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Section:

DESIGN PROCEDURES DP 5.3.1


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A. GENERAL

A1. References
Analysis and design of roof diaphragms is based on the most recent standards1 with applicable
design considerations listed in the following table.

Table 1
Limit State / Design Consideration References
Horizontal load distribution system
DP 5.3
Definitions: diaphragm, struts/collectors, chords
ASCE 7 12.3.1 and 12.3.1.1
Diaphragm condition (flexibility) ICC/MBMA Seismic Design Guide for Metal Building
Systems Introduction, II D
Roof diaphragm with brace rods DP 5.3.1.1
DP 5.4.3.1 and DP 5.4.3.S
Panel diaphragm design
Panel (brand) specific data in DP Sections 22 25
ASCE 7 12.6 (Table 12.6-1)
Analysis procedure - seismic
NBCC 4.1.8.7.(1) and DP 1.6.6
ASCE 7 12.3.1.3
Load distribution tributary loads
NBCC 4.1.8.11 (9) Comm. J (#178) and DP 1.6.6
ASCE 7 12.10.1.1
Diaphragm seismic design force (Fp)
NBCC 4.1.8.15.(1) and DP 1.6.6
Diaphragm seismic redundancy factor ( ) ASCE 7 12.3.4.1 or 12.10.1.1
Seismic structural plan (horizontal) irregularities DP 1.4.6
Torsional sensitivity for non-flexible diaphragms NBCC Table 4.1.8.6 (Type 7) and DP 1.6.6
Analysis model with diaphragm stiffness ASCE 7 12.7.3
Inherent and accidental torsion, torsion amplification ASCE 7 12.8.4.1, 12.8.4.2, 12.8.4.3
Torsional sensitivity and torsional effects NBCC 4.1.8.11.(8),(9),(10) and DP 1.6.6
ASCE 7 12.12.1
Story drift calculation with torsion
NBCC 4.1.8.13.(2) and DP 1.6.6
Structural wall definition DP 5.4.3
Anchorage of structural walls to diaphragms ASCE 7 12.11.2.1
Additional rules for diaphragms in SDC C through F ASCE 7 12.11.2.2.2 and DP 1.6.6 for NBCC
Use of subdiaphragms (with soldier columns) DP 5.5

1
ASCE/SEI 7 Standard: Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures (ASCE 7), and National
Building Code of Canada (NBCC).
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A2. Diaphragm Condition (Flexible or Rigid)


Diaphragm stiffness impacts the distribution of forces within diaphragms. Many design
requirements, particularly those related to seismic, depend on the diaphragm stiffness. While
many real-world diaphragms are neither fully flexible, nor rigid, the majority of BlueScope
buildings fit the ASCE 7 definition for flexible diaphragms (specific ASCE 7 references are
listed in Table 1).

The clarification of the same ASCE 7 provision found in the ICC/MBMA Seismic Design Guide
restates that metal building systems, whether they use through-fastened or standing seam
steel roof panels, can be assumed to qualify as a flexible diaphragm as long as the lateral-
force resisting systems (LFRS) are either braced frames or shear walls.

Alternatively, ASCE 7 allows a flexible diaphragm classification resulting from the comparison
of roof deflection against that of the LFRS (see Figure 1). For cases where the diaphragm
cannot be idealized as flexible or rigid, ASCE 7 requires that diaphragm stiffness or its effects
are included in the analysis model.

avg = 0.5 ( 1+ 2)
1 D= Maximum diaphragm
(Average drift or deflection
frame deflection)
2

Diaphragm check:
Seismic D > 2 avg FLEXIBLE
Loading avg > 0.5 D RIGID
Figure 1 Diaphragm flexibility evaluation (optional)

Diaphragm classification is carried out separately for each principal direction of loading. In
most cases the selection of resisting systems in the transverse direction is independent from
systems used in the longitudinal direction; hence, the diaphragm condition may be different.

Commentary:
For the transverse direction of loading, VISION automated design assumes that the roof diaphragm is flexible;
therefore, no additional checks are carried out.
To achieve accurate distribution of forces and deformations in the longitudinal direction, the analysis model
includes the representation of the stiffness and strength of the diaphragm truss elements, and the resisting
SFRS parallel to the direction of loading.

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Example: Single-slope building under consideration has a portal frame in the back sidewall and braced frame (rods) in the
front sidewall. Verify flexible roof diaphragm assumption using actual VISION design data.

