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STRUCTURAL

INVESTIGATION
REPORT ON
BEAM CRACKS
AT CONSTRUCTION SITE
OF IZKI A&E
18 July 2017

LOCATION : Izki, Al Dhakliyah Governorate

DATE OF INSPECTION : 05 July 2017 ( Wednesday )

SUBJECT : Structural Investigation and Recommendation Report

SITE DESCRIPTION :

Make : Reinforced Concrete Frames with Concrete Beams and Columns

with External Insulated Concrete Masonry Walls

Walls : 200 mm thk CHB Internal Wall

Usage : Hospital Expansion for Accident & Emergency

INSPECTION NOTES :
Figure 1A
The following observations and documents had been noted at site :
General Structural Notes for the Project

Item No. 1 Concrete Cube Compression Test Report for the


Roof Slab and Roof Beams were provided for documentation
( see next page )

It should be noted that the design criterion for the


grade of concrete showed to be C35 (OPC) at
28 days which is Cube Compression Strength of
35 N / mm2 ( as shown on the right )

Shown on the next page dated 23 January 2016 is the compressive


Strength testing results for three cube samples prepared from casting
and the following results in N/mm2 after 28 days were obtained
as shown :
39.0 , 39.5 , 38.5 which are all
more than the design strength of 35.0 N/mm2 of the above criterion.

Conclusion for Item No. 1


This shows that the concrete design mix for the roof slab and the roof beams ( cast monolithic or cast at one
time ) are well within the acceptable standards of the design parameters used.
Figure 1B Compressive Cube Strength Test Results 28 days after casting roof slab and beams
together one time . This means that the roof was casted one month earlier on a relatively cold weather
of December 2015 . and that the compressive strength test results as found to satisfy minimum
strength requirements for reinforced concrete .
Item No. 2 Structural framing plan and element schedules as well as the Package Unit locations actually used
for the roof were provided by the Contractor in coordination with the MOH Project Engineer.

Below is the roof framing used in actual construction with an adjustment from entrance porch ( width of 2.395m
increased to 5.10m. )

Figure 2A

The following roof framing plan was the one


used at site and also the one considered in
the software model to analyze the building
frame but now incorporating also the
widened entrance porch as marked here .

The width of this entrance porch has been


increased to 5.10m from 2.395m using
beams RB6 of size 200x400mm.

Figure 2B
The Contractor provided details of the Package Unit as shown in this picture. All the package units PACU A,B and
C had the same plinth sizes of approx. 2.80mL x2.80mWx0.30mThk on Proprietary Floating Floor System to
minimize the effects of vibration during actual operation. Slab openings for their ducts was designed to be
approx. 1.20m x 2.80m and also input in the software model.
PACU - A Equipment Plinth 2.80x2.80x0.30m

PACU - A Slab Opening 1.20x2.80m

PACU - B Equipment Plinth 2.80x2.80x0.30m

PACU – B Slab Opening 1.20x2.80m

PACU - C Equipment Plinth 2.80x2.80x0.30m

PACU - C Equipment Plinth 2.80x2.80x0.30m

Figure 2C
The Contractor provided this plan showing the exact
locations of the Package Unit Plinths / Pads with their
corresponding slab openings. These are included as
inputs in the SAFE software model of the Roof Framing
as shown in Figure 5 .

Wadi Gravel

400x400x40mm Precast Concrete Paving Tiles

These darkened portions of the Model slab simulating the loaded


areas of the PACU’s ( 3 units ) each carrying 9.0 Kpa Mech Load .
Figure 2D
This is an output from SAFE software ver. 12.1.1 showing the simulated locations of the PACU’s as well as the slab
openings mentioned in Figure 4. Each Package unit weighing approx. 980 kgs ( almost 1 tonne ) along with its
300mm thk plinth resulting to a 9.0 KPa of Mechanical Load .
Item No. 3 The following loads were particularly the dead loads are the ones realized at site and also the
ones considered in the structural analysis of the Roof Framing

