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March 2010
A Joint Publication of NCSEA | CASE | SEI
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22 Second Opinion Leads to Substantial Savings in Evaluation
and Repair of Marble Façade
By William D. Bast, P.E., S.E., SECB, Scott G. Nacheman, M.Sc.Eng, AIA, R.A.,
Rachel L. Michelin, EIT, LEED® AP and Dziugas Reneckis, Ph.D., P.E. 10
When it comes to considering a costly and disruptive façade replacement, it always
pays to get a second opinion. That’s what owners at Water Tower Place in Chicago
decided when faced with ongoing façade deterioration. In early 2006, it was
determined that the entire façade would require replacement in the near future. This
prospect led the owners to seek that second opinion. Confronted with two analyses
with broadly differing ramifications for the façade, the owners turned to a structural
engineering firm to develop a preservation program for the marble façade.

7 Editorial 26 Technology
Life-Cycle Performance, Safety, Tips for Selecting Wood-Frame
Reliability and Risk of Structural Systems Structure Single-Member 22
By Dan M. Frangopol, Sc.D, P.E., Sizing Software
F. ASCE and Bruce R. Ellingwood, By Ross Theilen, P.E.
Ph.D., P.E., F. ASCE
42 Structural Forum
9 InFocus The Tidal Wave
Engineering as Willing By Robert Mote, P.Eng
By Jon A. Schmidt, P.E., SECB
10 Structural Sustainability
Achieving Sustainability though
Durability, Adaptability, and
Deconstructibility 28 Risk Management
By Dirk M. Kestner, P.E., LEED AP and Total Recall
Mark D. Webster, P.E., LEED AP By Terrence M. Lindsay, P.E., S.E.,
SECB, Eric L. Singer, and Karen Erger 28
14 Structural Design
The Rational Design of Anchored 30 Legal Perspectivies
Masonry Veneer RFIs and Shop Drawings
By W. Mark McGinley, Ph.D., P.E. By David J. Hatem, PC and
Peter C. Lenart, Esq. IN EVERY ISSUE
19 Codes & Standards
2008 Special Design Provisions 32 InSights 8 Advertiser Index
for Wind and Seismic Controlling Digital Documents with 17 Resource Guide
By Philip Line, P.E., Project Information Management (Software Updates)
Bradford K. Douglas, P.E., and (PIM) Software 34 NCSEA News
Peter Mazikins, M.Eng, P.Eng By Bob Batcheler
36 SEI Structural Columns
38 CASE in Point
The entire magazine O N L I N E

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by NCSEA, CASE, SEI, C 3 Ink, or the
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STRUCTURE magazine 5 March 2010

Model image courtesy of USC School of Cinema
and Gregory P Luth & Associates


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Life-Cycle Performance, Safety, Reliability
and Risk of Structural Systems
A Framework for New Challenges
By Dan M. Frangopol, Sc.D, P.E., F. ASCE and Bruce R. Ellingwood, Ph.D., P.E., F. ASCE
In recent years, life-cycle performance, safety, reliability and risk
have become emergent and key issues of civil infrastructure systems LIFE-CYCLE INTEGRATED
due to recurring natural and man-made disasters, the infrastructure MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK
crisis, sustainability issues and global warming. In dealing with these
problems, uncertainties are unavoidable. Modern society can no
O p tim al D ecisio n
longer afford to ignore congested roads, deficient bridges, aging dams,
broken levees and water mains, among others. Management of aging
O p tim u m M ain tenan ce-
civil infrastructure involves significant expenditures and, at a time of M o n ito rin g -M an agem ent

constrained public resources, requires difficult decisions to establish TOOLS Strateg ies

priorities for maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement. Decisions Im p ro ved

regarding requirements for design, continued service, rehabilitation Stru ctu ral Perfo rm an ce
A ssessm en t & Pred ictio n
or replacement should be based on multi-criteria optimization under
uncertainty, in order to balance conflicting requirements such as cost
and performance. This can only be achieved through proper integrated In fo rm atio n fro m Stru ctu ral
H ealth M o n ito rin g &
risk management planning in a life-cycle comprehensive framework. U n certain ty A n alysis AP P L IC AT IO N S
Existin g an d N ew C ivil
Such a framework is shown in Figure 1. In frastru ctu re System s :
B rid g es, B u ild in g s,
The development of practical methods for modeling, analyzing, Stru ctu ral Perfo rm an ce
N etw o rks,…
A ssessm en t & Pred ictio n
designing, maintaining, monitoring, managing, predicting and opti-
mizing the life-cycle performance of civil infrastructure systems under
uncertainty has become one of the most fertile and important areas in
structural engineering research. At the same time, a recent ASCE report, Figure 1: Life-cycle integrated management framework.
Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century: Preparing the
Civil Engineer for the Future, has identified risk and uncertainty as one Task Group 3: Assessment of Structural Infrastructure Facilities and
of the desired technical educational outcomes for the future practice of Risk-Based Decision Making; to promote the study, research and appli-
civil engineering. cations of scientific principles of risk assessment and risk-based decision
In recognition of the need for such methods and models, the SEI- making in structural engineering.
ASCE Technical Activities Division approved, on October 1, 2008, the The newly created Technical Council on Life-Cycle Performance,
creation of the Technical Council on Life-Cycle Performance, Safety, Safety, Reliability and Risk of Structural Systems will be the central
Reliability and Risk of Structural Systems (http://content.seinstitute. forum within the Structural Engineering Institute to highlight the
org/committees/strucsafety.html). This is the only Technical Council challenges and promote some of the important directions for research and
within SEI. applications of scientific principles related to this important and highly
The Technical Council provides a forum for reviewing, developing, significant area of structural engineering. The success of this forum
and promoting the principles and methods of life-cycle perfor- depends much on the cooperation between industry and academia.
mance, safety, reliability, and risk of structural systems in the analysis, We encourage you to actively participate in this Technical Council by
design, construction, assessment, inspection, maintenance, operation, joining one of its Task Groups and contributing to its success.▪
monitoring, repair, rehabilitation, and optimal management of civil
infrastructure systems under uncertainty. To achieve these objectives,
three Task Groups have been formed within the Technical Council, Dan M. Frangopol is a Professor of Civil Engineering and The
with the following purposes: Fazlur Rahman Khan Endowed Chair of Structural Engineering and
Task Group 1: Life-Cycle Performance of Structural Systems Under Architecture at Lehigh University, and the current chair of the SEI-
Uncertainty; to promote the study, research, and applications of scientific ASCE Technical Council on Life-Cycle Performance, Safety, Reliability
principles of safety and reliability in the assessment, prediction, and and Risk of Structural Systems.
optimal management of life-cycle performance of structural systems Bruce R. Ellingwood is a College of Engineering Distinguished Professor
under uncertainty. and The Raymond Allen Jones Chair in Civil Engineering at Georgia
Task Group 2: Reliability-Based Structural System Performance Indica- Institute of Technology, and the current vice-chair of the SEI-ASCE
tors; to promote the study, research, and applications of reliability-based Technical Council on Life-Cycle Performance, Safety, Reliability and
system performance indicators including structural system reliability, Risk of Structural Systems.
robustness, and redundancy.

STRUCTURE magazine 7 March 2010

National Council of Structural
Engineers Associations
Jeanne M. Vogelzang, JD, CAE
Executive Director
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David Bixby
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Publications Agreement No. 40675118. Owned by the
Integrated Engineering Software, Inc. Page 31 National Council of Structural Engineers Associations and
Irvine Institute of Technology Page 11 published in cooperation with CASE and SEI monthly by C3
Ink. The publication is distributed free of charge to members
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$65/yr domestic; $35/yr student; $125/yr foreign (including
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STRUCTURE Editorial Board.
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STRUCTURE® is a registered trademark of National Council of
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reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission
Simpson Strong-Tie Pages 13 & 27 of the publisher.
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Published By:
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STRUCTURE magazine 8 March 2010

InFocus thoughts from a member of the Editorial Board

Engineering as Willing
and Design,” May 2009). This is analogous to a
scientific hypothesis; however, seemingly identical
By Jon A. Schmidt, P.E., SECB design procedures can have diverse outcomes, and
different ones can produce quite similar results.
In October, I had the privilege of speaking on the topic of “Philosophy Most design procedures include the development
and Structural Engineering” at the NCSEA 17th Annual Conference of mathematical models that are supposed to capture the important as-
in Scottsdale, Arizona. While preparing that presentation, I compiled pects of reality. The engineer’s challenge is to ascertain what those features
and reflected on all that I have been reading, thinking, and writing are and what assumptions and simplifications can safely be incorporated
over the last few years regarding the relationship between the two fields. in order to keep everything manageable, while still yielding a meaningful
The overall thesis that emerged was this: Science is widely perceived assessment of likely performance. Although analysis of a model is usually
as an especially systematic approach to knowing; engineering could be straightforward, conforming to fundamental principles derived from
conceived as an especially systematic approach to willing. science, its initial construction and subsequent adjustment require “the
My adaptation of Bernard Lonergan’s transcendental precepts provides conscious use of skill and creative imagination” – the dictionary definition
the backdrop for this assessment (“Engineers Are Persons, Too,” January of art (“Philosophy and Engineering,” September 2008).
2010). Attentive experience, intelligent understanding, and reasonable The bottom line is that engineering is not deterministic; it routinely
judgment lead us to adopt beliefs about how the world was in the past involves selecting a way forward from among multiple options when
and is now; considerate deliberation and responsible decision lead us to there is no one “right” answer. Consequently, the concept of engineering
make choices about how the world will be in the future. This framework rationality is a bit of a misnomer; engineering intentionality is a more
recognizes the interactions between knowing and willing, as well as appropriate term. Design – in fact, all human behavior – is ultimately
their distinctions, which become evident when comparing the scientific governed by motives, rather than reasons. Although common usage treats
and engineering methods. these two terms as virtually synonymous, the prevalence of the latter in
Scientists observe natural phenomena, propose hypotheses in an effort both ordinary and philosophical discourse reflects an ancient prejudice
to explain them, and conduct careful experiments to test their theories. that subordinates practice to theory and action to contemplation; i.e.,
Although the will is implicitly involved, the intellect is primary, because willing to knowing. Since engineers exemplify willing, we should strive
the goal is ideal - additional “objective” knowledge. According to Billy to resist and reverse this tendency.▪
Koen, engineers use heuristics to cause the best change in a poorly
How do knowing and willing interact in your own practice
understood situation within the available resources (“The Engineering Your of engineering? Do you agree that the will is primary,
Method,” March 2006). Although the intellect is implicitly involved,
the will is primary, because the goal is pragmatic – some “subjective”
Turn rather than the intellect? Is it legitimate to distinguish
outcome; knowledge serves mainly as a necessary but insufficient means between rationality and intentionality? between reasons and motives?
to that contingent end (“Engineering Knowledge,” November 2007). Please submit your responses and see what others have had to say by
Koen suggests that a heuristic is any plausible aid or direction in the clicking on the “Your Turn” button at
solution of a problem that is in the final analysis unjustified, incapable
of justification, and potentially fallible (“Heuristics and Judgment,” Jon A. Schmidt, P.E., SECB (, is an
May 2006). This formulation reflects how engineering is at odds with associate structural engineer at Burns & McDonnell in Kansas City,
the dominant tradition in Western culture, which – as Steven Goldman Missouri. He chairs the STRUCTURE magazine Editorial Board and
points out – favors certainty and universality over probability and the SEI Engineering Philosophy Committee.
particularity; i.e., abstract knowledge over concrete know-how (“The
Principle of Insufficient Reason,” May 2008). While heuristics cannot References to articles/issues in this essay are to STRUCTURE magazine.
be “proven” in the absolute sense, their utilization is legitimately Please visit for full text of these
warranted, frequently on the grounds of successful past implementation. referenced articles.
Each individual engineer has a unique collection of relevant heuristics
at his or her disposal, along with “meta-heuristics” for selecting which Upcoming Event
heuristics are most appropriate in a given set of circumstances. When The 2010 Forum on Philosophy, Engineering & Technology
these are combined to facilitate translating a client’s technical and non- (fPET-2010) will take place May 9-10 at the Colorado School of
technical requirements into a viable solution that adequately accounts Mines in Golden, Colorado. For more information, please visit
for uncertainty and satisfies all applicable constraints, they constitute
what William Addis calls a design procedure (“The Nature of Theory

Editorial Board
Chair Craig E. Barnes, P.E., SECB Brian J. Leshko, P.E. Mike C. Mota, P.E. Greg Schindler, P.E., S.E.
Jon A. Schmidt, P.E., SECB CBI Consulting, Inc. HDR Engineering, Inc. CRSI KPFF Consulting Engineers
Burns & McDonnell Boston, MA Pittsburgh, PA Williamstown, NJ Seattle, WA
Kansas City, MO Richard Hess, S.E., SECB John A. Mercer, P.E. Evans Mountzouris, P.E. Stephen P. Schneider, Ph.D., P.E., S.E.
Hess Engineering Inc. Mercer Engineering, PC The DiSalvo Ericson Group Kramer Gehlen & Associates, Inc.
Executive Editor Los Alamitos, CA Minot, ND Ridgefield, CT Vancouver, WA
Jeanne M. Vogelzang, JD, CAE Brian W. Miller Matthew Salveson, Ph.D., P.E. John “Buddy” Showalter, P.E.
Mark W. Holmberg, P.E.
Heath & Lineback Engineers, Inc. AISC Dokken Engineering AF & PA/American Wood Council
Chicago, IL
Marietta, GA Davis, CA Folsom, CA Washington, DC

STRUCTURE magazine 9 March 2010

Achieving Sustainability through Durability, Design for Adaptability can help extend
the life of structural materials, both within
Adaptability, and Deconstructibility a current project, and as salvaged materials
in future projects
By Dirk M. Kestner, P.E., LEED AP and Mark D. Webster, P.E., LEED AP
A building’s life-cycle environmental A 2004 study by The Athena Institute Design for
impact includes both operational and em- surveyed buildings demolished in St. Adaptability (DfA)
bodied components. Operational impacts Paul, Minnesota from the period of 2000 Adaptability is the ability of a structure to
are those such as energy consumption to 2003. While the study was partially accommodate varied and often unknown
that occur during use, while embodied motivated by a desire to understand the future uses and changes with minimum
impacts are mostly due to the production relationship between structural materials of cost and effort. DfA can extend the
and installation of the building’s materials. and building longevity, it revealed that life of a building by making it easier to
An example of an embodied impact is the the three most common reasons for a adapt it to new uses. The Athena study
pollution released during the extraction, building to be demolished were: area re- found that 22% of the buildings were
manufacture, and installation of a build- development (34%), lack of maintenance demolished because they were no longer
ing component. The longer a building (24%), and building no longer suitable suitable for their needs.
remains in service, the smaller the em- for intended use (22%). These findings Many strategies for adaptability are the
bodied impacts are per year of service. show that most of the buildings were de- same as the strategies for deconstruction,
Therefore, efforts to minimize embodied molished not due to durability problems, which is discussed later. These strategies
impacts must also include strategies to but rather due to poor adaptability. focus on simplicity, repetition, transparency,
increase service life. This article discusses The study also found that the building and so on. Those who have worked on ex-
the validity of common service life assump- longevity was not highly dependent on isting buildings know how important an
tions, and challenges design professionals the structural material used to construct easily comprehensible structural system is
to achieve greater sustainability by incor- the structural frame. Some of the oldest to the success of adaptive reuse projects.

