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ENGINEER’S DESIGN GUIDELINES
Contained herein, for your convenience, are a few of the most frequently used design items. For a more detailed list
of code compliant design requirements, refer to our prequali•ca•on report ESR1275 report by ICCES.
Use of Deeper Frame Columns:
In order to achieve the most economical steel moment frame system possible in terms of lowest possible steel
tonnage and steel fabrica•on costs, it is best to select a frame column that is propor•oned like a rectangular sec-
•on (e.g. deeper column like W21x or W27x) versus a square (e.g. W12x or W14x). Doing so results in a column
that has the same structural s•!ness when compared to a W14x column, but for half of the steel weight resul•ng
in 1-3 lbs/square foot in overall steel tonnage savings or about $1 - $3/SF in construc•on cost savings.
Since the majority of moment frame columns occur around the perimeter of a building, the great majority of col-
umns in the interior space will be gravity load resis•ng and can be sized appropriately (e.g. Square tube columns,
W12x or W14x). However, depending on the overall building con•gura•on and number of frame columns avail-
able in each direc•on, occasions do arise where interior moment frame columns are required. Such columns can
be a combina•on of both deep and shallow without sacri•cing economy.
When deeper columns are oriented perpendicular to the slab edge such as at corners, it typically is prudent to
locate such column several inches o! the main grid line as shown below.

C8Avl1? CCLuMn
uLLÞ MCMLn1
l8AML CCLuMn
CLn1L8LlnL 1?ÞlCAL SLA8 LuCL
(9"- 18")
ÞLAn vlLW
CllSL1 WPLn uLLÞ
CCLuMn CCCu8S
ÞL8ÞLnulCuLA8 1C
SLA8 LuCL
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Pg 2 of 12
Edge of Slab Location:
When deciding the appropriate distance from the center line of perim-
eter steel framing to the edge of slab, it is important to keep in mind
the thickness of the side plates (i.e. ranges from ½” – 2 ½”) as well as
the horizontal extension of the bo!om cover plate beyond the face of
the side plate (i.e. ranges from 1 - 2 ½”) that occur at the perimeter
beam-to-column joints so that exterior curtain wall systems are not
interrupted by the presence of the side plate connec"on itself.
For an"cipated project speci#c side plate connec"ons, call SidePlate
Systems for more informa"on.
Extension of Side Plates:
The side plates typically extend horizontally beyond the face of column $ange approximately 80% of the frame
beam depth (e.g. typical ranges from 18”-30”).
The side plates no longer extend ver"cally below the bo!om of frame beam as they once did. Hence, the only
physical item that extends below the bo!om of the beam is the thickness of the bo!om cover plate which is typi-
cally no thicker than 1”.

Slab Depressions at Moment Frame Columns:
For slab depressions adjacent to a SidePlate connec"on,
it’s important to keep in mind that the side plates typically
have a ver"cal extension of about 2.5”-3.5” above the top
of steel for an average horizontal distance of approximate-
ly 80% of the depth of the moment frame beam from the
face of column $ange. Shorter ver"cal extensions may be
possible with the use of a slightly thicker side plate. Refer
to graphic below. Please contact SidePlate Systems for de-
tails.
CCLuMn
8LAM
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
SLC1lCn
1?ÞlCAL 8AnCL
1/2" - 2 1/2"
1?ÞlCAL 8AnCL
1/2" - 2 1/2"
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Pg 3 of 12
Steps in Floors at Moment Frame Columns:
For steps in •oors adjacent to a SidePlate connec•on, it’s important to keep in mind that the side plates may
be tapered as shown in the detail below as required per the architectural design. As such, these areas need to
be coordinated between the structural engineer and the architect. Refer to sample detail below. Please contact
SidePlate Systems for details.
Column - Beam Relationship:
Create the lateral model as customary for any project using steel moment
frames. When selec•ng preliminary lateral beam and columns sizes, it is im-
portant to keep in mind the following two rules:
GEOMETRIC COMPATIBILITY: b
bf
+ 1.1t
bf
+ 1/2” • b
cf
Background: The SidePlate connec•on typically consists of cover plates at
the beam ends to bridge the di!erence between the beam •ange width and
the wider column •ange width. The cover plates are "llet welded to the
beam •ange edges of which the top cover plate is detailed to be approxi-
mately the same width as the column •ange width.
STRONG COLUMN
WEAK BEAM COMPLIANCE FOR R=8 SMF DESIGNS ONLY:
# (Z
x,col
) > 1.7*# (Z
x,bm
) for 1-12 stories (rule of thumb)
Background: The above equa•on takes into account the latest Seismic Provisions equa•on for SCWB compliance of
SMF connec•ons, including an approximate allowance for reduc•on in column capacity due to axial loads as well as
the pushing out of the plas•c hinge into the beam.
Computer Modeling Tips:
To appropriately represent the connec•on s•!ness proper•es of SidePlate®, the computer model must re•ect
the following two items:
100% PANEL ZONE
• RAM FRAME (v14.04+) – Automa•cally incorporated when SidePlate is assigned as the Frame Beam
SLC1lCn
b
L
b
cf
bf
bf
CCLuMn
8LAM
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
CCn18AC1C8 1C CLlÞ SluL
ÞLA1L AS 8LCul8Lu
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
8LAM
CCLuMn

