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Paper: Hughes et al Paper A fresh look at the wind-moment method A. F. Hughes,
Paper: Hughes et al
A fresh look at the wind-moment method
A. F. Hughes, MA, CEng, MIStructE, MICE
Arup Associates
N. D. Brown, BEng, PhD
University of Warwick
Professor D. Anderson, BSc(Eng), PhD, CEng, FIStructE, FICE
University of Warwick
The wind-moment method (which has a long history of use) is
explained as a branchof semi-continuous plasticdesign. By
avoiding eluborate rigid connections, the method makes a
substantial contribution to reducing the cost of unbraced frames.
This is despite therelativeflexibility of thejoints, which
influences laterul deflection and frame
stability. Ways to account
for this are suggested. Thejoints must, above all, be ductile, and
Building is a purer example, but no high structure of this type is directly
comparable with the low-rise frames for which the method is employed
today. The tall building has high windmoments and requires substantialcon-
nections, albeit not quite so elaborate as those required to give full continuity.
In the vast majority of wind-moment frames the wind moments are modest
by comparison with those due to gravity. Without belittling the relationship
with their prominent cousins, we need to recognise that the demands made
on the connections are actually greater in these low-rise frames.
the role of stundardised connections inmeeting this requirement,
and others, is described.It is concluded that the method, now
Respectability again
more than ever, is appropriate for design
of unbraced frames.
Eventually, in 1984, debate did break out, notably in the ‘Verulam’column
of The Structural EngineerThe exposure given to the apparent ‘contradic-
The originsof the method
The wind-moment method is as old as the steel building skeleton. It evolved
out of the previous custom of letting the walls take care of lateral resistance,
and did so at a time when most walls were still of substantial masonry con-
tions’ of this ‘anachronistic’ method meant that things could never bequite
the same in future: either the method must acquire a more rigorous image
or it must become part of history.
was realised that the method was
too good to lose. The Steel Construc-
struction. The
story, which mostly takes place in New York,has been so well
chronicled by McGuire’ that a brief summary will suffice here.
As soon as slender-looking steel buildings began to rise above the gen-
eral building level, voices were raised about their wind resistance. It grad-
ually became accepted that the frame should be designed to resist wind load
without reliance on the masonry and that either bracing or moment con-
nections (or both) could be employed for this purpose.
Essentially, the wind-moment method involves treating the unbraced
frame as simply connected under gravity loads, but moment-resisting under
wind loads.
The designers of the early 20th century, even as theysubscribed to thephi-
losophy that the frame should resist all the applied loads, remained con-
scious that, in reality, the cladding usually offers a stiffer, more direct, load
path. No doubt, this was felt to excuse the somewhat contradictory assump-
tions of the wind-moment method. Certainly, there was awareness of the
demands being made of the connections. Such was the authority com-
manded by the method, by virtue of long experience and association with a
number of prestigious buildings, that many(though by no means all) design-
ers continued to feel comfortable using it. One of its attractions, in the
slide-rule era, was computational simplicity: no rigorous frame analysis was
called for; a simple equilibrium moment distribution could be arrived at
tion lnstitute, with support from the Department of the Environment and
British Steel, commissioned Warwick University to undertake a parametric
study of the method, aiming to validate its use for low- to medium-rise
frames. The result was SCI Publication 082’ which reasserts the validity of
method within the
limits of the study. This is fully
described elsewhere’,
but it is appropriate to touch on its methodology here. A set of plane frames,
ranging between predefined limits of size, geometry and loading, was
designed according to current practice. Each was subjectedto advanced elas-
tic-plastic analysis in which connection flexibility and second-order effects
were accounted for. For all the 120 structures examined (a fairly compre-
hensive set within the practical range), it was found that frame stability was
satisfactory. However, sway deflection was, as expected, increased signifi-
cantly by comparison with the equivalent rigidly connected frame (the one
the rest of us analyse on our computers). Since this serviceability limit can
often govern the design of an unbraced frame, a multiplier of I .5 (a typical,
but by no means extreme, figure) was recommended. This is applied to the
displacements predicted by
conventional elastic analysis. It represents
using the
‘portal’ method.
When, in 1946, the American Code admitted the method under the head-
ing of type I1 construction, its respectability reached a high point. In
Australia, similar official recognition was given in AS CA 1, whose succes-
sor (AS 1250) actually referred to the ‘wind-moment connection method’ by
name. In spite of widespread use in the UK, BS 449 never acknowledged
the method in the same way. It is noteworthy that neither of the Codes that
admitted it did so unconditionally, and in both countries subsequent Codes
can be viewed as retreating, at least to a degree, from the previous ‘official
method’ status.
