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Architect’s Handbook of Formulas, Tables, and Mathematical Calculations by David Kent Ballast

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Chapter 2A. Structural Systems

As with many other elements of architectural design, structural calculations proceed from the general to the specific. This part contains rough rules of thumb for early “guesstimating” of structural sizes; charts for preliminary sizing and comparison of structural systems that yield a slightly more accurate answer than rules of thumb; and, finally, detailed formulas and tables for more exacting design.

Also included are tables for selection of the proper species of wood for various uses, plywood grade selection, and plywood use tables.

Rules of Thumb

Most rules of thumb for structural estimating are based on span-to-depth ratios. The span of the beam, in inches, is divided by the ratio to get the approximate depth of ...

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