Dead Load :
Ceiling / Services / Ductworks = 0.30 Kpa
40mm thk Precast Concrete Tiles = 1.00 Kpa
Lightweight Screed (100mm thk ave.) = 1.50 Kpa
Waterproofing / Insulation = 0.10 Kpa
Total Superimposed Dead Load = 2.90 Kpa

Live Load :
Construction / Maintenance (Minimum) = 1.00 Kpa

Mechanical Load :
PACU units and plinth / pad = 9.00 Kpa

Wind Load Parameters :


Basic Wind Speed ( Izki ) = 46 m/s = 102.90 mph = 165.6 kph
Importance Factor ( Essential Facilities ) = 1.15
Exposure Category = C
Windward Coefficient = 0.85
Leeward Coefficient = 0.50
Topographical Factor Kzt = 1.00
Gust Factor , Gf = 0.85
Directionality Factor , Kd = 0.85

Seismic Load parameters :


Seismic Zone Z , ( Izki – Zone 1) = 0.075
Importance Factor ( Essential Facilities ) = 1.25
Seismic Response Overstrength Coefficient , R = 5.50 ( IMRF )
Soil Profile Type , S= Sc

Material Strengths :
Concrete :
28th Day Compressive Cube Strength , fcu = 35 N/mm2

Reinforcing Steel :
Yield Strength of Reinforcing Bar , fy = 420 N/mm2

Minimum Clear Concrete Cover :


For Roof R.C. Slabs = 20 mm
For Roof R.C. Beams = 40 mm
For R.C. Columns = 40 mm

Density of Materials
Reinforced Concrete = 25 KN / m3

Design Codes ( for Load Cases and Load Combinations Used ) :


UBC 1997 - ( Uniform Building Code , for Seismic Load Requirements )
ASCE - 07 - ( Minimum Design Loads for Buildings , for Wind Load )
BS 6399 Part 1 - ( British Standards – Loads for Buildings – Dead and Live Loads )
BS 8110 - ( British Standards – Structural Use of Concrete )
All the Design Load Parameters above were applied to a thoroughly analysed R.C. Roof Framing Plan as
investigated in SAFE software, shown below to see any inherent deficiencies in the Building Design for Slabs
and Beams .

Figure 3A
Slabs S2 and S3 are 150mm thick
as marked on the left and the
rest S1 are all 200mm slabs .

Slab S2

Slab S3

Figure 3B
The Design Slab Form on the right shows that
T12-100 rebars top & bottom are sufficient in
theory to sustain the loads for the slabs .

Figure 3C Figure 3C Long Term Deflections


The Slab Sched onwere
the left
alsowas
checked
the one forused
the slabs mostly
by the Contractor 200mm
and enforced
thick .at site .

Conclusion for Item No. 3


The outputs on this page shows that the thickness and reinforcements for the slabs theoretically , are much
sufficient to sustain the design loads as stipulated in the previous page.
Item No. 4 The following output display results below were taken from the ETABS and SAFE software after
geometry input of the Roof Framing Plan in Item 2 and the Design Load parameters input from the previous
Item No. 3.

Figure 4A
All the Roof Beam main reinforcements for top / bottom from ETABS / SAFE analysis are well above
the reinforcements provided by the Roof Beam Schedule in Figure 4B EXCEPT the Roof Beams
marked in this figure that is , these beams RB6 theoretically seem to require more main
reinforcements as that shown in the beam schedule below.

Conclusion for Item No. 4


The internal Roof Beams RB2 & RB4 and the External Beams RB1 , RB3 & RB5 are found to be sufficient
reinforcementwise to carry the roof loads . However , we need to retrofit the marked internal beams RB6 in
Figure 4A with steel channels to be discussed later , and in case of occurrence of cracks , these beams for
concrete repair also.
Item No. 5 Site pictures and measurements of the cracks were taken at site last July 2017 following a request
by the MOH Site Engineer . The following observations were noted :

Cracks roughly vertical running most of the time


across the holes produced by tie rods. Will not be
Vertical Crack from Slab
seen easily at ground level. There was a need to
climb up a ladder to take a closer look at these
cracks.

