Archive for the ‘reference’ Category

Zoom into Concrete and Steel

September 1st, 2009 No comments

These narrated videos slowly zoom in to several million times magnification, which is enough to see the chemical composition of concrete and steel.

This information may not be directly applicable to structural analysis or design on a daily basis, but it can’t hurt to have some material science background on the materials with which we build.

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Best Practice Guidelines for Structural Fire Resistance Design of Concrete and Steel Buildings (NISTIR 7563)

April 15th, 2009 No comments

It may be too late to send comments on the report, but it is still available to download and read.  Via the website:

A new draft report released for public comment by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides a comprehensive set of “best practice” guidelines for designing building structures to resist major fires. The document, NISTIR 7563, Best Practice Guidelines for Structural Fire Resistance of Concrete and Steel Buildings, is part of the NIST response to the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster of Sept. 11, 2001, and was developed in conjunction with the agency’s technical building and fire safety investigation of WTC buildings 1 and 2 (the WTC towers) and 7. Read more…

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William G. Godden Structural Engineering Slide Library

January 3rd, 2009 No comments

From UC Berkeley’s Earthquake Engineering Resource Center:

The Structural Engineering Slide Library was collected over the period 1950 through 1980. It was developed as a visual resource for illustrating structural systems in undergraduate courses in structural analysis and design. Each structure is identified, and a brief description is given.

When I was a TA for a freshmen introduction to structural engineering course, these slides were helpful in providing “real world” illustration of some of the idealized conditions that we were studying.

For example, when explaining about pin and roller supports, it’s helpful to show what a pin (left), and a roller (right) really look like. Read more…

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National BIM standard

December 4th, 2008 No comments


Via Whole Building Design Guide:

The NBIMS Executive Committee has released National BIM Standard Version 1 – Part 1: Overview, Principles, and Methodologies for public use. This document, which includes contributions by more than thirty subject-matter experts in the capital facilities industry, incorporates industry comments and now contains new and expanded information about the NBIMS production and use process. Read more…

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Hilti Technical Guide 2008

October 17th, 2008 1 comment

hilti_coverI frequently use Hilti’s reference material to design post-installed mechanical and epoxy anchors.  I also am trying to keep as much of my reference material in electronic form, preferably in searchable PDF’s.

Lucky for me that Hilti makes their technical guide available for free download in PDF form.  Follow this link for their most up-to-date version of their technical guide (version 2008).

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Please Explain: Making Green Building Affordable

April 17th, 2007 No comments

Buildings consume 33% of our energy. This probably explains why there’s been a lot of attention to “green” building” lately.

WNYC’s Leonard Lopate recently covered green building, on the “Please Explain” segment of his radio show. While it doesn’t really get into the technical stuff, I think atleast the first 15 minutes provide a good introduction to the background of the issues. The segment includes a co-founder of LEED, so we know the information is reputable.

Here’s a stream of the audio:

and here’s a link the the mp3.
Read more…

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Best Practices for Reducing the Potential for Progressive Collapse in Buildings

March 20th, 2007 No comments

NIST cover

NIST recently published, Best Practices for Reducing the Potential for Progressive Collapse in Buildings (NISTIR 7396).

via EurakaAlert:

The report, Best Practices for Reducing the Potential for Progressive Collapse in Buildings, argues that although no building system can be engineered and constructed to be absolutely risk-free, risk-informed assessment and decision-making can reduce the risk of progressive collapse. According to the researchers, engineers must not simply work to the minimum requirements of the building code; they need to consider ways to improve structural integrity and robustness to accommodate local failures. Read more…

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ASCE engineering grades

January 30th, 2007 No comments

moneyI was recently invited to fill out the ASCE‘s annual salary survey. This post isn’t about the survey or its results. I just wanted to highlight the ASCE Guidelines for Engineering Grades, which was included as a link in the invitation. It’s basically a table that relates engineering grade (a.k.a. salary) levels to experience, eduation, and responsibility, relative to public and private sector, as well as academic work. Those of us about to change careers, or involved in a performance and/or salary review may find this as a useful reference.

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How to write good

January 11th, 2007 No comments

typewriterI don’t think engineers early in their career appreciate the importance of writing well (yes, I know about the title:) If you were like me, you treated technical writing as skill of secondary importance while in school, focusing more on design and analysis. The reality is that design and analysis skills only count for at most 50% of what I do, and the rest is communicating. Thoughts have to be conveyed clearly and concisely to the client, because the design does not stand on its own.

I don’t claim to be a great writer, or even a good one (part of the reason I started this blog was to improve my writing), but I’d like to share tips I’ve picked up along the way.

The first tip is a cheat sheat for homonyms. Read more…

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