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Volumechange response of precast concrete buildings
Gary J. Klein and Richard E. Lindenberg
Volume-change effects are the combined result of creep, shrinkage, and temperature strains. In standard load combinations, elastic shortening and differential settlement are included with volume-change effects. Because elastic shortening occurs before the members are connected, it does not affect precast concrete structures. Differential settlement is not addressed in this paper. Volume-change damage is second only to chlorideinduced deterioration as a leading cause of problems and failures in parking structures.1 Figures 1 and 2 show examples of volume-change distress. The expansion joints used to alleviate volume-change restraint are frequently the weak point of exposed structures, especially parking structures. They add significantly to construction costs and frequently fail, resulting in unintended moisture entry and related deterioration.
Editor’s quick points
n Precast concrete buildings usually perform satisfactorily if PCI Design Handbook: Precast and Prestressed Concrete methods are used to design for volume-change effects, but misconceptions still exist about their performance. n This research was funded by PCI and Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. to gain a better understanding of the volumechange response of actual precast concrete buildings and to compare measured performance with analytical models—and provide calibration if needed. The full research report is available from PCI. n Another objective of this research is to recommend revised design procedures that account for flexible connections.
Volume changes are different from other load effects. Unlike forces from gravity and wind, volume-change forces are self-straining forces. That is, they are created as members deform. The fundamental demand resulting from volume change is a movement, not a force, but substantial forces can develop where volume-change movement is restrained. The American Concrete Institute’s (ACI’s) Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete (ACI 318-08) and Commentary (ACI 318R-08)2 requires that volume-change forces be based on “realistic assessment of such effects occurring in service.” However, ACI 318 does not otherwise differentiate volume-change-force effects from gravity loads. Procedures for determining volume-change movement and forces in precast concrete buildings have been available in the PCI Design Handbook: Precast and Prestressed Con-
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Figure 1. Volume-change distress is evident at this rigid spandrel-beam connection.
crete3 for 30 years. When developed by the PCI Committee on Design Handbook in 1977,4 the methods were believed to provide realistic estimates of volume-change forces. The PCI Design Handbook provides a procedure for evaluating volume-change movements and forces: 1. 2. 3. Determine the maximum seasonal temperature change. Determine the annual average ambient relative humidity.
5. 6. 7.
Evaluate the need for and location of expansion joints. Determine the expansion-joint width and movement. Estimate equivalent volume-change strains (reduced by K factors that account for creep and microcracking of precast concrete members) for analyzing volumechange forces. Estimate fixity of column bases. Calculate volume-change-restraint forces based on frame analysis or approximate methods.
8. Determine the volume-change strains caused by creep and shrinkage as influenced by the following: • • • • • • 4. concrete type (normalweight or lightweight) 9.
10. Proportion members based on calculated forces. curing conditions age at erection volume-to-surface ratio relative humidity concrete strength and level of prestress Also, section 3.4 of the PCI Design Handbook provides helpful advice regarding connection design for volumechange effects. “Properly detailed connections can minimize the effects of volume change strains. Connections should be detailed so that ductile deformation of one of the elements such as the connecting plate or connection bolt assembly can take place. Neglecting the effect of this connection deformation will produce unrealistically high computed restraint forces and can actually have a negative effect if connections are too strong, and inhibit necessary ductility.”
Determine the design temperature strain.
PCI Journal | Fa l l 2009
If, for example, the bending forces in corner columns due to volume-change effects are greater than expected, the designer then adds longitudinal column reinforcement, or worse, increases the column size. Performance is not enhanced by this increase in strength. In fact, volume-change forces will only increase, escalating the likelihood of wide cracks, column shear failures, connection failures, and the like. However, in practice, designers generally do not calculate volume-change forces, even though they are included in the basic load combinations of ACI 318 and the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)’s Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures (ASCE/SEI 7-05).6 Rather, designers rely on rules of thumb and successful past practices. When volume-change forces are calculated, hand calculations and two-dimensional frame analyses are generally used. Accuracy of volume-change strains and forces Design for volume-change effects is complicated by the extreme variability of concrete strain and the resulting forces. Furthermore, there are few actual data on volume-change effects in precast concrete buildings. Due to the wide scatter in material properties, thermal exposure, and structural response, it is not possible to predict volume-change forces with accuracy comparable with the prediction of gravityload forces. At the same time, using conservative assumptions leading to upper-bound estimates of volume-change force leads to highly impractical and costly designs. Iqbal7 measured thermal movements in several precast concrete parking structures. Figure 3, developed from this study, is a plot of the ratio of actual to predicted joint movement. Although actual movements are generally less than predicted, the data are widely scattered. These data confirm the unpredictability of volume-change response. Volume-change response of precast concrete buildings Developments in connection details have changed the volume-change response of precast concrete buildings. In particular, pretopped double-tees (or wall panels) with semiflexible flange-to-flange connections respond differently from a monolithic structure. Semiflexible flange connections permit small volume-change movements that reduce both volume-change forces and movement at expansion joints. None of the available procedures for estimating volume-change effects account for the behavior of precast concrete structures with flexible connections. This paper summarizes the findings of the authors’ recent study conducted for PCI on the volume-change response of precast concrete buildings.8 This research was designed
Figure 2. Spandrel connection distress shown by the arrow is caused by unintended volume-change restraint from a grade-level barrier.
When the PCI Design Handbook methods are used, precast concrete buildings usually perform satisfactorily. In his paper summarizing a 1971 symposium on design for effects of creep, shrinkage, and temperature, Robert Philleo5 supports the notion that “it makes no difference what you do as long as you do something.” In that sense, the PCI Design Handbook procedures have been successful. Nonetheless, questions and concerns regarding volumechange response of precast concrete buildings remain, as described in the following paragraphs. Design for volume-change forces Treating volume change as an external force can lead to irrational decisions, as described in the following scenario. Based on PCI Design Handbook procedures, a designer calculates the volume-change forces using educated assumptions about the material properties, volume-change strain, force-reduction coefficients, member sizes, and reinforcement ratios. According to the ACI 318 requirements, the volume-change forces are then factored and combined with gravity loads to determine the needed reinforcement.