Although opinions were polarised, it cannot be said that debate was live-
ly. Probably, the proponents of the method were unaware of the views of
those in opposition, who, in turn, would have been surprised to discover the
the main change to previous practice as a result of the Warwick study.
Publication 082 has been well received in the profession, but does not
give the designer all that could be wished for. Frames in which columns are
subject to minor-axis bending are not considered, and it is notably silent on
the crucial issue of connection design. A companion publication was
promised on this subject; in the event, it has been delivered in the form of
section 3 of the ‘green book’ on moment connections prepared under the
auspices of the SCI/BCSA Connections Group‘, This has, meanwhile, been
informed by the new approach to ductile connections incorporated in
Eurocode 35.
It is timely for P-082 to be updated, and the SCI has this task currently
in hand. Some minor changes to the original recommendations emerge
from experience and from more recent work at Warwick.(A summary of the
likely amendments to certain paragraphs appears in Table I .)
The mechanicsof the wind-moment frame
extent of its continued use. Regulators, on the whole, did not object to it,
and certainly this attitude was a precondition for the survival of the method
in the UK.
There is a distinction
to be drawn between the archetypal UK wind-
moment frame, which is low- to medium-rise, and the much quoted high-
rise examples. The Empire State Building is frequently mentioned, but this
is actually a hybrid structure with a braced core. The United Nations
Although some commentators have been dismissive of the ‘unusual pow-
ers of discrimination’ required by the connections of a wind-moment frame,
a proper scientific explanation of the way theyact was published as long ago
as 1950 by Sourochnikoff. In I975 Disque published another key paper, and
this was followed, in 1976, by an AIS1 promotional leaflet with the inviting
headline ‘A return to simplicity’. (These works have already been sum-
marised for readers of The Structural Engineer by Nethercot(‘,who gives the
original references.)
The Structural Engineer
Volume 77/No 16
17 August 1999
Paper: Hughes et a1 The principles advocated in the AIS1 publication (though perhaps not all
Paper: Hughes et a1
The principles advocated in the AIS1 publication (though perhaps not all
its detailed design recommendations) remain valid today. They can be re-
expressed in terms which relate to the EC 3 approach. The wind-moment
method should be viewed as a branch of semi-continuousplastic design. The
connections are ‘partial strength’(not as moment-resistant as the beam) and
what is essential is that they are ‘ductile’: in other words, capable of defor-
mation without loss of strength. In EC 3’s terms, they must possess ‘rota-
tion capacity’.
Consider a representative internal beam in a wind-moment frame, and its
two connections to the columns. Suppose the gravity load is applied first.
The connection, which in reality possesses no powers of discrimination, will
do its best to resist something of the order of the fixed-end moment. Since
the end moment (-WL/12, say) is numerically greater than the midspan
moment (+WL/24, say), and since the connection is not as strong as the
beam, it is inevitablythe connection that will ‘fail’first as the load is stepped
up. This is liable to occur even before the full service load, let alone the fac-
tored load, is applied. Point A of Fig 1 represents this limit.
Of course, this is not the end. The connection has reached its ultimate
moment resistance, but it has not truly failed. It mustact like a plastic hinge,
and because it is ‘ductile’it is qualified to do so (rather as a class l section
is). Under further gravity load, there is rotation at the plastic hinge (to point
B). If that load is now reduced, line BC is followed; when it has been
removed completely (gravity switched off, so to speak), the moment in the
connection has changed sign (point C). The intercept of line BC on the @-
axis represents the magnitude of a permanent kink which has developed in
the connection. It would bevisible, as an angle different from 90°,if the con-
nection were to be dissected out of the frame. There is now a lack of fit, and
internal moments persist in the absence of externally applied load.
It can be seen that the unloading connection behaves in linear elastic fash-
ion. If the gravity load is now reapplied, the same line (CB) is followed. It
closely parallels the initial portion of the virgin M-$ characteristic. For
practical purposes, the unloading/reloading stiffness of the connection
(the slope of this line) is the same as its initial stiffness.
Now consider the application of lateral wind load to this unbraced frame.
The representative beam is subject to ‘double bending’, and the tendency is
for the moment at the leeward end to increase, while the windward con-
nection unloads. The windward connection does indeed unload, to point Dl,
but the leeward end moment cannot increase; the plastic hinge can only
rotate further (to point D2). The kink at this end increases, and, as a result,
the frame will retain a slight lean after the lateral load is removed.
Successive application of lateral load from both directions will restore sym-
metry, though both connections will have reached point E, further than
under gravity alone. Under subsequent alternation of wind load, they will
operate (in opposite directions) along line EFG. The process just described
is known as ‘shakedown’. Once it is complete, the frame behaves more or
less elastically. In principle, this shakedown process is identical with that
which could be envisaged in a continuous, plastically designed frame; the
only difference is that rotation almost inevitably takes place at the partial
strength connections.
