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Structural Engineer's Pocket Book


  • Structural EngineersPocket Book

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  • Structural EngineersPocket Book

    Fiona Cobb



  • Elsevier Butterworth-HeinemannLinacre House, Jordan Hill, Oxford OX2 8DP200 Wheeler Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

    First published 2004

    Copyright 2004, Fiona Cobb. All rights reserved

    The right of Fiona Cobb to be identified as the author of thiswork has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright,Designs and Patents Act 1988

    No part of this publication may be reproduced in anymaterial form (including photocopying or storing inany medium by electronic means and whether or nottransiently or incidentally to some other use of thispublication) without the written permission of thecopyright holder except in accordance with theprovisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act1988 or under the terms of a licence issued by theCopyright Licensing Agency Ltd, 90 Tottenham CourtRoad, London, England W1T 4LP. Applications forthe copyright holders written permission to reproduceany part of this publication should be addressed tothe publisher

    Permissions may be sought directly from Elseviers Scienceand Technology Rights Department in Oxford, UK:phone: (44) (0) 1865 843830;fax: (44) (0) 1865 853333;e-mail: may also complete your request on-line via theElsevier homepage (,by selecting Customer Support and then Obtaining Permissions

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication DataA catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

    Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication DataA catalogue record for this book is available from the Library of Congress

    ISBN 0 7506 5638 7

    For information on all Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann publicationsvisit our website at

    Typeset by Integra Software Services Pvt. Ltd, Pondicherry, Indiawww.integra-india.comPrinted and bound in Great Britain

  • Contents

    Preface ix

    Acknowledgements xi

    1 General InformationMetric system 1

    Typical metric units for UK structural 2


    Imperial units 3

    Conversion factors 4

    Measurement of angles 5

    Construction documentation and procurement 6

    Drawing conventions 8

    Common arrangement of work sections 10

    Summary of ACE conditions of engagement 11

    2 Statutory Authorities and PermissionsPlanning 13

    Building regulations and standards 14

    Listed buildings 17

    Conservation areas and Tree preservation orders 18

    Archaeology and ancient monuments 19

    Party Wall etc. Act 21

    CDM 24

    3 Design Data

    Design data checklist 25

    Structural form, stability and robustness 26

    Structural movement joints 29

    Fire resistance periods for structural elements 30

    Typical building tolerances 31

    Historical use of building materials 32

    Typical weights of building materials 34

    Minimum imposed floor loads 38

    Typical unit floor and roof loadings 41

    Wind loading 43

    Barrier and handrail loadings 44

  • Selection of materials 46

    Selection of floor construction 47

    Transportation 48

    Temporary works toolkit 52

    4 Basic and Shortcut Tools for StructuralAnalysis

    Load factors and limit states 55

    Geometric section properties 56

    Parallel axis theorem and Composite sections 60

    Material properties 61

    Coefficients of linear thermal expansion 64

    Coefficients of friction 65

    Sign conventions 66

    Beam bending theory 67

    Deflection limits 68

    Beam bending and deflection formulae 69

    Clapeyrons equations of three moments 76

    Continuous beam bending formulae 78

    Struts 79

    Rigid frames under lateral loads 81

    Plates 84

    Torsion 88

    Taut wires, cables and chains 89

    Vibration 91

    5 GeotechnicsGeotechnics 92

    Selection of foundations and retaining walls 93

    Site investigation 94

    Soil classification 95

    Typical soil properties 96

    Preliminary sizing 100

    Trees and shallow foundations 109

    Contamined land 113

    6 Timber and PlywoodTimber 117

    Timber section sizes 119

    Laminated timber products 120

    Durability and fire resistance 122

    Preliminary sizing of timber elements 125

    vi Contents

  • Timber design to BS 5268 127Timber joints 135

    7 MasonryMasonry 141Geometry and arrangement 143Durability and fire resistance 147Preliminary sizing of masonry elements 148Masonry design to BS 5628 152Masonry design to CP111 166Lintel design to BS 5977 168Masonry accessories 170

