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Rationalisation of design

Rationalisation may be defined as the process of eliminating unnecessary variation by simplifying, reducing complexity and taking advantage of opportunities provided by manufacturing and prefabrication approaches. In some cases designers can make significant economies by using appropriate methods of analysis, for example the use of finite element analysis for flat slabs rather than the simplistic approaches contained in design codes.

"Standardise arrangements around holes"

For a complex structure, rather than designing each element separately, the designer can try to identify typical reinforcement arrangements that will be suitable for most elements. This may result in some elements being ‘over designed’, but there will be subsequent cost saving because of the reduction in the time taken to fix the reinforcement on site.


In slabs and other flat structures loose bars can be replaced by welded fabrics (see Reinforcement/Materials/Fabric). This may increase the weight of reinforcement required but will significantly reduce the time for fixing. Similarly loose shear reinforcement may be replaced by proprietary systems.

"Keep dimensions of supporting elements constant at as many grid locations as possible"


Acknowledgement: The Concrete Society

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TR53 Towards rationalising reinforcement for concrete structures


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