If the connections have been designed to resist the (reversible) wind
moment alone, their permanent rotation will be such that the beam end
moments are close to zero when gravity load acts alone (point F). This is
the reason for designing the beams of a wind-moment frame as though sim-
Bauschinger effect
Fig 2. ‘Real’ connection behaviour
ply supported and for designing their connections to resist equal moment
in each direction.
The explanation given above is somewhat idealised; there are strain-
hardening and ‘Bauschinger’ effects which can be regarded as mutually
compensatory (see Fig 2). Itis also worth bearing in mind that it isexcep-the
tion, rather than the rule, for a real buildingframe to experiencethe full loads
designed against, whether applied vertically or horizontally. The fully
en-down’ condition that is the end result of the process described is not
always achieved (perhaps almost never achieved), but what matters is that
it could be.
The economic imperative
Fig 1. Idealised shakedownprocess
Today,the designer who selects the wind-moment method is motivated pri-
marily by economics. Simplicity of analysis is a minor consideration now
that even the smallest offices are equipped to analyse large, continuous
frames elastically.
Nobody wouldclaim that unbraced, multistorey frames are, in normalcir-
cumstances, cheaper than braced ones; nevertheless, there is strong demand
for unbraced frames in the low-rise building sector. It is sometimes impos-
sible and often difficult, functionallyor architecturally,to accommodatesuit-
ably located bracing. Even where there is no physical obstacle, the design
team may set a high value on freedom from bracing.
It is the connections that make unbraced frames expensive.Moment con-
nections are unavoidable, as opposed to the ‘simple’ connections in an
orthodoxbraced frame, which are designed to resist shear only.The columns
of the unbraced frame will probably be heavier, though the beams should
become lighter because of continuity. However,the most significant impact
on costs arises from the added workmanship at connections, and this is
where the wind-moment method makes the difference.
As with all semi-continuous design (of which it is a special case), the
wind-moment method recognises that it is both difficult and expensive to
achieve a moment connection that matches the bending resistance of its
beam. Nor is it necessary to do so, provided that the structure is analysed
in a way that takes account of the performance of the connections.
The method prescribes partial strength connections, designed to resist lit-
tle more than the irreducible minimum: the wind-moment, in either direc-
tion. It is essentially a plastic method, so far as the ‘strength’ design is
concerned, which means that the distribution of wind moment around the
frame can, within reason, be arbitrary. Usually, ina regular frame, the wind
force will be shared equally among the bays (and this is the basis of the ‘por-
tal’ method traditionally used) but, in principle, other distributions that
maintain equilibrium with the applied loads are admissible.
The wind-moment method does not aim for a minimum-weightframe. Its
beams are sized as though simply supported; more resistant connections
could justify less resistant beams. Atthe other end of the spectrum is thecon-
tinuous ‘rigid’frame, whose beams are the minimum but whose connections
are full strength. The latter represents (probably) the minimum weight and
(almost certainly) the maximum cost. The savings on thebeams are dwarfed
by the extras on connection fabrication. If there ever was any merit in the
The Structural Engineer
Volume 77/No 16
17 August 1999
Paper: Hughes et a1 pursuit of minimum-weight design (a fashionable academic subject in the postwar
Paper: Hughes et a1
pursuit of minimum-weight design (a fashionable academic subject in the
postwar climate of steel shortages), it has been, and continues to be, erod-
ed by the inexorable rise inthe ratioof labour to material costs.
It is not too extravagantto suggest that, if the wind-moment method did
not exist, it would now be necessary to invent it.
The importanceof connection rigidity
The fundamental attribute of a wind-moment connection is that it must be
ductile: this is a prerequisite for use of the method. However, rigidity, or
rotational stiffness, runs a close second.Just how much stiffness is needed
varies from one frame to another, but it is always desirable and not infre-
quently controls design on serviceability grounds.
Although connection flexibilitydoes not enter intothe strength design of
the frame, which is done plastically, both stability and serviceability have
also to be verified. There is no alternative to an elastic approach for these
purposes. The Warwick study' revealed that, whereas stability is generally
not critical (with an appropriatechoice of effective buckling length for col-
umn design to normal Code rules), lateral deflections are strongly influenced
by connection flexibility.
Ideally, the lateral displacements of a wind-moment frame should be
computed using an analysis model in which rotational springs at member
ends model the connections. Up untilnow, no reliable prediction formula for
the spring stiffness has been available, andit is rather unrealistic to adopt a
test-based approach in normal design practice.(It must also be borne in mind
that conventional cruciformtests, such as the one illustrated in Fig 3, do not
load the column web panel in shear. Consequently, failtheyto registera sig-
nificant contributor to the flexibility of a wind-moment connection.)
