It's pretty obvious from the images in our previous two emails the SidePlate moment connection does not have a very high risk of interfering with much. The connection hugs the beam and column closely. However, we do reap some benefits by modeling these.
PLANS AND VISUAL CONFIRMATION
First, and probably the most obvious, would be generation of our drawing plans. The connection itself is displayed on our plans as well as the annotation for the connection mark ID. For the high seismic version (R=8), the transparent protected zones we model also show up on our plans giving us a chance to find nearby framing that might foul with those zones. You can see that highlighted in this image.
Second, we get a good visual confirmation that the design data we receive from the SidePlate engineers is geometrically correct (not that they aren't checking on their end either). If we place the connection and all the components aren't hugging the beams and column, we know something isn't right and we can start researching what is wrong.
Finally, having all of these connections in our model allows us to regrind the data in all kinds of ways that are useful to other members on the construction team. One easy way is to generate a schedule for the SidePlate connections. We can double check this against the one we receive from SidePlate and reconcile differences.
More importantly, however, we can use all of this data to generate quantity take-offs. That fits in perfectly with our Complete Structural Package™ efforts. Even when fabricators are very familiar with SidePlate construction, the schedule of connections isn't very intuitive for calculating tonnage of steel or quantity of welding quickly. So, we export our data to a spreadsheet then reorganize it in a way that is useful to the fabricators for pricing. We not only provide tonnage of steel and welds but also individual piece sizes. You can see a complete copy of this take-off here.
The final email in this SidePlate series will discuss the design and licensing involved with using these connections.
If you missed our previous three emails about the SidePlate connection, you can find them on our News and Links page in the Structural 101 section.