• Composite buildings are defined as a those buildings with a blend of structural steel and reinforced concrete. • Composite construction consist of structural steel beams and R.C. slab with shear connectors in between. • The first composite system was developed for the bridge construction, was readily adopted for buildings. • Its success inspired engineers to develop composite building systems by combining structural steel and reinforced concrete in a variety of vertical building systems.

Composite Building Systems
• 1. 2. 3. 4. Composite building systems in use today may be conveniently classified in to the following categories: Shear wall-frame interacting systems. Tube systems. Vertically mixed systems. Frames with super column.

Shear wall-Frame interacting system
• This system has applications in buildings that do not have cores sufficiently large to resist the total lateral loads; interaction of shear walls with other moment frames located in the interior or at the exterior of the building. • For interior frame, usually the columns and girders are of steel because of high cost of formwork for enclosing the columns and girders. • These system is used for both concrete structure and composite structure.

Shear wall-Frame interacting system

First City Tower, Houston
• • • • • Architect: morris-aubry Year of completion: 1981 No. of stories: 49 Height of building: 202m Frame material: shear wall with rigid frames, composite column • Building is parallelogram in plan.

Floor plan of first city tower

The final scheme has the following component
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Composite floor framing system, consisting of steel beams and concrete slab on formed steel deck interconnected with shear studs. Composite stub girder system, consisting of rolled steel beams connected to floor slab with a series of studs welded to the beam. Composite columns consisting of steel rolled shapes embedded in R.C. columns. Composite frame consisting of composite columns and moment connected steel beams. Composite shear walls consisting of R.C shear walls with steel link beams. Composite const. that allows initial growth of steel followed by placing of conc to form composite columns and shear walls.

Tube System
• A framing system used extensively in louisiana and texas is the composite concrete tube. • In this system, closely spaced columns around the perimeter and deep spandrels form the backbone of the system • There are two types of tube systems: 1. composite columns with concrete spandrels. 2. composite columns with steel spandrels.

Composite columns with concrete spandrels
• In the design of the concrete spandrel, its strength and stiffness contribution is generally neglected due to its relatively small size.

Composite Tube With Concrete Spandrels

Composite column connection with concrete spandrels

Composite columns with steel spandrels
• A small steel section can be used as a steel spandrel to stabilize the steel columns. • In both system, speed of construction is maintained by erecting a steel skeleton first with interior steel columns, steel floor framing and light exterior columns. • Usually steel frame is erected some 10-12 stories ahead of the perimeter concrete tube. • The success in this system lies in the rigidity of closely spaced exterior columns, which together with deep spandrel results in an exterior facade that behaves more like a bearing wall with punched windows than a moment frame.

Composite columns with steel spandrels

Composite column connection with steel spandrels

The America Tower, Houston, Texas
• Designed by: walter p. moore and associates. • Year of completion: 1983 • Height of building: 590 ft. • No. of stories: 42 • Frame material: composite columns with concrete spandrels.

Composite tube system for America tower
• In this system a concrete exterior tube consisting of closely spaced columns and deep spandrels forms the essential wind bracing system. • Fast erection of the steel frame is achieved by using light structural columns around the perimeter. • The system used for america tower is the prefabricated tree column system. • A typical tree column consists of a 2 storey column concept. • The major difference in the mixed tube construction is that the column sizes are small compared to an all steel scheme, resulting in savings in the fabrication and erection of steel members.

• Another features that has resulted in considerable savings is the use of a hybrid tubular frame on the perimeter of the building. • Composite columns used in the typical levels are integrated in to pure structural steel columns at the second level. • Although the savings in the structural cost for this scheme appeared to be only marginal from the comparative study, the contractor elected to use this scheme because his recent job experience on another similar high rise project had proved that a hybrid frame is more economical than a full height composite scheme.

Tree Column System Concept

Connection of composite column to steel column



Vertically Mixed system
• Mixed use buildings provide for two or more types of occupancies in a single building by vertically stacking different amenities. • Since different types of occupancies economically favor different types of construction, it seems logical to mix construction vertically up the building height. • In certain types of buildings, use of concrete for the lower levels and structural steel for the upper levels may provide an optimum solution. • The bracing for the concrete portion of the building is provided by the shear walls, while a braced steel core provides the lateral stability for the upper levels.

• A suggested technique of transferring steel columns on to a concrete wall consists of embedding steel columns for one or two levels below the transfer level. • Shear studs to the embedded steel column provide for the transfer of axial loads from the steel column to the concrete walls.

Vertically mixed system

Shear wall – Bracing Concept

Frames with super columns
• The most efficient method of resisting lateral loads in tall buildings is to provide “super columns”. • These columns are connected with a shear resisting system such as welded steel girders, vierendeel frames or diagonals. • This idea has given rise to a whole new category of composite systems characterized by their use of super columns.

• The construction of super columns can take on many forms. • One system uses large diameter thin walled pipes or tubes filled with high strength concrete generally in the range of 41 to 138 Mpa compressive strength. • Another method is to form the composite column using conventional forming techniques; the only difference is that steel columns embedded in the super column are used for the erection of steel framing and for additional axial and shear strength.


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