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Value Engineering for Steel Construction

Value Engineering for Steel Construction

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Published by vinceq1
Complete information is a key to success
Complete information is a key to success

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Published by: vinceq1 on Feb 25, 2010
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If painting or galvanizing isrequired, the fabricator/erectorneeds to know the specific require-ments, such as surface preparation,which members are to be painted,the type of paint, etc. This informa-tion should be expressed using stan-dard SSPC notation.
Special attention should be given todetails where steelwork structurallyinteracts with the work of othertrades, such as web openings, supportfor fascia panels, support for metaldeck, etc.
O
ne of the most perplexing sit-uations for fabricators/erectors iswhen designers don’t share the infor-should be discussed at the pre-con-struction conference.)
The fabricator and erector need toknow which beams, if any, are sub- ject to vibration loads such as frommachine rooms and elevator beams.
Reactions for special load condi-tions—such as cantilevered members,two- and three-span beams, beamswith both uniform and concentratedloads and beams with non-uniformsnow-drift loads—should be shown.
Specific column stiffener and dou-bler plate requirements should beshown—including sizes and locations.However, designers should considerthe oftentimes more economicaloption of increasing the column sizeto eliminate the need for stiffening.
By David T. Ric
 
ker, P.E.
S
uccessful projects require ateam effort, with the owner, designer,fabricator and erector working together to create the finished struc-ture. Each of the key team membershave specific roles, and with theseroles come responsibilities to theother team members.For example, one of the fabrica-tor’s and erector’s key roles is to cor-rectly interpret and comply with thedesigner’s instructions. In order toaccomplish this goal, however,he/she requires loads, dimensionsand member sizes to be summarizedas outlined below:
Beam end reactions for gravity,axial and torsion loads, as well asmoments, should be shown.Likewise, the designer should indi-cate if live load reductions have orcan be taken. And, in LRFD, thedesigner should indicate whether ornot the reactions are factored.
Column loads—not only axial butalso shear loads at splices and at thebase, plus any moments at beamends, brackets and splices—can beshown on the column schedule.
The designer should indicate diago-nal axial loads and whether they arein tension, compression or both. Thefabricator also needs to know if allowable stresses can be increased(ASD). If the designer has a prefer-ence for bracing work point locationit should be shown.
The fabricator and erector need toknow all special floor and roof loadsand point loads for special equip-ment or service requirements such asbeams supporting constructionequipment storage areas or jumpcranes during erection. (Such items
Value Engineeringfor Steel Construction
Complete information is a key to success 
Modern Steel Construction / April 2000
 
Figure 1: Mill Extras
(as reported by Nucor Yamato Steel) 
The following sections are available at the same cost for A36, A572 Gr. 50,A992, and CSA 40.21 Gr. 350W:W24x68-103, W24x55-62, W21x62-93, W21x44-57, W18x50-71, W18x35-46, W16x67-77, W16x36-57, W16x26-31, W14x61-82, W14x43-53,W14x30-38, W14x22-26, W12x53-58, W12x40-50, W12x16-22, W10x49-77, W10x33-45, W10x22-30, W8x31-67, W8x24-28, W8x18-21, W6x15-25.For other shapes, A572 Gr. 50, A992 and CSA 40.21 Gr. 350W require sur-charges as follow:sections to 150 lbs./ft. inclusive..........................................$1.25/CWTall sections over 150 lbs./ft. to 300 lbs./ft. inclusive............$2.00/CWTall section over 300 lbs./ft...................................................$2.25/CWT(note: CWT = 100 lbs)Minimum item quantity requirementsA588 or equivalentMill 1......................................................................................InquireMill 2......................................................................................20 tonsABS-AH36................................................................................20 tonsLength Requirementsstock lengths 30’-80’ inclusive......................................................noneunder 30’-25’......................................................................$1.00/CWTnon-standard lengths >30’ - <80’........................................$0.25/CWTOver 80’..............................................................................$0.25/CWTStandard lengths (30’, 35’, 40’, 45’, 50’, 55’, 60’, 65’ 70’ & 80’) are available inbundle quantities only.
 