The use of the multiplier of 1.5, applied to the lateral deflections result-
ing from conventional elastic analysis,is an adhoc approach that is certainly
an improvement on blind disregard for the effect of connection flexibility,
but is not altogether satisfactory. It was evident in the Warwick study that
there is considerable variation; some frames are treated too generously
when this 'average' multiplier is used, whereas others, capable of satisfac-
tory service performance, are pushed over the limit.
Since it is serviceability, not life and limb, which is at stake, this situa-
tion is not quite as untenable as it might be portrayed. Serviceability limits
are themselves somewhat subjective, and it is sometimes argued that Code
limits make allowance (unconsciously, perhaps)for the customary .neglect
of connection flexibility. It would follow that a more rigorous calculation
should be faced with a more relaxed limit.
No discussion on sway limits is complete without an acknowledgement
that, in real life, most wind-moment frames owe most of their lateral stiff-
ness (and much resistance as well) to components that are not regarded as
structural. This was more so in the past, but even today's lightweight cur-
tain walls and partitions exert a non-negligible stiffening effect. Although
disinclined to take account of this favourable effect in design, we cannot
ignore it when attempting to extrapolate from experience. Given that there
is some evidence that over-flexible unbracedframes have resulted in cracks
and leaksin cladding, it would perhaps be unwiseto advocate a more relaxed
sway criterion than the heighU300of most present day Codes, unless the non-
structural components of the building can be dependedon to betolerant.
Returning to the detail designof the connections,it is an inconvenient fact
that ductility is often achieved atthe expense of rigidity. The usual route to
assured ductile behaviour is by limiting the thickness of the endplate.
Obviously, this has a negative effect on the stiffness of this component,
which is proportional to something between the square and the cube of its
Endplate connections may not be the onlyductile connections, but they
are certainly the most studied and the most popular. They will be taken lar
ly for granted in the following discussion. Fig4 gives examples of two typ-
ical details.
One way to avoid unnecessary flexibility is to specify the largest and
strongest bolts that are available and practical.The thinness of endplate nec-
essary for ductility is relative to the force thebolts can transmit. In gener-
al, for wind-moment connections,M24 8.8bolts (with 15mm endplates) are
to be preferred. An exception could be made for situations where the col-
umn flange is thin (less than 12mm or thereabouts) and no advantage is
gained by using bolts larger than M20.
By the same token,10.9 bolts offer advantagein the design of ductile con-
nections. These bolts are popular in several countries, butcurrent UK prac-
tice views them with disfavour,if only to avoid confusion on site.
The endplate thickness is, of course, onlyone of many parameters which
influence the rigidity of a connection. Perhaps the most effective decision
the designer can take is to placethe bolts as compactly aspossible, no more
distant than necessary from the webs, the beam flange, and any horizontal
One measure whichis almost always not worth pursuingis preloading the
bolts. The cost of doing andchecking thisoperation is prohibitive when set
against the minor stiffness gain relativeto normal tightening. Strengthis not
improved by the preload, which can hardly be justified unless fatigue or
other special circumstances demandit. However, large series (HSFG) bolts,
which are less susceptibleto thread stripping thanthe ordinary kind, are cer-
tainly not to be discouraged. Fully threaded bolts, irrespectivetheofsize of
their heads, arealso beneficial in endplate connections;in addition to their
other advantages, they bringa marginal increase in ductility.
A suggested approachto the assessmentof lateral deflection
Prediction of connection flexibility, which is a precondition for making
proper numerical allowance for its effect, is not easy; the difficulties have
E60 [
45 45
8M24 8.8bolts
8M24 8.8bolts
Fig 4. Examples of endplate connections designed tobe ductile
The Structural Engineer
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17 August 1999
Paper: Hughes et a1 direction or the other. In each bay, one side’s connection will
Paper: Hughes et a1
direction or the other. In each bay, one side’s connection will be unloading
and theother will beloading. Because this is anultimate limit state, we must
assume that the paths followed are, respectively, FG and EJ of Figl. There
will be strain-hardening,but we (conservatively)ignore this andassume that
line EJ is parallel to the $-axis, i.e. a plastic plateau. This means zero stiff-
ness and is equivalent to a pin. At the opposite end connection, the unload-
ing stiffness continues to be available, and it is this which maintains the
stability of the frame.
Quite a simple model can, therefore, be envisaged. Each column is
restrained by a single beam at each level, which is pinned at its far end, thus
reducing its rotational stiffness to 3B/L where H is the bending stiffness (EZ)
of the beam and L is its length. The rotational stiffness of the beam(s), as
perceived by the
column, becomes
I/Sj) where Sj is the (initial)
Fig 5. Initial v. secunt stiffness
stiffness of the connection.