Grouting was done for holes formed by the


introduction of tie rods which were used to hold
the formworks during concrete pour.

Figure 5A
This is a typical scenario for the roof beams at
the site . Most cracks are formed vertical and
across the tie rod holes situated 1.20m apart and
these cracks are almost on every roof beam.

Figure 5B
This picture shows a typical crack where the crack width is
larger at the top compared to that at the bottom .
In this case , the crack width at the top near the slab soffit is
0.80mm as shown on the crack width gauge where at the
bottom is it around 0.60mm.

Notice again that the crack is vertical in nature and found


usually all throughout the beam and some at midspan
particularly passing through the tie rod most of the time.

Conclusion for Item No. 5


Cracks due to shear are usually diagonal and near supports . Cracks due to gravity load bending
between supports are usually vertical and found nearly at midspan but these cracks are normally wide at the
bottom going narrower at the top. Cracks due to bond critical slipping stress are usually horizontal and found
at rebar level. Critical tension cracks , on the other hand, are very closely spaced apart. ( see Figure 6B )
The cracks we observed therefore , seemed to be different from those caused by shear , normal
bending , bond slippage and tension zone cracks.
These cracks could only be explained logically by any of the following : improper placement and
removal of the tie rods , improper removal of the formworks , improper shoring of the formworks, insufficient
curing , shrinkage of concrete , thermal variations during concrete pour and curing , etc.
Item No. 6 This is another crack but similar to that in Figure 5 but showing narrower crack, however in this
case , reaches beyond to the slab ( this is also near midspan of the beam )

At some portions of the structure like this one at beam midspan ,


crack also formed on the slab soffit as continuation of crack at
the beam top which strongly suggest that beam and slab are
poured monolithic.

Crack at the beam top showed to be 0.45mm while near beam


bottom to be 0.25mm which gives us a hint that crack originates
from the top or more critical at the top . Hence , this crack again ,
is due to tension that is NOT from bending initiated by gravity
loads

Crack at the side of the beam , at some portions continue to the


bottom of the beam , although the latter , almost hairline
( 0.20mm wide or less )

Figure 6A The picture above shows that beam and slab are monolithic , which is OK , however , the tension that
causes the cracks are on the top which is NOT NORMALLY LOGICAL at MIDSPAN . The usual beam crack types are
seen in Figure 6B .

Figure 6B
These are the usual crack types DUE TO
LOADS AND THEREFORE , considered
STRUCTURALLY CRITICAL.
THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH OUR
CRACKS. Note also that these cracks is
the main result of insufficient beam size
design or overloading .

Clamps are usually preferred than tie


rods in supporting formwork
shuttering for beams. Also, tie rods
All the Roof Beam main. are safer if placed at mid depth of
10-15
10 -15cm
cm the beam

Figure 6C
Tie rods/sleeves 25mm in diameter are used to hold the formworks during concrete pour. Most of the tie rods
are located 10 to 15 cm. from beam bottom. In our experience throughout the Gulf Region, we often use tie rods
for compression intensive elements such as tall columns or walls . where it is very impractical to brace with
inclined formwork shores from ground level .
Seldom we use tie rods on beams , only when the beam is very wide and beam bottom is very high from ground
such as those for the coping beams of flyovers / bridges . We use clamps for beams instead.
Item No. 7 Shown below is the Scope of Optimal but Efficient Repair for the Roof Beam cracks suggested

Figure 7A
The sketch of the bending
moment of the Mechanical loads
from the PACU as per its operating
location is shown above.

