Development of the Full Height Truss Frame
Gordon, Joel Christopher
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The full height truss frame (FHTF) is an exciting new residential framing system in response to the need for low floor-to-floor steel construction. The FHTF has the potential to provide low floor-to-floor heights, a column free first floor area, an integrated frame that uses the entire height to resist loads, and the capacity to resist both gravity and lateral loads. Because of its configuration, the full structural height can be used to resist loads. A FHTF is made up of stacked floor trusses that result in one full height truss spanning the entire width of the building. The FHTF is constructed in a conventional manner one floor at a time. The strength, inertia, and truss height will increase as each floor is added. Therefore, the construction sequence will affect the final stresses in the members. The purpose of this thesis was to analyze and design two prototype FHTFs, to compare the economy of the prototypes with similar staggered truss frames, and to develop an approximate method to calculate staged member stresses. Each prototype was analyzed using a computer program and designed according to the 2001 American Institute of Steel Construction Load and Resistance Factor Design. The prototypes were used to assess the strength and serviceability of the structures, and the results of the staged analysis were used to validate the numerical method developed to approximate a staged loading sequence based on the non-staged dead load results. The results of the analysis and design of the prototypes was the initial step in confirming the viability of the FHTF for use in the residential multistory market. FHTFs can be designed with preexisting procedure, and are capable of offering low floor-to-floor heights. The prototypes exhibited excellent lateral stiffness against wind loads. The numerical method for estimating the staged dead load accurately approximated the results of the analysis preformed by ETABS. The numerical method can be used to simulate a variety of sequences in order to optimize the stages. Lastly, the FHTF was shown to be competitive with the staggered truss systems in terms of material usage, fabrication, and construction.