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effects due to dead, live and wind load, respectively, YDYL

and are the load factors for the maximum loads ; Yz, 'YI

because the live load which is expected on the member at any particular point in time is less than the maximum live load. The load

combination which involves the wind load thus reflects the fact that it is not

expected that the maximum live load and the maximum wind load will act simultaneously:

Traditionally this unexpected simultaneity has been dealt with by multiplying the

factor of safety by 3/4 or by increasing allowable stresses by 4/3.

The method

suggested here is a better reflection of what actually takes place.

The proposed design process thus defines the appropriate limit states, and hence

it is often named Limit States Design.

Limit states design, in itself, is nothing

fundamentally new but is a procedure which, in effect, requires the designer to

consider explicitly several different modes of possible structural behavior during

design. The particular method above also identifies resistance factors and load

factors, and so it is called Load and Resistance Factor Design; it is one (of several)

limit states design criteria formats.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of limit states:

(1) ultimate limit

states under which the structure or component is judged to have failed in its capacity

to carry load; and (2) serviceability limit states under which the function of the

building is impaired.

The recommendations in this report are confined to the ultimate

limit states as these are of particular concern in standards and specifications which

are intended to protect the public from physical harm.

The recommended load and resistance factor design format which incorporates

limit states, resistance factors, load factors and load combinations is a formalization

of trends evident in many structural specifications in the United States.

It provides a

means whereby it is possible to achieve more uniform performance and reliability in structural

design than is possible with just one factor of safety. This has long been recognized in

reinforced concrete design.

Current research in metal structures has also produced

tentative rules which apply to steel, cold-formed steel, and aluminum structures.


thesis of this report is that it is also desirable to provide common load combinations and

load factors which can be used in connection with all material specifications.

This point

will be elaborated upon subsequently.

The recommended approach requires that procedures be available to determine values

for the resistance factors and the load factors.

The development of the load criterion

is carried out within the context of probabilistic limit states design.

This is because

the reliability of a structure or element is defined in a natural way by the probability

of not achieving any of its limit states.

The procedure used herein is based on modern

engineering reliability analysis methods which have been developed, tested and refined

over the last decade.

The details of the method are described el

re in this report.

For our purposes here it suffices to say that given a structural member or element designed

according to a current structural specification, it is possible to compute the relative

reliability of this design from data defining probability distributions and statistics of

the resistance, the loads and the load effects.

This relative reliability is expressed as

a number called the reliability index, B.

This index usually varies from 2 to 8, depending

on the structure type and loading. By repeatedly determining B for many structural designs,

the relative reliability of different structural members built from different structural

materials can be compared.

If representative values of B are now selected, reflecting the

averaged reliability of satisfactory current designs, it is again possible by using reliability

analysis methods to compute resistance and load factors.

It should be clearly pointed out

that this process is elaborate, and it is performed as a research operation for use by

standard and specification-writing bodies.

The designer would only use the standard

specified values of $ and r in the structural design operation.

The underlying average reliability B is (1) not necessarily the same for all types of

building materials (and there is no reason to force the design profession to adopt a

uniform value), and (2) the values of $ and y depend not only on B but also on the load

and the resistance statistics.

Thus, it is quite likely that if the methodology were

applied to each material separately, different values of the load factors y would be

obtained for, say, steel structures and masonry structures.

This is an entirely logical

consequence of the probabilistic methodology used.

However, the use of different load

factors for different structural material specifications is undesirable in the design

office and results in confusion, especially in structures where the design calls for a mix

of materials, say reinforced concrete, structural steel and aluminum (e.g., slabs, frame

and curtain walls).

It thus was deemed desirable to determine uniform load factors which

could be included in the A58 Standard for all structural materials and to provide a means

whereby individual material specification writing groups could select suitable nominal

resistances and resistance factors corresponding to the load criterion and whatever values

of B they desire.

The use of common load factors would simplify the design process,

particularly when more than one construction material is used in a structure.


standard groups in the United States agree that the A58 Standard is the logical place for

this load criterion ina smuch as it is a national standard and requires consensus approval

and public review of the criteria prior to their implementation.

Summary of Procedure:

The details of achieving the objectives discussed above are given in the body of this

report, with further details and statistics being provided in the Appendices. The following

is only an abbreviated description of the procedure.

This consists basically of using a

probabilistic safety analysis to guide the selection of load factors that produce desired

levels of uniformity in safety which are consistent with existing general practice.

