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Older Unusual Structural Systems

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I have recently relocated from the southeastern to northeastern US and in
the process of becoming involved with different existing building
evaluations I have come across several older structural framing systems that
I had previously never seen before.  Two of the most interesting systems
have been a cast-in-place concentrically reinforced two-way flat plat system
and a flat arch clay tile floor system.

The concrete flat plate system was reinforced with concentric rings of
smooth reinforcing bars or hoops placed around the column center lines and
the mid-span of the column and mid-strips with very little if any deformed
orthogonal rebar and some diagonal deformed bars.  The system was referred
to as the SMI system and was apparently very common in the Philly-New York
City areas.

The clay tile system was a flat arch of interlocking hollow clay tiles of
approximately 15" in depth spanning between steel beams.  The clay tiles
were self supporting and provide considerable live load capacity and also
fireproof the beams.  Tie rods were used at the end bays to handle the
thrust of the arching action. This system was apparently used extensively in
the Pittsburgh area.

In both cases I was able to find reference material that provided the
methods of analysis necessary to evaluate both systems.

In an effort to educate myself more I was wondering if anyone else out there
has run across any unusual old structural systems that they would like to
share information about?

Matthew Stuart, PE, SE, PEng


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