This rotational stiffness can now be used to evaluate the effective buck-
ling length of the column via BS 5950, Fig 24 (or EC 3, Fig E.2.2). (Since
the true rotational stiffness M/$ has been evaluated for the beams, the col-
umn stiffness must likewise be taken as 4B/L, not IIL, for this purpose.)
The assessment of effective length needs to recognise that the number of
connections acting (oneby) is one less than thenumber of columns requir-
ing to be restrained. It would be reasonable to sum the effective beam and
column stiffnesses across the frame to obtain a single value of effective
length for each storey.
Alternatively, an elastic second-order computer analysis could be per-
formed, with left-hand beam ends given rotational springs of stiffness Sj and
right-hand ends pinned (or/and vice versa). Refs 6 and 9 are recommended
for further reading.
been mentioned in the preceding section. Many designers will not be con-
tent to accept this impasse, either because they feel the ‘multiplier’approach
of SCI P-082 lacks rigour or because they suspect that it is unduly penalis-
ing the frame they are designing. Two possible ways forward can be iden-
tified: one is the formula proposed7to replace that of the original EC 3 Annex
J, section 4; the second possibility is a semi-empirical approach based on
the use of standardised connections, which improve the confidence with
which stiffness predictions can be made. This is developed in a readily
available research reportx.
The typical ductile connectionis emphaticallynon-linear, witha M-$ char-
acteristic which ratherresembles a parabola; see Fig 5 for an example. There
How standardised connections can help
is an initial straight portion, in
which the components remain elastic, but
The arguments for standardised connections in general are well rehearsed
and widely accepted: they improve the efficiency of the design office, the
procurement processes, the shop floor, and the site, and reduce the risk of
error at allstages. In the case of wind-moment connections (and ductile con-
nections generally) these advantages are supplemented by other (particularly
compelling) ones.
Design of a ductile connection is a more than usually complex process
because, in addition to satisfying the strength requirement, it is necessary
to ensure that thecomponent which governs is one that fails in a ‘controlled’
way. Other components that would fail inbrittle fashion (especiallythe bolts
plasticity sets in before long, probably before the working moment is reached. and the welds) must be protected by a relatively weak link (commonly, but
For any given moment, a ‘secant’ stiffness can be defined, and it has some-
times been advocated thatthis should be usedfor the purposes of semi-rigid
elastic analysis. At best, if suitably chosen, it may give an approximation to
the true behaviour of the frame, but it is decidedly inconvenient to have to
anticipatethe results of the analysis (i.e.the design moment) in order to estab-
lish the valueof secant stiffnessto input. The concept of secant stiffnessplays
no part in the approach suggested here. Initial stiffness, which is inherently
easier to predict and is not a ‘movable feast’, is used.
The justification for this is apparent from Fig 1. In a wind-moment frame,
not invariably, the endplate) which can be relied upon to provide the nec-
essary ductility.Preoptimised standard ductile connections spare the design-
er the extra effort involved in achieving the right balance. They also allow
remarkably direct designs, as moment resistance can be tabulated (by beam
size) for the range of standard details on offer. Itis a simple matter to select
a detail that suits the beam size and provides for the design moment. Fig 6
the connections that have ‘shaken down’ are operating along line EFG,
whose slope parallels the initial stiffness. If shakedown is incomplete, the
operating line is (e.g.) D2H,but the conclusion is the same. The most real-
istic model to take for the lateral deflection calculation is, therefore, one in
which a rotational spring at each beam end represents the initial stiffness of
the connection. Although at first sight this may seem unconservative for a
connection that has not previously beenexposed to full design wind moment
in one direction, this concern that serviceability may depend on loading his-
tory is, on reflection, rather academic. The quasi-static equivalent wind
reconfirm the safety of the wind-moment method. They can also be used
directly by designers in pursuit of the morerigorous approaches, outlined in
the preceding sections, to the assessment of serviceability and stability.
Beam design
loads used in design are just that; in reality, buildings respond
It is not, within the broader context of semi-continuous design, a necessity
to wind by swaying to and fro, so that the shakedown process is symmetri-
cal, irrespective of wind direction. (Were it not so, we could expect to see
evidence of leaning buildings!)
Equipped with a reliable prediction of initial stiffness, the designer can
readily carry out a computer analysis for lateral displacement with rotational
springs modelled at both ends of each beam.
A suggested approach to the assessment of frame stability
A similar approach to the one just described can be put forward for check-
ing the stability of a wind-moment frame. It must be conceded at the out-
set that this is not as simple as the serviceability calculation; consideration
of frame stability cannot be disentangled from the not-altogether-rational
processes of codified column design.
