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Your Suggestions Needed: Braced Frame Article

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I'm a retired investigative reporter. I've been asked to write an in-depth
article about steel, braced-frame buildings (SBFBs) which are increasingly
popular for new construction here in the San Francisco Bay area.

My previous stories include a two-part article about steel, moment-framed
buildings that appeared in the April and June issues of Structural Engineering
magazine. (Web link below.)

I'd very much appreciate your suggestions about what this upcoming story should

Some of my initial thoughts about pertinent information are:

* History:
     - History of SBFB design and usage in the United States
     - History of international SBFB design and usage
     - History of examples of the strengths and weaknesses of SBFBs (aka war
     - Historical facts and myths about SBFBs

* Practical Considerations:
     - Factors that structural engineers include in various SBFB design
calculations along with actual examples
     - Methods of making SBFB calculations (software, spreadsheets, etc.), with
     - Factors important to a structural engineer?s typical constituents:
owners, architects, fabricators, lenders, building officials, geologic
consultants and public safety
     - Information about detailing, analysis and drawing tools with strong SBFB
     - Motivations for structural engineers to design, or not design,
braced-frame steel buildings
     - Ability of various SBFB designs to resist wind and seismic forces in
comparison with other building types and in various configurations: short, tall,
symmetrical, assymmetrical, etc.
     - Ability of various SBFB designs to be used in ?performance engineering?
situations versus other building types, where the owner is given choices about
how quickly the structure can be open for business following a major earthquake
or other disaster
     - Advantages and disadvantages of SBFB compared with other structures
     - Concerns about SBFB "stiffness" versus flexibility under seismic loadings

     - Fabrication, construction, inspection, legal and other issues unique to
     - Pertinent codes and code changes
     - Industry involvement in the promotion of SBFB designs

* Theoretical Models and Laboratory Research:
     - Proponents, detractors and writings about, various SBFB theoretical
     - Bibliographies of SBFB research and articles
     - Laboratories and persons who conduct SBFB research and their publications

Perhaps you could reply directly to me or to this list with your suggestions
and/or information.

In advance, thank you for considering my request. And thanks to the
knowledgeable structural engineers who provided so much help with my previous

Gil Davis

P.S. Because structural engineering is so technical and exact, I ask any source
I use to technically check that portion of the article in which they're quoted
prior to publication. Any information submitted to me or to this list will never
be attributed to you by me in print without your prior written permission.

P.S.S. Is SBFB the typically used abbreviation?

Gil Davis, Associate

Center for Investigative Reporting, Inc. (
CIR produces PBS FRONTLINE documentaries and other journalistic publications
131 Steuart St., Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94105-1238
Voice: 415-543-1200, x305; Fax: 415-543-8311
Home: 284 Selby Lane, Atherton, CA 94027, Office phone and fax: 650-364-7769

CIR's Mission: To foster justice, democratic values and accountability by
conducting and promoting media investigations of underreported issues in the
public interest.

Read why top structural engineers say steel-framed office buildings are much
more prone to serious damage and/or collapse during a massive earthquake than
previously believed possible. Go to:

See how tilt-up, concrete construction can collapse in an earthquake yet be
economically strengthened to withstand strong seismic forces. This popular form
of construction houses a large proportion of our country's industry and
high-tech firms. Go to:

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