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Movement ratio, actual/predicted
0.000 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180
Government center Judicial center Ameritech
O’Hare Riverway l Sears east
Figure 3. This plot of the ratio of actual to predicted joint movements in precast concrete parking structures illustrates the extreme variability of volume-change movement.
18163 0 08587
to gain a better understanding of volume-change response starting with the observed behavior of actual precast concrete structures. Accordingly, the objective of this research was twofold: develop a better understanding of volume-change movement and forces based on the measured performance of precast concrete structures and calibration to analytical model, and recommend revised design procedures that reflect this understanding and account for the influence of flexible connections. The primary research tasks included field monitoring and finite-element analyses of actual structures, as well as evaluating the predictability of volume-change forces.
Table 1. Instrumented structures Metropolitan area (climate) Chicago, Ill. (northern) Denver, Colo. (desert/ mountain) Washington, D.C. (midAtlantic) Atlanta, Ga. (southern) Note: 1 ft = 0.3048 m. Double-tee spans 2 5 3 3 Dimensions, ft Longitudinal 120 293 186 183
Field instrumentation program
Selection and description of buildings More than any other precast concrete building type, parking structures present the greatest challenge with respect to volume-change movement and forces. Parking structures are frequently large in plan and unheated, resulting in significant thermal movements. Furthermore, parking structures are an important building type in the precast concrete industry. For these reasons, the field instrumenta-
Transverse 364 399 384 342
Supported levels 1 2 4 5
Longitudinal expansion joint Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes
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Table 2. Support type and connection data Structure Chicago, Ill. Support type 24-in.-square columns on continuous footing 20-in.-square columns on isolated footings with central shear wall Double-tee connections Flange-to-flange F: JVI Vector connectors Flange-to-beam/column F: Bolt in slotted insert Beam connections Bearing F: 1/2 in. ROF pad Torsion F: Threaded rod in open hole R: Steel plate aligned parallel to beam line and welded to embedments
R: Welded angles at columns F: 1/2 in. Masticord R: Typically, embedded and inverted-tee beams plates welded to ROF pad reinforcing-bar and chord-steel connector with welded cover plates at perimeter R: JVI Vector connectors and chord steel connector with welded cover plates at perimeter F: Hairpin reinforcingbar connector R: Embedment with welded cover plate F: 1 in. Masticord ROF pad
12 in. × 128 in. shear walls on isolated footings
F: Inclined plate welded at opposite ends
28-in.-square columns on pile supported footings
F: Plate welded to reinforcing-bar hairpin
F: 1/2 in. Masticord ROF pad
F: Threaded rod in open hole
Note: F = flexible connection; R = rigid connection; ROF = random-oriented fiber. 1 in. = 25.4 mm.
tion program focused on parking structures. New parking structures were selected in order to obtain early-age data on creep and shrinkage strain. Four structures were selected in locations representing a wide range of structural and climatic conditions. Table 1 summarizes basic data on each of the parking structures. All parking structures employ precast, prestressed concrete double-tee floor members supported by precast concrete spandrel beams and columns. The dimensions of the structures and numbers of supported levels are provided in Table 1. The longitudinal dimension is parallel to the span of the double-tee floor members. The transverse dimension
is perpendicular to the floor members. Three of the four structures include a longitudinal expansion joint. The Atlanta, Ga., structure is field topped; that is, a castin-place concrete wearing surface is placed in the field on the double-tees. The other three structures use pretopped double-tees. The flanges of pretopped double-tees are thickened to withstand traffic loading without a cast-inplace concrete topping. Table 2 summarizes the column and connection data for the instrumented portions of the structures. The Washington, D.C., structure employs intermittent shear walls at the structure perimeter where measurements were made. Elsewhere, conventional square columns are used along the frames that were monitored for volume-change movement. Monitoring program Continuous monitoring A battery-powered dataacquisition system was used to continuously collect hourly temperature and movement data over a two- to three-year period. Figure 4 shows a typical continuous monitoring system. The following measurements were made at the lowest supported level and at the upper level:
Figure 4. This photograph shows a typical installation of the continuous monitoring system. The red arrow indicates the data-acquisition system, and the blue arrows indicate potentiometers for monitoring joint movement. 116 Fall 2 0 0 9 | PCI Journal
• Expansion-joint/structure movement. Typically, a potentiometer was used to measure expansion-joint movements. Because the Atlanta structure did not have an expansion joint, a laser measurement system was employed to measure changes in out-to-out width. Air temperature at structure. Thermocouples were typically located below the deck at the lowest supported level and upper level. Temperature of structural elements. Thermocouples were inserted into drilled holes (drilled to half the member depth) in the spandrel beams and double-tee flanges at the lowest supported level and upper level. Local weather data. Local weather data were downloaded from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in electronic form and were integrated with continuous monitoring data. 5 illustrates typical measurement locations. Periodic measurements included the following: • Movement at spandrel-beam joints and double-tee joints. Movement data were collected using a digital caliper that measured the distance between machined measurement points affixed to the structure (see Fig. 6). Column-tilt measurements. A uniaxial tiltmeter mounted on a custom-designed bracket was used for column-tilt measurements. Strain measurements of spandrel beams and double-tees. Strain measurements were made using a 10 in. (250 mm) Whittemore strain gauge.