It is reasonable to postulate as follows. At the ultimate limit state either
all or part of the frame will have swayed, parallelogram fashion, in one
that the beams are designed as though simply supported. However, this is
part of the definition of wind-moment design as traditionally practised, and
there is good reason for keeping it that way. Besides the convenience of
selecting beams just as for simple construction, there is the argument that
deflection calculations cannot be based safely on any other assumption (as
discussed above, in relation to Fig 1). If the beams were made lighter, the
connections would have to be more elaborate; the design process would
become more involved, and overall cost would probably rise.
One minor oversimplification in the explanation of the shakedown
process was the implied assumption that gravity load is permanent. In fact,
only part of it is: the rest can be added and removed, perhaps in patterns.
This implies that, if the wind moment is relatively small and theconnections
of correspondingly low bending resistance, they may find themselves sub-
ject to a greater range of moment due more to variable gravity load than to
wind. Although ductile connections are designed (and confidently expect-
The Structural Engineer
Volume 77/No 16
17 August 1999

gives an example of such a table. The range of standard ductile connections for wind-moment frames devel- oped at the SteelConstruction Institute is published in the SCVBCSA ‘green book’ on moment connections‘ from which Fig6 is extracted.A programme of testing to confirm the ductile performanceof the details was carried out (Fig 3, ref. 10). Formulae for the rotational stiffness of these standard details are now availablex,and these have been employed ina new parametric study” to

Paper: Hughes et nl ~ ~~~ 2 ROWSM24 8.8 BOLTSpp 250 x 15 DESIGN GRADE
Paper: Hughes et nl
2 ROWSM24 8.8 BOLTSpp
Fig 6. Tvpical wind-moment connection
br 50
x 254
x 229
x 210
' shear
x 191
Serial size
moments do not include any substantial gravity component. It is certainly
true that the wind-moment design benefits from not normally havingto con-
sider pattern loading effects on the columns. In fact, when the shakedown
process is considered, this is seen to be justifiable. An interior column will
356 x 368 x 202
typically be subject to equal and opposite connection moments due to grav-
ity. Perimeter columns are subject to permanent connection moment, but
again the design moment will be dictated by wind (or other lateral load).
305 x 305 x 198
new parametric study'' has shown that the previous restriction2 to
class 1 sections is unnecessary.This is because the ultimate design loads did
not cause a plastic hinge in any of the columns. However, some hinges did
form soon after these loads were exceeded, and therefore class 3 and class
254 x 254 x 167
should still be avoided. In any case, very thin column flanges
would be detrimental to connection performance.
203 x 203 x 86
/ 276
S (512)
Wind-moment frames that are tall enough to require a column splice are
probably in a minority, but it should be pointed out that the conventional
locationjust above floor level is suited to braced frames. A midheight loca-
tion is more appropriate in an unbraced frame, and it would also seem pru-
/ 221
dent to detail such splices to resist more than just nominal moment.
Column satisfactory for bolt row tension values shown for
the beam side.
Calculate reduced moment capacity using the reduced bolt row values.
Column requires stiffening to resist ZF, ( Value is the column web capacity.)
Sections not Class 1 and therefore not suitable for use in wind moment frames
ed) to go plastic, there should be. some limit to the number of cycles of alter-
nating plasticity that they undergo.A conservativeapproach would be to add
half the fixed-end moment due to live load to the wind moment for con-
nection design purposes, but this seems quite excessively cautious given the
improbabilitythat the full imposed load (let alone the factored imposed load)
will (i) ever apply and (ii) ever be taken away andreapplied more than a few
times (each coincident with a gale).
It is necessaryto take a view onthis, and it issuggested that the area of con-
cern can be limited to frames whose wind moments are exceptionally small
(e.g. low-rise, numerous bays). The appropriate response is to stipulate a
'minimum connection' which should be capable of resisting +l 5% of beam
free moment (or,for practical purposes,15%of beam MP).In practice, the sim-
plest of wind-moment connections can usually provide this; only with quite
deep beams will a second row of tensile bolts be called for.
One of the conclusions of the new parametric study" is that the restric-
tion to class 1 beam sections, imposed by SCI P-082', can be lifted. It is
practically impossible to imagine that a beam sandwiched between two
partial strength connections acting as plastic hinges, and designed as though
simply supported, could ever develop a plastic hinge within itself. Class 2
beams are perfectly acceptable with the method.
The most significant recent advance that thewind-moment method has seen
in the UK is in its respectability. Treated as a special case of semi-continu-
ous plastic design, it need no longer cause its proponents to feel defensive
about contradictory assumptions. Ductile partial strength connections have
received the imprimatur of EC 3. Standardised connections of this type can
now be specified, by reference to published capacity tables which make the
process of design straightforward.