The marked beams that would be


repaired by an appropriate repair
chemical by an approved
methodology and specialist
installer.
Figure 7B
Reference to the Figure 6A above, NOT all
of the roof beams WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY
AFFECTED by the presence of the package units.
Those beams MARKED as shown on the right are
the MOST PROBABLE that will be AFFECTED AND
MADE WORSE BY FUTURE OPERATIONAL
VIBRATIONS .
We suggest , that for purposes of value
engineering in terms of time , effort and efficiency
, to REPAIR ONLY those beams that will be
influenced by the said vibrations.
The rest of the roof beams, though most
have cracks already will not go worse since they
are carrying only Gradual STATIC LOADS that are
ALREADY PRESENT and may NOT BE SUBJECTED
TO INCREASE LATER.
The marked beams if found with cracks
should be treated by concrete crack repair epoxy
injection chemicals approved by the MOH
Engineer. Statements of methodology including
specialist installers as well as material sheets
should be submitted to the Engineer for
approval prior to actual installation at site.
Item No. 8 Aside from the concrete chemical repair on the beams in item 7 , beams marked below should be
handled with steel channel section retrofits ( as sketched in Figure 9 ) to ensure continuous serviceability and
safe operation.

The marked beams here aside from


being repaired by epoxy injection
chemicals for cracks should also
retrofitted by steel channels with
bolts as sketched in Item 9

Figure 8A
The beams marked in this figure do not have sufficient block walls below them to somehow
minimize future vertical deflection and control &help warn us about any further movements . Also ,
these beams which span 5m to 7m, could deflect more after developing cracks.
Note also that the beam marked here shown horizontally , carries on top of it package unit C
which will induce vibrations in its future operations while underneath it is a wide glass window.
Hence , the decision to retrofit these long span beams with steel channel at the beam bottom
will improve their serviceability in terms of user safety.
A steel channel section preferably a rolled PFC ( parallel flange channel ) section of proper size
will be selected to fit the bottom of the concrete beam . Grade 8.8 bolts amply spaced to be designed to
sustain horizontal sliding shear assuming a composite action between steel channel and reinforced
concrete beam. The bolts will carry shear primarily and should be fitted into the beam bottom either
chemically or mechanically ( as in using appropriate expansion bolts ).
Preliminary details for these retrofits are shown in Item 9.
Item No. 9

Figure 9A
The preferred retrofit detail is originally that of carbon fiber strip to be installed at the bottom of the beam.
However , this technology is not popular in Oman , and therefore , considered very rare and expensive .
Therefore , instead of carbon fiber , we will use mild steel channel with dimensions selected to fit the bottom
width of the reinforced concrete beam using Grade 8.8 bolts at ample spacing designed to transfer horizontal
sliding shear between beam and channel, both materials acting as a composite section.
SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS AND FINALISED RECOMMENDATIONS

Conclusion A
The 28th day compressive strength results for the roof slab and beam concrete in Figure 1B, are well
within the acceptable standards as per the design criteria of Grade C35 , which means that the inferior concrete
mix is NOT the main cause for the cracks .

Conclusion B
The superimposed DEAD LOADS on the roof which includes the 40mm thick concrete tiles as well as the
100mm thick ( ave. thickness ) of the lightweight screed HAD BEEN ENFORCED AT SITE as per information
provided by the MOH Engineer for this project. Therefore , THERE IS NO OVERLOADING OF THE ROOF as per
present condition of loading and therefore , THE PRESENT ROOF LOADINGS INCLUDING THE PACKAGE UNITS
WILL NOT CAUSE THESE BEAM CRACKS as per our analysis.

Conclusion C
As a continuation of Conclusion B , the NATURE OF THE WIDTH and ORIENTATION of the CRACKS
SUGGEST that they are NOT CAUSED BY DIAGONAL SHEAR OR BENDING TENSION DUE TO NORMAL STRUCTURAL
GRAVITY LOADS as shown in Figure 6B.