The measurements of movement at spandrel-beam and double-tee joints were especially useful. However, the repeatability of tiltmeter measurements was suspect, so those results were less useful. Field instrumentation findings Temperature range Thermal-contraction strains during cold weather are of primary interest because they add to creep and shrinkage strain. Winter temperature measurements indicated significant differences between the struc-
Measurements were generally successful, though there were several gaps in the data due to power outages and vandalism. Periodic monitoring At about six-month intervals (summer and winter), volume-change data were collected in study areas at the top and first supported levels. Figure
Expansion joint Continuous
Legend Joint gap Column tilt Data acquisition computer Temperature Joint movement potentiometer
Figure 5. Typical periodic measurement locations are illustrated in this plot. PCI Journal | Fa l l 2009 117
These reductions are incorporated into the design temperature-strain values given in PCI Design Handbook Figures 3.10.17, 3.10.18, and 3.10.19. As previously described, the temperature difference is primarily due to the less extreme microclimate inside the structure. To evaluate the apparent temperature lag, low-temperature events at each structure were analyzed for the difference between deck temperature and local weather-station temperature, both relative to the mean temperature during the construction season. Specifically, the coefficient to account for the lag between weather-station temperature and structure temperature Ks is given by Ks = where Ts = structure temperature Tws = weather-station temperature Tm = mean temperature during the construction season The 25% reduction in design temperature strains incorporated into the PCI Design Handbook corresponds to a Ks of 0.75. Likewise, the 50% reduction in design temperature strains for heated structures corresponds to a Ks of 0.50. The 10 coldest events in the winter season were evaluated. Table 3 shows the summarized results. These results indicate that PCI Design Handbook recommendations reasonably approximate the thermal-lag effect at the lower level but overestimate the lag at the upper level. However, as noted, the design low temperature is the temperature exceeded 99% of the time during winter months. As such, the design low temperature is warmer than the expected low temperature in any given year, and much warmer than the expected 50-year low. For example, the 50-year low temperature for Chicago is -27 °F (-32.8 °C), 24 °F (13.3 °C) colder than the design temperature of -3 °F (-19.4 °C), which is the temperature exceeded 99% of the time during winter months and the basis of U.S. design practice. To be consistent with other load effects, the design low temperature should be the 50-year low. In developing design recommendations for thermal-bridge movements, Roeder9 studied weather data in several U.S. cities over a 60- to 70-year period. Roeder recommends design for a temperature fall taken as the difference between the probable low temperature of the structure and the installation temperature. The low structure temperature depends on the structure type but correlates with average of the low temperatures over four consecutive days. The installation temperature is assumed to be 20 °F (11.1 °C)
Ts − Tm Tws − Tm
Figure 6. Movements at flange joints were determined by periodic measurements using a digital caliper.
ture temperature, ambient parking-structure temperature, and local weather-station temperature. Figure 7 is a plot of January 2004 temperatures at the Chicago, Ill., parking structure, which is typical of cold-weather temperatures in the instrumented parking structures. As can be seen, the ambient temperature in the one-level structure lags the extreme cold temperatures measured by the National Weather Service near the site. This difference was observed in the lower level of all structures. Apparently the structure warms the air, probably because of heat from the ground. There is not much difference between the temperature of the concrete deck and the ambient parking structure temperature, indicating that the relatively thin elements have little thermal inertia. In U.S. practice, thermal-contraction strains are calculated based on the difference between the mean temperature during the construction season and the temperature that is exceeded 99% of the time during winter months, as shown in PCI Design Handbook Figure 3.10.11. For unheated structures, the PCI Design Handbook recommends a 25% reduction in thermal strains computed on this basis. The recommended reduction for heated structures is 50%.
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70 Garage air National Weather Service 50 Temperature, °F Deck
10 0 -10 January 1, 2004
January 11, 2004 Time
January 21, 2004
January 31, 2004
Figure 7. Air and deck temperatures in parking structures lag National Weather Service temperatures during cold weather, as can be seen in this plot of January 2004 temperature data from a Chicago, Ill., parking structure. Note: °C = (°F - 32)0.56.
warmer than the average of the probable high and low temperatures. Table 4 summarizes the temperature statistics for the study locations. The temperature fall for the design of bridge bearings and expansion joints as recommended by Roeder is provided for comparison. Review of Table 4 indicates that the seasonal temperature fall is comparable with the adjusted 50-year temperature
fall. The difference is only a few degrees Fahrenheit, except in Atlanta, where the adjusted 50-year temperature fall is 9 °F (5 °C) lower than the seasonal temperature fall. Apparently, the temperature-lag effect makes up for the difference between the 50-year low and seasonal low, assuming a temperature-lag coefficient Ks of 0.75, as observed at the lower level of the monitored structures. Accordingly, it is reasonable to design both the structural frame and expansion joints for the same temperature fall in any given climate. The lower level of the structural frame
Table 3. Temperature coefficients Structure temperature coefficient Ks Structure Mean Chicago, Ill. Washington, D.C. Denver, Colo. Average Note: n.a. = not applicable.
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Lower level Standard deviation 0.10 0.07 0.08 0.08 Mean n.a. 0.88 0.87 0.87
Upper level Standard deviation n.a. 0.07 0.10 0.09
0.78 0.73 0.71 0.74
Table 4. Summary of temperature statistics for study locations, °F A Mean construction season temperature 60 62 63 62 B C Seasonal temperature fall, A - B† 63 64 47 44 D Adjusted seasonal temperature fall 0.75,* A - B‡ 47 48 35 33 E F 50-year temperature fall, A - E 87 87 8 70 G Adjusted 50-year temperature fall,†† 0.75 × (A - E) 65 65 51 53 H Concrete bridge design temperature fall 77 77 66 64
Annual low temperature*
50-year low temperature**
Chicago, Ill. Denver, Colo. Washington, D.C. Atlanta, Ga.
-3 -2 16 18
-27 -25 -5 -8
Sources: Data in column A from Standing Committee on Structural Engineering of the Federal Construction Council, Building Research Advisory Board, Division of Engineering, and National Research Council, Expansion Joints in Buildings: Technical Report No. 65 (1974). Data in column H from Roeder 2003. * The temperature was exceeded 99% of the time during winter months. † Basis for PCI Design Handbook: Precast and Prestressed Concrete Figure 3.10.11. ‡ Basis of temperature strain indicated in PCI Design Handbook Figure 3.10.17. ** Based on annual low temperatures according to National Weather Service data. †† Adjusted for temperature-lag effect (Ks = 0.75). Note: Ks = coefficient that accounts for the lag between weather-station temperature and structure temperature. °C = (°F - 32)0.56.
