Structural connections for precast concrete buildings

© fédération internationale du béton (fib), 2008.

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Connections are among the most essential parts in precast structures. Their performance relates to the structural limit states, as well as to manufacture, erection and maintenance of the structure itself. Proper design of connections is one major key to a successful prefabrication.

The literature on this matter mostly illustrates classical solutions, often well known, but an explanation of a general design philosophy for the design of connections was necessary. In fact, the engineer, confronted with particular problems in his daily practice, does not always have the theoretical basis to find the most appropriate solutions.

fib Commission 6 “Prefabrication” therefore formed a Task Group – TG 6.2 – who drafted this Guide to Good Practice with the goal of filling this gap. Its philosophy focuses on the knowledge of the behaviour of a whole structure, of the mechanisms and paths of force transfer within the connections and of their interaction with the structural members. Indeed, such knowledge is the base for assessing the safety and reliability of usual types of connections and to develop innovative design.

The Task Group has been working during several years, to collect and discuss information and studies about the different aspects intervening in the design of structural connections for precast concrete structures. The result is a voluminous document, with a comprehensive survey of basic principles and design guidelines, illustrated by several examples of adequate solutions.

 Throughout these years, the Commission, chaired by the undersigned persons, supported the activity of the Task Group with comments and discussion. However the merit for the finalization of the work into this Guide must be acknowledged as mainly due to the tenaciousness of its Convener, Prof. Björn Engström of Chalmers University, Sweden.

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