Braced frame and moment frame stands out as some of the most used terms in construction. Any construction work you will be involved in will utilize one of these two methods. The two framing methods are fundamental in ensuring that your structure is stable and can withstand different loads that will be placed on it. In this article, we will take a closer look at the two methods and see their key differences.
One of the fundamental differences between the two methods is the cost. A braced frame is generally going to be the more affordable option when compared to a moment frame. The main reason for this cost difference is that a braced frame relies on diagonal members placed between the vertical members. These diagonal members help to add strength and stability to the frame. On the other hand, moment frames will utilize horizontal members that are placed between the vertical members. These horizontal members help to add stiffness to the frame, which makes it more expensive.
2. Speed of Construction
Another critical difference between the two methods is the speed of construction. A braced frame is generally going to be quicker to construct when compared to a moment frame. The main reason is that the braced frame does not require as much welding and bolting as the moment frame. This means that the construction process can be completed in a shorter timeframe. You can easily save a few days on the construction schedule by opting for a braced frame.
3. Seismic Activity
When it comes to areas that are prone to seismic activity, a moment frame is the preferred option. The horizontal members within the frame help dissipate an earthquake’s energy, meaning the structure is less likely to be damaged during an earthquake. Braced frames, on the other hand, are not as effective at dissipating the energy from an earthquake and are more likely to sustain damage during an earthquake.
4. Wind Loads
Winds loads are another factor to consider when choosing between the two methods. A braced frame will be more effective at handling wind loads when compared to a moment frame. This is because the diagonal members within the frame help to stabilize the structure. Moment frames are not as effective at handling wind loads. The horizontal members within the frame can act like sails and catch the wind, destabilizing the structure during high winds.
Understanding the differences between a braced frame and a moment frame is essential when it comes to choosing the right framing method for your project. If you are working on a budget, then a braced frame will be the more affordable option. If you are working on a tight construction schedule, then a braced frame is going to be the quicker option to construct. Contact High Plains Engineering & Consulting, LLC today to get started on your next project.
Categorised in: Structural Engineer