Thursday, 24 September 2015

New Publication - Serviceability Design Criteria for Low Rise Steel Building Systems

Serviceability is an important aspect of design. It is only eclipsed by design for strength which is paramount. Design for serviceability addresses the performance of the structure with respect to its use, its interaction with non-structural elements and maintenance.

According to NBC 2010, Part 4, Structural Design, Sentence (1), a building and its structural components shall be checked for serviceability limit states (SLS) as defined in Clause (1)(a) under the effect of service loads for serviceability criteria specified or recommended in Articles and and in the standards listed in Section 4.3.

The National Building Code lists four areas of consideration when sizing structural members for serviceability limit states (SLS):
  1. the intended use of the building or member;
  2. limiting damage to non-structural members made of materials whose physical properties are known at the time of design;
  3. limiting damage to the structure itself;
  4. creep, shrinkage, temperature changes and pre-stress.
Download our CSSBI B15B-15 Serviceability Design Criteria for Low Rise Steel Building Systems to learn more about how to design for serviceability using a steel building system.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Project Profile: Sault College Academic Building

Eye-catching Resourceful and Innovative Design

Sault College Academic Building - Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Architect: Tillmann Ruth Robinson with EPOH Inc. Architects and Consulting Engineers 
General Contractor: Ellis Don 
Steel Cladding Supplier: Agway Metals Inc. 
Light Steel Framing (girts and channels) Supplier & Installer: Flynn Canada 
Photography: Shai Gil Photography

Taking their cue from the breath-taking local landscape, the team at Tillmann Ruth Robinson Architects gave a much-needed facelift to Sault Ste. Marie College. The new 6,968m2 (75,000 sq. ft.) $21M academic building was designed to blend the new with the old. The new building includes a spacious front entry and exhibit space, plus flexible classrooms for aviation. A 743m2 (8,000 sq. ft.) interactive learning commons was added to provide the students with casual space to interact.

“This was the first time the college had a new building added to it in many years. It is an important gateway building for the college itself. We situated the building at the front entry. We wanted the design to reflect the college, as well as the community of Sault Ste. Marie, and its location”, explains Scott Robinson, Director of Design for Tillmann Ruth Robinson. “It is a blend of contemporary and natural materials. Along with the steel cladding we used natural stone and wood to reflect the surrounding geographical area.”

“Kids are hanging out in the common area. They now have a place to meet and socialize after class. It has a big impact on how students feel about the college, which is rewarding,” Robinson says. “The new area provides some non-academic social spaces that aren’t quite as formal as libraries. When people say they feel good about being there, that inspires us.” 

The Tillmann Ruth Robinson team faced a number of obstacles – but successfully completed the project in fourteen months to finish by March 2011. “The challenges we had were a tight budget as well as a tight timeframe. We had an aggressive construction schedule,” Robinson says. “We will take the architectural vocabulary we created here and use it on additional buildings on the campus.” 

“Not only does the new building provide great curb appeal, it is truly distinguishable as a Northern Ontario College,” states Dr. Ron Common, President, Sault College, “Sustainable design elements have been included in the planning of this complex that incorporates a local flavour such as indigenous plants, wood roofing, steel cladding and copper, the latter having historical significance to First Nations people, who account for 20% of Sault College students.” 

For the modern look of the building, Robinson and his team favoured steel, which was both costeffective and flexible enough to allow for innovative design. “Using steel allowed us to customize the panels and siding for a fresh modern look. It complemented the natural materials of stone and wood,” he says. “The more-modern materials reflect the forward-thinking vision of the school.” The preformed, prefinished steel cladding is 0.76mm (.0299”) Z275 (G90) galvanized with the 10000 Series paint system.

     PMC-1: Agway HF-IINF, colour: QC3659 Grey Berry
     PMC-2: Agway HF-15NF, colour: QC3661 Pebble
     PMC-3: Agway 7-175, colour: QC3661 Pebble Material is .76mm (.0299”) prepainted Z275 
                   (G90) galvanized ASTM A653/653M Grade A
Steel subgirts (“Z” bars, angles and channels) were manufactured from Z275 (G90) galvanized sheet steel in accordance with requirements of ASTM A653M Grade A, Structural Steel Quality Grade 22 (230).

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Cement, steel oppose taller wood buildings

The province of Quebec has recently changed Building Codes to allow for taller wood structures. It is the opinion of the steel and cement industries that this change has real potential to negatively affect the public's safety and unfairly favours the wood industry in Quebec over the many steel and cement companies operating in Quebec and contributing to the economy there.

Below is an excerpt from an article from the Cambridge Times posted on August 19, 2015.

MONTREAL - Canada's cement and steel sectors say Quebec is favouring one industry and possibly putting public safety at risk by allowing wood to be used in the construction of buildings up to 12 storeys high.

The Cement Association of Canada said Wednesday that the province's new guide for the construction of taller wood buildings is primarily aimed at supporting Canada's forest industry.
"The government has a duty to protect the health of its citizens, not that of a particular industry," said association president Michael McSweeney.

The association added that the use of cross-laminated timber building systems is no more environmentally friendly than other building systems already recognized in the code, when considering the full life cycle of a building.

Hellen Christodoulou, Quebec regional director of Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, added that not enough research has been completed to ensure the safety of taller wooden buildings.
"The government has not studied this well. It's just a political move and it's problematic," she said in an interview.

Christodoulou added that the wood sector receives heavy subsidies not shared with the concrete and steel industries, which contribute substantially to the economy through taxes and jobs.

The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) has also created a webpage with links to many other articles on this subject.