Organizational Model for Design Specifications

by Douglas J. Nyman, (A.M.ASCE), Struct. Engr.; Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., Anchorage, Alaska; formerly, Research Asst., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, Ill., and Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, Pa.,
Steven J. Fenves, (M.ASCE), Prof. and Head; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, Pa.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 4, Pg. 697-716

Document Type: Journal Paper


Design Specifications consist of sets of provisions or criteria based on analytical and experimental research and practical experience. In many cases, specifications are incorporated into building codes, thus serving as legal documents. The paper presents a model for more rational organization of the AISC Specification, and design specifications in general, both for written and computer-implementable form. The model requires that design or performance criteria be identified and classified according to a consistent set of bases. After such a classification is made, alternative organizations can be generated readily. The procedural steps needed to evaluate a criterion may be input to the model in the form of a set of decision tables. The model then allows the exploration of alternative ordering of the steps to be used as a guide for text-writing. Examples of the application of the model to segments of the AISC Specification are presented.

Subject Headings: Organizations | Computer models | Building codes | Legal affairs

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