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Steel Detailer ; Checklist of Design Documents

The following is a list of minimum information design documents should include. Design professionals and their staff should use this list to double-check the completeness of their design documents. In addition, all must recognize that the engineer of record is fully responsible for the design and adequacy of all connections.
  • Complete base plate and anchor rod requirements including base plate elevations for all columns, type of leveling system for all columns: material grade, diameter, embedment, hole pattern and size of holes, plate orientation, weld requirements. (Suggest standardization of base plate and anchor rod sizes and use of square bolting patterns.)
  • Bracing gusset plates should not interfere with anchor bolts.
  • Provide sizes and material grade of all members, beams, columns, and bolts, etc. Simplicity and repetition result in cost savings. Standardize the use of A992 steel for mill orders. Specify, not infer, special requirements such as fracture critical material, charpy V-notch testing, etc., on all required members and pieces.
  • Verify orientation of columns on each plan.
  • Provide specific column, truss, and girder splice details and location.
  • Dimensions locating structural steel should be shown clearly on all plans; checked for accuracy, especially principal controlling dimensions and geometry.
  • The structure's geometry should close.
  • The structural drawings should be coordinated with architectural and mechanical requirements.
  • The design should promote repetition of members.
  • All structural items should be clearly located and identified on confirmed structural documents. No reference should be made to other drawings.
  • The specifications should be customized to this project. They should be in agreement with the drawings.
  • Provide clear direction as to the use or prohibition of design drawings or CAD files for member placement drawings.
  • It is recommended that the specifications include a requirement to use pre-qualified fabricators and pre-qualified steel detailing professionals.
  • All connections: Specify whether design is based on ASD or LRFD.
  • Simple shear connections: Always show end reactions (composite or noncomposite). Special connection types, and axial or torsional loads, if any to be fully developed.
  • Provide fully developed bracing connections: Show axial loads (+or -) and whether or not one-third increases in stresses are permissible.
  • Provide fully developed moment connections: Show shear and moments (ft-kips), axial loads, all reinforcement of main members (or at least, clear and complete connection and joint reinforcement requirements) and whether or not one-third increases in stresses are permissible.
  • Provide fully developed truss connections: Shears, moments, and axial loads depending on function of truss.
  • The camber information should be complete.
  • Ensure the feasibility of member erectability.
  • Treat roof and floor opening frames as separate entities to be designed, detailed, fabricated, and erected as freestanding items.
  • Clearly indicate location, type, and limits of fireproofed members.
  • Special cleaning, fireproofing, and painting systems (type, color, exposed, etc.) and locations should be clearly located and identified on design drawings.
  • Clearly specify special safety and/or erection aids or codes in effect.
We sincerely hope this document has provided you a greater understanding of those items detailers find necessary for the efficient prosecution of steel structures. We trust that you have gained a better understanding of the positive contribution Engineersdaily and the detailing community can make once given more clearly defined information. To that end, we believe we have provided a guide beneficial to the successful completion of structural steel projects.

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