Structural Framing Studies



Our Engineers have been using a method of comparing alternative framing concepts to determine the most economical framing system since the early 80's that has produced excellent results.

In order to determine the most economical framing system, we feel you have to compare complete systems instead of typical bays. For example, the cost of a concrete system can vary substantially with the type of wind bracing system utilized (i.e. moment frame vs. concrete shear wall), post-tensioning vs. conventional reinforcing, and the usual differences between various concrete framing systems.

Often the additional weight of a concrete frame will add cost to the foundation over the cost of a foundation for a steel building. This has to be considered.

We also realize that a thorough comparison has to include certain architectural cost as well. For example, the varying depth of alternate framing systems impacts the cost of curtain wall and other building elements due to the difference in floor to floor height. Concrete shear walls around core and stair elements displaces the cost of shaft wall so this has to be a part of the comparison, and so on.

So, our approach to Alternative Analysis includes a comparison of all cost that are impacted by the alternatives.

The next few pages are from a recent report on a 15 story office building. Eleven schemes were considered. But each scheme had two options to consider higher load carrying capacity than the basic 50 psf plus 20 psf. So, in effect, 33 schemes were priced.

Due to this approach, the owner was able to make a confident decision on which system best met their requirements.

We have seen this approach identify the most economical system on many projects. Often the most economical system is not what one would expect. This proves the value of using this system and not preconceived notions.