Table 5. Observed coefficient of thermal expansion Thermal expansion coefficient, microstrain/ºF Average Chicago, Ill., double-tees Chicago, Ill., spandrel beams Washington, D.C., double-tees 4.4 3.2 3.8 Standard deviation 0.72 0.95 1.40
Temperature strain As described previously, strain measurements at double-tees and spandrel beams were taken at two structures during each periodic visit. The measured strains were adjusted for expected creep and shrinkage strain between monitoring periods. Using the adjusted strain and values and the measured deck and spandrel-beam temperatures, the coefficient of thermal expansion was calculated. Table 5 summarizes the results. The thermal expansion coefficient varies significantly with aggregate type,10,11 and there is a wide range of values for most aggregate types. The Chicago values are typical of precast concrete with limestone aggregate (which was used) but lower than the thermal expansion coefficient of 6 microstrains/°F (10.8 microstrains/°C) recommended by the PCI Design Handbook for precast concrete. The precast concrete in the Washington parking structure used granite aggregate, so the observed values are lower than the published ACI 209 values of 4.5 microstrains/ ºF to 5.7 microstrains/ºF (8.1 microstrains/°C to 10.3 microstrains/°C). Creep and shrinkage strain Measurement of creep and shrinkage strain in an exposed structure is especially difficult. Strain due to temperature changes obscures the more subtle changes in strain due to creep and shrinkage. To partially overcome this problem, the structure movement data were analyzed within narrow temperature bands. An example of this analysis can be seen in Fig. 8, which is a plot of expansion-joint movement at the upper level of the
Note: 1 microstrain/°F = 1.8 microstrains/°C.
does not experience the 50-year low temperature due to the temperature-lag effect, and expansion joints can be designed based on seasonal temperature range. The seasonal temperature range values given in PCI Design Handbook Figure 3.10.11 are reasonable for these purposes, though they may be somewhat unconservative in Southern states. Furthermore, as can be seen by comparing columns C and H of Table 4, the proposed design temperature range for exposed precast concrete buildings is somewhat lower than the range recommended for design of concrete bridges.
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1 0.8 0.6 Movement, in. 0.4 0.2 0 -0.2 -0.4 -0.6 -0.8 -1
Total movement Movement from 50 ºF to 54 ºF Curve fit
January 2007 July 2007
Figure 8. This plot of upper-level expansion-joint movement versus time at the Washington, D.C., structure illustrates the long-term opening of the joint due to creep and shrinkage. Note: 1 in. = 25.4 mm
Washington structure over the two-year monitoring period. Data taken when the temperature was between 50 °F and 54 °F (10 °C and 12 °C) are highlighted. The resulting upward slope of the movement-versus-time plot is consistent with creep and shrinkage. The PCI Design Handbook provides procedures for determining creep and shrinkage strain as a function of age at erection, relative humidity, concrete strength, volume-tosurface ratio, and level of prestress. Table 6 compares the observed creep and shrinkage strain with those determined using PCI procedures. As can be seen in Table 6, the strains predicted using PCI Design Handbook procedures are both significantly greater and smaller compared with those observed. The differences are partly attributable to movement at intermediate joints. As explained in the following section, movement at intermediate joints reduces movement at expansion joints, which reduces the apparent creep and shrinkage strain. Furthermore, field measurement of creep and shrinkage strain of an exposed structure is inherently inaccurate. Nonetheless, these observations indicate that the creep- and shrinkage-strain values in the PCI Design Handbook are reasonable.
Joint movements It is useful to compare the observed movements at double-tee joints and the expansion joint. Figure 9 plots the movement at the double-tee joints and the expansion joint in the lower level of the Washington structure during a cooling cycle. As can be seen, the expansion joint moves much more than any individual double-tee joint. However, the total of the individual movements at the double-tee joints is nearly the same as was observed at the expansion joint. This movement pattern was observed at the lower levels of both of the Washington and Chicago structures, where flexible beam connections were used. Little movement at intermediate joints was observed at the upper levels, apparently due to the relative flexibility of the columns. Refer to the idealized one-story structure shown in Fig. 10. If the expansion joint shown is at the middle of a symmetrical structure and each half is also symmetrical, the movement at the end of the structure will equal one half of the movement at the expansion joint ∆EJ. Note that ∆EJ is also equal to the total shortening of each half of the structure ∆TS. In this idealized structure, movement at each intermediate joint ∆IJ reduces the demand for movement at expansion joints and forces in the structure due to volumechange shortening. The joint flexibility factor KJ is an
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Table 6. Creep and shrinkage strain Structure upper level Chicago, Ill. Washington, D.C. Denver, Colo. Atlanta, Ga. Creep and shrinkage strain, microstrain PCI procedure 132 182 239 50 Observed 83 120 223 78 PCI/observed 1.59 1.52 1.07 0.64
indicator of the relative flexibility of the intermediate joints and is given by the following expression: KJ = where Σ∆IJ = the sum of the movements at the intermediate joints Thus, KJ is an indicator of the relative flexibility of intermediate joints. Current PCI Design Handbook procedures treat precast concrete structures as monolithic in that intermediate joint movement is not considered, which is equivalent to assuming a KJ of zero. Relative to a struc-
∑ Δ IJ
∑ Δ IJ
ture with rigid joints, the expected global volume-change movement of a symmetrical structure with flexible joints is reduced by a factor of (KJ + 1). Table 7 summarizes the joint flexibility factor KJ based on measurements at the double-tee deck joints and spandrelbeam joints. KJ predicted by finite-element models of the instrumented frames is provided for comparison purposes.
Description of models Two-dimensional models of the instrumented frames were developed and analyzed using SAP2000. Volume
0.4 Total movement, in.
2 2.3 2.6 3 3.3 3.6 4 4.3 4.6 5 5.3 5.6 6 6.3 6.6 7 7.3 7.6 8 8.3 8.6 9
Figure 9. This plot illustrates the relative magnitude of movement at intermediate and expansion joints. The data are from the lower level of Washington, D.C., structure after a cooling cycle. Note: 1 in. = 25.4 mm 122 Fall 2 0 0 9 | PCI Journal
Figure 10. This graphic of a symmetrical one-story structure illustrates idealized volume-change response, including movement at the intermediate and expansion joints. Note: ∆EJ = expansion-joint movement; ∆IJ = movement at each intermediate joint.
