Special Moment Frames – Design Resources (NEHRP Technical Brief No. 2)

Special moment frame design can be daunting for the engineer that is not completely familiar with the many code provisions that ensure they can withstand high seismic activity.  Even the most seasoned seismic designers can benefit by reviewing the additional design and detailing requirements occasionally to be sure nothing is missed when designing these highly complex frame systems and connections.

In June 2017, Matt Mester, PE, SE from SidePlate Systems, Inc. presented Moment Frames: Design and Detailing per AISC 341 and 358 for SE University.  His presentation included moment frame and connection design principles, and he compared and contrasted the various code requirements for each type of moment frame.  Matt also reviewed the use of prequalified moment connections from AISC 358.

During his presentation, Matt referenced the NEHRP Seismic Design Technical Brief No. 2.  This brief specifically addresses the design and detailing of special moment frames and their connections to ensure they can safely withstand severe earthquake shaking while experiencing substantial inelastic deformation.  Included in the brief are analysis and design guidance, additional requirements, and detailing and constructability issues.  This more in depth discussion on special moment frames is a great reference for engineers that typically practice in high seismic zones and for engineers that may just be getting started in the design of special moment frames.

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