UPDATE FEBRUARY 1998

SERVICEABILITY DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

Serviceability limit states are conditions in which the functions of a building are disrupted because of local minor damage to or deterioration of building components or because of occupant discomfort. Building economics rather than public safety is generally the issue with serviceability concerns.

Changing architectural and building use requirements, improvements in structural analysis and design, the use of lighter and less rigid cladding, uncoupling of nonstructural elements from the structural frame, all have resulted in building structural systems that are less stiff and massive. Such systems may deflect or vibrate excessively at service load levels.

Three broad categories of service performance include deformation, motion, and deterioration. Deformation includes excessive load deflection, cracking, fastener slip and movement from temperature, creep or differential settlement. Motion includes human discomfort and impaired function of equipment. Deterioration includes corrosion, weathering, discoloration, efflorescence, rotting, and in some cases fatigue. Addressing the above issues during the design phase should assure a serviceable building thus maximizing the building life cycle and satisfying the building owner.

Members of the staff at QproQ Engineering, Inc. attended an AISC Seminar on Serviceability Design Considerations for Low Rise Buildings in October of 1997. Continuing education is an important aspect in design and a high priority of this company. Each seminar enhances the professional development and growth of the employees within the Firm. This knowledge is incorporated into the structural design and analysis of present projects.

We enjoy our work with the architectural community, and appreciate your consideration. Should you wish to discuss the need for structural engineering services on your projects, please call at 570-823-9935. Thank You.

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