change due to creep, shrinkage, and temperature change was simulated as an equivalent-strain load on the beams. These models were analyzed two ways: assuming that all intermediate mechanical connections (not including expansion joints) were rigid and assuming flexible connections. For the latter case, nonlinear link elements were required because the resistance of deck joints to closing is much greater than the resistance to opening. Member stiffness The PCI Design Handbook recommends calculating equivalent volume-change strains that are reduced to account for creep and microcracking of precast concrete members. Section 184.108.40.206 of the PCI Design Handbook gives the rationale for this reduction: “Since the shortening takes place gradually over a period of time, the effect of the shortening on the shears and moment of the support is lessened because of creep and microcracking of the member and its support.” Specifically, the PCI Design Handbook recommends dividing the calculated strains due to creep and shrinkage by the coefficient Kl when calculating volume-change forces, where Kl is the softening factor for creep and shrinkage effects. (Kl is not to be used
Table 7. Reduction coefficient for movement at deck and spandrel joints
when calculating a volume-change movement.) For design purposes, the recommended range of Kl is 4 to 6. Likewise, the PCI Design Handbook recommends that the design temperature strain be divided by a Kt value of 1.5, where Kt is the softening factor for temperature effects. The selection of the Kl values is explained in a 1977 paper4 by the PCI Committee on Design Handbook. Creep studies by Mattock12 indicated that the effect of creep reduces the volume-change force by a factor of 2 to 3 relative to the force computed using gross member stiffness. The PCI Committee on Design Handbook reasoned that, because this force reduction applies to both axial and rotational restraint, it would apply to both the beam and the column, and the total reduction would be equal to the square of the reductions in the beam and column; that is, the corresponding Kl value ranges from 4 to 9. As noted previously, the sixth edition of the PCI Design Handbook recommends a Kl of 4 to 6. The basis for selecting a value of 1.5 Kt is not discussed; however, the smaller value of 1.5 is consistent with the shorter time frame for changes in temperature strain. The previous development of Kl was reevaluated as part of the PCI research project. The authors concluded that the
Average flexibility factor KJ* Structure Deck joints Chicago, Ill. Washington, D.C. Denver, Colo. Atlanta, Ga.
Lower level Spandrel joints 1.57 2.78 n.a. 0.62 Model† 2.06 2.22 0.25 0.48 Deck joints n.a. -0.10 0.32 0.51
Upper level Spandrel joints n.a. 0.09 n.a. -0.08 Model† n.a. 0.0 0.0 -0.042
2.19 1.13 0.22 1.65
A negative number indicates that the intermediate joints were closing during cooling cycles. See “Finite-Element-Model Analysis.”
Note: n.a. = not applicable.
PCI Journal | Fa l l 2009 123
Table 8. Tensile capacity and stiffness of diaphragm connections Yield, ~75% of ultimate Connection type Topped Capacity, kip 5.7 28.0 2.6 15.8 36.6 46.7 19.4 ∆, in. 0.065 0.042 0.092 0.014 0.020 0.031 0.035 Ultimate Capacity, kip 9.7 36.4 3.8 25.0 43.4 62.3 24.86 ∆, in. 1.26 0.32 0.26 0.05 0.15 0.14 0.08 Stiffness, kip/in. Initial 88 667 245 1129 1828 1507 555 Secant stiffness at 0.1 in. ∆* 58 297 27
A: JVI Vector connector B: Chord connector C: Hairpin connector D: Hairpin connector E: Cover-plate connector F: Pour-strip connector G: WWR topping
No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Source: Data from Naito, Peter, and Cao 2006.
Connections with a secant stiffness of less than 150 kip/in. are classified as flexible; rigid connections are those with a secant stiffness exceeding 150 kip/in. Peak load reached before 0.1 in. displacement.
Note: WWR = welded-wire reinforcement; ∆ = displacement. 1 in. = 25.4 mm; 1 kip = 4.448 kN; 1 kip/in. = 0.175 kN/mm.
softening in both the beam and column are not synergistic; that is, the total reduction is not proportional to the square of the fundamental reduction due to creep-related softening. On the contrary, the beam and column behave like springs in a series. If the effective stiffness of both beams and columns is reduced by a factor of 3, the resulting force is reduced by exactly a factor of 3. Accordingly, based on the creep studies by Mattock, Kl should vary between 2 and 3, not 4 and 6 as currently recommended. A Kl value of 2.5 is recommended by the authors and was used for the finiteelement models. For temperature strain, it may be assumed that roughly onehalf of the temperature difference used to calculate temperature strain occurs seasonally, over a period of approximately three months, while the other half can occur in less than a day. The ACI 318 provides guidelines for estimating long-term creep behavior. Section 220.127.116.11 gives an equation for estimating the additional long-term deflection resulting from creep and shrinkage of flexural members, which depends on the duration of load and compression reinforcement ratio. Using the ACI 318 equation, the corresponding Kt is about 1.5, as currently recommended by PCI. Connection stiffness Deck connections Estimates of deck-connection stiffness were taken from research conducted at Lehigh University on development of a seismic design methodology for precast concrete diaphragms.13 Table 8 shows a summary of capacity and stiffness properties. As shown in
this table, most connection types exhibited ductile behavior. The displacement at ultimate load generally exceeded 0.1 in. (2.5 mm). Displacements greater than this amount were usually associated with the onset of cracking in the connection region. For the models, the opening stiffness of the deck connections was taken as the secant stiffness at 0.1 in. (2.5 mm) deformation; that is, the tensile force at an opening of 0.1 in. divided by 0.1 in.. Although the closing stiffness of the deck connections was not tested, it is obvious that these would behave much more rigidly in compression. Accordingly, the closing stiffness was taken as 100 times the opening stiffness. In a Winter 2009 PCI Journal paper, Naito et al.14 recommend a more complex nonlinear stiffness response for seismic analyses—a response model that captures the high initial stiffness and the decline in stiffness after peak loading. The bilinear stiffness response described previously was chosen for volume-change analyses because it simplifies combining the deck-joint stiffness with the stiffness of the bearings in the simplified two-dimensional models. Of course, the more complex response models can be used for more accurate results, but the response beyond 0.1 in. (2.5 mm) at deck joints is irrelevant for volume-change analyses. Bearing pads The stiffness of the elastomeric bearings was estimated based on the pad size, thickness, and type. PCI Design Handbook Figure 18.104.22.168 plots resistance to
