Are Your Connections Too Much?
The Price Tag of Designing For Maximum

In some regions of the country, it is common practice for building engineers to not address the connection design of steel beams to the supporting columns or girders in their structural drawings. Instead, they delegate responsibility for the connection design to the contractor or fabricator, who must then hire another engineer to complete the design. This method is called “delegated connection design.”

When delegated connection design is used, building engineers are still responsible for establishing the required design loads for the connections. In many cases, building engineers tell the connection designers to use the maximum loads that the beam can support (capacity) instead of noting what is actually needed at each beam (demand).

These loads are often overly conservative, especially for shorter beams which are able to support larger loads. The result is often several rounds of questions back and forth to determine actual demands (wasting time) and/or connections that are designed for much more load than they will ever need to support (wasting money).

Owners, ask your building engineer if they are delegating the connection design!

If they are, make sure that they are providing specific design loads for connections, especially for short beams. This can save you both time and money.

Whether you need a stair design, metal building foundation, metal building retrofit, delegated connection design or anything steel, you can count on Vector to communicate effectively with all parties and optimize your design while ensuring the safety and well being of the public.