porating durability, adaptability, and demolished commercial buildings were Complex structural systems with con-
deconstructibility in their designs. wood-framed and most of the younger cealed conditions increase the adaptation
A 50-year lifespan is often assumed for buildings were steel or concrete. Over costs because the structural investigation
common building types such as com- 60 percent of the concrete buildings de- is more expensive and uncertainties about
mercial buildings and schools. However, molished were less than 50 years old, with component capacities lead the engineer
many buildings are demolished when they roughly 10% being less than 25 years old. to take a more conservative approach.
are well short of 50 years of age, often for The results were more striking for steel When the building code prescribes a
reasons other than material degradation. buildings; 80% of those buildings were minimum lateral load capacity for reuse
Premature demolition and replacement less than 50 years old, with 40% being projects, uncertainty about the existing
of buildings impacts our environment in less than 25 years old. lateral-load-resisting system could lead to
many ways, from the disposal of demo- This limited survey shows that there are extensive investigation or unnecessarily
lition waste to the need to manufacture a number of reasons why a building may costly upgrades to the system.
and install new materials. While many be demolished, with many reasons com- DfA is most important for buildings
designers have started to specify recycled pletely unrelated to material durability. For
sustainability and preservation as they pertain to structural engineering

that are likely to undergo changes in use

content materials, this is only a first step. modern buildings, the building’s lifespan over their lives. Good candidates are:
Recycled materials, even those that contain may be considerably shorter than an as- • office buildings, where tenants
100% recycled content, still may have sumed 50-year span. Furthermore, since frequently change;
significant embodied impacts. In an at- in most instances the structural system does • schools, where changing
tempt to increase longevity, some may be not “wear out,” it can have considerable re- demographics and educational
tempted to specify more robust or “durable” sidual value at the end of a building’s life. requirements often lead to school
materials, but durability may not be the The application of Design for Decon- building decommissioning;
best strategy to increase building life. struction, Design for Durability, and • industrial buildings; and
• churches (other than elaborate
cathedrals), where congregations
come and go.
Iconic buildings such as certain museums
and cathedrals are likely to remain more
static over their lives and are less likely to
benefit from DfA.
Some building types are likely to be short-
lived and are inherently difficult to adapt,
such as commercial strip malls in growing
suburbs. These types of structures are best
designed simply for deconstruction and
material reuse, with sufficient durability
to protect the materials through their pro-
jected short life.
Figure 1: The Chartwell School, Seaside, CA, designed by EHDD Architecture with Tipping + Mar
Associates as structural engineer. Courtesy of Michael David Rose / MDRP.NET.

STRUCTURE magazine 10 March 2010

structural system, it makes the most sense to
design the structure for enough durability to
ensure that it is not the weak link that results
in a building’s demise. The 2004 Athena
demolition survey suggests we are typically
meeting this objective already. Buildings in
this small study were for the most part not
demolished as a result of deterioration of the
structural system. Nevertheless, we should
strive to ensure that deterioration of the struc-
tural system is never the cause of a building’s
demise. Since the building envelope often
protects the structural system, the structural
engineer should understand envelope systems
and work with the envelope designer to de-
velop an integrated structure-envelope design
that will ensure the long life of the structural
Figure 2: Rinker Hall, The University of Florida, designed by Croxton Collaborative Architects and Gould
Evans Associates with Walter P Moore as structural engineer. Courtesy of Chroma, Inc. system. Where envelope systems have a shorter
predicted service life than the structural system,
A sampling of DfA strategies for building the envelope system should be designed to be
structures includes: Design for Durability (DfDr) easily removed from the building structure
• Designing using higher-than-code- Should we always design our buildings for and replaced.
minimum live loads when future uses maximum durability? Or are there cases where Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Stan-
may require them; lesser durability would suffice? Actual build- dard S478, Guideline on Durability in Buildings,
• Providing redundancy and resiliency ing life is often much less than predicted life. defines the concepts of “design service life”
in the lateral system in case future Many buildings also survive much longer than and “predicted service life.” The design service
adaptations require changes such as new predicted, although this scenario appears to life is “specified by the designer in accordance
openings in shear walls; the Chartwell be less common, at least for non-residential with the expectations (or requirements) of the
School (Figure 1) used shear walls with buildings. Given the difficulty of forecast- owners of the building.” The predicted service
extra capacity along the main corridor ing building life and the permanency of the life is the service life “forecast from recorded
in case new doorways to reconfigured
classrooms are needed in the future;
• Consideration of how the building may Irvine Institute
be expanded in the future, such as sizing
foundations and columns for vertical of Technology
additions; and 8659 Research Drive, Irvine, CA 92618
• Coordination of the structural system Director: C.V. Chelapati, Ph.D., P.E
with other building systems to ease future
renovation; Rinker Hall (Figure 2) routed Join us in our 37th year of providing outstanding License Review Seminars!
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STRUCTURE magazine 11 March 2010

performance, previous experience, tests, or easily separable for reuse. For this reason, the
modeling.” The design goal outlined in the building will be valued not just for its location,
standard is for the predicted service life of the functionality, and aesthetics; it also will have
building, and its components and systems, to inherent value in its constituent parts.
meet or exceed the design service life. A combination of green building rating sys-
Using the DfDr approach outlined by the tem incentives, price increases for new materials,
CSA standard, one might attempt to match and possibly tax or regulatory incentives could
the predicted life of the structural system drive the demand for DfD. Market forces
to the design life of the building. However, alone are not sufficient at this time. It is diffi-
designing the structural system of a building cult to convince building owners to implement
with a short predicted life for less durability design features when the return on investment
than the system for a building with a longer is perceived to be realized only at the end of
predicted life carries risks: the building’s life. Changes are also needed in
• The building may actually last longer materials handling. For example, suppliers will
than predicted, risking deterioration of Figure 3: The Discovery Center, South Lake Union, need to start stocking used materials in addi-
the structural system before the building Seattle, WA designed by The Miller|Hull Partnership tion to new materials. Deconstruction specialists
reaches the end of its life; and with Magnusson Klemencic Associates as structural will need to develop efficient techniques for
• Even if the building life matches the engineer. Courtesy of Magnusson Klemencic Associates. dismantling buildings, and will need markets
predicted life, the structural materials for the used materials. Materials labeling, per-
buildings is greater than the benefit from less
may have begun to deteriorate and may haps following the model of wood grading,
common long-life buildings, both due to the
no longer be suitable for reuse. will help designers and consumers identify
relative numbers of these building types, but
Once one accepts that closing the materials the strength and quality of used materials.
also because the impact of the wasted materials
loop calls for deconstruction of buildings at Higher demand for used materials will drive
averaged over the life of the building is less for
end-of-life and reuse of materials, DfDr of the the development of markets, which is where
the long-life buildings. Nevertheless, DfD is
structural system becomes paramount for all green building rating systems and government
good practice for all buildings, because actual
buildings, whether they are predicted to have incentives could help, until future scarcity of
building life is highly unpredictable.
a short or long life. resources and increased energy prices drive up
The structural system, as the bones of a
the cost of new materials.
building, is generally the most permanent
Design for Deconstruction (DfD) part of the building system. As such, when a
Materials sustainability depends upon “clos- structural system is deconstructed, it is typi- Conclusion
ing the materials loop,” meaning the material cally at the end of the building’s life, which is The Athena demolition study is an impor-
life-cycle is circular (use  collect  process a consideration when designing the structure tant start to developing a better understanding
 reuse) rather than linear (extract manu- for deconstruction. Other building systems of the types of buildings that are likely to have
facture  use  discard). Deconstruction, a will typically already be removed before long lives and why. More studies of this type
demolition method where a structure is care- work begins on deconstructing the structural are required for structural engineers and other
fully and methodically disassembled so as to system. A thorough designer for deconstruction building design practitioners to create effective
salvage as many components as possible, is a will consider how the structure will be disas- strategies to increase building life and facilitate
key step in this circular life-cycle. DfD is sembled. What type of equipment will be reuse of building materials.
a design strategy intended to facilitate future utilized? Where will the workers be situated While the concepts discussed here are not
deconstruction. Though rarely used today, DfD during the work? Could the initial structural currently rewarded in LEED, projects embrac-
is arguably the most important green design design be tailored to improve safety and stability ing these strategies have been recognized by
strategy for achieving material sustainability during disassembly? other green building organizations such as
through closing the materials loop. Durability Little incentive exists in today’s construction the American Institute of Architects Commit-
and adaptability may never be required for market to design for deconstruction. LEED®, tee on the Environment (AIA COTE) Top Ten
buildings that, due to factors such as neigh- the most popular green building rating system, Green Projects and the EPA’s Lifecycle Build-
borhood changes, have a short life; however does not reward DfD in its standard credits. ing Challenge (
virtually all buildings will eventually be replaced LEED Innovation Credits may be applied to- More details on each project, as well as other
or removed, so facilitating deconstruction and wards DfD, but to the authors’ knowledge no winners, can be found at▪
material reuse will almost certainly be useful. team has successfully obtained LEED credit
Most of the buildings presently under for DfD. Green Globes™, another green build-
construction will likely be gone in less than ing rating system, offers up to three points for Dirk M. Kestner, P.E., LEED AP, leads
50 years. In some cases, such as The Discovery designs allowing the removal of reusable materi- Walter P Moore’s Sustainable Design
Center at Lake Union, Seattle, WA (Figure als without damaging the surrounding materials, Community of Practice, and is also chairman
3), a structure may be constructed with the but this rating system is not widely used. of the SEI Sustainability Committee. He can
understanding that its service life will be as DfD should increase the value of a building be reached at
short as a few years. Monumental buildings, for two reasons: the building will be easier Mark D. Webster, P.E., LEED AP, a project
on the other hand, such as elaborate cathedrals, to modify and improve during its useful life; manager at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
museums, and other important public and and, at the end of its life the salvage value of Inc., is a founding member and the Secretary
institutional buildings, likely will survive its constituent materials will be higher. The of the SEI Sustainability Committee. He can
much longer. The environmental benefit of materials will have been selected for their be reached at
reusing materials from common short-life reusability and connected together so as to be
The committee website is

STRUCTURE magazine 12 March 2010

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© 2010 Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc. SSW10-S

The Rational Design of Anchored Masonry Veneer
By W. Mark McGinley, Ph.D., P.E.

Anchored masonry veneer wall systems MPH, cavity widths in excess of 4½ inches,
are commonly used in residential, com- new tie systems, and is costly to apply in
mercial and institutional construction. rehabilitation designs.

Wind or Seismic Loads on

As shown in Figure 1, these exterior The rational design method is more

the Masonry Veneer

wall systems include an outer wythe time-consuming to design, and the code Variable

Backing Wall
(layer) of masonry veneer attached provisions give very little guidance. Rational Anchor (tie)
across an air space to a backing wall by veneer design requires that: Loads
anchors. These backing wall systems 1) The forces applied to the veneer
may be sheathed wood and steel stud are distributed using the principles
walls, concrete masonry walls or poured of mechanics.
concrete walls. The veneer wythe is 2) The backing deflection is limited.
typically constructed with units of clay 3) Veneer is not subjected to either
or concrete masonry with a nominal the flexural stress limits defined
thickness of 2⅝ to 4 inches. in the allowable stress provisions
By definition, the exterior masonry in Chapter 2 of the Code, or the Figure 2: Out-of-Plane Load Distribution of
portion of this system is nonload-bearing modulus of rupture values in Uncracked Wall System.
and is usually considered only an exterior Chapter 3.
finish for the building envelope. 4) Designers comply with the and veneer support depends on the rela-
For masonry design, model building general provisions (Chapter 1), tive stiffness of the veneer, anchors and
codes reference the Masonry Standards with the exception that a specified backing system. This distribution is fur-
Joint Committees’ Building Code Require- compression strength (f 'm) ther complicated by variation in anchor
ments for Masonry Structures, TMS402/ is not required. configuration (especially free play and
ACI530/ASCE5 (MSJC). Chapter 6 of this 5) Meet the prescriptive requirements stiffness). However, analysis and tests data
document (2008 edition) describes two for stack bonded masonry and suggest that, for stud backing walls,
methods for veneer design, the prescriptive higher seismic zones. the veneer generally spans between the
and rational methods. The prescriptive Implicit in any veneer design is that it anchors near the top and bottom of the
method requires that the backing wall be can accommodate differential movement wall until the veneer cracks. This induces
designed to resist the entire out-of-plane and resist moisture penetration. larger anchor loads near the veneer top
wind loading, and provides prescriptive For design, the wall behavior under in- and bottom, if the backing is flexible rela-
thickness, tie spacing, and tributary area plane and out-of-plane loading must be tive to the veneer. As load on the veneer is
increased, it usually cracks in a bed joint

details for the veneer. Almost all masonry addressed. Under in-plane loads, little load
veneer wall systems are designed pre- will be transferred between the veneer near mid-height at a loading well below
scriptively. However, that method does and backing if the wall is detailed properly the peak design levels.
not extend to wind zones in excess of 130 and the in-plane deformations are con- After the veneer cracks, it acts as two
trolled. To ensure the backing wall carries separate pin connected sections over a
all in-plane loads, it is suggested that the variable support and the anchor loading
veneer contain horizontal and vertical near mid-span is greater than elsewhere.
movement joints and that vertical defor- However, non-linear analyses suggest that
mation and inter-story drift be limited. if anchor/backing stiffness is relatively
Masonry Veneer
For out-of-plane loads, an under- low, and/or if the anchors are reasonably
standing of the wall system behavior is ductile, the anchor loads will be approx-
necessary. A good overview is available in imately uniform at ultimate loading.
Anchors (ties) Masonry Veneer Wall Systems (Structural Reasonably ductile or flexible anchor sys-
Engineering Report #156, Department of tems allow redistribution of anchor loads.
Civil Engineering, University of Alberta, In light of the variability of the anchor
design issues for structural engineers

Edmonton, by McGinley et al.), Brick stiffness and thus the load distribution,
Veneer/Steel Stud Walls, Technical Note 28B approximating the anchor load as uni-
(2005 by the Brick Industry Association), form is reasonable.
Backing Wall and the Design Guide For Anchored Brick Out-of-plane cyclic load tests of these
Veneer Over Steel Stud Systems (Western systems also suggest that the critical
States Clay Products Association). anchor loading will always be tension;
Figure 2 shows a schematic of the out-of- under compression, there are sufficient
plane load distribution within the wall mortar droppings in the cavity to support
system. Under these loads, the veneer spans the anchors and veneer and transfer the
over a variable anchor support locations loads to the backing wall.
where the loading is transferred to the The above behavior suggests the follow-
backing wall. The anchor load distribution ing design methodology:
Figure 1: Schematic of Anchored Masonry Veneer.

