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Structuralist wrote:

> I am assuming that calculations are performed, only not submitted. Is this
> the case? How else can you know the demand against the structure laterally
> and gravity load. Are gravity load members designed by prescriptive tables?
> What about the design of Chords, Drags and Struts - especially in buildings
> with re-entrant corners?
> Can some explain this to me as I must be missing something of importance
> here.

Yes, calculations are done for all projects. We just don't have any requirements
to submit them for review.  Most building departments around here do not have
anyone qualified to review structural calculations.  A lot of our plan reviewers
are not college educated.

The biggest difference I have found between seismic and non-seismic design is
that in seismic design the lateral forces control the building design, whereas
in non-seismic design, the gravity forces control the design.  It has been my
experience that the lateral analysis is one of the first engineering steps on a
seismic project. In non-seismic design, one of the last engineering items to be
done is the lateral design.

The lateral load envelope here much less here. For example, we typically use 14
gage strap bracing placed adjacent to the exterior metal studs for wind loads on
school projects up to 2 stories. I know this wouldn't work in a seismic area,
but it does work here.

Davis G. Parsons II, PE RA AEI
a practical structural engineer
in Fort Worth, Texas

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