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Newsletter No 1 - November 2005

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Report Overview

The Standing Committee on Structural Safety evolved as a result of a CIRIA Study Committee on Structural Safety in 1971 which recommended that "the establishment of a professional committee on a permanent basis to keep under review questions of structural safety and make such recommendations for action as seem desirable".

Overview of Reports in this Newsletter

1 Grandstands

A cantilever football stand vibrating when fans jumped in a synchronised manner and modifications were carried out to raise the natural frequency of the structure.

2 Potential overload on buildings

A crowd in a city centre greeting a successful sporting team gained access to the roofs of buildings and were densely packed around perimeters overlooking the streets.

4 Steel fabrication - quality control

Is self-certification by a steelwork fabricator acceptable.

5 Large aluminium dome failure

A structure composed of aluminium tubes failed. The causes of the failure were complex but in part at least due to brittle behaviour of the aluminium at the joints exacerbated by methods used in the fabrication process.

6 Ceiling collapse

A heavy ceiling in an entertainment building collapsed.

7 Cladding fixed to stainless steel

Cladding panels fixed to a stainless steel supporting angle with stainless steel screws failed.

8 Items falling from buildings and structures

There are examples of incidents where items had fallen off structures, sometimes causing injuries. All appendages need robust attachment and security and there must be a thorough ‘loose item’ check before any such facility is opened.

9 Roof overloading

A flat roof with parapets and internal downpipes collapsed after drainage outlets became blocked.

10 Computer aided design

The steel design element of a software package does not automatically allow for nominal moments in the design of columns for simple structures.

11 Stud framing with self-tapping screws

Metal stud framing fastened with self-tapping screws gave problems.

12 Masonry walls

There were reports of the collapse of several old masonry walls associated with adjacent construction work.

13 Latent shear stud defects

Shear studs appeared to be satisfactory when checked with the standard pull-over to 5 degrees but when hit with a hammer they snapped off.

14 Timber connections, lateral loading and torsion

Concern was expressed about the standard of structural design submissions presented to local authorities. Three issues were highlighted: timber members and their connections, the design of masonry under lateral loading, and torsional restraint on steel beams.

15 Local Authority resources to check structural calculations

An aspect of local authority work that caused concern to a reporter was the lack of internal resources to check calculations.

16 Deep excavation

On a construction site by a busy main road a reporter saw a deep excavation with no internal temporary works.

17 Design of timber structures

On the subject of timber, an Engineer was reported to have applied an approximate design to an ‘A’ frame hall roof.

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