Taxonomy, Maybe

If it’s difficult or impossible to easily categorize the structural types in buildings, as I suggested yesterday, then how do you do it? I guess the first question to answer is why would you do it? Being able to categorize the structure of existing buildings greatly speeds investigation, alteration design, and repair design. Since most …

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Taxonomy, Not

The distinctions between the different truss types used in bridges are clear and easy to define. That is not true for building frames and it seems to me that the reason why not is useful in contrasting bridge structural design with building structural design. I’m limiting the discussion below to steel framing, but it could …

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Less Than It Seems

I didn’t intend to take that picture on a pseudo-artistic slant, but it’s more trouble than it’s worth to straighten it out. The old buildings on the right are pretty much plumb in reality. Also, the picture isn’t reversed – the Stone Street Tavern has this sign painted backwards because this facade, on Pearl Street, …

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An Unexpected “Un-“

This post was triggered by a spot-on question from Julia Manglitz about my comments on the fourth Rocky River Bridge. The main structure of that bridge consists of unreinforced concrete arches, and Julia asked “I’m curious about any thoughts you have on the relative durability of reinforced versus non? It seems as though reinforcement corrosion …

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Precision Garbage

I read “What Is the Difference Between Accuracy and Precision?” by Anne Marie Helmenstine yesterday (steered there by Bill Harvey), and of course I immediately started thinking about structural design in that light. I remember one of my professors saying, circa 1985, that our calculations simply weren’t accurate so we shouldn’t be worrying about every decimal …

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