Tag Archives: Structural

Technical Design Process Requirements

The art of arriving at design solutions can be seen on one level as a complicated process comprised of many distinctive stages but on another quite an instinctive and highly creative progression of thought processes. It canseemunwise to deconstruct this intuitive process, but architecture finds itself in a highly competitive and commercial, professional environment.

Buildings are not designed to hang on thewalls of galleries but are required to perform at least adequately on many levels. The production of buildings not only involves a large number of professional designers, fabricators and builders, all working in a competitive and commercial environment, but the finished product will also have, in most circumstances, to provide the surroundings appropriate for the building’s users. The technical design process should therefore be accurate in its response to these requirements in providing a professional service, and it should also be reproducible in order to survive in the commercial world. This chapter looks at the requirements of the process known as technical design.

Project definition

As we have seen previously, the formal approach to arriving at design solutions starts with a definition of the task at hand and that a clear definition can have a distinct role to play in reaching appropriate solutions. By defining the parameters that have a bearing on a particular task, unrelated issues can be dismissed and relative degrees of importance allocated to individual parameters. These parameters could be individual such as a particular health and safety requirement that radiology departments in hospitals have some degree of radiation protection. Others could be far more complicated and interrelated such as the aim to produce an environmentally friendly office building.

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Structural Concrete Design

At this point in the history of development of reinforced and prestressed concrete it is necessary to reexamine the fundamental approaches to design of these composite materials. Structural engineering is a worldwide industry. Designers from one nation or a continent are faced with designing a project in  another nation or continent. The decades of efforts dedicated to harmonizing concrete design approaches worldwide have resulted in some successes but in large part have led to further differences and numerous different design procedures. It is this abundance of different design approaches, techniques, and code regulations that justifies and calls for the need for a unification of design approaches throughout the entire range of structural concrete, from plain to fully prestressed.

The effort must begin at all levels: university courses, textbooks, handbooks, and standards of practice. Students and practitioners must be encouraged to think of a single continuum of structural concrete. Based on this premise, this chapter on concrete design is organized to promote such unification. In addition, effort will be directed at dispelling the present unjustified preoccupation with complex analysis procedures and often highly empirical and incomplete sectional mechanics approaches that tend to both distract the designers from fundamental behavior and impart a false sense of accuracy to beginning designers. Instead, designers will be directed to give careful consideration to overall structure behavior, remarking the adequate flow of forces throughout the entire structure.

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Transportation Engineering

Transportation has been one of the essential components of the civil engineering profession since its early days. The building of roads, bridges, tunnels, canals, railroads, ports, and harbors from time immemorial has shaped the profession and defined much of its public image. As the cities grew, civil engineers became involved in developing, building, and operating transit facilities, including street railways and elevated and underground systems. The role of civil engineers as the vanguard of growth and development through the provision of transportation infrastructure to accommodate a growing population and economy was never more prominent than in the U.S. around the late 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. Transcontinental railroads, national highways, canals, and major urban transit systems are testimonials to the achievement of civil engineers.

Rapid urbanization and motorization challenged the civil engineers not only to serve as developers and builders of transportation facilities, but also to plan and operate such facilities. This challenge gave rise to the art and science of transportation planning, traffic engineering, and facility management. At the beginning of the 21st century, transportation engineering has evolved into a mature subdiscipline within civil engineering with clear functions of planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of multimodal systems for the transportation of people and goods.

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