STRUCTURE magazine 14 March 2010

A rational veneer design of the wall system The backing wall design was performed and
shown in Figure 3 follows. This reinforced, the 8-inch CMU wall, reinforced with a # 5
8-inch, concrete masonry (CMU) with a rebar (60 ksi steel) at 16 inches on center, can
4-inch clay brick veneer wall system is in a resist the uniform wind 38.4 psf over a 20-
Brick Veneer warehouse located in a 140-mph wind zone. foot span.
Based on the simplified procedures in ASCE For the veneer design, the maximum anchor
7 for component and cladding wind loads, spacing must be set to preclude additional
peak wind service level wind loads of 38.4 psf veneer cracking at ultimate load levels. To
can be expected for the corner regions of this ensure this behavior, the stresses in the clay
20-foot tall building. Wind loads govern for masonry veneer will be limited to the modulus
out-of-plane loads since the building is in a of rupture values listed in Table of
Seismic Design Category B. Only the corner the MSJC.
design is given. Using Type S masonry cement mortar, MSJC
Because the wind speed exceeds 130 MPH, a Table defines a flexural tensile stress
rational design must be conducted. Based on limit of 60 psi for stresses normal to bed joints
the proposed design methodology, the CMU (vertical span) and 120 psi for stress parallel
Figure 3: Brick Veneer and Masonry. to bed joints (horizontal span). If simple
wall is designed to resist the entire out-of-
plane wind load, and the veneer be designed to supports are conservatively assumed in both
1) Assume the veneer cracks in a bed joint
span between the anchors. A relatively ductile the horizontal and vertical directions, and the
near mid-span of the wall. A bed joint
anchor (tie) system will be chosen so there will factored wind load, Wu is equal to 1.6 × 38.4 =
can be raked at mid-height to ensure
be adequate redistribution of forces to ensure 61.4 psf, the maximum vertical and horizontal
this happens.
a uniform loading assumption. veneer spans can be determined as follows:
2) Design the backing system to resist the
resulting out-of-plane loading. For unreinforced masonry the resistance factor, φ = 0.60
3) Design the anchors to resist out-of- Vertical Span:
plane loads in proportion to the load 61.4 psf × (Lv)2
distribution and tributary area. M × 12 in./ft.
φƒtv = 0.60×0.60 psi = u = 8 ⇒ Lv = 3.21 ft = 38 inches
a) For stud-backed systems with stiff S 12 in. (3.63 in.)2
and brittle anchors, it might be
assumed that the anchors near mid
Horizontal Span:
span resist reactions produced by
the two sections of veneer spanning 61.4 psf × (Lh)2
× 12 in./ft.
from the top and bottom to mid- φƒtv = 0.60×120 psi = Mu = 8 ⇒ Lh = 4.53 ft = 54 inches
height. Although anchor loads are S 12 in. (3.63 in.)2
best determined by finite element 6
analysis, they might be approximated Note that the nominal 4-inch clay units have a specified thickness of 3.63 inches.
by assuming the anchors within one These distances define the limits of the anchor spacing that are possible without further
anchor spacing of the mid-height veneer cracking being likely. However, it is possible that a bed joint containing a line of ties
and the top and bottom of the wall may crack. If this occurs, a section of veneer would have to span as a cantilever from the
resist the veneer reactions. tie line, either above or below the cracked joint. However, there is usually enough keying
b) For flexible/ductile anchor between the unit cores and the mortar to at least approximate a pinned connection at this
systems, and for stiff backing location. There is, however, a section of veneer that typically must act as a cantilever. That is
walls, it appears that a reasonable the section of veneer at the top of the wall above the last set of ties. To ensure that the veneer
approximation can be obtained by will not crack off in this area, the flexural tension stress on the cantilever section must be
assuming that all anchors are loaded kept below the Code-prescribed maximums. This limits section cantilevering from the top
uniformly based on tributary area. anchors to:
4) Design the masonry veneer to span 61.4 psf × (Lv top)2
× 12 in./ft.
between anchor supports without φƒtv = 2 = 0.60×60 psi ⇒ Lv top = 1.60 ft = 19 inches
further cracking by limiting the veneer 12 in. (3.63 in.)2
moments to those predicted by the 6
stress limits in either Chapter 2 or This same crack isolation is not likely in the horizontal direction. Thus, the highest level
Chapter 3 of the MSJC. Although of anchors must be placed within 19 inches of the top of the veneer. If the designer was
MSJC provisions specifically exempt concerned about the load transfer at a cracked bed joint, this vertical spacing limit can also be
veneers from having to meet these applied to the rest of the anchors, but this may be overly conservative.
limits, they are a good means to limit The anchors must now be designed, but there is little guidance on how to do this in the
the crack isolation of veneer sections. MSJC. The MSJC commentary does reference the Canadian CSA A 370 (Connectors for
Masonry) Standard. This document provides limit state design provisions for masonry anchors
Read this issue

and ties, and requires that the nominal capacities of the ties (determined based on tests or

analysis) be reduced by a capacity-reduction factor of 0.9 for material failures and 0.6 for
online at anchorage or buckling failures. The factored capacities then must meet or exceed the anchor

loading produced by factored design loads. continued on next page
n of NCSE
A Joint

STRUCTURE magazine 15 March 2010

Double Print Tie 2.94 square feet. Veneer stresses also limited
the anchor vertical spacing to 38 inches and
54 inches horizontally, and there must be a

e row of anchors within 19 inches from the top
of the wall.
The anchor system pictured in Figure 4 is
prefabricated so that the horizontal spacing of
the eyes is 16 inches. Standard practice would
then have the eyes and joint reinforcing placed
in every other block course, or 16 inches
vertically, even though the vertical spacing
of the ties could be increased to 24 inches
Figure 4: An Adjustable Pintle and Eye Anchor System. without violating the vertical spacing limits or
the maximum tributary limits.
A number of manufactures provide ultimate The average eccentricity of the ties at the
In this example, a spacing of 16 inches
strength test data for design, usually on the peak loading location is not likely to be at the
vertically, along with the predefined 16-inch
web. A brief web search identified an anchor code allowed maximum (an average of 0.75
horizontal spacing was used. This allowed a
system shown in Figure 4. This adjustable inches was assumed). Also, the pintle capacity
larger average eccentricity to be present in the
pintle and eye system is used commonly in is limited by a ductile bending failure of the
pintle legs and matched common practice.
multi-wythe masonry construction, and allows legs, allowing significant load redistribution.
It should be noted that additional anchors
for differential vertical movements between Thus, the factored capacity of the anchor is
should be provided at larger openings as
the veneer and the backing wall. It also accom- the smallest of:
described in the Code Section,
modates coursing variations between the two φTie = 0.9 × 200 = 180 pounds ⇐ governs
with anchors within 12 inches of the opening
wythes of masonry. or = 0.6 × 800 = 480 pounds
and at a maximum spacing of 24 inches or the
The ultimate resistance for this tie system This calculation suggests that the critical tie
minimums described above (which control
(tension or compression) is 980 pounds for capacity is 180 pounds. Assuming that the tie
for this wall).
a zero pintle eccentricity, 200 pounds for a forces are uniformly distributed, then the
Finally, the rational veneer design provisions
0.75 inch pintle eccentricity and 100 pounds
for a pintle eccentricity of the code allowed Maximum tie tributary area = 180 lblb = 2.93 ft2 would require the system deflections be limited
61.4 /ft 2
to ensure veneer stability. The concrete ma-
maximum of 1.25 inches. Note that the tie
sonry backing wall is so stiff this is not going
flexibility varies over 400% over this same The above calculations indicate that ties with
to be an issue for this design. If a stud backing
range. The maximum pull-out strength of the a capacity of 180 pounds can be spaced so that
wall was used in the design, deflections should
pintle from a mortar joint is 800 pounds. their individual tributary areas do not exceed
be limited. Some documents suggest limiting
the stud deflections to a maximum of the stud
span divided by 360 (L/360), and some sug-
gest that this limit should be L/600. The less
stringent L/360 limit is likely to be more than
sufficient to limit veneer instability. Propo-
nents of the more stringent limit argue that
it will reduce the amount of moisture that
penetrates the veneer. However, the veneer is
assumed to be cracked, and limiting the crack
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width at one location under transient wind

loads will not appreciably change the amount
of water penetrating the wall system once the
crack is present.
The previous discussion presents the author’s
interpretation of the current code rational de-
sign provisions for veneer. Although these
interpretations are based on a significant
experience with this type of wall system, both
research and in the field, readers are encouraged
to review these recommendations and make
there own judgments.▪

Dr. McGinley is a Professor of Engineering

and Endowed Chair of Infrastructure
Research at the University of Louisville.
He has extensive research and practical
experience in the evaluation and design of
masonry building systems. Dr. McGinley may
be reached at

STRUCTURE magazine 16 March 2010

All Resource Guides and Updates for the 2010 Editorial Calendar, including the 2010
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STR 6-09
2008 Special Design Provisions
for Wind and Seismic


updates and discussions related to codes and standartds
By Philip Line, P.E., Bradford K. Douglas, P.E., and Peter Mazikins, M.Eng, P.Eng
A djo ining panel edge
The 2008 Edition of the Special De- P anel edge

sign Provisions for Wind and Seismic

2 1 /2 " - 3 1/2"

5 or 7 Equal
was approved as an American National

S paces
Standard on August 4, 2008, with a des- 2 1/2"
3/8" m in.
3/8" m in.
ignation ANSI / AF&PA SDPWS-2008. 1/2"
The 2008 SDPWS was developed by
AF&PA’s Wood Design Standards Com-
mittee (WDSC) and contains provisions
B oundary fastening (tw o lines staggered is show n)
for design of wood members, fasteners, F astene r spacing
and assemblies to resist wind and seismic 3" nom inal - tw o lines of fa steners
forces. Several additions and revisions to
Figure 1: Excerpt from SDPWS Figure 4C – High load diaphragm.
the specification have been incorporated
in this latest edition.
Unit shear strength and apparent shear center are consistent with similar provi-
stiffness values are provided in Table sions in the 2006 IBC. Staggered nailing
High Load Diaphragms 4.3B for each combination of nailing at adjoining panel edges where 3 inches
Provisions for wood structural panel and sheathing thickness. nominal or wider framing is used is also
blocked diaphragms with multiple rows added. This new provision appears under
of fasteners, also known as “high load dia- Shear Strength footnote 6 of Table 4.3A and footnote 5
phragms”, have been added consistent with of Table 4.3B.
Reduction Equation
provisions in the 2006 International Build-
For Perforated Shear Wall
ing Code (IBC) and the 2003 National Shear Wall Construction
Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program Equation 4.3-5 has been added to Two 2x Members as an Alternative
(NEHRP) Provisions. A distinguishing SDPWS to provide more accurate results to a Single 3x Member
feature of high load diaphragms, rela- for perforated shear walls having open-
tive to typical blocked wood structural ings of different heights within the wall Use of two 2x framing members ad-
panel diaphragms, is use of nominal 3x length. Equation 4.3-5 was the basis for equately fastened together in place of a
or 4x framing at adjoining panel edges tabulated shear capacity adjustment fac- single 3x member required at adjoining
and boundaries and presence of multiple tors in the current SDPWS; however, panel edges in shear wall construction
rows of fasteners at these locations (Figure for tabulation purposes, all openings in is consistent with guidance in the 2005
1). Apparent shear stiffness values are tab- the perforated shear wall were assumed SDPWS Commentary, as well as a similar
ulated for each combination of nailing and to have a height equal to the maximum provision in the 2006 IBC. To address
sheathing thickness as is done for typi- opening height. Use of the equation will proper fabrication where nail spacing
cal blocked and unblocked diaphragms always provide values of the shear capacity in the “stitched” members at adjoining
in the SDPWS to simplify calculation of adjustment factor that are equal to or panel edges is close, staggered nailing is
diaphragm deflection. greater than obtained from the table. required where fastener spacing is closer
than 4 inches on center.
Shear Walls Framing and Nailing
Wood Structural Panels Installed
Unblocked Shear Walls
For Shear Walls Sheathed
Over Gypsum Wallboard or On Two Sides New provisions for unblocked wood
Gypsum Sheathing Board structural panel shear walls are applicable
New provisions for staggering of ad-
only to wood structural panel shear walls
Provisions for wood structural panels joining panel edges and minimum
16 feet in height or less, aspect ratio of
applied over gypsum wallboard or gypsum nominal framing width for two-sided
2:1 or less, and panel edge nail spacing
sheathing have been added consistent wood structural panel shear walls (Figure
of 6 inches on center. Unblocked shear
with provisions in IBC and NEHRP. 2) with nail spacing less than 6 inches on
wall adjustment factors, ranging in value
from 0.4 to 1.0, reduce the strength of
3x framing
the reference blocked shear wall with
Adjoining panel edge Adjoining studs at 24 inches on center to account
or blocking panel edge
for presence of unblocked panel edges.
Unblocked shear walls exhibit load-
deflection behavior similar to that of the
blocked shear wall reference condition
Adjoining panel Adjoining but with reduced values of strength
edges staggered panel edge based on application of Cub. To account
a. Adjoining panel edges staggered b. Adjoining panel edges not staggered for reduction in unblocked shear wall
Figure 2: Wood structural panel sheathing on two-sides.

STRUCTURE magazine 19 March 2010

N ail sp acing at interm ediate S h e ath in g e d g e at b o tto m p late S h e ath in g e d g e at to p p late
fram ing, 12" o.c. (sin g le ro w a n d d o u b le ro w o f fas te n e rs ) (sin g le ro w a n d d o u b le ro w o f fas te n e rs ) where vertical joints in the gypsum lath are
3 /4 " P anel edge
staggered. Unit shear values are based on
cyclic testing and consistent with a similar
revision accepted in the 2007 Supplement to
S pacing
S hea r w all de sig n n ail spacing

the 2006 IBC.