Step 1

Estimate the level of reliability implied by the use of the various current

design standards and specifications (e.g. ACI Standard 318, AISC Specifications, etc., and

loads from ANSI Standard A58.1-1972) for various common types of members and elements

(e.g., beams, columns, beam-columns, walls, fillet welds) using


a particular common reliability calculation scheme (Chapter 2);


common and realistic best estimates of distribution types and parameters

(Chapter 3 and Appendices);


the reliability index B as a safety measure for comparison.

Step 2

Observe the B-levels over ranges of material, limit states, nominal load

ratios (e.g., live-to-dead, wind-to-dead, snow-to-dead), load combinations, and geographical

locations (Chapter 4).

From Steps 1 and 2 it was found that a level of B =

3.0 was consistent with average

current practice for load combinations involving dead plus live or dead plus snow loads,

while B = 2.5 and B = 1.75 were appropriate for combinations containing wind and earthquake

loads, respectively.

Step 3 Based on the observed B levels, determine load factors consistent with the

implied safety level and the selected safety checking format.

These load factors are

compatible with the nominal load definitions in the proposed ANSI A58.1-1980 Standard

currently being developed.

From Step 3 the following load combinations and load factors were derived (see Chapter

5 for details)

[blocks in formation]

Step 4 Display the relationships between the implied B-levels for these load factors

and nominal loads for the material statistics (mean resistances, coefficients of variation)

against alternate 0-factors.

These charts are given in Chapter 5, together with example

determinations of $ for several structural types and materials.

This information generally

would be sufficient to enable a specification writing group, if it so desires, to select

$-factors without further computer operations.

Some Particular Critical Issues


The selected load factors do not prevent material specification writing groups from

selecting their own $ factors together with their own desired values of B.

There is no

intent here to dictate particular values of 0 or B to be used in material specifications.

Only the load factors are presented along with preliminary resistance variable information

and a method by which B can be estimated for any particular o that might be proposed by

the material groups for their own specifications.

If this procedure is used,


groups do not have to deal with loads to harmonize their own safety levels among their

various limit states.

If desired, for example, different values of B could be used for

bending and shear in concrete structures, or members and connectors in steel structures.

The information given also permits the observation of relative safety levels in current

practice in several material technologies which may assist material specification groups

in selecting their own values of B and $ for design.


The results of this work, as detailed in the main report, show some differences in B

levels from material to material, limit state to limit state, member type to member type,

and especially, from load type to load type.

In particular, reliability with respect to

wind or earthquake loads appears to be relatively low when compared to that for gravity loads

(i.e., dead, live and snow loads), at least according to the methods used for structural

safety checking in conventional design.

These are methods which are simplified representations

of real building behavior and they have presumably given satisfactory performance in the


It was decided to propose load factors for combinations involving wind and earth

quake loads that will give calculated B values which are comparable to those existing in

current practice, and not to attempt to raise these values to those for gravity loads by

increasing the nominal loads or the load factors for wind or earthquake loading.

Based on

the information given here the profession may well feel challenged (1) to justify more

explicitly (by analysis or test) why current simplified wind and seismic calculations may

be yielding conservative estimates of loads, resistances and safety; (2) to justify why

current safety levels for gravity loads are higher than necessary if indeed this is true;

(3) to explain why lower safety levels are appropriate for wind and earthquake vis-à-vis

gravity loads, or (4) to agree to raise the wind and seismic loads or load factors to

achieve a similar reliability as that inherent in gravity loads.

While the writers feel

that arguments can be cited in favor and against all four options, they decided that this

report was not the appropriate forum for what should be a profession-wide debate.

The method of obtaining the load factors and resistance factors presented in this

report is general in its applicability. However, the data used herein restrict the utilization

of the results to buildings and similar structures.

They are not intended for vehicular

loads on bridges, transients in reactor containments, and other loads which are considered

to be outside the scope of the A58 Standard.

Future Action

The writers expect that the loading criterion presented in this report will be carefully

scrutinized by numerous professional organizations and individuals who have interest in or

are affected by the scope and provisions of the A58 Standard.

The writers feel that a

discussion of the recommendations is extremely important, in view of the implications that

the adoption of these recommendations would have on structural design in the United States.

The decision as to whether to incorporate the load criterion in a future edition of

the A58 Standard lies with the A58 Standard Committee.

After an appropriate period of

review and public discussion, a draft provision will be prepared containing the load

combinations and load factors which will be submitted for ballot by the A58 Standard

Committee in accordance with ANSI voluntary consensus standard approval procedures. If

approved, the load criterion will become part of the A58 Standard.

It will then be up to

material specification writing groups to decide whether they wish to adapt their standards

to this load criterion in the interest of harmonizing structural design.

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