Figure 3 
in the range of 50% - 75%. Fullcomposite design is often inefficientand uneconomical. The cost of oneshear stud in place equals the cost of approximately 10 lbs. of steel. Unlessthis ratio can be attained, the addi-tion of more studs will prove uneco-nomical.
Take advantage of live-loadreductions if governing codes per-mit.Select optimum bay sizes.
 Anexhaustive study by John Ruddy,P.E., of Structural AffiliatesInternational in Nashville (AISCEngineering Journal, Vol 20, #3,1983) indicated that a rectangularbay with a length-to-width ratio of approximately 1.25 to 1.50 was themost efficient. The filler membersshould span in the long directionwith the girder beams in the shortdirection (see figure 2).
Tailor the surface preparationand the painting requirements tothe project conditions
—do not over-do or underdo the coating require-ments. An extensive examination of amultitude of aged structures withsteel frames indicates that the pres-ence or absence of a shop primer isimmaterial as long as the structuralsteel is kept dry (LRFD
Specification
Commentary Chapter M). Thesesame studies indicate that shopprimer alone affords very little pro-tection if a structure develops a seri-ous leak. In recent years, the trendhas gone toward not painting. Thereare many side benefits to be gainedby the omission of paint—no masking around bolt holes, better adhesionfor concrete and/or fire proofing,easier weldability, ease of inspection,ease of making field repairs/alter-ations, etc. If shop painting is neces-sary, bear in mind that a shop coat isby definition a temporary coat—usu-ally serving less than six months induration. As such, there is little justi-fication that the coat be perfect (thatis, of uniform thickness with nodrips, runs or sags).
Show all necessary loads on thedesign drawing
to avoid costly over-designing of connections or—worseyet—underdesigning. The designerwho provides a complete design willfind that the subsequent review andapproval process of shop drawingswill be much quicker and moreositive.mation developed during the designprocess. During the design process,the structural engineer develops allof the information required to fabri-cate and connect the structural steelmembers, including loads, reactions,stiffening, special conditions, etc. Butwhen it comes to the design drawing,the engineer all-to-often merelyshows the member sizes.Skimping on the design drawing always comes back to haunt thedesigner in the form of questions,higher bids, change orders, arbitrat-ing disputes, a slowerreview/approval process and a drag-ging construction schedule. If it is aquestion of time, then the designeris fooling himself or herself. Thetime the fabricator spends deriving all of the needed information ispassed back to the owner in the formof higher fees. And the engineer’sapproval reviewer has to spend addi-tional time analyzing the questionsand change orders.The solution is greater teamworkand a consciousness of the impor-tance of value engineering. The teammember with the greatest impact onthe economic success of the project isthe designer. The team members alllive or die with the engineer’s design.The following is a checklist of itemsdesigners should consider whiledesigning a steel project.
Capitalize on steel’s strengths.
Good weight-to-strength ratioEfficiency of pre-assembly.Speed of delivery and erection.Strength in three directions.Ease of modification/renovation.
A designer should keep currenton the cost and availability of thevarious steel products he/she pre-scribes.
 A steel fabricator can supplybasic steel prices and mill extras (
see figure 1
). A designer also should beaware of where the money is spenton steel construction: approximately30% on material, 30% on shop costs,30% on erection, and 10% of otheritems such as shop drawings, painting and shipping.
 Labor is more than60%! 
Consider using partial compositedesign of floor beams
—something 
Figure 2 
 
Make sure the general contractoror construction manager indicateswho is responsible for any “greyareas”
such as loose lintels, masonryanchors, elevator sill angles, elevatorsheave beams, fastenings for precastconcrete spandrel beams, etc. Unlessthe responsibility is specifically dele-gated, it is likely that the cost of these items will be included in thebids of multiple contractors, whichmeans the owner will pay more thanonce for the same article.
Don’t require the steel sub-con-tractor to perform work normallydone by other trades
, such asinstalling masonry anchors, ceiling hangers, toilet partition supports,window wall supports, etc.Information required to perform thiswork is often slow to develop, result-ing in needless delay to the fabrica-tor. The most efficient steel jobs arethose on which the fabricator anderector are allowed to concentrate onthe steel frame while unencumberedby the intricacies pertinent to othertrades. This reduces coordinationrequirements and allows the steelframework to be turned over to theother trades in far less time thanwould otherwise be possible.
Consider the use of cantileveredrafters and purlins
to save weighton roof design
(see figure 3)
.
Do not design for minimumweight alone.
The savings in materi-al cost will often be negated by theneed for more members, more con-nections and more costly shop workand field erection.
Excessively stringent mill, fabri-cation and erection tolerancesbeyond state-of-the-art construc-tion practices will reduce thenumber of bidders and raise thecost of the project.
 ASTM A6 toler-ances and those established by AWSand AISC have served the industrywell for many years and should beadhered to except under extraordi-nary circumstances where some spe-cial condition dictates a more stricttreatment.
Design the proper type of high-strength bolt value.
The correctapplication of each type is well-docu-mented in the current bolt specifica-tions. Do not specify “slip-critical”bolt values for the pur-pose of obtaining anextra factor of safety.The trend in recentyears is toward the useof “snug-tight” boltsand bearing values.
Allow the use of tension control(twist-off) high-strength bolts.
Thesebolts are as reliable asother methods of mea-suring bolt tension andsave labor costs in bothshop and field.
Where possible,specify fillet weldsrather than groovewelds.
Groove weldsare more costlybecause of the jointpreparation requiredand the generallygreater volume of weld(see figure 4).
Use single-passwelds where possible.
This involves keeping fillet welds to a maxi-mum of 5/16”.
Favor the horizon-tal and flat weldingpositions.
These weldsare easier and quickerto make and are gener-ally of high quality
(see figure 5)
.
Don’t specify more weld than isnecessary.
Over-welding createsexcessive heat, which may contributeto warping and shrinkage of themembers resulting in costly straight-ening expense.
Grant the fabricator the optionof eliminating some columnsplices.
The cost of one columnsplice equals the cost of approxi-mately 500 lbs. of A992 steel. Thefabricator should study the situationcarefully before he decides to omitthe column splice as the resulting column may be too long for safeerection. Multi-tier columns shouldbe designed to have splices every twoor four floors. Three-floor columnsare to be avoided due to erection dif-ficulties. The higher up in a tallbuilding, the less desirable it is to use
Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 
four-floor columns due to higherwind speed and difficulties in guying.
Avoid designing column splicesat mid-story height.
These are oftentoo high for the erector to reachwithout rigging a float or scaffold. If the splice can be located no higherthan 5’ above the tops of the steelbeams, it saves the expense of theextra rigging and still will be in aregion of the column where bending forces are relatively low (
see figure
).
Except where dictated by seismicconsiderations, do not design col-umn splices to “develop the fullbending strength of the governingcolumn size.”
Seldom is the splicelocated at the point of maximumbending and seldom do the bending stresses result in a condition that

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