3 /4 " S pacing

P anel edge Foundation Anchorage

S ingle row of fa steners S ingle row of fa steners
1 /2 "1 /2 " S pacing
Revised provisions for plate washer size and
P anel edge
location are specified for anchoring of wall
bottom plates. Increase in washer size, from
S pacing
2½-inch square in the 2005 SDPWS to
1 /2 " S pacing 3-inch square in the 2008 SDPWS, makes
1 /2 "
washer size consistent with 2006 IBC and
P anel edge S pacing 2006 International Residential Code (IRC)
A lte rna ite na il spacing D ouble ro w of fasteners D ouble ro w of fasteners and provides specific allowance for the slot to
p e r T ab le 4 .4 .1 o r 4 .4 .2
facilitate washer placement.
Figure 3: Excerpt from SDPWS Figure 4G – Panel Attachment. The ½-inch distance from the washer edge
to the sheathed edge (Figure 4) limits po-
stiffness, which is proportional to reduc- calculations in accordance with the National tential for cross grain bending, but is not
tion in strength, SDPWS specifies Design Specification® (NDS®) for Wood Con- required for low strength sheathing materials
that deflection of unblocked shear walls is struction, 2005 and conditions verified by because bottom plate failure is not the failure
to be calculated from standard deflection full-scale testing. Allowable values of up- limit state. For low strength materials, failure
equations using an amplified value of in- lift capacity are determined by dividing the mechanisms include tear-out and slotting
duced unit shear. nominal values by the allowable stress design (e.g. gypsum wallboard) of the sheathing, as
(ASD) reduction factor of 2.0. well as fastener head pull-through. An exception
Combined Uplift and Detailing options for use of wood structural to the plate washer requirement is provided
Shear Resistance panels to transfer tension forces within a based on testing and is applicable for walls
Wood Structural Panels story or between stories are provided. Figure having an aspect ratio less than 2:1, nomi-
Resisting Wind Loads 3 provides minimum distance from top and nal shear for seismic not exceeding 980 plf
bottom edges of wood structural panels used (comparable to 7/16-inch OSB with 8d nails at
Provisions for wood structural panels de-
to resist tension and spanning from the top 3 inches o.c. at panel edges) and where hold
signed to resist combined shear and uplift
plate to the bottom plate within a single story. downs are sized to resist total overturning ne-
from wind have been added in Section 4.4
glecting dead load stabilizing moment.
and update similar provisions first recog-
nized in the Standard for Hurricane Resistant Gypsum Lath and Plaster Walls
Construction, SSTD-10 in 1999. Tabulated A new category of shear walls using gypsum Fiberboard Aspect Ratio
values of nominal uplift capacity for various lath, plain or perforated, has been added An increased aspect ratio for structural fi-
combinations of nailing schedules and panel in Table 4.3C to recognize increased unit berboard shear walls has been incorporated
type and thickness establish limits based on shear capacity and stiffness of this wall type in Table 4.3.4 based on strength and stiffness
determined from cyclic testing. A maximum
aspect ratio of 3.5:1 is permitted but adjust-
ment factors accounting for reduced strength
and stiffness are applicable where the aspect
ratio is greater than 1.0. For seismic design,
the aspect ratio reduction factor is based on
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STRUCTURE magazine 20 March 2010

Format of Diaphragm and
Shear Wall Tables
Wood Structural Panels
(OSB and Plywood)
A revised format of diaphragm and shear 1/2" maximum
wall tables incorporates apparent shear stiff-
Plate washer edge
ness, Ga, for OSB and plywood in the same Sheathed edge
tables. Previously, Appendix tables were used of bottom plate
to provide tabulated values of apparent shear
stiffness for plywood.

Reference Documents
References to product standards have been
updated. Addition and update of product Figure 4: Distance for plate washer edge to
standards are as follows: sheathed edge.

Product standards added: Conclusion

ANSI / CPA A135.6, Hardboard AWC’s 2008 SDPWS was approved August
Siding, Composite Panel Association, 4, 2008 as an American National Standard.
Gaithersburg, MD, 2006. (Replaces AHA SDPWS covers materials, design, and con-
A135.4-95 and AHA A135.5-95) struction of wood members, fasteners, and

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ASTM C 1396 / C 1396M-06a, Standard assemblies to resist wind and seismic forces.
Specification for Gypsum Board, ASTM, As an update to the 2005 SDPWS standard,
West Conshohocken, PA, 2006. (Replaces several notable new provisions of the 2008
ASTM C 36 / C 36M-01, ASTM C SDPWS standard provide new design options
37 / C 37M-01, ASTM C 79 / C 79M-01, for wood construction to resist forces from
ASTM C 588 / C 588M-01, ASTM C wind or seismic coupled with limitations on
630 / C 630M-01) the use of new design options. Examples in-
clude new criteria for wood structural panels
Product standards updated: designed to resist combined shear and uplift
ANSI A208.1-99, Particleboard, ANSI, from wind, addition of provisions for un-
New York, NY, 1999. blocked shear walls, and an increased aspect
ratio for structural fiberboard shear walls.
PS 1-07 Structural Plywood, United States The 2008 SDPWS standard is available to
Department of Commerce, National view free at▪
Institute of Standards and Technology,
Gaithersburg, MD, 2007.
PS 2-04 Performance Standard for Wood- Philip Line, P.E. is a Senior Structural
Based Structural Use Panels, United States Engineer with URS Corporation.
Department of Commerce, National Mr. Line can be reached at
Institute of Standards and Technology,
Gaithersburg, MD, 2004. Bradford K. Douglas, P.E. is a Senior
Director, Engineering at AF&PA.
2008 SDPWS Commentary Mr. Douglas can be reached at
Updates to the SDPWS Commentary based
on input from users and new information Peter Mazikins, M.Eng, P.Eng is a Senior
considered in development of the 2008 SD- Manager, Engineering Standards at
PWS are also incorporated in the document. AF&PA. Mr. Mazikins can be reached at
Building Codes and Standards
The 2008 SDPWS has been approved as a A more in-depth version of this article
reference document in the 2009 International originally appeared in the Fall 2008 issue
Building Code and has been submitted for of Wood Design Focus (FPS).
adoption as a reference document in ASCE
7-10 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings
and Other Structures.

STRUCTURE magazine 21 March 2010

Second Opinion Leads to Substantial Savings
in Evaluation and Repair of Marble Façade
By William D. Bast, P.E., S.E., SECB, Scott G. Nacheman, M.Sc.Eng, AIA, R.A.,
Rachel L. Michelin, EIT, LEED® AP and Dziugas Reneckis, Ph.D., P.E.
When it comes to considering a costly and disruptive façade
replacement, it always pays to get a second opinion. That’s what the
condominium association at Water Tower Place in Chicago found
when faced with ongoing façade deterioration.
Water Tower Place is a 74-story, 859-foot tall reinforced concrete
building, constructed between the years of 1973 and 1976 (Figure 1).
Georgia Cherokee Solar Gray marble panels (1½-inch thick) and flush
aluminum-framed windows envelop the tower exterior (Figure 2). The
veneer panels on this portion of the high-rise are anchored to the rein-
forced concrete structure spandrel beams and columns. Approximately
16,000 marble panels clad the building, and 6,240 of those (39%)
cover the condominium portion of the building.
In 1979, several marble panels fell from the lower commercial portion
of the building during a severe windstorm. As a result of the damage Figure 2: Overview of the metal-framed windows and marble panels.
and what was believed to be a kerf anchor failure, the entire building
façade was investigated by a local engineering firm which concluded and scientist professionals conducted a peer review of the prior inves-
that the kerfs had insufficient outward load strength capacity. In 1980, tigations, and performed independent laboratory and field tests on the
at the conclusion of the review, mechanical repair anchors were post- marble veneer and its connections. In general, the group determined that
installed at the lower half of the spandrel panels to supplement the kerf although the marble was losing strength, and would continue to do
outward strength resistance. so, the loss was approximately 1% per year, or less.
Over the years, regular inspections and repairs were performed and Confronted with two analyses with broadly differing ramifications
additional anchors installed on many of the façade panels. In early for the serviceable life of the façade, the Condominium Association
2006, helical anchors were installed in panels at the corners of the tower hired Thornton Tomasetti in 2006 to be the engineering consultant for
(designated higher wind zones). The engineering consultant involved the condominium portion of the tower and to develop a preservation
in this work determined that the marble would continue to lose 3% of program for the marble façade.
its original strength or more per year, and that the entire façade would
require replacement in the near future. Marble Façade Design and Construction
The prospect of such a costly and disruptive undertaking led the
Four sizes, or types, of marble veneer panels clad the high-rise portion
Condominium Association and the building’s other two ownership
of the building (Figure 3). The structural frame here is comprised of
entities to seek a second opinion. The Owners retained a consortium
upturned reinforced concrete spandrel beams, typically 12.5 inches
of European experts who were completing a European Union-sponsored
wide by 32 inches deep, which are covered with four 33 inch tall panels
five-year study on thin-stone marble failures in Europe. These engineering
per scaffold bay (Type F panels), as well as a smaller panel at the corners
of the building (Type B panels). The columns are typically 10 inches
or 14 inches deep by 48 inches wide, covered by 49-inch wide marble
panels at the center of each bay (Type C panels). At each end of the
bays, adjacent to where the building scaffold tracks are located, two
vertical panels were utilized to cover the columns (Type E panels). All
panels are typically separated from one another, and from the window
framing, by ⅜-inch thick sealant joints.
When the building was constructed, marble panels on the high-
rise portion were anchored to the reinforced concrete structure only
around the panel edges, using stainless steel relieving angles as kerfs
at the bottom, and straps with stainless steel dowel pins at the top
and sides. A nominal 3-inch cavity, which is partially filled with urea
formaldehyde foam insulation, separates the marble veneer from the
reinforced concrete backup and concrete masonry infill.
The marble panels and connections appeared to be originally designed
to resist 33 pounds per square foot (psf ) wind pressure loads, per the
1973 Chicago Building Code. Due to the possibility of new wind
dynamics caused by more recently constructed neighboring build-
ings, Thornton Tomasetti, together with the consulting engineer for
the other two owners, suggested that an updated wind tunnel analysis
test be performed for the entire building. The results from the test,
which was completed in May 2007, indicated maximum pressures of
Figure 1: The condominium portion of Water Tower Place is from floors 33 to 72; up to 90 psf for the building’s exterior cladding.
the balance of the building is owned by commercial and hotel entities.

STRUCTURE magazine 22 March 2010

Furthermore, it was determined that any modifications to the mar-
ble anchorage needed to account for other environmental conditions,
such as moisture and temperature cycles. SCAFFOLD TRACKS
Existing Repairs:
Post-Installed Anchors B F F F F
Prior repair programs included the installation of numerous
supplemental anchors in the façade panels. The first repair program
was conducted in 1980, following the severe windstorm in 1979. As E E C E
part of these repairs, mechanical restoration anchors were post-installed
in all of the spandrel panels. The majority of the corner panels were B F F F F
also pinned with this type of anchor in 1980. One drawback of this
type of anchor is its ability to resist outward (suction) wind loading Figure 3: Partial elevation indicating panel types.
only. Thornton Tomasetti’s review of the façade noted that several of
the mechanical anchor heads appeared to have loosened over time. 1% per year. The rate of the stone strength loss is expected to decrease
Moreover, Thornton Tomasetti observed that the helical anchors with time. If the initial flexural rupture strength of approximately
installed in early 2006 provided little out-of-plane support for the 1,100 psi to 1,200 psi for newly quarried marble is compared to the
marble panels because they engage only a relatively small contact area of recently identified strength of approximately 700 psi for the stone
the stone. The lack of ability of the anchor to engage the stone material on the building, the loss in strength over the past 30 years appears
was evident in the slippage observed in test specimens. to be slightly more than 1% per year. Therefore, the Condominium
Association was advised that an assumed strength degradation of 1%
Deterioration of the Marble Panels per year could be used to identify the serviceable life of the façade. The
reduced strengths, over time, of the stone and connections have been
As part of the initial review of the building, it was observed that a
summarized in Table 2 (page 24).
number of the veneer panels were displaying signs of inward or outward
The results of the wind tunnel study, dated May 2007 by The
bowing. Other consultants previously reported that the degree of bowing
Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory, were used for the analysis of
and the amount of strength loss have a direct correlation. However,
the marble façade panels. The outward (suction) wind pressures ranged
after testing of the marble strength was completed, this correlation was
from 30 psf to 90 psf for the condominium portion, depending on the
proven to be inconclusive, as none of the consultants for the façade
panel location.
were able to correlate the magnitude of panel bow with the magnitude
Structural finite element models were utilized to represent the marble
of strength loss in the material on this building. Additionally, while
façade panels, their existing support conditions (steel dowel pins, kerfs,
many panels are bowed, especially on the West side of the building,
and post-installed anchors), as well as the proposed repair anchors.
most of the panels located in the condominium portion of the building
For the structural review of the panels, Thornton Tomasetti used the
are within the allowable tolerance for thin marble veneer panels (⅛-inch
projected flexural rupture stresses, as well as pin and kerf support force
bow displacement over a 4-foot length), as established by the Marble
capacities, with an applied factor of safety of two. The capacities were
Institute of America (MIA) in the Dimension Stone Manual v.6 (2007).
determined from testing results by others between 2004 and 2005,
As part of the analysis, the experimental results from material strength
reduced by the estimated strength loss of 1% per year. Capacities were
testing performed previously by others were studied, and then the
determined for the estimated strength loss up to the year 2025.
results most appropriate for the structural review of the marble façade
The marble panel and support geometries were modeled with
panels were selected.
SAP2000® structural analysis software. The marble panels were
During the analysis of the testing performed by others, it was assumed
represented by shell elements, with a modulus of elasticity of 8,000
that the panels utilized for experimental testing were selected randomly
ksi and coefficient of thermal expansion of 8.3 x10-6 in./in./ºF, based
and evenly from the façade to represent the overall condition of the
upon the typical published values of these properties. The steel pin,
marble on the building. To utilize the experimental strength values for the
kerf, and previous repair anchors were represented in the model with
structural review of the panels, Thornton Tomasetti used ASTM E122
frame elements.
to identify more reliable “true” strength averages ( μ ) from the measured
strength averages (x), by taking into account the specimen sample sizes
(n) and the measured average strength variations (s≈σ). As shown in Table Structural Analysis Results and Discussion
1, this typically resulted in corrections of the average measured strengths. The analysis of the façade resulted in a determination that the distress
After review of all the available data and testing results, the rate of in the existing panels is a result of two load-deformation mechanisms:
strength loss of the stone was determined to be close to an average of in-plane and out-of-plane.
continued on next page
Table 1: Summary of the marble and connection strength test results.
Exp. Avg. Std. Dev. No. of Tests “True” Avg.
Marble Panel Component and Load Type x s ( ) n μ
10" Kerf Strength (lbs) 655 292 55 537
Pin Strength (lbs) 295 77 52 263
Pin Strength (lbs) 382 121 18 296
Helifix Anchor Strength (lbs) 918 236 8 668
Flexural Rupture Stress – Flexure w/Shear (psi) 1204 195 18 1066
Flexural Rupture Stress – Pure Flexure (psi) 718 137 492 699

STRUCTURE magazine 23 March 2010

Table 2: Summary of the projected strength of the marble and connections.
Strength Test Results Projected Strength at 1% per Year Reduction
Marble Panel Component and Years 2004 – 2005 Year 2010 Year 2012 Year 2025
Load Type  /2 /5*  /2  /2  /2
10" Kerf Strength (lbs) 537 269 107 505 252 494 247 424 212
Pin Strength (lbs) 263 132 53 247 124 242 121 208 104
Helifix Anchor Strength (lbs) 668 334 134 628 314 615 307 528 264
Flexural Rupture Stress – Flexure
1066 533 213 996 498 968 484 786 393
w/Shear (psi)
Flexural Rupture Stress – Pure
699 350 140 627 314 603 302 447 224
Flexure (psi)
* – Factor of safety recommended by MIA for new marble construction.