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horizontal movement versus compressive stress for various pad materials (on concrete or steel bearing surfaces), assuming 70% shear and slippage strain. For example, the PCI figure indicates a shear resistance of about 220 psi (1500 kPa) of contact surface for a cotton duck pad bearing on concrete under a dead-load stress of 1000 psi (7000 kPa). The pad stiffness (pounds per inch of lateral movement) was calculated as the shear resistance (according to PCI Design Handbook Figure 22.214.171.124) times the pad area divided by 70% of the pad thickness. Combined stiffness of the deck connectors and bearing pads As noted previously, a single nonlinear link element was employed at each spandrel-beamto-column connection to simulate the performance of double-tee and spandrel-beam connections. To do so, the opening stiffnesses of individual connections were combined according to the behavior of springs in parallel and in series. That is, the stiffness of the combined spring was taken as the stiffness of individual springs multiplied by the number of springs in parallel and divided by the number of springs in a series. Flexural stiffness at column base The current PCI Design Handbook procedures for estimating the stiffness of column baseplate connections is based on work by LaFraugh and Magura.15 LaFraugh and Magura found that the initial stiffness of the baseplate connection depends on the stiffness of the anchor bolts and the baseplate itself. They tested a variety of column base details under increasing load at constant eccentricity. The current PCI Design Handbook procedure is based on LaFraugh and Magura’s test results and recommendations. The flexural stiffness of the column baseplate connections was calculated as the secant stiffness after flexural yieldTable 9. Volume-change-analysis summary Movement at exterior column, in. Lower level 0.55 0.16 0.34 0.15 0.64 0.50 0.62 0.53 Upper level n.a. n.a. 0.53 0.51 0.67 0.64 0.72 0.74 Average movement at spandrel joints, in. Lower level 0 0.06 0 0.10 0 0.02 0 0.04 Upper level n.a. n.a. n.a. -0.0003 0 -0.0001 0 -0.0036 Maximum column base rotation, % 0.0 0.06 0.16 0.09 0.0 0.36 0.13 0.36 Forces in exterior column Shear, kip 577 6 505 52 60 16 105 27 Bending, ft-kip 1612 17 2949 517 391 92 766 212
ing of the baseplate. Similar to the deck connections, a deformation (liftoff of the baseplate) of 0.1 in. (2.5 mm) was assumed in calculating the secant stiffness. According to LaFraugh during a conversation in October 2008, there was no unusual distress at rotations of this magnitude. Note that this procedure gives a lower stiffness than the initial stiffness predicted by the PCI Design Handbook method, but the lower stiffness is appropriate for calculating the volume-change forces. The procedure explained in PCI Design Handbook section 3.6.1 was used to estimate the stiffness of the footing on the soil. This combined flexural stiffness of the base-plate connection and footing/soil interface was calculated as the inverse of the combined flexibility of each element. Analysis results Table 9 compares the results of the rigid models with those employing flexible connections. Note that small movements at flexible connections substantially reduce volumechange forces. For the models with flexible connections, the shear force at the exterior columns is reduced 74% to 99% compared with the models with rigid connections. Figure 11 compares the deformation of the Washington structure with completely rigid (top model) and flexible connections (lower model). Even though some of the connections in the Washington structure are relatively stiff, movement at intermediate joints drastically changes the deformation pattern, as well as the volume-change forces. The rigid joints in the top model impose equal overall shortening of both levels and relatively sharp column curvature. In the lower model, the column is more gently curved because the overall shortening in the lower level is less than that at the upper level.
Stiffness of spandrel/ column connection
Chicago, Ill. Washington, D.C. Denver, Colo.
Case 1: rigid Case 2: 133 kip/in. Case 1: rigid Case 2: 830 kip/in. Case 1: rigid Case 2: 1520 kip/in. Case 1: rigid Case 2: 3070 kip/in.
Note: n.a. = not applicable. 1 in. = 25.4 mm; 1 kip = 4.448 kN; 1 ft-kip = 1.356 kN-m.
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Figure 11. These two-dimensional models of the Washington, D.C., structure illustrate the influence on flexible connections on the deformation pattern. The intermediate joints in the top model have no flexibility, whereas the bottom model has flexible intermediate joints, which dramatically reduce curvature of the exterior columns.
The flexible-connection model indicates that the intermediate joints at the upper level actually close slightly during cooling cycles. The difference in column shear and bending forces is dramatic. In Table 9, note the substantial decrease in volume-change forces due to small movements at intermediate joints. Rotations at column base connections also help to reduce forces in the flexible models, especially for the one-story Chicago structure. As can be seen in Fig. 11, small movements at intermediate connections allow for a gentle transition of volume-change response from the ground to the upper level, whereas rigid connections impose equal shortening at all levels.
the authors estimated the COV based on engineering experience. As recommended in the following example, the specified mean and the values in the PCI Design Handbook should be adjusted for these factors. The flexibility factor KJ is not considered in this example. The bias and variation of the volume-change force were calculated using Monte Carlo simulations and using the statistical parameters shown in Table 10. The resulting bias and COV are also shown in the table. The bias of 0.68 indicates that PCI Design Handbook procedures underestimate the potential volume-change force by 32% without considering flexible connections. This difference is primarily attributable to the bias in two variables: the softening factor for creep loading Kl and a temperature change that is less than would be expected for the life of the structure. The overall bias would be even worse except that the assumed coefficient of thermal expansion was chosen closer to an average value rather than the PCI Design Handbook’s recommended value. Figure 13 shows the probability distribution of the calculated force due to volume change using PCI Design Handbook procedures for this example. For this example, if rigid connections were employed and current practices were followed (including a load factor of 1.2 on volume-change effects), the probability that the volume-change force will exceed the factored design load is roughly 50%. In well-designed precast concrete buildings, the connections between precast concrete elements yield before the volume-change movement can cause serious damage. Even where rigid connections are used, past experience indicates that cracking generally alleviates the volume-change force before global safety of the structure is threatened.