Solution: VISION bracing analysis uses actual properties of the frame and bracing members to calculate load distribution,
displacements and reactions. The VISION on-screen bracing analysis report has a separate layer to show joint displacements
(turned off by default). The following information is given (for the seismic load case 0.7E>):

PORTAL FRAME

Maximum roof diaphragm


deflection:

D = 1.58 (1.06+0.5)/2
D = 0.80 in

BRACED FRAME

Back sidewall (PF-OMF)


PORTAL deflection:
FRAME
PF = 0.99 in

Front sidewall (OCBF, rods)


deflection:

OCBF = (0.34+0.26)/2
OCBF = 0.30 in

Calculate - average wall deflection: avg = 0.5 ( PF + OCBF) = 0.5 (0.99+0.30) = 0.645

Check diaphragm condition: D = 0.80 2 avg = 2 (0.645) = 1.29 Not good!

In order to utilize flexible roof diaphragm assumption, and all corresponding design simplifications, the portal frame should be
stiffened:
D 2 avg = PF + OCBF PF D - OCBF = 0.80 0.30 = 0.50

Based on the above values, portal frame deflection should not exceed (under the same load case).

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A3. Advantages of Designing with Flexible Diaphragms


As stated previously, diaphragm flexibility is primarily a seismic design issue, relevant to
buildings assigned to Seismic Design Categories C through F. All buildings assigned to
Seismic Design Category A are excluded, as well as most cases in Category B. The following
list summarizes Code provisions related to diaphragms, most of which provide an advantage
or at least notable simplification when compared to the alternatives. Comparable NBC
provisions are listed with provisions that apply in Canada.
(a) point reduction in overstrength factors o, can be used, but o 2.0 (ASCE 7
Table 12.2-1 footnote g). [No effect on braced frames; helps with moment frames].
This is automated in VISION for the longitudinal bracing, at the highest level.
(b) Horizontal combination of systems in the same direction of loading can be designed
using the least values of R for the different structural systems found in each
independent line of resistance, for Risk Category I and II buildings, if there are two
stories or less in height (ASCE 7, 12.2.3.3). The same section also states that
diaphragm design must use the lowest R for the direction under consideration. [For
example, X-bracing and PF in two sidewalls can be designed using their own R-factors. Diaphragm
will still use the lower R factors which is R=3.25].
VISION uses the lower R for all SFRS in the longitudinal direction of loading. Combinations are not
evaluated in the transverse direction.
(c) Seismic force can be calculated using the equivalent tributary loads (ASCE 7 and
NBCC references are listed in Table 1).
VISION uses tributary area approach for the transverse direction of loading. For the longitudinal
direction, the loads are distributed based on the assumed relative stiffness of the resisting SFRS.
(d) Torsional irregularity (Horizontal Irregularity Type 1a) is not applicable.
(e) Extreme torsional irregularity (Horizontal Irregularity Type 1b) is not applicable. NBC
of Canada defines only one level of torsional irregularity, i.e. torsional sensitivity
(Type 7), which need not be considered for flexible diaphragms (ASCE 7 and NBCC
references are listed in Table 1).
(f) Structures with extreme torsional irregularity (Horizontal Irregularity Type 1b) are
prohibited in Seismic Design Categories E or F. (ASCE 7, 12.3.3.1). NBCC
4.1.8.10.(2)(a) prohibits Post-disaster buildings with irregularity Type 7 where
IEFaSa(0.2) is equal or greater than 0.35.
(g) Inherent torsional moment Mt resulting from eccentricity between the location of the
center of mass and the center of rigidity need not be considered (ASCE 7 and
NBCC references are listed in Table 1).
This is automated in VISION for the longitudinal direction of loading.
(h) Accidental torsion Mta, based on 5% mass offset, each way, need not be considered
(ASCE 7 and NBCC references are listed in Table 1).
Not automated in VISION.
(i) Amplification of accidental torsion does not apply since accidental torsion moment
Mta is not required (ASCE 7, 12.8.4.3).
Not automated in VISION.
(j) Explicit modeling of diaphragm stiffness, including the additional dynamic degrees
of freedom, need not be included in the analytical model (ASCE 7, 12.7.3)
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Roof bracing stiffness is accounted for by VISION, for longitudinal direction of loading.
(k) 2-D analysis is permitted for all cases, including the analysis of orthogonal effects
(ASCE 7, 12.5.4), except when horizontal irregularities Type 1a, 1b, 4 or 5 are
present. [Since 1a and 1b are already excluded, Type 4 does not apply to one-story buildings, only
Type 5 (nonparallel systems) is possible.]
(l) Equivalent Lateral Force (ELF) Procedure is permitted for all buildings except for
buildings assigned to Occupancy III Category with torsional irregularities Type 1a or
1b. For torsionally sensitive structures (Type 7 irregularity) the Elastic Static Force
Procedure (ESFP=ELF) is permitted by NBCC only for cases where IEFaSa(0.2) is <
0.35 (regardless of building occupancy). (ASCE 7 and NBCC references are listed
in Table 1).
(m) Story drift can be computed for the center of the mass only. Since Torsional
irregularities Type 1a and 1b are excluded, drift calculation does not require
inclusion of torsional effects, or the investigation of the largest deflection at any of
the edges of the structure. Torsional effects must be included in the lateral
deflection calculation. (ASCE 7 and NBCC references are listed in Table 1).

