SDLLC offers full structural steel connection design services, including sealed designs. All of the connection design calculations are performed in-house under the supervision of one of our licensed engineers. We optimize the design to achieve the most economical connections possible, and the material savings in bolts, plates, angles, and welds often exceeds our design fee. In addition, we work with the fabricator and erector to design connections that fit best within their production capabilities. For example, if the fabrication shop is set up to most efficiently handle bolted connections, we can minimize the amount of welding required. On the other hand, if it is a shop that prefers welding, we can minimize the amount of bolting required.
SDS/2 has very powerful connection design features that can account for a wide variety of member types, geometries, loads, and design criteria (code requirements). Our engineers then back-check these designs to ensure their adequacy and cost efficiency. However, there are some instances where SDS/2 will not provide a connection design due to an irregular condition. In this case, we utilize in-house applications, most of which are in Microsoft Excel, to complete the design. We have developed and continue to develop many of these programs, including software for the evaluation of steel stair framing and other specialty items that require a tailored approach. SDLLC often customizes these tools on a project-by-project basis to ensure the correct analysis of any project-specific conditions. Although we fully utilize these tools, we believe no design should be completed using a “black box” approach. Our engineers are able to understand and check the accuracy of any technology tool they use prior to incorporating its output into one of our projects.