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- To: Structural Engineers Association International <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: LRFD Load Factors
- From: Jim Kestner <jkestner(--nospam--at)somervilleinc.com>
- Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 15:05:20 -0600
This appears to be a subject that has varying opinions. For what it is worth, here is mine: Different cultures will use buildings in different ways. While one may feel it is OK to put no more than 100 people in an assembly hall and will enforce it to that standard, another might feel it appropriate to have 300 people or more in the same room with no enforcement. If the load is adjusted to accomodate this difference then the load factor will not need to be. However, the load factor normally accomodates the probability of overload and this can be different where enforcement is lax and the culture has different traditions. The phi factor is used to cover variations in material and construction quality. This definitely varies from country to country. There may be much more variation in concrete and masonry construction than in steel, but this also depends on many things. Is the steel imported? What standards does that country have? How much independent inspection is there on the project? Is there a greater probability of mistakes getting hidden or overlooked? Is field welding up to the same standards as AWS or AISC? I believe the engineer needs to adjust both the load factors and phi factors to accomodate those differences outlined above. How that gets done, I am not sure. This is an area that obviously needs some study. Jim Kestner, P.E. Green Bay, Wi.
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