In recent years, the majority of the “new” small cracks located along cause permanent strain in the stone microstructure. The panel bow is
the top of the spandrel panels (at or near the dowel pin supports) generally a result of movement at the marble grain boundaries which is
appear on the south elevation of the building. These vertical cracks can independent of mechanical stresses in the material.
largely be attributed to thermal contraction and expansion of the façade Some of the results of the June 2007 analysis are included in Figure
panels. This mechanism was further confirmed by the finite element 4, which displays results incorporating Dead, Thermal (+90°F), and
analysis of the panels subjected to in-plane thermal loading; the analysis Wind (55 psf ) Loading. The following cases are compared:
results indicated relatively high tensile stress concentrations at or near • Case A: the original design and installation of the marble panels
the dowel pin locations. • Case B: the marble panels with mechanical restoration anchors
The analysis considered both wind pressures and suctions applied to installed in the 1980s
the marble panels, as updated by the wind tunnel test results, which • Case C: recommended repairs,with installation of 4 restoration
resulted in out-of-plane moments, shears, reactions, and deflections. anchors (missing one original pin)
As noted in the literature, bowing of marble panels can be attributed • Case D: recommended repairs, with installation of 4 restoration
to anisotropic thermal and moisture expansion/contraction cycles, which anchors (missing two original pins)
The stress concentrations in the stone are visible at the kerfs, pins, and
anchors. Based on these results, Thornton Tomasetti determined that
the installation of repair anchors that have capacity to resist both wind
suction and wind pressure loads would provide adequate support for
the marble panels.

Repair Strategies
After demonstrating to the Condominium Association’s Façade
Committee that the strength of the marble panels would be adequate
for wind loads provided supplemental anchorage was installed, the
search commenced for a repair anchor with the unique anchor qualities
required for this project.
Because no anchor was found to have all the required design and
installation properties, the possibility of working with a manufacturer
to customize an anchor with the necessary characteristics was explored.
The structural analysis of the stone panel behavior concluded that a
rigid out-of-plane connection is favorable for wind pressure resistance.
A flexible repair anchor, previously suggested by others, would not
attract enough of the load relative to the existing pins/kerf, which

Figure 5: Expansion sleeve anchor designed by CTP and Thornton Tomasetti for
panel support against wind pressure and suction.
Figure 4: Analysis results for Panel Type F.

STRUCTURE magazine 24 March 2010

Thornton Tomasetti directed CTP to develop a testing assembly that
would represent the interaction of the anchor and the stone (similar
to ASTM C1354 testing). The anchor was tested in the stone with
the reaction base spacing set at three times the anchorage depth (in
this case it was 4½ inches from the test specimen), which generated an
“anchorage load“ value (Figure 6).
The anchors were loaded up to approximately 1,100 pounds without
failure, and they exhibited an average axial stiffness of approximately
37 kips/inch.
The Condominium Association and Thornton Tomasetti have been able
to increase the durability and longevity of the façade by the implementation
of a repair and maintenance program. The additional years of prolonged
service life will be utilized to increase the reserve fund of the Condominium
Association in the event of a future need to replace the façade.▪

William D. Bast, P.E., S.E., SECB is a senior vice president

and principal with Thornton Tomasetti. Bill may be reached at
Scott G. Nacheman, M.Sc.Eng, AIA, R.A., is a Vice President
Figure 6: Anchor testing apparatus. with Thornton Tomasetti. Scott may be reached at
would result in overstresses and further cracking at the panel mid-spans,
as well as at the pin and kerf supports. Thornton Tomasetti proposed Rachel L. Michelin (née Lannan), EIT, LEED® AP, is a Senior
using a mechanical anchor with an expansion sleeve, which was co- Engineer with Thornton Tomasetti. Rachel may be reached at
developed with Construction Tie Products (CTP), for resisting inward
and outward wind loading (Figure 5).
Due to the low axial stiffness of the helical anchors and their sus- Dziugas Reneckis, Ph.D., P.E., is a Senior Engineer with
ceptibility of slipping through the stone, all of the panels with helical Thornton Tomasetti. Dziugas may be reached at
anchors, post-installed in 2006, were presumed to be unreliable.

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STRUCTURE magazine 25 March 2010

Tips for Selecting Wood-Frame Structure
Single-Member Sizing Software
By Ross Theilen, P.E.

When it comes to appropriately sizing wood beams, joists, and other

structural framing members, engineers (unless they’ve developed their own
tools) have two choices: use software developed by a third-party company
or use software provided by a building product manufacturer. In some
cases, engineers prefer third-party programs because of concerns that
manufacturers’ software may limit the range of materials they can specify.
On the other hand, some engineers favor software from manufacturers due
to the tools’ more detailed performance specifications for their branded
structural framing products.
Below are several factors to consider when evaluating general-purpose
sizing tools and proprietary software developed by manufacturers, including Manufacturers’ sizing software offers greater
some key features to look for in those tools. details on their specific products’ capabilities
than general purpose tools do.

Proprietary vs. General a generic material class such as laminated Range of Structural
strand lumber (LSL) or laminated veneer
Purpose Tools lumber (LVL). But since performance Products and Applications
While a building product manufacturers’ capabilities of specific products vary by When using manufacturers’ software,
sizing software targets their own products, manufacturer, the tool may not maximize engineers can limit the number of differ-
the tools don’t necessarily restrict engi- the design capabilities of a specific brand. ent single-member sizing tools needed by
neers from specifying equivalent materials, For firms that plan to specify a given using software from companies that offer
if desired. As such, advantages in cost company’s products, the generic tool may numerous types and sizes of wood prod-
savings, ease of use, and the ability to even underestimate the capabilities of the ucts. Consider tools that can evaluate a full
maximize framing member performance desired LSL or LVL brand. range of materials and member types, such
are among the reasons proprietary tools Using a manufacturer’s software can as I-joists, LSL, LVL, and Parallel Strand
may fit a designer’s needs better than boost framing performance and thereby Lumber (PSL) for headers, joists, beams,
general purpose tools. help ensure efficient material usage, and etc. Tools that guide the user in sorting out
One advantage of manufacturer-specific potentially reduce project costs if fewer the best product for a given application can
software is that it is often free. Companies members are needed. For example, holes really help navigate the variety of product
information and updates on the impact of technology on structural engineering

anticipate that engineers will use the tools in I-joist webs allow trades to run plumb- technologies available today.
to specify their products, of course, but if ing and HVAC without dropping the In addition, look for a tool that fits
the brand is trusted and often used, the ceiling. I-joist cantilever reinforcement the types of projects your firm typically
benefits of synchronizing the software and augments joist strength on loaded canti- designs, whether single-family homes,
framing materials can be substantial. levers allowing the builder to stick with a multi-family, or other light commercial
For example, using manufacturers’ soft- consistent joist series for an entire framing construction. Tools that allow the user
ware often eliminates the need for engineers area and avoid upsizing select joists. These ultimate flexibility to model unique condi-
to recall usage guidelines specific to a kinds of options depend significantly on tions often lack efficiencies attained from
brand’s framing materials. The software methods developed by manufacturers and focused tools that provide support condi-
will typically have the products’ unique

are therefore typically not found in general tions typical in wood frame construction,
capabilities and limitations built in – purpose sizing tools. common loading scenarios, etc.
including compliance with building codes.
General purpose sizing tools are typically
more generic. In addition, manufacturer-
developed software is usually updated
more frequently than general-purpose
software to reflect changes in product
lines. In many cases, general-purpose
software packages leave it to the user to
enter and maintain product properties or
require additional fees for upgrades and rel-
evant information.
Manufacturers’ sizing software also offers
greater levels of detail on their specific
products than do general-purpose tools. For
example, general-purpose sizing software
Single-member sizing software with a graphic interface helps make design simple and intuitive.
will typically provide analysis results for

STRUCTURE magazine 26 March 2010

Also important is a tool’s ability to size members illustrations (e.g. pictures and layouts) can coordinating with outside design professionals,
within the range of applications encountered in make member and connector selection sim- tools that seamlessly tie-in with 3D modeling
many modern wood-framed buildings, such as pler than applications that rely solely upon and architectural software can streamline the
drop beams, sloped roofs, and cantilevers. written descriptions. Some software also offers overall building design process and reduce time
customizable interfaces that enable firms or working on a project within or between firms.
Capabilities Beyond individual users to alter the tool to their pre- Many sizing tools – whether for purchase
ferred way of working. or provided free of charge – are available for
Code Compliance Other features to look for include the ability download from the Internet. Consult the
Some single-member sizing tools allow for to rapidly evaluate alternative member sizes third-party developer or framing product
evaluation of structural performance beyond and types, and organize multiple member manufacturer’s Web site for details.▪
code compliance. For example, the traditional calculations in a single file. These attributes
approach to designing floors based on live load help speed design of a given project and enable
deflection criteria provides a sound structure transfer of key data to similar future projects. Ross Theilen, P.E., is the general manager
that meets codes, but may fall short of the Depending on the firm’s needs, it is also of structural frame software for iLevel by
owner’s desired comfort level or expectations if it important to consider other tools with which Weyerhaeuser. Ross can be reached at
bounces, feels soft, or vibrates when walked on. the single-member sizing software can inte-
To address this, sizing tools are available grate. For full-service design firms and for
that can predict how occupants will perceive
the floor based on specified materials and
installation methods. Such tools provide ERRATUM
a floor performance rating based on those
specifications, enabling the engineer to quickly JANUARY 2010, PART 10 OF ANTIQUATED STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS
and easily alter products and specifications
to balance anticipated performance with the A discerning reader has noted that the photo in the lower right corner of page 24 of the article
available building project budget. is the Wainwright Building, erected in 1890-91 as Missouri’s first steel-framed building. Mr.
Stuart (author) notes that this type of construction, along with other similar variations that
co-existed during the same period, is described in the last paragraph of the Masonry section
Ease-of-Use Features of the article. In addition, the photo on page 27 of the article is of the Reading Terminal,
As with other software, it is important to Philadelphia, not the 30th Street Station as noted. Mr. Stuart and STRUCTURE magazine
select single-member sizing tools that are intui- regret any confusion arising from these errors.
tive. Software applications that utilize graphical

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STRUCTURE magazine 27 March 2010

risk management topics for structural engineers

Total Recall
Written Communication, Documentation and Retention
By Terrence M. Lindsay, P.E., S.E., SECB, Eric L. Singer, and Karen Erger

Storing and retaining paper documents used day. Without any written report, you will be
to be easier. Project files were easily divided at the mercy of whomever is questioning you Mr. Postman: Email Policies,
up in boxes with labels, project numbers and what other witnesses remember about Written and Otherwise
and dates. As long as they were kept long your presence there. With a written observa- Interpersonal communication is not per-
enough to deal with tax audits or claims, tion report from that day, you could confirm fect. Despite clear thought, one might still
all was right with the world. Electronic data without doubt that steel erection appeared to be imprecise. Design professionals, clients
changed everything, particularly as we moved be proceeding, was approximately 50% com- and contractors used to speak to each other
to an email and attachment practice. How to plete, that the steel erector had 10 workers on in person or on the telephone, where one’s
organize and retain electronic documents is site and, maybe most important for liability, voice, facial expression, volume, inflection,
too frequently left to the uncertainties of hard that you were on site for less than one hour tact, politeness and other attributes could be
drive longevity and email programs. Having and gone before the accident. interpreted and contribute to understanding.
a written document and data retention policy Proof that you acted within the standard of Email, texts and “tweets” remove a number
is crucial for all paper and electronic files in care comes from evidence of what you did and of features of interpersonal communication
your practice. when. If you specify a new product and only and can leave intent unclear – jokes do not
Document retention is governed by a number have read the product literature in a magazine, always appear humorous when printed in
of authorities, laws and regulations, as well as or never set foot on site, you will have a email. With the sheer volume of electronic
philosophies about defense of claims and the difficult time proving that you did what others mail, documents and data increasing with every
practical realities of available and affordable would have done in the same circumstances. project, the opportunity for miscommunica-
storage space. There are tax rules, litigation On the other hand, keeping file materials or tions increase every day.
rules, statutes of limitation, criminal laws and, electronic data to reflect what you did and
ultimately, common sense weighed against the when – dated printouts of calculations, plots Sticks and Stones
cost of storing work product of an engineering and photographs, or physical records of your
Email is typically written less formally
practice that adds new projects, paper and visit to the manufacturing facility – you can
than letters and memoranda. It can be sent
electronic data every year. In addition, the easily demonstrate the genesis of your work
quickly from a PDA without the safeguards
rules governing litigation in Federal courts now and the homework you did to get there.
one might employ with a more formal let-
impose severe penalties for even inadvertent Documents serve two purposes. First, they
ter, like carefully reading a draft or calming
destruction of data in pending claims. Do we may jog your memory to help place the
down before hitting ‘send.’ All documents
really have to save everything? time of the accident in context. Second, the
and email are fair game in litigation and you
documents, printouts or pieces of paper are
can expect any embarrassing or threatening
A Matter of Trust inherently more trustworthy than any witness’
email to be blown out of proportion for a
recollection. Showing a piece of paper or an
Claims can be made for a very long time jury. Every business should have a written
email to a jury makes your facts reliable and
after completion of a project, making memories policy about email use, starting with appro-
your testimony credible.
an unreliable source of facts. In addition, rec- priate contents.
ollection of events are colored, magnified or Some companies insist that any commu-
erased by one’s perceived importance at the
I Heard It Through
nications be sent on letterhead and not by
time. Engineers remember issues differently the Grape Vine email. Others communicate almost exclu-
than architects and contractors. Recollections An engineer’s primary goal is to avoid dis- sively by electronic mail. At either extreme or
also fade with time, particularly when employees putes altogether. Documenting client or design something in the middle, consider the types
move on to new phases in their careers. For team decisions is frequently seen as covering of communications that should not be sent
all of these reasons, documentation created at one’s rear end. Documentation, though, in a company email – jokes, insults, personal
the time of an event is much more likely to serves the more important purpose of clarity information, confidential information or
be accurate and more persuasive evidence to a and avoidance of confusion. By sending a other material that could easily be forwarded,
judge or juror. memo, you may clear up an issue on which cut and pasted or otherwise disseminated in
Consider a site visit during which nothing there is some confusion and generate action a manner other than as originally intended.
particularly noteworthy was observed, but to clear it up. The memo serves two impor- Then assemble a policy to be part of your
later that day a steel worker is injured. Four tant purposes: It prevented the problem and other written employment policies (sick days,
years later you are in a deposition and asked it documented the decision process for use vacation, moonlighting – you do have written
what you remember about that particular later, if necessary. policies, don’t you?).

