I'm just a poor architect and will leave structural design and
detailing to the engineers.
I'm interested in facade detailing for water intrusion movement, and
I'm trying to become familiar with some of the techniques and materials
now in use
Since everyone is so responsive, the project is a set of six
apartments, two to a level above parking. A very inefficient
arrangement arrived at by non technical folk and negotiated with local
zoning authority. Project is in Charleston South Carolina area with
sub tropical climate, hurricanes and earthquakes.
Thanks again to all.
I know of an engineer in North Carolina who is familiar with steel stud
construction. If you are interested in talking to him send me a message
directly (off list) and I will send his contact info.
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
a steel structural systems is usually beams and columns...where the lateral
forces are resisted by moment connections and diagonal bracing...the spans
of steel decking is 5' to 15'....beams from 15' to 60' and plate girder 40'
to 100'...the steel deck rest on stringer..and stringer on floor beam and
floor beam on girder...a rectangular grid in side the building with
irregular facada is the main component...where the rectangular grid meets
the irregular facada is filled with short beams to form the irregualar
shape...all u have to do is set the span of the bays for the rectangular
grid...and leaves the rest to the structural engineer and steel detailing
This kind of construction is not unreasonable. In some areas light gage
construction is being use quite a bit.
The basic design is similar to wood stud structure i.e. where you have light
gage studs, sill and header tracks, light gage joists that can be used to
frame floors and roofs, you can have light gage steel roof trusses, you have
light gage beams and lintels. Light gage studs can be used for bearing walls
and walls that are not bearing. For floors you can use plywood sheathing
attached to the light gage joists and if connected correctly can serve as a
diaphragm to resist lateral forces. Similarly you can use plywood on the
exterior which can be used as a shear wall also to resist lateral forces.
In other areas where shear walls are not needed you can add gypsum sheathing
as substrate for the lath and stucco finish. Intermittently you can use
structural steel tubes ( HSS tubes ) where special beams and columns are
required. For diaphragm and shear wall values for lateral forces you can
contact the APA ( American Plywood Association ) where they have been
testing plywood shear walls on light gage steel structures.
Foundations are concrete with stem walls around the perimeter that receive
the steel stud tracks. You can have slab on grade for the first level or
you can provide a crawl space similar to wood construction.
Architecturally, door frames, window frames and architectural detail
components are similar to buildings that have different structural systems
but the interior walls are light gage studs that have door and window
frames. The only thing that will be necessary on the exterior is insulation,
flashing and waterproofing. And with stucco don't forget control joints.
I also suggest that a local structural engineer be involved in the project.
In as much it is similar to wood construction building departments don't
accept them as typical construction and the lateral force system provided is
To find light gage manufacturers all you need to do is go to Google.com and
type light gage construction/studs/systems ( or something similar ) and you
will get lots of manufacturers of light gage framing members. Catalogs are
Hope this helps.
Charles I. Dinsmore, PE SE RA ~ chuck email@example.com
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