Industrial Buildings and Structures

The complexity and limitations of industrial building requires the design engineer to be able to translate the actual requirements into the structural simulation. The equipment, cranes and floor vehicles inside the industrial buildings and structures are usually working under different conditions, and these conditions will be combining with the structural forces such as wind, seismic loads, making structural design of industrial buildings complicated.

While designing industrial building and structures, the requirements of building codes including dead, wind, snow, seismic and crane loadings need to be followed. When designing international projects, the engineers are often needed to understand the local standards so as to properly design the structures under the local code requirements. Local design codes for wind, seismic and mill general practice and standards are usually the major challenges for the design engineering’s. Experienced engineers will be able to sort out the general requirements and typical details by comparing the local design codes with the popular design codes such as IBC (USA), NBC (Canada), and etc. Not being able to understand these considerations will end up having the structures designed with local code violations and causing problems on quality and schedule.

Typical Loads:

  • The major difference between industrial buildings with cranes (crane buildings) and other industrial buildings is the frequency of loading caused by the cranes. The class of crane, the type of crane and loadings affect the design. The fatigue considerations associated with crane class (depending on estimated life span, rate of loading and number of load repetitions) is especially important with respect to design of crane girders and its’ connections to columns. For example the cranes of the following building types are recommended to be considered as the most severe class of crane.
  • Heavy-duty equipment is not only heavy, but also has different working conditions. The type of equipment supports and space limitation will need the design engineer to understand the working conditions and design the structure accordingly or provide the recommendations to accommodate the limitations.
  • Forklifts are the typically operated to handle heavy loads over a floor. The design engineer needs to understand the worst working condition and accessibility and design the structural members accordingly.

Building Materials:

Industrial buildings are often framed with steel, but sometimes, concrete buildings are also a choice for the location that the labor cost is low.

Type of Analyses

Manual calculations are often used to design simple structures, but comprehensive Finite Element Analysis programs are required for analysis and design of complicated industrial structures. According to the complexity of the actual structures, we choose to use ANSYS, SAP2000 or STAAD Pro to do the analysis of complex industrial structures.