Predictability of volume-change forces
Consider the simple structure shown in Fig. 12. Creep, shrinkage, and thermal shortening induce footing rotation, shear, and bending forces in the supporting columns as well as a horizontal force at the column-to-beam connection. In U.S. practice, the volume-change and gravity-load effects are added together as forces in a factored load combination. According to ASCE/SEI 7, the load factor on volume-change effects is 1.2. However, even for the simplest structures, such as the frame shown in Fig. 12, the magnitude of the volume-change forces depends on numerous factors. All of these factors can vary, some significantly. Table 10 lists the primary factors influencing volumechange forces and provides an estimate of their bias (the specified mean divided by the true mean) and coefficient of variation (COV). Where COV data were not available,
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Figure 12. This figure illustrates the response of a simple single-span structure to volume-change shortening.
In U.S. practice, the load factors for dead, live, and wind loads are based on the bias and COV. Assuming that the variability from this single example is typical, a much higher load factor on volume-change forces is warranted. Considering the bias in current PCI Design Handbook procedures, a load factor of 2.0 on volume-change effects would result in a probability of exceeding the factored load comparable with that for other loads. If the current procedures are adjusted to remove the bias, the comparable load factor could be reduced to 1.6. In the ASCE/SEI 7 load combinations, volume-change effects are included with dead load as part of the basic dead-plus-live-load combination. The inclusion of volumechange effects in this basic load combination technically requires that temperature- and shrinkage-induced forces be included for the design of every concrete building frame. However, like wind load, maximum volume-change effects occur during an extreme weather event. In ASCE/SEI 7, extreme wind load is considered in combination with a point-in-time live load. A similar approach for volume-change effects would be appropriate. At the time of writing, the ASCE/SEI committee on design loads is reconsidering load combinations that include volumechange effects. It should be reemphasized that the limited study described previously was undertaken to get a general sense of the inherent variability of volume-change force. It was not the purpose of this study to make broad recommendations on volume-change load factors. In any case, the factored volume-change force should only be used for determining the required strength of nonductile elements in the volumechange load path—strengthening ductile elements for volume-change movement is unnecessary and counterproductive, though serviceability should be evaluated.
Summary of findings and recommendations
The following findings and recommendations are based on the research work described in this paper. Findings • Thermal expansion coefficient. The coefficient of thermal expansion varies significantly with aggregate type. For some concrete, especially that produced with limestone aggregate, a thermal expansion coefficient significantly less than the commonly accepted value of 6 microstrains/°F (10.8 microstrains/°C) can be reliably used, provided that the coefficient is determined
Table 10. Key variables influencing volume-change force Variables Dimensions Temperature difference* Ks Coefficient of thermal expansion* Creep and shrinkage strains/age at erection Column fixity Concrete MOE Kl* Kt Volume-change force from Monte Carlo simulation
Bias 1.00 0.72 0.99 1.22 1.00 1.00 1.10 1.92 1.00 0.68
COV 0.07 0.15 0.11 0.27 0.25 0.13 0.14 0.20 0.20 0.31
A substantial difference exists between the specified mean according to the current PCI Design Handbook and the true mean.
Note: COV = coefficient of variation; Kl = softening factor for creep and shrinkage effects; Ks = coefficient that accounts for the lag between weather-station temperature and structure temperature; Kt = softening factor for temperature effects; MOE = modulus of elasticity.
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0 0 10 20 30 40 50 Force, kip
Figure 13. This figure illustrates the wide probability distribution of volume-change force based on the Monte Carlo simulation of the controlling parameters. The mean force value is 13.4 kip. Note: 1 kip = 4.448 kN.
by laboratory testing of specimens produced using the project mixture proportions. • Design temperature range. The temperature-range values provided in the PCI Design Handbook are based on outdoor temperatures that are much warmer than the expected 50-year low. However, the ambient temperatures in the lower levels of parking structures lag the extreme cold temperatures measured by the National Weather Service. Design temperature ranges that account for these offsetting effects are recommended. Creep and shrinkage effects. Measurable creep and shrinkage strains were observed during the course of the two- to three-year monitoring period. Although the variability of the limited measurements precludes quantitative evaluation, the observed long-term movements were reasonably consistent with creep and shrinkage predictions of the PCI Design Handbook. Regardless, temperature change dominates volumechange behavior of exposed precast concrete buildings. By comparison, creep and shrinkage effects are much less significant. Member softening due to creep and microcracking. The PCI Design Handbook recommends dividing the calculated strains due to creep and shrinkage by a Kl value from 4 to 6. A more realistic value for Kl is 2.5. Flexible connections. Deformations of flexible double-tee and spandrel connections substantially change the deformation pattern and thereby reduce
volume-change movement and force at the lowest supported level, where volume-change forces are most significant. Rotation at flexible column-base connections also helps reduce volume-change force. For the structures analyzed in this study, the reduction in shear force at exterior columns due to movement at flexible connections ranged from 74% to 99%. • Load factor for volume-change effects. Prediction of volume-change force is inherently inaccurate due to the underlying variability in volume-change strain and structure response. Monte Carlo simulation of the possible range of the volume-change force in a sample structure suggests that the current ASCE/SEI 7 load factor of 1.2 is much too low to account for this inherent variability. However, the factored load should only be used for determining the required strength of nonductile elements in the volume-change load path. Strengthening ductile elements for volume-change movement is unnecessary and counterproductive, though serviceability should be evaluated. Furthermore, building codes should evaluate inclusion of volumechange effects in the dead-plus-live-load combination.
Design recommendations • For typical structures, a qualitative approach to volume-change design is recommended in lieu of explicit calculation of volume-change forces. Designers may rely on successful past practices, employing compliant members and flexible connections that accommodate volume-change movement while providing the needed resistance to gravity and lateral loads.
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• Quantitative assessment of the volume-change force is appropriate only in special cases, such as structures that have dimensions or details beyond the limits of successful past practices. PCI Design Handbook procedures may be used to estimate volume-change forces with modifications to account for the findings as described previously. However, the quantitative results should be viewed with a high degree of circumspection, given the uncertainty and variability inherent in prediction of a volume-change response. PCI Design Handbook procedures may also be used to estimate volume-change movement for expansionjoint design, with applicable modifications to account for the listed findings. The expected movement at intermediate joints should also be considered in their design.