If diaphragm is not flexible, items listed above must be addressed according to the
Code references included.

Not all items are applicable to every building and Seismic Design Category!

Commentary: If the building is 50 ft or less in span, and less than 16 ft in height, the roof diaphragm is
considered flexible, and torsional irregularities 1a and 1b are satisfied by inspection. More detailed analysis
would be inappropriate and unproductive for such small buildings.

B. ROOF DIAPHRAGMS

B1.1 Roof X-bracing


This option is the choice for most BlueScope buildings due to its versatility, simple erection and
low cost. It comes in two versions: rod bracing is standard; angle bracing is recommended for
heavy loading only. Due to negligible axial compression and flexural strength of long slender
rod or angle braces, design is based on the tension-only assumption.

The Design Procedures section on Roof Diaphragm with Brace Rods Bracing (ref. listed in
Table 1) covers design and other relevant consideration for this selection. Use of angle braces
in roof diaphragms is covered in the same section.

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B1.2 Roof panel diaphragm


Roof covering with adequate shear strength and stiffness can be used to distribute horizontal
(diaphragm) forces throughout the roof plane, which depends on the diaphragm (building)
geometry, discontinuities in the roof plane (cuts and openings, if any), and on the type of roof
covering system and its connection within and to the perimeter elements (walls or chords).

(a) Selected BlueScope roof panels, primarily the screw-down roofs, can be used as
roof diaphragms, which is adequate for load transfer in smaller buildings, and/or
when the loads are light.

When roof panel diaphragm strength is used, ensure that the appropriate panel
attachment details are used and the panel strength and stiffness matches the
selected type and arrangement of connectors.

For use of standard BlueScope panel diaphragms, follow the reference in Table 1.

(b) Roof panels By Builder can be used as roof covering, however, only a panel
system with verified strength and stiffness can be permitted to resist and transfer
roof diaphragm forces.

If the metal roof system has no verifiable strength and stiffness another horizontal
bracing system must be selected, such as roof X-bracing or the metal deck attached
directly to the roof secondary members.

If a combination of the metal panel diaphragm and X-bracing is used in the


same plane, only one system strength and stiffness will be accounted for because
of the stiffness incompatibility.

C. DIAPHRAGM ANALYSIS AND DESIGN

Diaphragms act as deep beams or trusses and they are subject to shears, bending moments,
direct stress and deformations.

C1. Non-seismic Design


Design for wind loads, live loads or any other type of loads, except the earthquake loads,
imposes no additional requirements for diaphragm analysis and design, beyond the common
rules and specification provisions.

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C2. Seismic Design


For diaphragms in all Seismic Design Categories (except for SDC A), Building Codes prescribe
the design force Fpx; including the minimum and the maximum force (ASCE 7 and NBCC
references are listed in Table 1), and several diaphragm specific detailing requirements,
outlined below.
(a) Diaphragm forces are calculated separately for each principal direction of loading.
(b) For single story buildings, the Code prescribed diaphragm force Fpx is the same as
the base shear (Fpx (x=1) = Fp= V), for the direction of loading under consideration.
Where SFRS used along two principal directions of loading have different response
modification factors (R), the seismic response coefficient (Cs) will likely be different
for each direction of loading.
(c) Canadian standard requires that diaphragm is designed for the full capacity of the
SFRS connected to prevent diaphragm yielding. This criterion is normally satisfied
see explanation in DP 1.6.6.
(d) In transfer diaphragms, loads transferred through diaphragm from the vertical
resisting elements above the diaphragm to other vertical resisting elements below
the diaphragm due to offsets in the placement of the elements or to changes in
relative lateral stiffness in the vertical elements (example shown in Figure 2), must
be added to the previously calculated diaphragm force