    8 Reinforced ConcreteReinforced concrete 175Concrete mixes 177Durability and fire resistance 179Preliminary sizing of concrete elements 180Reinforcement 182Concrete design to BS 8110 185Reinforcement bar bending to BS 8666 205Reinforcement estimates 207

    9 Structural SteelStructural steel 208Mild steel section sizes and tolerances 210Slenderness 239Durability and fire resistance 242Preliminary sizing of steel elements 246Steel design to BS 5950 249Steel design to BS 449 261Stainless steel to BS 5950 269

    10 Composite Steel and ConcreteComposite steel and concrete 275Preliminary sizing of composite elements 277Composite design to BS 5950 281

    11 Structural GlassStructural glass 284Typical glass section sizes and thicknesses 287Durability and fire resistance 288Typical glass sizes for common applications 289Structural glass design 291Connections 293

    Contents vii

  • 12 Building Elements, Materials, Fixingsand FasteningsWaterproofing 295Basement waterproofing 296Screeds 299Precast concrete hollowcore slabs 300Bi-metallic corrosion 301Structural adhesives 302Fixings and fastenings 304Cold weather working 307Effect of fire on construction materials 308Aluminium 310

    13 Useful Mathematics 314

    Useful Addresses 320

    Further Reading 331

    Sources 336

    Index 339

    viii Contents

  • Preface

    As a student or graduate engineer it is difficult to source basic design

    data. Having been unable to find a compact book containing this infor-

    mation, I decided to compile my own after seeing a pocket book for

    architects. I realised that a Structural Engineers Pocket Book might be

    useful for other engineers and construction industry professionals. My

    aim has been to gather useful facts and figures for use in preliminary

    design in the office, on site or in the IStructE Part 3 exam, based on UK


    The book is not intended as a textbook; there are no worked examples

    and the information is not prescriptive. Design methods from British

    Standards have been included and summarized, but obviously these are

    not the only way of proving structural adequacy. Preliminary sizing and

    shortcuts are intended to give the engineer a feel for the structure before

    beginning design calculations. All of the data should be used in context,

    using engineering judgement and current good practice. Where no refer-

    ence is given, the information has been compiled from several different


    Despite my best efforts, there may be some errors and omissions. I

    would be interested to receive any comments, corrections or sugges-

    tions on the content of the book by email at

    Obviously, it has been difficult to decide what information can be

    included and still keep the book a compact size. Therefore any propos-

    als for additional material should be accompanied by a proposal for an

    omission of roughly the same size the reader should then appreciate

    the many dilemmas that I have had during the preparation of the

    book! If there is an opportunity for a second edition, I will attempt

    to accommodate any suggestions which are sent to me and I hope that

    you find the Structural Engineers Pocket Book useful.

    Fiona Cobb

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  • Acknowledgements

    Thanks to the following people and organizations:

    Price & Myers for giving me varied and interesting work, without which

    this book would not have been possible! Paul Batty, David Derby, Sarah

    Fawcus, Step Haiselden, Simon Jewell, Chris Morrisey, Mark Peldmanis,

    Sam Price, Helen Remordina, Harry Stocks and Paul Toplis for their com-

    ments and help reviewing chapters. Colin Ferguson, Derek Fordyce, Phil

    Gee, Alex Hollingsworth, Paul Johnson, Deri Jones, Robert Myers, Dave

    Rayment and Andy Toohey for their help, ideas, support, advice and/or

    inspiration at various points in the preparation of the book. Renata

    Corbani, Rebecca Rue and Sarah Hunt at Elsevier. The technical and

    marketing representatives of the organizations mentioned in the book.

    Last but not least, thanks to Jim Cobb, Elaine Cobb, Iain Chapman for his

    support and the loan of his computer and Jean Cobb for her help with

    typing and proof reading.

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