1CS
1CS
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Pg 4 of 12
Connec•on Type (see below)
• RAM FRAME (v14.03 and older) – assign all frame beam and columns with a rigid end zone of a 0% reduc•on
(refer to “Connec•on S••ness Implementa•on Procedure for RAM v12 & v13”)
• ETABS & SAP 2000– Assign all frame beams and columns with a Rigid End O!set of “r=1”
• RISA – Assign Rigid End O!sets = 1.0
CONNECTION PROPERTIES BEYOND COLUMN FLANGE
The SidePlate connec•on typically extends horizontally beyond the face of column "ange approximately 80% of
the nominal frame beam depth (e.g. typical ranges from 18”-30”). The connec•on proper•es are di!erent for
high seismic (inelas•c) applica•ons versus wind (elas•c) and low seismic applica•ons.
For R=8 designs, seismic displacement will typically govern the size of the lateral beams and columns. For R=3
designs, wind displacement will typically govern.
For seismic displacement controlled lateral members, modify the proper•es of the beam ends for a distance DIM
A (use typical 77% of beam depth):
Ix = 3*Ix of frame beam
Depth = nominal frame beam depth + #3” (e.g. SidePlate depth)
Sx = (2*(3*Ix))/(Depth of SidePlate)
Zx = 1.15*Sx value (above)
• RAM FRAME v14.04+ - Under Criteria, select SidePlate – Seismic Displacement (this automa•cally incorporates
the appropriate proper•es). Then assign the moment connec•on type as SidePlate using the Assign – Beams
- Connec!on command – refer to the PDF “Specifying and Designing SidePlate® Moment Frames in the RAM
Structural System”
• ETABS – use built-in feature by assigning all frame beams to use “SidePlate” beam type
Note: The modi$ed Sx por•on is not included in the ETABS version 9.x.x built-in feature. If overstresses of 1.25
or less are encountered in the beams, the beams may not be overstressed when checked at the end of the
side plates. In order to con$rm this, non-prisma•c beams will need to be u•lized – refer to PDF “Connec•on
S••ness Implementa•on Procedure for ETABS/SAP”
• RISA/SAP 2000 – Insert a node
along the frame beam located at
approximately (½*frame column
depth + 77% frame nominal beam
depth). Assign a new member be-
tween centerline of frame column
and new node that has the prop-
er•es above.
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
A
CCLuMn
ub
luLL-LLnC1P 8LAM 1C SluLÞLA1L uL1AlL
100° 8lClu ÞAnLL ZCnL