This has taken place against a background of falling steel cost and rising
fabrication costs. Minimum-cost design has less in common with mini-
mum-weight design than ever before, and realisation of the drift of things
by designers has quickly followed. Semi-continuousdesign is an idea whose
time has come, and nowhere are its economic advantages more apparent
than in the comparison between a wind-moment frame and its elastically
designed 'rigid' counterpart.
TABLE I - Authors'proposed changes toP-082
Proposed change
4. l .2/4.2
Beams may be class 2 as well as class1
Columns may also be class 2, but avoid excessively thin
Beams may be designed as straightforwardly simply
Use predesigned standard ductile connections'
'Minimum' connection recommended
Take multiplier as 1.6 not l .5
in the serviceability check.
Column design
It is sometimes suggested, rather simplistically, that the wind-moment
method 'overdesigns' beams and 'underdesigns' columns. What is meant is
that an adequate frame could be designed with smaller beams and bigger
columns, which is not quite the same thing.
It may,nevertheless, cause concern that the wind-moment method results
in smaller columns than a 'fully rigid' design, because the column design
Alternatively, approach more rigorously using rotational
springs at member ends.
Advice for SHS columns and weak axis UC sections
Interpretation of the fixed base requirement
Discouragement of the method for a warehouse or
repeatedly crowd-loaded building
The Structural Engineer
Volume 77/No 16
17 August 1999
Paper: Hughes et al Book reviews The wind-moment method commends itself for a wide range
Paper: Hughes et al
Book reviews
The wind-moment method commends itself for a wide range of low- and
medium-rise buildings in which bracing is unacceptable or inappropriate.
connections’,Publication 207,Ascot, Steel ConstructionInstitute, 1995
Eurocode 3 Design of steel structures: Part 1.l: General rules and
This paper results from the first author’s secondment to the Steel
ConstructionInstitute. Many staff members at the Institute have contributed,
notably Graham Owens, Mark Lawson, Colin Taylor, David Brown, Abdul
Malik, and Graham Couchman. Their support and encouragement is
acknowledged with gratitude.
rulesfor buildings, ENV 1993:1:1, Brussels, CEN, 1992
Nethercot, D.A.: ‘Joint action and the design of steel frames’, The
Structural Engineer, 63A, No. 12, 1985, pp371-379
Eurocode 3 Part l.l: Revised AnnexJ: Joints in building frames,ENV
1993-1-1:1992/A2:1998, Brussels, CEN, 1998
Brown, N.D., Hughes, A.F.,and Anderson, D.: ‘Prediction of the initial
stiffness of ductile endplate steel connections’, University of Warwick,
School of Engineering, Civil Engineering Research Report CE58,1999
1. McGuire, W.: ‘Introduction to special issue on steel beam-to-column
building connections’, J. Construct. Steel Research, 10, 1988
2. Anderson, D., Reading,S.J.,andKavianpour, K.: ‘Wind-moment design
for unbraced frames’, Publication 082,
Ascot, Steel Construction
Institute, 1991
3. Reading, S.J.: ‘Investigation of the wind-connection method’, MSc the- 11.
sis, Department of Engineering, University of Warwick, 1989
Wood, R.H.: ‘Effective lengths of columns in multistorey build-
ings’,The Structural Engineer, 52, No. 7, 1974, pp235-244, No. 8,
1974, ~~295-302,NO.9, 1974, ~~341-346
Bose, B., Hughes, A.F.: ‘Verifying the performance of standard ductile
connections for semi-continuous steel frames’, Proc. ICE, Structs &
Bldgs, 110,November 1995, pp441-457
Brown, N.D., Anderson, D., and Hughes, A.F.: ‘Wind-moment steel
frames with standard ductile connections’, University of Warwick,
4. SCVBCSA Connections Group: ‘Joints in steel construction: Moment
School of Engineering, Civil Engineering Research Report CE61, 1999
Book reviews
Books reviewed in The StructuralEngineer may be
availablefor loanfrom the Institution’s library.
Those wishing to purchase copies should contact
bookshops; the Institution sells only itemspublished
by itselj EEFIT and FIR
Structural assessment: the role of large
and full-scale testing
Whilst not all of the papers are relevant to
structural engineering, there are large sections
devoted to the topics of reliability of structural
systems; reliability of dynamic structures;
maintenance of structures and safety and
environment management. At &83,these are not
the sort of books many individuals would buy,
and topics relating to structural engineering are
not extensive enough to really warrant their
inclusion in structural and civil engineering
temperatures and fire effects on concrete
containment structures for nuclear power,
seismic and cyclic loads etc., can never be
evaluated using these empirical formulae.
There are many other difficult questions in this
book where answers are not supplied. These
formulae have definitely been superseded by
those given for limit states in BS8110 and
Eurocode 2, both of which are now widely used.
