Structural steel can make a significant contribution to architectural expression. Examples include expressed steel of stairs and exposing and expressing structural form – interior or exterior.
Exposed structural steel can also go wrong – which faults may be immediately evident or only appear over time. The main areas for attention include:
Hobbs + Associates specifications include a specification for “Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel” which has been custom developed by us to cover these matters and more.
The Australian Steel Institute has published* a “Sample Specification (for Engineers) – Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS)” from which the architect would be mainly interested in “Table 1 – AESS Category Matrix”. (Extract only shown.)
Table 1 – AESS Category Matrix defines several Categories for Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS Categories), being:
The Categories are defined by an ascending collection of characteristics with the higher levels including all of those applicable to the lower categories.
A collaborative contribution from the structural engineer assists with achieving the intended effect and finish – especially with the selection of member profiles and sizes, and configurations – and connector expression, when used.
Example of fabrication faults in structural steel intended for an exposed architectural staircase.
* Ref: “ASI/SCNZ AESS Document E: Sample Specification (for Engineers) – Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel Rev 15th Oct 2012” (6 pages)