NOTE: This article is intended for general discussion of the subject, and should not be mistaken for legal advice. Readers are cautioned to
consult appropriate advisors for advice applicable to their individual circumstances.

STRUCTURE magazine 28 March 2010

Hooked on a Feeling burns, floods or is robbed, the archives will Terrence M. Lindsay, P.E., S.E., SECB is a
It is relatively easy to attach the wrong docu- be gone along with the computers. Take the structural engineer and President of Lindsay
ment to an email, particularly if done quickly archives home or to a safety deposit box at the & Associates, Inc. in Aurora, Illinois. He may
and without opening the attachment before bank every week. be reached at
sending it. The recipient may receive it, file Backup drives and software have become so
it and not open it until much later, or never inexpensive that even the smallest offices have Eric Singer is Senior Counsel of Ice Miller
realize that it is the wrong document. Previ- access to backup methods. Whatever the size of LLP in Lisle, Illinois. Eric concentrates
ous CAD backgrounds can be difficult to your office, your office information technology his practice in representation of design and
distinguish, particularly if they are sent and is a valuable asset both for continuing work construction professionals. He may be reached
not opened right away by the sender or the re- and for protection from claims. Map out a at
cipient. This arises even more frequently with strategy for managing the increasing volume Karen Erger is an attorney and Account
projects that have been delayed for some period of electronic data, paper records and other Executive with Holmes Murphy & Associates,
of time. It may be safest to print everything materials and document your practice with a Inc. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She may be
that you send and receive. Reality of volume, written policy.▪ reached at
however, suggests that very few of us can do
so. If you are not going to print what you send
or receive, at least open it to make certain that

it is what you think it is.

Disorder in the House

Some firms leave email organization to in-
dividuals while others rigidly enforce project- Structural Analysis & Design Software
by-project electronic filing. Email volume can
be overwhelming while a project is proceeding.
In the short term, it is very important to be
able to sort email by date, project, sender and
recipient and to have a procedure in place to
do so. Also consider what would happen if any
one computer were stolen, lost or damaged
during the project. If you use software that
overwrites the backups on computers or you
decommission computers as employees leave
the company, you may be destroying data

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that should have been preserved for pending
claims. If a claim is brewing, err on the side of
caution and preserve everything. Overall, you
should have a written policy and stick to it.

The Best Choice

Paper or Plastic?
Retention of paper documents allows you

to access drawings or data even if your com-
puter crashes. Consider what paper records
to keep and for how long. Some firms save
only electronic data, which is only as good as
the electronic medium on which it is stored. Infrastructure & Nuclear
If you stored your music on 8-Track Tapes,
would you still be able to listen to it? The
same is already true of floppy disks and will NEW
Base Plate Module
eventually be true of CD-Roms. Whenever
possible, keep electronic backups on trustwor-
thy media but also keep some basic documents
on paper – your contract, your final drawings
and specifications and any documents that
could be useful in the future dispute are good
candidates for the paper trail. it
64-B r
NEW l Solve
Keep in mind that claims can roll in for a Para

long time after completion of your work. If

you are using archival software, be careful
about how and where you store the backups. Georgia Tech - CASE Center
Phone: 404-894-2260
Many companies keep their archived backups Email:
right next to their computers. If the building

STRUCTURE magazine 29 March 2010

discussion of legal issues of interest to structural engineers

RFIs and Shop Drawings

How to Manage Risk and Reduce Liability
exceptionally useful in agreeing to schedules
By David J. Hatem, PC and Peter C. Lenart, Esq. and in defining responsibilities. Such meetings
We are all aware of today’s challenging econom- engineers should not generate shop drawings, give design professionals and engineers the
ic times. Projects are suffering and companies especially in areas relating to the means and opportunity to reinforce the contractors’ and
that design and engineer projects are finding methods of construction. Doing so creates subcontractors’ responsibilities pertaining to
that clients want more for less. Contractors additional liability, as the contractor and subs the shop drawing process. By emphasizing the
are similarly squeezed and taking on projects then have even more reason to say, “We did it contractors’ dominant role in producing shop
with slimmer and sometimes nonexistent this way because the design team or engineer drawings at preconstruction meetings, a project
profit margins. These factors, in combination told us to.” A more simple reason to avoid doing can avoid the often frequent occurrence mid-
with the increasingly aggressive construction shop drawings is to avoid doing the contractor’s project of a contractor at odds with a design
claims environment, make it more important work for free. Members of a project’s design professional or engineer by claiming that
than ever for engineers and design teams to team and its engineers sometimes permit their “everybody thought” that the architect or engi-
manage potential risk in every aspect of a proj- commitment and their exuberance for a project neer would create the shop drawings. Design
ect’s development. Two notable areas where to blur the lines of those items for which they professionals and engineers should use these
such enhanced management is warranted are are responsible. A better way to be helpful is to meetings to make clear that they will review
Shop Drawings and Requests for Information set a schedule for the submission of shop draw- shop drawings, but not generate them. These
(RFIs). These components of a project are ings and making certain that it is adhered to. meetings are also a good opportunity to assign
already a frequent source of tension between A time honored and practical, albeit pre-BIM, the various colored markers described above,
contractors and those on the design and en- shop drawing management technique involves and maybe even hand out a box of Sharpies
gineering side of projects. There is every reason color coding. The contributions, changes, and in various colors to the contractor and each
to believe that this tension will increase as Proj- comments by the contractor and each sub- subcontractor in attendance. This planning
ects showing signs of difficulty cause parties contractor are added in a unique pre-assigned function is effective, it establishes expectations,
to manufacture a document trail in a thinly color, which makes it easy to see where each and it significantly reduces disagreements and
veiled effort to shift blame. It is thus important change or notation on a shop drawing origi- claims down the line. It is also essential that
to remember exactly what RFI’s and Shop nated. It also allows the architect or engineer shop drawings always be reviewed in a time-
Drawings are, and for what exactly each partici- to assess quite easily who on the building team ly fashion in order to minimize and avoid
pant in the building process is responsible. has reviewed and contributed to the shop draw- delay claims.
ings. This system gives the reviewer a low-tech
Shop Drawings way to check up on the contractor and the subs, Requests for Information (RFIs)
Shop Drawings are defined by the Engi- and permits him an easy way to follow up with RFIs are the mechanism which allows con-
neers’ Joint Contract Documents Committee a particular discipline’s changes or notations. tractors and sub-contractors to raise questions
(EJCDC) in its Form No. 1910-8, Standard This system also allows the reviewer to return and receive answers regarding drawings and
General Conditions, for the construction contract shop drawings after only a quick glance when it specifications provided by the design profes-
as: All drawings, diagrams, illustrations, sched- is apparent that they are not ready for the design sional. RFIs are contractor generated. The
ules, and other data or information, which are professional’s review. contractor’s need to clarify or resolve any
specifically prepared or assembled by or for Contract documents should define roles and ambiguity in certain elements of the design is
contractor and submitted by contractor to responsibilities as shop drawings process and an important part of the design process. While
illustrate some portion of the work. define the scope of the design professional’s this process can be abused by contractors who
The AIA view is similar with AIA Document review. It is also important to note that just are attempting to bring about change orders
General Conditions of the contract for construc- because an architect or engineer approves or – and thus additional revenue – design profes-
tion, which refers to Shop Drawings as “graphic stamped shop drawings does not make him or sionals should encourage the RFI process, and
or written descriptions of the work which the her responsible for their content. A reviewer’s make every effort to see that it is run in an
contractor intends to perform to meet its obligation is a practical one, such as to make organized and efficient manner.
contractual obligations for the project, subject certain that multiple fixtures are not occupying It is essential that the design professional
to the architect’s or engineer’s approval.” the same space. A reviewer’s approval merely or engineer maintain a log of RFIs. The log
The major risk management issue regarding indicates that the contractor and sub-disciplines should indicate the date the RFI was received,
shop drawings is not how they are defined, have crafted what appear to be jointly coor- the subject, the identity of the requestor, the
but rather who actually produces them, who dinated and workable drawings. The scope, date the RFI was responded to, and a description
is responsible for the content, and what is the meaning and limitations of that review should or code detailing how the RFI was resolved.
scope and significance of review comments. be spelled out in the construction contract’s Frequently, the RFI raises a question about
While design professionals and engineers know general conditions. It is a good practice to something which is addressed clearly in the
that shop drawing production is the contractor’s reiterate the essence of these limitations on the design professional’s or engineer’s drawings. In
responsibility, design professionals often windup design professional’s shop drawing review stamp. this circumstance, the RFI can be responded to
generating some portion of the shop drawings. Perhaps the most useful tool in facilitating an quickly with a reference to the appropriate sche-
Unless this task is specifically delineated in a adequate shop drawing process relates to proper matic. If a more detailed response is required, the
governing agreement, design professionals and communication. Preconstruction meetings are design professional or engineer should conduct

STRUCTURE magazine 30 March 2010

a type of RFI triage so that the RFI with the contracts, and that design professionals and With RFIs, the design professional must
greatest potential to stop work, and thus result engineers should return, unanswered, any RFI welcome questions and resolve quickly those
in a delay claim, is addressed first. Also, with which does not meet that narrow contract items where the issue is resolved clearly in the
detailed RFI issues, it often helps to meet with definition. This method of addressing RFIs is drawings. Maintaining a log and spreadsheet
the requestor to make certain that the issues in highly inadvisable. Design professionals and en- as you go is effective in organizing and managing
question are properly understood. A formal reso- gineers should encourage questions and should data, and is much easier than trying to recreate
lution can then be issued following a hopefully be available to lend their expertise as needed this information after a project is completed
productive meeting on the subject. to offer guidance on a project. By returning a and when a claim or litigation arises.
Design professionals and engineers should Request For Information as somehow noncon- Design professionals and engineers have the
maintain a spreadsheet or database of a project’s forming, relations with the contractor or sub knowledge, experience, and tools at their dis-
RFIs which permits the compiled information will suffer, the question does not get answered, posal to manage project risk effectively. It is
to show not only actual response time for each and delay may result. The contractor or sub will good business to focus on using these skills on
RFI, but the average response time for all RFIs then blame the design professional or engineer every project in a proactive manner in order
on a given project. It is also helpful to be able for being uncooperative and non-responsive. to reduce claims and lawsuits. Adopting the
to show, from each RFI’s resolution code, what It is a far better risk management approach to small changes and suggestions appearing in
percentage of RFIs were resolved by references refine and ultimately answer an imperfectly this article could have a significant positive
to the drawings, as opposed to the necessity phrased RFI than it is to let a likely small issue impact on a project’s claim or delay landscape,
for a change order. Construction lawyers like grow into a much larger disagreement. and thus are worth implementing.▪
to emphasize the number of RFIs on a project
in order to insinuate that the drawings were Conclusion David J. Hatem, PC, is the founding Partner
flawed. By organizing RFI information as sug- As the above examples demonstrate, design of the multi-practice law firm Donovan
gested above, a design professional or engineer professionals and engineers can assist in having Hatem LLP. He leads the firm’s Professional
can have ready access to information which projects run more smoothly while at the same Practice Group, which represents engineers,
may show that over 60% of a project’s RFIs time managing their potential risk on a project. architects, and construction management
were resolved by virtue of the answer appearing It is well worth the effort to define procedures professionals. Mr. Hatem can be reached via
on the original drawings. Organizing RFI in- and responsibilities at preconstruction meetings, email at
formation is thus a useful tool in managing risk, and enforce them consistently throughout Peter C. Lenart, Esq. is a Senior Litigation
as it has the potential to defeat claims in their the course of a project. Design professionals Associate in the Professional Practices
earliest stages in addition to being an effective should be fair, but firm, in their handling of Group at Donovan Hatem LLP. Mr.
tool in defending a formal claim or litigation. shop drawings and they should not hesitate Lenart can be reached via email at
There is a recent trend which suggests that to return shop drawings which do not appear
RFIs should be defined narrowly in project ready to be reviewed.
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STRUCTURE magazine 31 March 2010

new trends, new techniques and current industry issues

Controlling Digital Documents with Project

Information Management (PIM) Software
By Bob Batcheler
of good project information management.
Project information management (PIM) soft- Managing Shop Drawings, No special software is required on the
ware is a new category of technology designed
to tackle the growing challenge of managing
RFIs and Action Items receiving end.
electronic documents and digital workflow by A particular firm offers a good example of
architects, engineers and contractors. how PIM software can be used to manage Controlling Digital
Managing electronic documents and team submittals, shop drawings, RFIs and action Construction Documents
communications, including project email, offers items. One person logs everything that comes
into the office. She now uses the submittals PIM software also provides substantial ben-
much more than simple efficiency in day-to- efits in issuing and tracking construction
day operations. It also mitigates risks. management component of a PIM solution to
make her job easier and give everyone in the documents without forcing wholesale changes
office access to the status of all submittals. in internal work processes. Construction doc-
Searching for Information uments can be assembled, facilitating review
For shop drawings, she sets due dates in
One way PIM software reduces risk is by mak- the software. The technology automatically of the coordinated set. When it comes time for
ing project information, including information emails project directors with alerts about the documents to be released, the set is easily
in email and attachments, easier to find, hence what has been received. If the shop draw- published through the PIM software’s unique
making it easier to resolve disputes. Industry- ings are not returned by their due dates, the information exchange feature.
leading PIM software indexes all the text in PIM software automatically emails an alert The software notifies recipients that the pub-
over 200 file types common in AEC projects, to the project director. RFIs follow a simi- lished documents are available for download,
permitting searches of a firm’s project informa- lar workflow, ensuring timely responses to all and offers the option of emailing periodic
tion in much the same way that major search outstanding requests. reminders to team members who have not yet
engines browse the Internet. accessed the published documents. In addition
This is a good example of how PIM software to recording an audit trail of what was sent to
offers benefits not found in other document
Sharing Large Files whom, the software maintains record copies
control technologies. For example, document BIM files easily run 20 MB and up – too of complete sets of documents whenever they
management systems generally require you to large to email. But leading PIM software are issued.
move files into a database, forcing changes in includes information exchange capabilities
work process. In traditional document manage- that replace FTP sites. The PIM software is Reducing Risk and
ment solutions, searching is only as good as the easier to set up and use, and is more secure.
It also automatically maintains a complete
Increasing Accountability
metadata you applied when filing the document,
and project extranets do not help you search or audit log of who downloaded or uploaded An effective PIM solution enables the design
manage internal project information at all. what, and when they did it, which is all part team to share information internally during
the rapid, iterative process of design, and to
publish it to external project team members,
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STRUCTURE magazine 32 March 2010