1. American Concrete Institute (ACI) Committee 362. 2002. Guide for the Design of Durable Parking Structures (ACI 362-97). Farmington Hills, MI: ACI. ACI Committee 318. 2008. Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete (ACI 318-08) and Commentary (ACI 318R-08). Farmington Hills, MI: ACI. PCI Industry Handbook Committee. 2004. PCI Design Handbook: Precast and Prestressed Concrete. MNL120. 6th ed. Chicago, IL: PCI. PCI Committee on Design Handbook. 1977. Volume Changes in Precast Prestressed Concrete Structures. PCI Journal, V. 22, No. 5 (September–October): pp. 38–53. Philleo, R. E. 1971. Designing for Effects of Creep and Shrinkage Temperature in Concrete Structures. In Summary of Symposium on Designing for Effects of Creep, Shrinkage, and Temperature. SP-27, V. 27, pp. 247–256. Detroit, MI: ACI Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). 2006. Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures. ASCE/SEI 7-05. Reston, VA: ASCE. Iqbal, M. 2007. Thermal Movements in Parking Structures. ACI Structural Journal, V. 104, No. 5 (September): pp. 542–548. Klein, G. J., and R. E. Lindenberg. 2009. Volume Change Movement and Forces in Precast Concrete Buildings. Research report, PCI, Chicago, IL. Roeder, Charles W. 2003. Proposed Design Method for Thermal Bridge Movements. Journal of Bridge Engineering, V. 8, No. 1 (January–February): pp. 12–19.
Funding for the research project was provided by the PCI Research and Development Committee, with additional contribution by Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. The research effort was guided by an advisory committee comprising precast concrete experts Helm Wilden of Wilden Enterprises Inc., Tom D’Arcy of The Consulting Engineers Group; Anant Dabholkar of Neilsoft Inc., Harry Gleich of Metromont Corp., Jim Sirko of Sirko Associates Inc., Doug Sutton of Purdue University, and A. Fattah Shaikh of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. The support of PCI and Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. is gratefully acknowledged. Likewise, the guidance provided by the advisory committee was instrumental to the success and relevance of this research. Access to the structures was arranged through the following contractors and precast concrete producers, respectively: • • • • Chicago: Castle Construction Corp. and Dukane Precast Denver: Saunders Construction Inc. and Stresscon Corp. Washington: Donley’s Inc. and Tindall Corp. Atlanta: Holden Construction Co. and Metromont Corp. 5.
10. Brown, R. D. 1972. Thermal Movement of Concrete. Journal of the Concrete Society, V. 6, No. 11 (November): pp. 51–53. 11. ACI Committee 209. 2008. Prediction of Creep, Shrinkage, and Temperature Effects in Concrete Structures. ACI 209R-92. Farmington Hills, MI: ACI. 12. Mattock, A. H. 1961. Precast-Prestressed Concrete Bridges 5. Creep and Shrinkage Studies. Journal of the PCA Research and Development Laboratories, V. 3, No. 2 (May): pp. 32–66.
This research would not have been possible without their cooperation.
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13. Naito, Clay, Wesley Peter, and Liling Cao. 2006. Development of a Seismic Design Methodology for Precast Diaphragms–Phase 1 Summary Report. Research report, PCI and National Science Foundation. 14. Naito, C., L. Cao, and W. Peter. 2009. Precast Concrete Double-Tee Connections, Part 1: Tension Behavior. PCI Journal, V. 54, No. 1 (January–February): pp. 49–66. 15. LaFraugh, R. W., and D. D. Magura. 1966. Connections in Pre-Cast Concrete Structures - Column Base Plates. PCI Journal, V. 11, No. 6 (November–December): pp. 18–39.
COV = coefficient of variation K = factors that account for creep and microcracking of precast concrete members when estimating equivalent volume-change strains = joint flexibility factor, which indicates the relative flexibility of the intermediate joints = softening factor for creep and shrinkage effects = coefficient that accounts for the lag between weather-station temperature and structure temperature = softening factor for temperature effects = mean temperature during construction season = structure temperature = weather-station temperature = displacement = expansion-joint movement = movement at each intermediate joint = total shortening of the structure
KJ Kl Ks
Kt Tm Ts Tws ∆ ∆EJ ∆IJ ∆TS
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About the authors
Gary Klein, S.E., is a senior principal with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. in Northbrook, Ill. He is a member of American Concrete Institute building code committee (ACI 318) and specializes in structural investigations and research. Richard Lindenberg, S.E., is a senior associate with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. He specializes in structural monitoring and the correlation to analytical models.
level, where volume-change forces are most significant. The study also developed new findings with respect to other volume-change parameters, including the thermal-expansion coefficient, the design temperature range, the degree of member softening due to creep and microcracking, and the load factor for volume-change effects. Design recommendations are provided for qualitative consideration of volume-change effects as well as quantitative analysis. Although the new research indicates that the procedures recommended in the PCI Design Handbook: Precast and Prestressed Concrete result in a conservative estimate of volume-change force, certain aspects of the PCI Design Handbook procedures were found to be unconservative. Therefore, the research findings should be considered in their entirety. The full research report is available from PCI.
This paper summarizes the findings of the authors’ recent study on the volume-change response of precast concrete buildings. The objective of this research was twofold: to develop a better understanding of volumechange movement and forces based on measured performance of precast concrete parking structures and calibration to analytical models and to recommend revised design procedures that reflect this understanding and account for the influence of flexible connections. The primary research tasks included field monitoring and finite-element analyses of actual structures as well as evaluation of the predictability of volume-change forces. The research revealed that deformations of flexible deck and spandrel connections change the deformation pattern and thereby substantially reduce volumechange movement and force at the lowest supported
Coefficient of thermal expansion, connector, creep, double-tee, field testing, flange connector, load factor, parking structure, shrinkage-flexible connection, temperature, volume change.
This paper was reviewed in accordance with the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s peer-review process.
Please address any reader comments to PCI Journal editor-in-chief Emily Lorenz at firstname.lastname@example.org or Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, c/o PCI Journal, 209 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60606. J
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