axis.
Minor axis bending
Loading

The accidental loading about the minor axis is applied to the column and an
assumed thickness of partitioning, say 50 mm.
D = 365.3 mm. Therefore, the total loaded width = 415.3 mm,
say 415 mm.
Accidental loading

= 0.415 34

= 14.1 kN/m.

Once again, assume the maximum moment is given by wL2/8.


= 44.1 kNm.
My = 14.1 52 /8
Bending

4.2.5
Page D-126

Basic requirement: My Mcy


From P202, Mcy = 615 kNm

From above, My = 44.1 kNm


44.1 kNm < 615 kNm
Therefore, the moment capacity is adequate.

P:\Pub\Pub800\Sign_off\P341 (ED003)\Draft V08.doc

47

Printed 01/07/05

Tying and the avoidance of disproportionate collapse of a Class 2B


building

Sheet

13

of

13

Rev.

Interaction checks section capacity


Basic requirement:

Fc

Ag p y

Mx
M cx

My
M cy

4.8.3.2. a)

As before, Ag py = 12100 kN and Fc = 3074 kN


There is no major axis loading in this case so the second term in the equation
can be ignored.
44.1
3074
+0+
= 0.254 + 0.072 = 0.33 <1
615
12100

Interaction checks member buckling


Basic requirement:

Fc
Pc

mx Mx
py Z x

my My
py Z y

From above, the column resistance Pc = 8030 kN


The shape of the bending moment diagram is identical to that for major axis
bending (even though the values are different). Therefore, my = 0.95.
py Zy = 512 kNm
3074
0.95 44.1
+ 0+
= 0.383 + 0.082 = 0.47 <1
8030
512

Basic requirement:

Fc
P cy

m LT M LT
Mb

my My
py Z y

0.95 44.1
3074
+ 0+
= 0.383 + 0.082 = 0.47 <1
8030
512

Therefore, the column is also adequate when subjected to the accidental load
causing bending about the minor axis.
Note: The calculations given above demonstrate the procedure for designing a
key element. However, in the vast majority of circumstances, the recommended
approach is to satisfy the tying requirements in Clause 2.4.5.3 of BS 5950-1:
2000. The key element route should only be followed as a last resort.

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48

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