In the preface, the author provides a number of
K S Virdi, F K Garas, JL Clarke & G S TArmer
eds. London: Spon, 1997. 615p.
ISBN 0419224904.Hbk f82.50
Strength and related propertiesof
concrete: a quantitative approach
statements to justify the approach adopted in this
book. It is interesting to quote one of them: ‘No
major effort has been made to computerize
concrete technology’. This is far from the truth
A world of software exists in this field. He also
This book is a state-of-the-art review of the role
of large and full-scale testing in structural
appraisals resulting from a conference organised
by the Institution of Structural Engineers
Informal Study Group for Model Analysis as a
states that ‘When properly used, mathematics in
Sandor Popovics. New Kork: John Wiley, 1998,
535p and l disk. ISBN 0471 149039. Hbkf75
Design Tool and held
at City University, London.
Leading international scholars present papers
which come under the following headings:
general principles; bridges; concrete bridges;
steel and aluminium bridges; concrete structures;
steel structures; materials and repair; steel and
timber structures; structural dynamics; fire
safety; measurement techniques; composite
structures and structural connections; site testing
of buildings and full-scale testing.
Usually conference proceedings only provide
author indexes but this book has a useful-subject
index as well. Each paper is prefaced by an
In this book, the author has made an effort to
collect necessary materials for the quantitative
analysis of the strength and related properties of
concrete. Prior to offering comments on this
book, it is essential to familiarise the reader with
the major contents of the book:
- compressive strength of hardened concrete
- other concrete strengths
- strength and development of Portland Cement
- structure of the hardened cement paste and
engineering is not a kind of elitism, nor is it an
attempt to cover up the lack of new solutions
with abtruse presentation’. In my opinion,
numerical modelling in fracture mechanics is a
kind of elitism to predict concrete strength under
complex loads and not simple empirical
formulae. Concrete technology has progressed
significantly and its status is well beyond the
scope of empirical methods.
This book merely concentrates on modified
tables and graphs to predict concrete strength in
simple structures for practising engineers who
still believe that miracles do occur using the rule
- relation between composition and strength of
- elastic deformations of concrete
of thumb in structural and civil engineering. It is
certainly not intended for postgraduate research
students, as is claimed.
The book
does read well, however,
and the
Around 1500 references, and a disk, are given to
back-up the research. After scanning through the
contents, the reader will now be aware of the
scope of the book. What the author has done, is
to compile various empirical formulae under
different subjects. Then he has carried out a
comparative study and several graphs are drawn.
Using curve fitting techniques, he makes an
attempt to derive the optimum formula for each
case. Several examples are given to justify these
In my view, a quantitative analysis cannot be a
substitute for a qualitative analysis. Although the
book revolves around empirical formulae, the
author gives the impression that concrete
complexity can be represented by easy solutions.
This definitely is not the case. For many complex
structures under loads, the book cannot directly
be used to solve 3-dimensional problems. Only
elastic deformations in single and two
dimensions have been assessed.
The book cannot answer questions related to
3-dimensional elastoplastic and cracking
behaviour of concrete under loads. The subsea
situations for offshore structures, the high
publishers have given careful thought to the final
presentation of the book.
Safety and reliability: proceedings of
the European Conferenceon Safety
and Reliability- ESREL ’98,
Trondheim, Norway, 16 -19 June 1998
Marketing for construction firms
Stian Lydersen, GeirK Hansen & Helge A
Sandton, eds. Rotterdam: Balkema, 1998. 1474p.
ISBN 9054109661 (2 vols.) f83.50 approx.
Steve Honess. London: Thomas Telford, 1997.
82p. 1SBN 0727725696. Pbk f19.50
The ESREL conference is a major European
initiative which comprises a forum for presenting
and discussing safety, reliability and
maintainability methods in a range of industrial
spheres. The papers follow the order of events in
Trondheim; with keynote lectures entitled:
- risk analysis in risk management: have we seen
the benefits in practical, industrial applications
- issues in a world of environmental and societal
- new developments in the optimisation of
- major accident prevention: what is the basic
research issue?
Although by his own admission the author
considers himself no marketing guru, he does
have considerable experience as a chartered civil
engineer. Honess may be self-effacing, but he
has produced an excellent guide full of sound
and practical advice which is written with clarity
and wit.
The book shows professionals how to market
tools and techniques, maximise client contact
and establish and manage a sales and marketing
department. Case studies are included along with
the tip that keeping good marketing records,
much as you would account records, is essential
for businesses to flourish. My only quibble
would be theprice - at E19.50 this is a pricey fee
for a slim volume of 82 pages.
The Structural Engineer Volume
77/No 16
17 August 1999