Preliminary Plastic Design of Tall Steel Frames

by M. Bassam El Hafez, Private Citizen; Beirut, Lebanon,
Graham H. Powell, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 9, Pg. 1837-1850

Document Type: Journal Paper


An automated procedure for the preliminary plastic design of tall steel buildings is presented. The procedure is based on linear programming to minimize the beam weights, followed by selection of column sizes to provide a strong column-weak beam design. The procedure is computer oriented, but in one of its variations can be applied quite easily by hand. Several parameters may be selected by the designer, permitting him to exercise substantial control over the design procedure and to produce a variety of different designs for any given structure. Constraints to limit the lateral drift under working load may be included if desired. The assumptions and limitations of the procedure are listed, and the equations on which it is based are presented. A series of seven different designs for a typical frame are reviewed and compared with designs obtained for the same frame by other workers.

Subject Headings: Plastic design | Steel frames | Building design | Beam columns | Smart buildings | Steel structures | Linear functions | Computer programming

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