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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Assessment of current practice in the gravity design of concrete slabs and columns in residential high-rise buildings Voros, Ryan Steven David


In residential high-rise buildings, flat plate slabs and columns are two of the primary structural member types. While codes provide prescriptive measures for their design, many decisions are still required by the design engineers. There are three primary objectives of this study. First, this study will discuss our current knowledge of construction practices, concrete material properties, and environmental conditions that impact slab design and deflections. Next, several current methods of estimating slab deflections will be reviewed, and the estimates will be compared with survey results from an actual high-rise. Finally, this study will identify optimum configurations of slabs and columns in residential high-rise buildings, in terms of cost. Through the review of the current literature and practice, it was found that there are many parameters that impact slab deflection and consideration must be taken to ensure that slabs do not have excessive deflection. This is especially true with residential towers with compressed construction schedules. The current finite element analysis programs are powerful tools but also can have significant drawbacks. The designer should understand the advantages and disadvantages of each method to ensure meaningful results. Several methods may need to be used to get an accurate understanding of a slab’s deflection behaviour. Through the cost analysis, it was determined that square columns with higher concrete strength and lower reinforcing ratios were the most cost effective. Moreover, for residential tower slab and column configurations, a layout that reduced the slab thickness with well distributed and smaller columns was found to be the most cost effective in the majority of circumstances.

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