lx 1C1AL = 3*lx Cl 1PL 8LAM Lx1LnulnC l8CM lACL Cl
CCLuMn lC8 A ulS1AnCL LCuAL 1C 0.8*ub
CCL
CCLuMn/8LAM
SLÞA8A1lCn
LLLvA1lCn
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Pg 5 of 12
For wind displacement controlled lateral members, modify the proper!es of the beam ends for a distance
DIM A (use typical 77% of beam depth):
Ix = 1*Ix of frame beam
Depth = nominal frame beam depth + "3” (e.g. SidePlate depth)
Sx = (2*(1*Ix))/(Depth of SidePlate)
Zx = 1.15*Sx value (above)
• RAM FRAME v14.04+ - Under Criteria, select SidePlate – Wind Displacement (this automa!cally incorporates
the appropriate proper!es). Then assign the moment connec!on type as SidePlate using the Assign – Beams
- Connec!on command – refer to the PDF “Specifying and Designing SidePlate® Moment Frames in the RAM
Structural System”
• ETABS – create a non-prisma!c beam to create proper!es above – refer to PDF “Connec!on S!"ness Imple-
menta!on Procedure for ETABS/SAP”
• RISA/SAP 2000 – Insert a node along the frame beam located at approximately (½*frame column depth +
77% frame nominal beam depth). Assign a new member between centerline of frame column and new node
that has the proper!es above.
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
A
CCLuMn
ub
luLL-LLnC1P 8LAM 1C SluLÞLA1L uL1AlL
100° 8lClu ÞAnLL ZCnL

lx 1C1AL = 1*lx Cl 1PL 8LAM Lx1LnulnC l8CM lACL Cl
CCLuMn lC8 A ulS1AnCL LCuAL 1C 0.8*ub
CCL
CCLuMn/8LAM
SLÞA8A1lCn
LLLvA1lCn
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Pg 6 of 12
Moment Frame Protected Zone (for IMF & SMF Applications Only):
AISC Seismic Provisions prohibit certain a•achments in the protected zone for all Special and Intermediate Mo-
ment Frame applica•ons. If required, the protected zone will be iden••ed in the SidePlate details. SidePlate’s
protected zone is iden••ed as shown below:
Lateral Bracing of Beams (for IMF & SMF Applications Only):
EOR shall provide lateral bracing of the frame beam’s bo•om !ange in accordance with the latest AISC Seismic
Provisions, where the length of the beam is de•ned as the distance between the ends of the side plates. Sup-
plemental top and bo•om !ange bracing at the expected hinge is not required since lateral bracing of the beam
at or near the plas•c hinge is provided by the side plates as proven by full-scale tests.
Lateral Bracing at Beam-to-Column Connections (for SMF Applications Only):
The SidePlate connec•on is composed of two parallel side plates that are welded to the outside edges of the column
!anges for the full depth of each beam plus a certain length above. In addi•on, horizontal shear plates are welded to
the inside edges of the column web at the top and bo•om of each side plate. This con•gura•on creates a 100% rigid
panel zone and prevents the column !anges from buckling at the levels of top and bo•om beam !anges and beyond.
The connec•on also provides the adequate 2% lateral bracing at these levels.
All of the full-scale tests were completed without bracing of the column !ange at top or bo•om beam !ange
and all con•gura•ons had SCWB << 2.0. Test results showed no !exural yielding or lateral-torsional buckling in
the column. Hence, the SidePlate® moment connec•on system is considered to be a Braced Connec•on in ac-
cordance with AISC Seismic Provisions Sec•on 9.7.
LLLvA1lCn
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
(1?ÞlCAL 8AnCLS 18" - 30")
ulMLnSlCn A
77° Cl 8LAM uLÞ1P
8LAM
uLÞ1P
nC 88ACL C8 A11ACPMLn1 Cn 1PL
8LAMlLAnCLS C8 WL8 Wl1Pln 1PlS
ZCnL, unLLSS AÞÞ8CvLu 8? SluLÞLA1L
S?S1LMS, lnC. Anu SLC8
"Þ8C1LC1Lu ZCnL"
83° Cl 8LAM uLÞ1P
(1?ÞlCAL 8AnCL
2 1/2" - 3 1/2")
(1?ÞlCAL 8AnCL
6" - 12")
(1?ÞlCAL 8AnCL
1/2" - 1 1/2")
8C11CM CCvL8 ÞLA1L
CCLuMn
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Pg 7 of 12
Attaching to Face of Side Plate:
It is acceptable to weld to the face of the side
plates in the area indicated using the project ap-
proved minimum preheat.