Structural Engineering Practice Acts –
A Review of Existing Regulations
Some states have statutory and administrative requirements 1. A structure requiring special expertise, including, but
News form the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations

governing the practice of structural engineering. Other states are not limited to, a radio tower and a sign over 100 feet.
contemplating the adoption of similar regulations. The basis Dynamic machinery and related equipment within the
for these regulations is to distinguish the practice of structural scope of mechanical engineering are not included.
engineering from professional engineering (generally civil engi- 2. A building more than three stories in height.
neering) in the interest of public safety. 3. A building more than 45 feet in height, using the
The purpose of this article is to explore the language of the bottom of the lowest footing as the point of reference.
various rules that govern professional structural engineering in (Nevada – NAC 625.260).
the United States.
Currently, there are title acts, full practice acts and partial practice Full Practice Act
acts. Title acts permit the use of the title “structural engineer” as a
Here are the two excerpts from full practice acts:
profession but do not have detailed requirements for engaging in
1) The practice of Structural Engineering in the State of
the work. They do not limit the practice of structural engineering
Illinois is hereby declared to affect the public health,
only to licensed structural engineers. Idaho, New Mexico, and
safety and welfare and to be subject to regulation and
Nebraska have title acts for structural engineers.
control in the public interest. It is further declared to be a
Partial practice acts restrict certain types of structural engineering
matter of public interest and concern that the practice of
work only to licensed structural engineers. For example, Oregon
Structural Engineering as defined in this Act, merit and
requires only structural engineers to work on buildings that are
receive the confidence of the public, that only qualified
more than four stories. Nevada, Utah, Oregon, California, and
persons be authorized to practice Structural Engineering
Washington are states that have partial practice acts.
in the State of Illinois. (225 ILCS 340/1)
Full practice acts restrict all but licensed structural engineers
2) No official of the State nor of any political subdivision
to work on structural projects. Illinois and Hawaii have full
thereof, charged with the enforcement of laws or
practice acts.
ordinances relating to the construction or alteration of
For those states contemplating the initiation of a practice act,
buildings or structures, shall accept or approve any plans
adopting language from existing statues is a good way to start, as
or specifications that are not stamped with the seal of a
the text of these documents has been reviewed and approved by
licensed architect or with the seal of a licensed engineer
many interested parties.
who has qualified in the structural engineering branch….
(Hawaii §464-11)
Partial Practice Act The adoption of a partial practice act is likely to be more popular
The following excerpts demonstrate useful language to begin for the stakeholders involved because it does not restrict many
crafting a partial practice act: professional engineers from engaging in that area of structural
1) An engineer may not provide engineering services for engineering deemed not to be “significant structures”.
significant structures unless the engineer possesses a valid Also, the process of transitioning from a current regulation to
professional structural engineer certificate of registration a new practice act will likely require the adoption of some sort
issued by the board. (Oregon 672.107) of grandfathering clause, to avoid the disruption and loss of
2) “Professional structural engineer” means a person work for those engineers actively engaged in structural work as a
licensed under this chapter as a professional structural licensed professional but without a structural license.
engineer. (Utah 58-22-102) Robert Bourdages, P.E, S.E.
3) An engineer must be registered as a structural engineer
in order to provide structural engineering services for
significant structures. (WA RCW 18.43.040)
4) Structural engineering is recognized as a specialized NCSEA Webinars – March/April
branch of professional engineering. To receive a
certificate of registration in structural engineering, an March 23
applicant must hold a current registration in this state Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel
in engineering and have at least two years of structural Presented by Jack Peterson
engineering experience, of a character satisfactory to the
board, in addition to the eight years’ experience required April 20
for registration as a professional engineer. An applicant Wind Design Using the 2009 IBC
for registration as a structural engineer must also pass an Presented by Don Scott
additional examination as prescribed by the board.
(WA RCW 18.43.040)
5) Only engineers licensed as structural engineers pursuant Register and/or purchase a webinar flex-plan
to this chapter may structurally design: at

STRUCTURE magazine 34 March 2010

NCSEA Membership
NCSEA recognizes and thanks its Partnering Organizations
Partnering Organizations and the following companies, organizations, and individual
SEI CASE structural engineers, for their Associate, Affiliate, and
Reston, VA Washington, DC Sustaining Memberships in 2009-2010.

Associate Members
AISC Georgia Pacific Metal Building Manufacturers
Chicago, IL Atlanta, GA Association
American Forest & Paper Association Institute for Business & Home Safety Cleveland, OH
Washington, DC Tampa, FL QuakeWrap, Inc.
Bentley Systems, Inc International Code Council Tucson, AZ
Carlsbad, CA Birmingham, AL Schuff Steel Company
Construction Tie Products, Inc. ITW Red Head Phoenix, AZ
Michigan City, IN Addison, IL USP Structural Connectors
Burnsville, MN
Affiliate Members
CETCO Building Materials Group Fibrwrap Construction, Inc. RISA Technologies

News from the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations

Hoffman Estates, IL Lombard, IL Foothill Ranch, CA
Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute Hardy Frames, Inc. SE Solutions, LLC
Washington, DC Ventura, CA Holland, MI
CSC Inc. Helical Anchors, Inc. SidePlate Systems, Inc.
Chicago, IL Minneapolis, MN Laguna Hills, CA
DECON USA, Inc. Hilti, Inc. Steel Joist Institute
Beaufort, SC Tulsa, OK Myrtle Beach, SC
Dwyer Companies Powers Fasteners
West Chester, OH Brewster, NY

Sustaining Members
Barrish, Pelham & Associates, Inc. DiBlasi Associates, P.C. Structural Engineers Group, Inc.
Sacramento, CA Monroe, CT Jacksonville, FL
Barter & Associates, Inc. Dominick R. Pilla Associates TGRWA, LLC
Mobile, AL Nyack, NY Chicago, IL
Burns & McDonnell Dunbar, Milby, Williams, Pittman The Harman Group, Inc.
Kansas City, MO & Vaughan King of Prussia, PA
Cartwright Engineers Richmond, VA Thornton Tomasetti
Logan, UT Engineering Solutions, LLC Chicago, IL
CBI Consulting, Inc. Oklahoma City, OK United Structural Systems Ltd., Inc.
South Boston, MA Florida Structural Engineering, Inc. Lancaster, KY
Construction Technology Laboratories Tampa, FL
Skokie, IL Gilsanz Murray Steficek, LLP
Cowen Associates Consulting New York, NY Seismic Design
Structural Engineers LBYD, Inc.
Natick, MA Birmingham, AL 7 experts on 7 topics,
Criser Troutman Tanner Ruby & Associates, Inc. a shake table and
Consulting Engineers Farmington Hills, MI a blast simulator!
Wilmington, NC Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger, Inc. NCSEA Winter Institute
Degenkolb Engineers San Francisco, CA
Marriott Coronado Island Resort
San Francisco, CA
Register at

STRUCTURE magazine 35 March 2010

2010 Structures Congress Technical Sessions
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Business and
Track Tall Buildings Buildings-Seismic Building Design Professional Practice
The Newsletter of the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE

Track Chair William Baker Cynthia Duncan Jeremy Isenberg John Tawresey
1:15 PM – Developing Innovative Solutions New Provisions for Composite Workshop on Direct Strength Trial Design
2:15 PM for Design of Precast/Prestressed Construction in the 2010 AISC Method Design of Cold-formed
Concrete Structures Specification for Structural Steel Steel Members
Buildings and the 2010 AISC
Seismic Provisions
3:00 PM – Corrosion in Buildings Transforming Seismic Design Evaluating Existing Wood Integrated Steel Design and
4:00 PM in Low to Moderate Seismic Structures Delivery – Challenges, Pitfalls,
Regions I and Opportunities

4:15 PM – Optimizing Tall Building Design Structures and Energy-Efficient Lateral Bracing of Steel Frames Legal Claims
5:15 PM Using Wind Load Reduction Building Envelopes Using Hybrid Masonry

Friday, May 14, 2010

Business and
Track Tall Buildings Buildings-Seismic Building Design Professional Practice
Track Chair William Baker Cynthia Duncan Jeremy Isenberg John Tawresey
6:45 AM – CASE Breakfast - Changes to AISC Code of Standard Practice - What Structural Engineers Need to Know
8:00 AM
8:00 AM – Wind Effects on Tall Buildings Seismic Design: Efficient Retrofit Structural Integrity Structural Engineer (S.E.)
9:30 AM Licensure

1:45 PM – Organic and Natural Forms in Seismic Design: Damage Control Wind Effects on Low-Rise Educating Structural Engineers
3:15 PM Building Design Buildings in Sustainability: Professional and
Academic Perspectives

3:30 PM – Engineering Iconic Towers Seismic Design: Dampers and Floor Vibration Serviceability Structures in Coastal Zones
5:00 PM Base Isolation
Structural Columns

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Buildings- Business and Pro-
Track Tall Buildings Seismic Building Design fessional Practice Bridges I Bridges II
Track Chair William Baker Cynthia Duncan Jeremy Isenberg John Tawresey Dennis Mertz Andrew Herrmann
8:30 AM – Twisting Tall Towers Hot Topics in Challenges and BIM Standards: The Fatigue Design of Advanced Bridge
10:00 AM Structural Fire Recent Developments Current State of the High Level Lighting Technology
Engineering (I) in Structural Industry and Sign Structures
10:30 AM – Damping Systems for Hot Topics in Evaluation and BIM and the Inspection and Research at Florida
12:00 PM Tall Buildings Structural Fire Repair of Existing Standard of Care, Monitoring of Aging Universities –
Engineering (II) Structures What Are You Going Bridge Infrastructure Structures
To Do About It?
12:00 PM – SEI Awards Lunch and Plenary Session
2:00 PM
2:15 PM – Monitoring of Tall Limit State Evaluation Recent Advances Building Information Consideration of Soil- Structural
3:45 PM Buildings of Steel Framed in Light Framed Modeling and Structure Interaction Identification;
Structures Using ATC Construction Management in Design and Assess- Fundamentals and
63 Methodology ment of Structures Case Studies
4:00 PM – Performance Based Building Risk and Pre-Standard for Load Building Information Innovative Bridge Structural
Seismic Design in Failures Resistance Factor Design Modeling in Design and Identification;
5:30 PM (LRFD) of Pultruded
China Fiber Reinforced Polymer Academia and Construction Fundamentals and
(FRP) Structures Practice Case Studies – Part 2
To view the full program of the entire NASCC Conference or to register, please visit

STRUCTURE magazine 36 March 2010

Structural Columns
May 13 – 15, 2010 – Gaylord Palms Convention Center, Orlando, Florida

Concrete and Non Building Extreme Loads and Analysis and

Bridges I Bridges II Masonry Structures Structures Educational Reform Computation
Dennis Mertz Andrew Herrmann Julio Ramirez Robert Bachman James Dolan Chris Foley
Innovative Bridge New Perspectives on Assessment, Repair Structural Glass in Research on Learning State of the Art Research
Design Timber Bridges and Rehabilitation of Architecture and Education Reform in Structural Control
Concrete Structures Session 1

Movable Bridges Bridge Analysis Design and Behavior Glass & ETFE Research on Learning State of the Art and
of Prestressed Concrete Elements – Innovative and Education Reform Future Challenges in
Subjected to Blast and Transparency Session 2 Structural Optimization
Impact Loading – Part 1
Segmental Bridge Bridge Strenthening Recent Developments in Fun in the Sun - Space Design and Analysis State of the Art and
Design and Failures Seismic Performance of and Entertainment issues for Structural Future Challenges in
Concrete Columns Projects in Florida Response to Fire Structural Optimization
– Part 2

Concrete and Non Building Analysis and

Bridges I Bridges II Masonry Structures Structures CASE Convocation Computation
Dennis Mertz Andrew Herrmann Julio Ramirez Robert Bachman David Bixby Chris Foley

The Newsletter of the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE

Bridge Design Highway Bridge Curtain Wall and Blast Design Aspects of Wind Steel Design Do’s and Emerging Trends in
Structure Health Cubicle Design Energy Structures Don’ts – A Construction Structural Engineering
Monitoring Friendly Perspective Education and Practice
Highway Bridge Codes Distortion Induced Design Analysis and Design & Analysis of A Day in the Life of a Advanced Structural
and Standards Fatigue in Steel Bridges Testing of Blast Resistant Large Non Buildings Project Manager Analysis Methodologies
Curtain Walls – Non- Strucutres
Structural – Session 1
Seismic Bridge Design Design of Steel Design, Analysis, and Seismic Performance Managing Expectations Key Findings From
and Analysis Orthotropic Bridge Field Testing of Blast- of Suspended Ceilings: and Risks During the the Structural Control
Decks Resistant Curtain Walls – Code Requirements, Steel Detailing Process Benchmark Problems
Session II Field Surveys, and

Concrete and Non Building Extreme Loads and Analysis and Education and
Masonry Structures Structures Educational Reform Computation Loading Research
Julio Ramirez Robert Bachman James Dolan Chris Foley Ahsan Kareem A Emin Aktan
Reinforced Concrete Design of Anchorage in New Maps in ASCE 7 Nonlinear Analysis Advances in Research Student Structural
Slabs and Deep Beams Petrochemical Facilities – Wind and Seismic Methods for Earthquake and Education Design Competition

Performance-Based Estimation of Seismic New Seismic Provisions Methods and Tools Cable Supported Panel Session on
Engineering Demands and Capacities in ASCE/SEI 7-10 for Performance-Based Bridges Multiple Dimensions
of Nonstructural Com- Earthquake Engineering of Risk
ponents and Subsystems