=1.3
Transfer
diaphragm
( =1.3)
Direction of
loading

=1.3

Figure 2 Transfer diaphragm example

(e) Redundancy factor is equal to 1.0 for roof diaphragms (follow Table 1 reference
for ASCE 7 seismic loads). The exception is with transfer diaphragms (see Figure 2)
which must use the redundancy factor of the adjacent vertical systems.
(f) Roof diaphragms with large openings or significant variation in stiffness may result
in structural (horizontal) irregularity (see DP 1.4.6 and DP 1.6.6 (NBC Canada)
about Structural Irregularities. If structural irregularity is confirmed, and the
diaphragm is not classified as flexible or rigid, additional modeling criteria may be
required for analysis

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D. DIAPHRAGMS AND STRUCTURAL WALLS

D1. Requirements for Diaphragm Connections to Structural Walls


For structural walls (defined and explained elsewhere, see references in Table 1), Building
Codes bring additional requirements for the anchorage of walls to diaphragms.

D1.1 Anchorage of structural walls


The anchorage of structural walls must be designed for the force Fp given by ASCE 7
Eq. 12.11-1. The minimum and maximum values apply.

D1.2 Transfer of forces into diaphragms (SDC C through F)


Regardless of diaphragm flexibility, the following must be provided for:

(a) Continuous ties or struts between diaphragm chords to distribute the


anchorage forces into the diaphragms. Diaphragm connections shall be positive,
mechanical, or welded.

(b) Anchorage forces can enter diaphragms via subdiaphragms. Added chords are
used to form subdiaphragms to transmit the anchorage forces to the main
continuous cross-ties.

Maximum length-to-width ratio of structural subdiaphragms should not exceed 2.5 to


12. Also, connections capable of resisting the prescribed forces shall be provided
between the diaphragm and the attached components. Connections shall extend
into the diaphragm a sufficient distance to develop the force transferred into the
diaphragm.

Subdiaphragms are diaphragms; therefore, provisions for design of subdiaphragm


boundary elements, i.e., collectors, apply here. For design of Struts and Collectors
refer to Design Procedures section listed in Table 1.

2
The code prescribed aspect ratio is applicable to cased where diaphragm is anchored to concrete or masonry
walls. For buildings with metal walls, there is no Code prescribed limit, however, 3:1 is recommended as an upper
limit for the subdiaphragm aspect ratio.
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D1.3 Increased force (1.4 times) for steel elements of anchorage system
Regardless of diaphragm flexibility, for SDC C through F, the anchorage force Fp
(mentioned on the previous page) is further multiplied by 1.4, for selected elements in
the load path between the wall anchor and diaphragm.

These provisions also apply to subdiaphragms!

In common configurations shown in Figure 3, these increased forces apply to:

(a) Endwall connection with ledger angle design:


Purlin connection to ledger angle (bolts, connection bearing, purlin clip and clip
welds to ledger angle)
Ledger angle for localized effects (bending, etc)
Ledger angle connection to wall embeds (welded or bolted, as applicable)

(b) Sidewall connection of spandrel beam to frame:


Spandrel beam design for concentrated forces at anchor locations (local flange
and web checks, including web-to-flange weld)
Spandrel beam connection to embedded plate (welded or bolted, as applicable)

Steel plates embedded in the wall also require these increased forces, however, it is
normally part of the structural wall design; thus, By Builder.

None of the requirements listed in this section (D1) apply to non-structural walls!

Load path
elements
Roof rod
for
(optional)
anchorage
Purlin forces

Ledger
Structural Spandrel
angle
Wall beam

a) Endwall detail b) Sidewall detail


Figure 3 Common structural wall anchorage details

Commentary: VISION applies out-of-plane seismic wall forces for design of spandrel beams and their
connections, but the additional design requiring 1.4 times larger force is not automated.

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Document and Revision History


REV. # DATE NAME DESCRIPTION
0 10/09 Igor Marinovic Original Document
1 08/01/11 Allen Harrold Update for S16-09 / 2010 NBCC.
2 02/07/12 Igor Marinovic Update for ASCE 7-10: a) revised references, b) fully revised wall anchorage provisions

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