Curved Moment Frames:
Due to the inherent torsional robustness of the SidePlate connec!on, curved moment frames are easily achiev-
able without compromising performance by u!lizing one of the following typical methods:
1. A skewed moment frame beam is shop cut into three pieces, their ends mitered to create the required beam
skew angle and then complete joint penetra!on (CJP) shop welded back together. Typical skew angles range
between 2-15 degrees without requiring any special analysis. Field installa!on is the same as straight beams
using "llet welds. In order to resist the out-of-plane force in the beam due to the skew, appropriate lateral
bracing of the bo#om beam $ange must be provided within 12” of the mitered joint – refer to detail below.
For angles greater than 15 degrees and up to 30 degrees, contact SidePlate Systems for addi!onal solu!ons.
LLLvA1lCn
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
CCLuMn
CCnnLC1lCnS lnSluL PA1CP A8LA
nLLu AÞÞ8CvAL l8CM1PL SLC8
Anu SluLÞLA1L S?S1LMS, lnC.
nC1L
Ck 1C A11ACP ln
nCn-PA1CP A8LA
8C11CM CCvL8
ÞLA1L
3" 1?Þ
8" 1?Þ
Llnk 8LAM
CCLuMn
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
SÞLlCL
88AClnC
MLM8L8
8ACklnC
8A8
ÞLAN VILW
12"
MAx
BEAM
SKEW ANGLE
~2 1lMLS nCMlnAL
8LAM uLÞ1P
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Pg 8 of 12
2. A skewed moment frame beam with bent side plates is the same concept as the skewed moment frame
beam in op!on 1) where the beam can be a series of 3 straight segments, but instead the curvature begins
just passed the column "anges within the gap regions by bending the side plates. Alternately, the beam can
be straight from side plates to side plates - refer to detail below. Please Contact SidePlate Systems for details.
Cantilevers (Drags similar):
Can!levers can be used at SidePlate connec!ons whether they are framing into the face of the moment frame
column "ange (e.g. parallel to the moment frame beam) or framing into the face of the side plate (e.g. perpen-
dicular to the moment frame beam).
For condi!ons where the can!lever beam is parallel to the moment frame beam and
• Can!lever is about 4’ or less from the face of column "ange, the typical detail is to simply complete joint
penetra!on (CJP) weld the can!lever beam to the moment frame column "ange. Short can!levers like this
could be shop welded to minimize #eld welding.
• Can!lever is greater than 4’, there are two op!ons that can be done:
o Op!on 1) Field CJP weld the can!lever beam to the column "ange, or
o Op!on 2) use a two-sided SidePlate® moment connec!on and #eld #llet weld the can!lever beam
to the side plates.
Note: op!on 2 is commonly done for long can!levers and/or heavily loaded can!levers.
For condi!ons where the can!lever beam is perpendicular to the moment frame beam, there are three possible
scenarios that can occur:
1. Can!lever beam is shallower than the moment frame beam
2. Can!lever beam is deeper than the moment frame beam
3. Can!lever beam is the same depth series as the moment frame beam.
SKEW ANGLE
W.Þ. 1 [ lnSluL
8
A
u
l
A
L
L
C
L
C
L
C
L
C
W.Þ. 2 [ lACL Cl
8Cx CCLuMn
88LAk ÞCln1
lC8 Cl8uL8S
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Pg 9 of 12
For shallower can•lever beams, it is strongly rec-
ommended whenever possible to u•lize a can•le-
ver beam that is one beam depth series shallower
than the moment frame beam depth to minimize
the addi•onal •exural loads imparted onto the
side plates, thus minimizing any increase to the
thickness of the side plates – refer to sample de-
tail to the right.







For can•lever beams deeper than the moment frame beam,
no addi•onal special considera•ons are required – refer to
sample detail to the le• for a typical detail used for these
condi•ons.






