Most clients expect their designer of choice to not only comply with the standard building codes but to also create sustainable, safe and more durable structures. However, there are a number of design conditions which require extra care and often need the support of engineers for specialised anchoring solutions.

Working with a team of engineers at global supplier of power tools, fastening and protection systems Hilti Australia we have provided guidance to hundreds of designers on a range of different projects. Although no job is identical, there are five typically challenging conditions that you’re likely to face when designing anchoring and passive fire protection solutions and in all these cases, it’s best to engage an expert for support.

1) Seismic Design Considerations

Although AS3600 Concrete Structures and AS4100 Steel Structures account for seismic design by increasing the capacity of building elements, the connections of these building elements to each other needs careful consideration.  The practice of using anchors with an increased capacity does not necessarily address the failure mechanism of the anchoring connection under seismic conditions. Because of this, it’s imperative that a designer engages with a supplier who can provide assistance in selecting the correct anchoring solution with the necessary supporting approvals when seismic design becomes a requirement, such as in high-importance category buildings like hospitals or in high seismic zones.  

2) Post-installation reinforcements

When working on building strengthening and refurbishment projects, there’s often the requirement to design concrete to concrete connections in slabs, beams, walls and columns.  These connections usually require post-installed reinforcement to be designed.

There are many factors that need to be considered to ensure the connection is designed correctly and the risks associated with installation. With this design challenge, its best to get the support from a supplier with many years of experience in post-installed reinforcement and one who can provide design and installation solutions where required.

3) Historic or heritage builds

Heritage builds require extra care given the intricate and delicate nature of the materials used in the original construction.  Often these materials can be weathered and the soundness cannot be assumed. Because of this, it’s essential to engage a supplier with a wealth of technical support to leverage, and who has experience to provide anchoring solutions for the various base materials used in historic structures.

4) Designing with connections into rock

Designing connections or anchors into rock and stone base materials will require special assessment to ensure that the required load capacity can be achieved.  Whether the project is a road or rail tunnel through rock, or an elevated walkway through a national park, the right anchoring solution to support these unusual connections needs careful consideration.

5) Fire-stopping under seismic conditions

Passive fire protection is a life saving measure which needs to be designed into buildings of all types; however there are many circumstances when standard solutions just won’t meet the design requirements. 

Situations such as seismically designed buildings which require the passive fire stopping products to flex and move with the building elements, whilst still maintaining the fire rating, are applications where highly technical solutions need to be developed for individual circumstances. Hilti have the latest generation of passive fire stopping products and support to meet the most challenging applications.

The most important thing when working in challenging conditions is to develop a relationship with the right supplier and their engineers, who can offer innovative technology, personalised service, and experience in a range of relevant solutions. Working collaboratively throughout the design and construction process is key to successful solutions being developed for your project.

Image:  Hilti Australia