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2008 Edition, 2008

Complete Document

Facade Attachments to Steel-Framed Buildings

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The objective of this Design Guide is to assist the practicing engineer in achieving economical slab edge details for steel frames that are structurally sound, durable, and accommodating of the performance requirements of the particular façade system. The focus is on façades—the non-load-bearing building enclosures attached to, and supported by, the building structure. This Design Guide presents concepts and fundamentals pertinent to façades in general, as well as specifi c information about supporting and anchoring some of the more common façade systems. Although primarily intended to assist the structural engineer responsible for design of the steel frame, this Design Guide is also a reference for the architect and the engineer responsible for the design of the façade elements.

When referring to the structural engineer responsible for the design of the steel frame, this Guide uses the term structural engineer of record (SER) as it is used in the AISC Code of Standard Practice for Steel Buildings and Bridges (AISC, 2005). When referring to the engineer responsible for the structural design of the façade elements and/or their attachments, this Design Guide uses the term specialty structural engineer (SSE) in a manner consistent with that used by the Council of American Structural Engineers (CASE).

General concepts and principals of this Design Guide include façade performance fundamentals, attachment design criteria, roles and responsibilities, and fabrication and erection tolerances. Specifi c steel framing issues include slabedge details and spandrel-beam design issues.

Specifi c façade systems include masonry cavity wall systems with concrete-block or steel-stud back-up, precastconcrete wall panels, aluminum curtain walls with glass and/ or metal panels, glass-fi ber-reinforced concrete (GFRC) and other lightweight panels, and exterior-insulation-and-fi nishsystem (EIFS) panels.

No one text can present all of the creative and effective strategies and details that designers can and will develop, and this Design Guide does not represent an attempt to do this—nor is it an attempt to present preferred details. Preference depends on the specifi c conditions for a given project, regional norms, and individual designers, fabricators, and erectors. Rather, the concepts and performance characteristics that will lead to successful support of façades are described. By way of illustrative sample details and example problems, readers will see how to implement these concepts and achieve proper performance. This, along with a basic understanding of fundamental principles, will help the practicing engineer to develop and apply sound strategies for support and attachment of a façade on a particular project, addressing any number of project-specifi c conditions.

This Design Guide focuses on attachment strategies and their effect on the design, fabrication, and erection of steel frames. Although the general background is presented on various façade systems and principles for their proper support, this Design Guide does not focus on the design of the façade components, their intra-connections, or anchors integral to the façade structure, such as embedded inserts into concrete panels or fl ex anchors of GFRC panels.