For same depth or iden•cal sized can•lever beams, this condi•on is discouraged because of the bo•om of the
can•lever beam will frame directly into the bo•om edge of the side plate, thus not allowing an appropriate CJP
welding of the can•lever beam’s bo•om •ange to the face of the side plate. If this condi•on is essen•al and can’t
be eliminated, please contact SidePlate Systems for addi•onal solu•ons that are available upon request.
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
8LAM
SPLA8 1A8, 8CL1S
Anu WLLulnC 8?
C1PL8S
CCLuMn
8LAM
LLLvA1lCn
8LAM
SPLA8 1A8, 8CL1S
Anu WLLulnC 8?
C1PL8S
CCLuMn
SluL ÞLA1L [A}

LLLvA1lCn
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Pg 10 of 12
Sloping Roofs and Exterior Floors:
Sloping roofs and sloping exterior framed •oors are typically sloped for drainage and/or architectural design pur-
poses up to a maximum of 1.5” per foot. Slopes greater than 1.5” per foot are possible. Please contact SidePlate
Systems for details.
SidePlate® moment frames can be easily sloped in a variety of ways as depicted below:
CCLuMn
A1 CCn18AC1C8'S
ulSC8L1lCn, SluL
ÞLA1L MA? 8L Cu1 AS
SPCWn
8LAM
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
8LAM
8LAM
CCLuMn
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
8LAM
8LAM
CCLuMn
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
8LAM
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
CCLuMn
8LAM
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
8LAM
CCLuMn
8LAM
SluL ÞLA1L
[A}
CCLuMn
Llnk 8LAM
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Pg 11 of 12
Perpendicular Braces to SidePlate Moment
Connections:
Diagonal bracing lateral load resis•ng elements (i.e.
wide •ange, HSS, BRB or dampers) framing perpen-
dicular to SidePlate® connec•ons can be easily ac-
commodated by u•lizing a detail such as :








Termination of Moment Frame Column and
Roofs
The termina•on of moment frame columns above the
top of steel need to be coordinated to ensure that the
top of the moment frame column assembly is within the
!nished •oor or roof eleva•on. For standard popped
out condi•ons, this distance is typically about 4” above
the top of steel – refer to popped out op•on detail to
the right.


For condi•ons where this distance is required to be
less than 4”, there is a recessed op•on which can
achieve a 2”-3” distance – refer to recessed op•on de-
tail to the le".
CCLuMn
8LAMAS CCCu8S
CCnnLC1lCn 8?
C1PL8S
LLLvA1lCn
ÞCÞÞLu Cu1 CÞ1lCn
CCLuMn WL8
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
PC8lZCn1AL
SPLA8 ÞLA1L [u}
ulM 8 MlnuS
8LAM uLÞ1P
1CÞ Cl CCLuMn
1CS
8LCLSSLu CÞ1lCn
CCLuMn WL8
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
PC8lZCn1AL
SPLA8 ÞLA1L [u}
ulM 8 MlnuS
8LAM uLÞ1P
1CÞ Cl CCLuMn
1CS
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Pg 12 of 12

SÞLlCL
SluL ÞLA1L [A}
CAÞ
A
x
8LAM
uLÞ1P
Llnk 8LAM
CCLuMn
l
AÞÞ8Cx
3" Mln
8
Termination of Moment Frame Biaxial Column and Roofs
For biaxial moment frame column applica•ons only, this distance is a minimum of 8” above the top of steel. Ev-
ery e•ort should be made in design to terminate such biaxial moment frame columns at a level below the roof to
preclude the addi•onal detailing that may be required at roof condi•ons.
Facade Attachements
When façade a!achments occur at perimeter moment frame columns, it should be noted that the top of the
horizontal shear plates (res•ng on top of the side plates) are typically 3”-4” above the top of steel and should
coordinated with the façade manufacturer.
For high seismic projects only, façade a!achments on moment frame beams need to be coordinated between
the architect and the structural engineer of record to preclude any welding to the beam "anges located within
the beam protected zone.
For condi•ons where this distance is required to be less than 4”, there is a recessed op•on which can achieve a
2”-3” distance – refer to recessed op•on detail previous page.
Location of Frame Beam Splice (as occurs):
The loca•on of frame beam splice, DIM F, can be approximated as follows:
• ½ •mes the frame column depth + horizontal extension of side plates (77% of beam depth) + 1.25 •mes the
frame beam depth
Call SidePlate Systems for project speci#c informa•on