Conclusion D
The roof slabs are sufficiently designed as regards to thickness and rebars considering all gravity loads (
dead , live and mechanical – package units) based on SAFE software results analysis as in Figure 3B.
The roof beams are also analysed carefully using ETABS / SAFE software and found to be sufficient to
sustain all the gravity loads ( dead , live and mechanical ) as well as the additive effects of wind and seismic
parameters as applied in Oman, specifically in the governorate of Dhakliyah.
We can conclude therefore that the VERTICAL CRACKS on the ROOF BEAMS RB1 , RB2 , RB3 , RB4 and
RB5 ARE NOT CAUSED BY INSUFFICIENT CONCRETE DESIGN .

Conclusion E
As an exemption from Conclusion D , INTERNAL ROOF BEAMS RB6 as marked in Figure 8A , however ,
SEEMED TO LACK MAIN REINFORCEMENT as per analysis . Therefore , WE RECOMMEND RETROFITTING of the
bottom of these Internal Roof Beams by Carbon fiber or preferably the Steel Channel in Figure 9A.

Conclusion F

The following factors MIGHT HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE INITIAL FORMATION OF MICROCRACKS AND THEIR
DEVELOPMENT INTO MEDIUM SIZED CRACKS :

 Use of tie rods ( instead of clamps ) as supports for the roof beam shuttering ( use of clamps could
have avoided stress concentration on the tie rod holes when subjected to any type of tension ).
However , tie rods are acceptable for compression intensive elements such as columns and walls.

 The tie rods are placed near the beam bottom ( we deem it preferable that these rods be placed at
beam mid depth where flexural tension is minimal ) .

 Probable removal of the tie rods when concrete has not yet attained its desired initial strength .
 Unmindful careless removal of tie rods and shuttering could have lead to accidental horizontal loads
to cause lateral buckling on the beam web enough to induce these vertical side cracks.

 In supporting the beam after the removal of formworks, partial removal of some reshores earlier than
the usual as well as the adjustments of the base jacks of the reshores going beyond their intension say
of cambering , might have caused reversal of bending leading to tension on the upper side of the beam
at some locations .

 Seasonal variations in temperature of concrete throughout the course of time of the project.

 Shrinkage or continued drying of the surface concrete faster than that of the interior concrete.

 Possible double handling of the package units on the Roof before they were finally placed on their
appropriate locations.

Conclusion G

Vibrations due to future operations of all the package units ( 3 nos. ) could lead to further movement of
these cracks on beams in the vicinity of the package units. ONLY THOSE BEAMS as shown in FIGURE 7B that are
probable to be DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY THE OPERATIONAL VIBRATIONS OF THE PACKAGE UNITS WILL BE TREATED
BY CONCRETE CRACK REPAIR EPOXY INJECTION CHEMICALS with prior approval by the MOH Engineer. METHOD
STATEMENTS ON APPLICATION as well as MATERIAL SHEETS FOR THE REPAIR PRODUCTS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED
BY SPECIALIST SUPPLIERS / INSTALLERS to be approved by the Engineer before actual usage at site.

Conclusion H

As an offshoot from Conclusion G , TWO BEAMS IN THE VICINITY OF PACKAGE UNIT C as shown in Figure
8A NEEDS TO BE RETROFITTED as per detail in Figure 9A .
WITH THE UNFORTUNATE OCCURRENCE OF THESE UNEXPECTED CRACKS, the purpose of the retrofit is
to IMPROVE THE SERVICEABILITY OF THESE BEAMS FOR THE SENSE OF SECURITY OF THE USERS STAYING UNDER
THE 7.0M BEAM SPANS .

Conclusion J

Also , the Internal Roof Beams RB6 as marked in Figure 8A needs additional longitudinal rebars as shown
by the structural analysis. If the LACK OF THESE REBARS HAD NOT BEEN DOCUMENTED TO BE ADJUSTED AND
MET AT SITE , WE WILL BE ENFORCING THESE RETROFITS (FIGURE 9A) TO ENSURE THE SERVICEABILITY AND
DURABILITY OF THE ENTRANCE PORCH

Prepared By :

Eng’r Wilfredo

Structural Engineer , MOH DGPEA Al Khuwair Noted By :

Engr. Suveesh

MOH Project Engineer