The American Institute of Steel Construction meets stringent standards to maintain the best possible safety and durability for steel structures. The AISC’s specification for structural steel buildings offers an integrated approach. It takes into account both allowable stress design and load and resistance factor designs. So, what does this mean? Let’s break it down:
- Allowable stress design (ASD): This is a design where a structure’s stresses do not exceed the elastic limit.
- Load and resistance factor design: This particular design is where the structure’s proportions sustain all likely actions within an approved level of reliability.
The ultimate goal is a uniform practice in the design and construction of steel-framed structures.
Elements of AISC Standards
The AISC Standard for Steel Building Structures addresses trade practices and common concerns related to the fabrication and construction of structural steel. So, to get a clear picture, let’s discuss several crucial elements of the AISC Standard for Steel Building Structures.
The AISC’s general provisions outline essential factors to keep in mind throughout the remainder of the Standard for Steel Building Structures. For example, this section states that the builder is responsible for the means and safety of the construction. Additionally, the provisions mention the need for permanent marking of protected zones.
Classification of Materials
In the second section of its Standard for Steel Building Structures, the AISC defines structural steel. By their definition, structural steel consists of the structural frame elements necessary for supporting design loads. Examples listed in this section include:
- Bearing plates
- Permanent bracing
- Door frames
- Leveling plates
- Machinery supports
Design Documents and Specifications
This section outlines the intended use of structural design documents. Which, according to the AISC, should provide the following information:
- The size, material grade, and location of members
- Working points and geometry needed for layout
- Camber requirements
- Floor elevations
- Joining requirements
The guide acknowledges that contract documents (including design documents) will vary significantly based on the scope of the project. However, for bids to be accurate, contractors should be confident in the full accuracy of design documents.
Structural design documents are separate from architectural and mechanical design documents. Although, structural documents can still reference other types of design documents so as to better present construction information.
Also, the standards mandate that design drawings be legible and set to a clearly identifiable scale. Typically, these drawings use a 1/8 inch per foot scale, but there are situations in which a different scale is more appropriate.
The erection methods for fabricated structural steel should be both efficient and economical. The job site should be safe and easily accessible. This means providing adequate access roads that allow contractors to enter and exit the job site easily. Also, there should be a properly graded and drained space for the contractor to store necessary equipment. The erector should have a plan that includes all pertinent benchmark locations. This section also outlines procedures and requirements for the installation of foundation bolts and anchor rods.
The AISC’s guidelines mean little if they are not abided by throughout the entirety of the construction process. Quality control programs such as the AISC Quality Certification Program or the AISC Erector Certification Program ensure adherence to the guidelines. Some contractor documents mandate independent inspection. For that reason, fabricators and erectors must give inspectors full access to all work sites.
As the blueprint of any steel construction project, the contract is imperative to the safety and security of both the contractor and the client. The contract information provided by the AISC ensures fair treatment for contractors and clients throughout the entirety of the fabrication and erection process. This means:
- stipulating cost in a detailed manner (including price per item, price per pound, or lump sum),
- creating a procedure for revisions to contract documents and price adjustments,
- developing a detailed schedule,
- and outlining acceptable terms of payment.
Why the AISC’s Standard for Steel Building Structures Is Important
The considerations detailed above are just some of the stipulations set forth by the AISC. The Standard for Steel Building Structures also covers approvals, materials, fabrication methods and more. To the outsider, these rules may seem overwhelming and difficult to understand, but quality contractors are thoroughly familiar with the entirety of the AISC’s standards.
Furthermore, the best contractors take these standards seriously, as they recognize that their purpose is to create safe and durable structures. Clients who know their contractors abide by the AISC’s standards can rest assured their project work is efficient, affordable, and finished to an exceptional degree of quality.
With a combined 200 years of abiding by the American Institute of Steel Construction’s guidelines, Peak Steel has an exceptional reputation throughout North Carolina. Reach out today to learn how our team of experts at Peak Steel can accommodate your steel construction needs.