Fracture Toughness Seismic Evaluation New Developments in Multi-functional International Wind Life-Cycle Performance
Testing of Concrete of Electrical Power Seismic Analysis, Materials, Sensing for Structural Standards and the of Structures and Infra-
Equipment Retrofit, Experimentation, Health Monitoring Design of Steel structures: Current Status
and Modeling Structures and Research Needs
Tanks and Towers Research - Hurricane System Reliability, Examples and Training Integrated Project
Loads Stability and Behavior Materials for ASCE 7-10 Delivery: Next
of Bridges Seismic Design Generation BIM for
Structural Engineering

STRUCTURE magazine 37 March 2010

Successful Structural Industry Issues Roundtable
SEA of Texas – Houston Dinner/Meeting
On the evening of Wednesday, January 27, CASE conducted Following the above dinner/meeting, CASE held its winter
a highly successful structural industry issues roundtable in meeting on January 28-29 at the Westin Oaks, Houston,
conjunction with the SEAoT-Houston’s dinner/meeting. The which included meetings of the CASE committees on National
roundtable enjoyed a good turnout from local structural engi- Guidelines, Programs & Communications, Toolkit, and the
neers and was held at the HESS Club (Houston Engineering Executive Committee, respectively.
and Scientific Society). Topics included: CASE Committees have been the reason for CASE’s success
The Newsletter of the Council of American Structural Engineers

• Risk vs. Reward in Integrated Project Delivery Projects for over 20 years and are vital to CASE’s future. As part of the
• The Risks Associated with BIM and Certified Models Committees’ ongoing activities, face-to-face meetings and
• The Risks Associated with LEED Ratings and Managing informal discussions are held twice a year to explore current issues
Owner Expectations and work on projects like new and revised Risk Management
• How to Collect Your Fees Without Getting Sued Tools, Guidelines and Contracts, as well as Publications and
The above event was so well received that CASE is planning Risk Management Convocations. These meetings also allow
to hold a similar roundtable in conjunction with an SEA local the various CASE committees to interact across all of CASE’s
dinner/meeting in another part of the country this summer. The activities. For more information on the CASE committees and
Boston area is being explored. CASE in general visit their website at

ACEC Survey Finds Engineering

Firms Are Weathering Recession
Despite the severe economic downturn, engineering firms more
than held their own in 2009, according to the just published
2010 Design & Construction Industry Trends Survey Report.
Firms responding to the survey actually reported an increase in
ACEC Works With USAID on Haiti
revenues last year, with the median firm grossing $4.4 million in Relief and Reconstruction Assistance
2009, up from $4.3 million in 2008. The median pre-tax profit
fell, however, from 10 percent in 2008 to 8.4 percent in 2009. ACEC is assisting the U.S. Agency for International Develop-
More than half the firms did not meet their financial goals ment (USAID) in its Haiti relief and reconstruction effort by
in 2009, which marked a significant change from 2008 when assembling a group of Member Firms willing to volunteer their
nearly 60 percent of the respondents met or exceeded their goals. services in the earthquake-ravaged nation.
Among the respondents, more than one-third of their pre-tax Immediately following the earthquake, ACEC President Dave
profit came from planning and studies work and 22 percent Raymond contacted USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah to offer
came from management consulting. Other key profit centers the engineering industry’s assistance in addressing the island
were design engineering (18 percent), program management (14 nation’s relief and recovery needs.
percent), and construction engineering/inspection (5 percent). “Many ACEC Member Firms have called our office in
This and other pertinent industry data are now available in the Washington, D.C. volunteering their services, and USAID has
just-released 2010 Design & Construction Industry Trends Survey asked us to organize these offers and work closely with federal
– a comprehensive statistical analysis of current engineering firm officials,” said Raymond.
operations, including projections on the future marketplace. To Principals of all ACEC Member Firms have been solicited by
purchase a copy go to email to join this effort.
CASE in Point

ACEC Course Updates Functional A/E Business Know-How

The Business of Design Consulting: Managing for Success in a Climate of Change
March 10 -13, Salt Lake City, UT
ACEC’s highly regarded A/E industry business management enough out there for your firm… and we’ll show you how to
course is a comprehensive update on the elements and functions win it.” Stone will identify and talk through the key elements
of the successful firm – focusing on “things they don’t teach in of the “win business” equation in our fast-moving electronic
engineering school.” communications age by integrating the fundamentals of
The course, which will be presented March 10-13, Salt Lake marketing outreach with the realistic brand-building potential
City, UT, will update practices in critical operational areas of fi- of email and the Internet.
nance, marketing, risk management, contracts, leadership, business Created for firm owners, principals, executives, and managers,
management, human resources, and information technology. this on-target update of management priorities is a solid
Presenting the marketing & business development segment investment for success.
of the agenda, David Stone, Stone & Company, notes that in For details and to register contact LaCreshea Makonnen at
today’s marketplace, “while work is slower, there’s more than ACEC at or 202-347-7474.

STRUCTURE magazine 38 March 2010

CASE in Point
Registration Open for Structures Congress and the
CASE Risk Management Convocation in Orlando This May
The CASE Risk Management Convocation will be held in conjunction with the first-ever combined Structures Congress/North
American Steel Construction Conference at the Gaylord Palms Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, May 12–15, 2010. The
Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE (SEI) and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) are joining forces in 2010
to host this first-ever combined event. Registration will open very soon and will be handled at AISC’s website: A

CASE is a part of the American Council of Engineering Companies

preliminary program is available for viewing at SEI’s website
The following CASE Convocation sessions are scheduled to take place on Friday, May 14:

6:45 am – 8:00 am CASE Breakfast: Changes to AISC Code of Standard Practice –

What SE’s Need to Know
Speaker: David B. Ratterman, Secretary and General Counsel, AISC
The AISC Code of Standard Practice has served as a specification guideline and statement of custom and usage in the
fabricated structural steel industry since approximately 1921. The Code is regularly updated and maintained by a balanced
committee of industry professionals; approximately one-third of the Code Committee is comprised of practicing structural
engineers. Mr. Ratterman is a graduate engineer and counsel to the Code Committee. He will discuss the relationship of
the Code to the practice of structural engineering.

8:00 am – 9:30 am Steel Design Dos & Don’ts – A Construction Friendly Perspective
Speakers: Carol Drucker, Drucker Zaidel; Other Speakers TBA
This session will be led by a licensed structural engineer specializing in connection design who will comment on the
document quality as it relates to potential risk management issues for the structural engineer of record. Often, problems
in steel design are not so apparent until after the job has been awarded and is in detailing, fabrication or erection. Small
oversights can have big impact and may cause delays or additional costs. Potential issues are avoidable by understanding
structural steel systems and their connections. This seminar will address different aspects of lateral system design, main
member design, connection design and avoidable problems. Actual examples from real projects will be highlighted and
discussed. The session will include discussion from a steel detailer and a steel fabricator related to the associated construction
costs and/or change orders resulting from document quality and clarity.

1:45 pm – 3:15 pm A Day in the Life of a Project Manager

Speakers: John Aniol, Walter P Moore; Corey Matsuoka, SSFM International
Follow a structural project manager as he struggles through a day filled with risk and discovers tools to help him mitigate
those risks. Some of the tools he will discover will cover communication, corporate culture, planning and prevention,
education, scope and contracts, construction documents and construction.

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Managing Expectations and Risks During the Steel Detailing Process
Speakers: Glenn Bishop, LBYD, Birmingham AL; Will Ikerd, RLG Engineers, Dallas, TX
The AISC Code of Standard Practice provides two options for structural steel connections, either fully detailed by the
engineer or selected and completed by the detailer. After much discussion, AISC is considering adding a third option
for connection: design by a specialty structural engineer retained by the fabricator. This session will explore the needs
and expectations of both the engineer and the fabricator for each of these three options. Also discussed will be how these
expectations might change in the BIM world.

STRUCTURE magazine 39 March 2010

ADVERTISEMENT - For Advertiser Information, visit

continued from page 42

value, yet you would ask for your money back their productivity. We have a lot of work to congratulation. In other countries, they are
if your bestselling paperback had three spell- do to reclaim our dynamic status. This is why rising to the challenge of the economy and
ing mistakes in it! The calculations have value I train engineers to produce quality calcula- the future. They are willing to learn, improve
in the time that it takes to prepare them such tions. It may seem like a tiny contribution, team-building cohesion and gather confidence
that they are readable, actively useful within but as the prism explodes the focused beam for whatever lies ahead. I see great potential
the team, checkable and educational for grad- of light into the colors of the rainbow, so do for dynamic engineers in emerging economies
uates and the client. quality calculations expand the horizon of the to become a tidal wave. What are we going to
These mediocre calculations are produced engineer’s skill set positively. If engineers ac- do about it?▪
by highly qualified and trained engineers, cept this ‘value’ in their work, the change is
but the product is hardly the stuff of profound – far beyond merely producing cal- Robert Mote, P.Eng (, is
dynamic engineers. In a business where 80% culations. They are working with the team to the author of two books, The Engineer’s Word
of engineers spend 80% of their time doing lead and becoming dynamic. and The Engineer’s Tables. More information
calculations and 80% hate it, I cannot see the Dynamic engineers ask hard questions and is available at
source of pride, innovation and dynamism find answers within the team. Transactional
for the future. Engineers should not simply engineers shrug their shoulders and say, “What
complain about the situation in which they can we do?” Dynamic engineers are capable
find themselves, because they can change it of profound changes in the way they work; ADVERTISEMENT - For Advertiser Information, visit
– if only they will recognize that it is time transactional engineers simply follow the
for change. leader. In a world economy that is currently
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neers to expand their perception of their work, modern history, the reality of the workface is wind, seismic, snow and other loadings for
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these codes ($195.00).
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send an abstract to Demos at:

STRUCTURE magazine 41 March 2010

The Tidal Wave
By Robert Mote, P.Eng
A few years ago, a study carried out by would say that we are all transactional en- growth for a long time in the U.S., but we
Duke University researchers tried to de- gineers in reality! True dynamic engineers can and must do better.
fine two terms that are crucial to their work in teams and use them to create the What will it take for American industry
interpretation of market conditions and innovations that result from the interaction. and engineers to lead in traditional engineer-
the United States’ unique advantage Think of Steve Jobs and his Apple® iPod. ing amidst our crumbling infrastructure?
in science and engineering innovation. He did not do it all by himself, did he? Any number of options exist; here are a few:
Consistent reporting of problematic en- He needs the team to push and respond to • Go metric. Imperial measurement
gineering graduation data has been used the highest standard. He gave his team the has no future. The world is
to fuel fears that America is losing this command to do their best and go beyond trending towards globalization,
technological edge. Typical articles have the minimum. I do not see that happening which will lead to better
stated that, in 2004, the number of un- in our profession, generally. I see opti- innovation and cross-pollination
dergraduate engineers was 70,000 in the mized or innovative solutions shelved to of experiences.
U.S. vs. 350,000 in India and 600,000 preserve and maximize corporate profits. • Go green. The drive to change the
in China. The big headline was that the Innovation is born of inspiration more biggest inertial system in the world
combined number of graduates from India than education. Invention is born of is impressive and wonderful news for
and China was running five to eight perspiration and adversity more than the globe.
times greater. This has been going on year interpersonal skills. The quality of educa- • Improve recognition of engineers’
after year. tion is not a paramount condition, but role in society. Increase pay and
Some tried to argue that engineers from rather the opportunity of the mind. It showcase their contributions. It
different countries could not be compared does not matter whether you are American, does not need to be the space
as “apples to apples”. The rational case was Indian, Chinese or from Mars. It knows program; the recent infrastructure
presented using the terms “transactional no boundaries. spending is long overdue, and new
engineers” and “dynamic engineers.” This Let us re-examine the numbers and try projects should be executed with
is an interesting defensive position. Let to find a reasonable method to determine much fanfare.
me explain. the approximate number of dynamic engi- • Improve work processes for
Transactional Engineers: neers from our large pool. I recall reading engineers. Increase their
• May possess engineering somewhere a biological equation where productivity, and lead in education
fundamentals, but not the square root of one percent of the pop- and quality presentations.
adequate experience. ulation has the power to produce systemic As an example, in the oil and gas sector,
• Lack the expertise necessary to apply changes. Applying this rule suggests that calculations are the bedrock of the civil
this knowledge to larger problems. there are perhaps 26 dynamic engineers and structural engineering disciplines.

• Are typically responsible for rote and produced every year in the U.S. vs. 59 in Depending on the project size, calcula-
repetitive tasks in the workforce. India and 77 in China. tions can take from days to months to
• Often receive associate, technician Every year, year after year, we see the prepare. Typical quality assurance pro-
or diploma awards, rather than a potential for new ideas multiplying out- cesses require key project calculations to
bachelor’s degree. side the U.S. The U.S. has an advantage be easily presented and understood during
Dynamic Engineers: in the implementation of funds, resources, subsequent reviews and approvals by senior
opinions on topics of current importance to structural engineers

• Are capable of abstract thinking and marketing and developing ideas; but engineers, project leads and clients. What
high-level problem solving. for how long? The Indian steel giants is commonly produced is specialized,
• Thrive in teams. turned car makers, Tata, have released exclusive, voluminous and hard to read.
• Work well across the world’s least expensive car. Daewoo This is typical from an American consul-
international borders. and Hyundai build their own submarines; tancy, and the workshare companies borrow
• Have strong interpersonal skills. Japanese industry is a world-class model these practices as their go-by without
• Can translate technical engineering of quality. The Chinese have their own questioning it. I believe that this moribund
jargon into common diction. space program. state of affairs is inspired by the imperial
• Have four-year engineering degrees Perhaps you think that I am an alarmist; system, poor reporting facility and a lack
from nationally accredited or highly I am not. We are in a global economy; we of personal responsibility for the quality
regarded institutions. relocate engineers from India to do work of the calculations.
The overarching conclusion was that in Canada and the U.S. because we do not As I point out to engineers who express
dynamic engineers lead innovations, and have enough engineers available locally, indifference, if we cannot produce mag-
all will be well because the U.S. produc- and in some cases they are also more cost- azine-quality calculations that inspire the
es dynamic engineers by virtue of their effective. It is a wake-up call for American team to do better, how can we call our-
training and education. businesses, politicians and engineers. I selves dynamic? In a multi-billion-dollar
Given the definitions above, based on my believe that there is plenty of engineering job, these calculations have incredible
experience within the oil and gas sector, I talent to drive innovation and economic continued on page 41

Structural Forum is intended to stimulate thoughtful dialogue and debate among structural engineers and other participants in the design
and construction process. Any opinions expressed in Structural Forum are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of
NCSEA, CASE, SEI, C 3 Ink, or the STRUCTURE ® magazine Editorial Board.

STRUCTURE magazine 42 March 2010