Re-Use of Structural Steel

Posted on 1st April, 2010

Go here for a copy of the full Case Study.


The Brief ...

I was asked about a year ago by a client to make a planning application for a large commercial building on his site in rural County Tyrone. The proposed steel-framed building was to be dismantled from a commercial site in England (where it had been found by the client) and re-erected in its new position.


The Planning Application …

The process of obtaining planning approval was long and arduous and the main objections concentrated on issues such as the alleged environmental impacts of noise, pollution and traffic. These matters were eventually cleared up to all the consultees’ satisfaction and the design was ultimately approved.

The Structural Design …

The general dimensions of the shed were obtained early in the design stage in order to make the planning application; however detailed dimensional checks were done after the building was dismantled on its previous site and shipped over to the new site. In order to check that the re-erected shed would meet with current building regulations, the structural engineering survey examined points such as:

  • Quality of the steel beams and columns - e.g. had they been damaged irreparably through corrosion, excessive loading or fire?
  • Were the structural steel members of sufficient size to carry the new loads expected of them?
  • Were structural connections of a suitable size, with bolt holes in the positions required for the new structure?
  • Could the steel cladding be re-used and still provide a weather-tight system?
  • Were there enough bracing members and cladding rails and purlins of the correct dimensions?

Some alterations to the original design were required; such as additional bracing, fire protection and new baseplate connections. New doors were required and the shed would need to be repainted. A new reinforced concrete base and column and wall foundations were obviously also needed. As a precaution against the possibility of receiving old over-stressed bolts, all connections would be fitted with new bolts.

When the survey and subsequent structural engineering design was complete, the costs were calculated by a quantity surveyor and the total project was found to make a considerable saving over building with all new materials. The difference was estimated to be in the region of a 20 - 25% saving to the client.


All that remains now is for the project to be built (it is scheduled to begin in late summer, 2010).


Go here for a copy of the full Case Study.

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