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Civil Engineering/etabs spandrel end supports


Good Day :
Could I consider the ends of spandrel connectiong to the core walls in the openings as hinged instead of fixed.Thanks so much .Regards

ANSWER: Hi Ravi,

Hinges at the ends of spandrels are difficult to achieve, unless they are very shallow in depth compared to the span. I would say that if the depth:span ratio is more than 0.2 to 0.25 you cannot detail it to behave as a hinge without complicated introduction of movement joints (20 to 25mm compressible joints say for the top and bottom 1/3 depth)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Would I able to consider for a partial fixity(50%).One of my projects my spandrel beams are failing in shear stress(span 1.5m..spandrel 300x120).I have restriction to keep core wall to 30cm thickness.Please advice.

Hi Ravi,

If shear is the problem, trying to do what you are suggesting will not help much- in fact it may increase lateral drifts beyond limits.

Have you tried the following options:

1. Introduce X-rebar, which takes most of the shear as resultant C&T forces

2. Thicken up just the spandrels (outwards, so lift shaft is not impinged), although this will make the construction and rebar detailing more complicated.

Option 1 is much preferred.

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Arshad Khan


I can answer any questions to do with civil and structural engineering consultancy and construction industry in East Africa and the Middle East, and specifically with the analysis and design of reinforced concrete structures. My particular expertise is in the aseismic design and optimisation of tall buildings.


Employment history: 40 years in Construction and consultancy in the UK, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Africa, Somalia, Zambia, Austria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Doha and the U.A.E.

.Fellow of Institution of Structural Engineers (UK) .Fellow of Institution of Civil Engineers(UK) .Member of the Institution of Engineers, Kenya .Registered Engineer, ERB, Kenya .Member of the Architectural Association of Kenya (Engineers Chapter) .Chartered Engineer (UK)

•1984: International Conference on the Art and Practice of Structural Design, London •1994: 3rd Int. Kerensky Conference in Structural Engineering, Singapore •2008: International Conference on High-Rise Towers, Abu Dhabi •2013: IEK International Conference, Kisumu, Kenya

BSc, 1st Class Hons, in Building Engineering, University of Bath, UK MSc in Concrete Structures and Technology, University of London. Diploma of Imperial College, UK.

Awards and Honors
•Science Congress Special Award (for 2-seater Hovercraft - 1968) •Institution of Civil Engineers Award for outstanding performance at Bath University (1975) •Concrete Society Postgraduate study Bursary Award (1976) •Consular Representative for British High Commission, Nairobi. (1995 to 1998) •Examiner for Institution of Civil Engineers Professional Interviews, Nairobi. (1997 to 1998) •Branch Representative in Vienna for PI assessment for Inst. of Struct. Engrs. (1999 to 2010)

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