Industrial - Structure in its Wider Context.

Industrial structural steelwork is inherently inflexible, being purpose-designed for a particular function or process, and indeed often being detailed to suit quite specific items of major plant and equipment. Nevertheless, it is important to try to cater for at least local flexibility to allow minor alterations in layout, upgrading or replacement of plant items.The most appropriate way to ensure this is to repeat the advice that has been given on numerous occasions already in this chapter. The designer must understand the industrial process involved and be aware of both structural and layout solutions that have been adopted elsewhere for similar processes. Previous structural solutions may not be right, but it is preferable to be aware of them and positively to reject them for a logical reason, than to reinvent the wheel at regular intervals.

General robustness in industrial buildings may be difficult to achieve by the normal route of adopting simple, logical shapes and structural forms, with well- defined load-paths and frequent effective bracing or other stability provisions.

Instead of these provisions, then, it is sensible to ensure that a reasonable margin exists on element and connection design. Typically, planning for a 60–80% capacity utilization at the initial design stages will be appropriate, so that even when these allowances are reduced, as so frequently occurs, during the final design and checking stages, adequate spare capacity still exists to ensure that no individual element or joint can weaken disproportionately the overall structural strength of the building.

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