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CROSS Safety Report

Design of head track in cold formed steel framing

Report ID: 39 Published: 1 November 2006 Region: CROSS-UK

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Overview

The reporter noticed that the in-house structural engineer for the steel frame company had not taken account of all the loads in the design of the head track.

Key Learning Outcomes

For civil and structural design engineers:

  • A quality assurance system within your organisation, that includes the internal checking of calculations, can help prevent safety issues such as this one from occurring

  • Competent supervision of design by experienced personnel can allow less experienced engineers to develop a feel for what is the right solution

  • It is good practice to carry out sense checks and validate all design loads when carrying out third party checks as demonstrated in this report

Full Report

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The reporter carried out a check calculation of a steel frame building to BS 5950 Part 5, Code of Practice for the design of cold formed thin gauge sections. Floors made from ribbed metal deck covered with concrete were supported on steel stud wall panels below.

The head track of the wall panels supported the floor loads and the loads arising from the upper floors. The reporter noticed that the in-house structural engineer for the steel frame company had not taken account of all the loads in the design of the head track. This was a serious error and some wall panels had already been fabricated and had to be modified.

Expert Panel Comments

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Have any other engineers come across this problem and is it a one-off or is it symptomatic of a trend?

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