Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Overview of this Blog

Recently downloaded my blog and imported into Scrivener, the statistics indicate there is over 200,000 words: therefore a lot of reading and writing to do to revise and improve.

Currently broken the posts down into the following broad areas:
  1. Technology and Society
    • Industry
    • Education
    • Professions
    • Politics
  2. Building and Construction
  3. Design and Engineering [Structures]
    • Regulations
    • Cold-Formed Steel Sheds
  4. Science
  5. Software [Structural]
    • Materials
    • Design Actions
    • Design Action-Effects
    • Other
  6. Computers
  7. Business and Management
  8. Journal
    • Journal: 2004
    • Journal :2008
    • Journal: 2010
    • Journal: 2011
    • Journal: 2012
    • Journal: 2013
    • Journal: 2014
    • Journal: 2015
  9. Miscellaneous

Most of this will now be rewritten and placed on the other blogs I have set up.

Related Posts

[30/09/2015] : Original

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Presence Around The Web

My presence around the web:

NewsPapers (
Groups created on LinkedIN
  1. Pre-Engineered Manufactured Building Systems Group
  2. Manufactured Structural Products and Technical Resources (deleted)
  3. Technical Praxis: The Art of getting things done. (deleted)
  1. Twitter (@Metamorph96)
  2. Google+
  3. SEAint (Participation on email list server published : archives , blogger, google groups)
  4. ExcelCalcs
  5. Scribd
  6. FaceBook
  7. Klout
  8. Flickr
  9. Picasa
  10. YouTube
  11. Vizify
  12. DeviantArt
  13. Gravatar
  14. PearlTrees
  15. pinterest
  16. bitly
  1. MiScion Pty Ltd 
  2. (I can be contacted here if looking for software development, or structural design services. Use the contact form on the website, or email directly to sch at

Related Posts

[16/09/2015] : Original
[30/09/2015] : Added business website

Monday, September 14, 2015

Suppliers and technical information,including software

{Previously posted in LinkedIn group I created: Pre-Engineered manufactured structural Building products, and have since shut down. It having a membership of 30 people. Most of these people also in my group Pre-Engineered Manufactured Building Systems Group which has over 2000 members.}

Ramset potentially represents a good example of technical information which manufacturers and suppliers should make available.

First off, the technical information is available to designers, in the form of printed manuals, with possibly an option for software. These design aids are available to people who typically do not ever buy the manufacturers product, but these people do otherwise specify and recommend the use of the product.

Secondly software is available for download free of charge with or without a registration requirement.

Thirdly can speak to technical people for support and advise. Not just to salespeople who for many companies typically know zip about their product.

Smaller manufacturers of structural products tend to focus on glossy brochures and no technical specifications nor design manuals. Further software is limited and restricted to agents of the company, and only used by salespeople whilst talking to the customer. They have poor information for customers and poor information for certifying authorities.

This latter approach tends to result in a relatively cumbersome and hassled approach to product supply for all persons involved.

It largely stems from paying no attention to the design and development of the structural product and hoping that the majority of the time they can get city council approval with the barest minimum of information.

Australia's timber framing code AS1684 should be used as an example for documenting a building system, and I suggest Ramset information resources should be used as an example for documenting structural components.

And given these examples do have deficiencies, the aim should be to surpass not equal them.

There are far too many suppliers who have inadequate information resources to assist customers to make informed decisions before buying.

For that matter consultants also need to be clearer about what they do. Of course with everyone under pressure fighting "bushfires" as it were, being able to tackle these issues suffers

Refining some definitions and changed the name of the group

{Previously posted in LinkedIn group I created: Pre-Engineered manufactured structural Building products, and have since shut down. It having a membership of 30 people. Most of these people also in my group Pre-Engineered Manufactured Building Systems Group which has over 2000 members.}

Pre-Engineered manufactured structural Building products, is the term I have adopted to refer to objects which are designed once and then made and installed many times. But this raises issues of suitability. The Australian standard for scaffolding identifies 2 issues (from memory) as follows:

  1. Systems
  2. Installation
I am adding components to this to bring to three situations:

  1. Components
  2. systems
  3. Installations
Components may be assembles or single part objects. A bolt is a component but typically used as part of an assembly comprising: bolts, nut and washers long with the items being clamped. Similarly a balustrade comprises of posts and rails, these are components, the balustrade is a system, and a specific application on a specific building project is an installation.

Whilst components and systems may be suitable in their own right they may not be suitable for a specific application. A balustrade for example may be suitable for a residential application but unsuitable for a public installation subject to crowd loading. Similarly a kit for a sail-shade may be suitable for one wind environment and unsuitable for another. Now several such sail-shade kits used to construct a larger area sail-shade represents a building system.

In-order to use a sail-shade kit as a component of a larger structure, need adequate information about the structure to make assessment of its suitability.

The emphasis of this group is the design, or rather selection of structural building products that are supposed to be complete in their own right, no custom variations are permitted, but the products may be used as components in larger assemblies. (eg. structural sections are components, as are bolts)

What information and quality assurance is missing from the existing industry and what improvements are required?

A fixed size carport or garden shed is here considered a component, on condition that custom variations do not impose any structural changes. If want to install doors wider than the spacing of the frames, and have to remove columns to achieve, then no longer a finished product, it is now considered a building system and the specific building needs to be designed.

The garden shed as selection issues and installation issues to be resolved. Likewise the carport. Further more a carport attached to an existing building introduces requirements for assessing and strengthening of the existing structure. Which may be complicated by lack of information about the otherwise pre-engineered or proprietary building system: timber framing (AS1684) and cold-formed steel framing. The carport kit a component but the existing house a building system.

The issue for me is that the existence of these products doesn't remove the need for design or engineering assessment. Educated in mechanical and manufacturing I find the lack of quality in both design and manufacture in this sector of the building industry appalling. Production supposed to be moved off-site into a factory to improve quality not reduce it.

So more education and information required on manufactured buildings, and developing the industry that supplies.


A few weeks back was going to collapse back to one group to simplify where to put things, but discovered actually acquired some members, so change the name slightly instead. But not really any help to my thoughts. My perception been slightly distorted by concepts of PEMB/PMBS, and also the scaffolding code referring to systems and installations.

A product, is the end result of a production process, and usable in its own right. Thus a brick is a product, as is a structural steel section, and SIP's, and likewise a water tank and a garden shed.

The public typically doesn't want to waste time on design and engineering, and wants development approval and building permits to be issued as quickly as possible. They therefore go to manufacturers of sheds. But then start to introduce variations, imposing a need for custom design and engineering.

So have an industry that emerges based on selling a product, but otherwise is really selling a building system. However, given that I have a generic sense of product and process, the building system is also a product.

When I originally created the two groups, the idea was one be focused on cold-formed steel sheds and similar buildings, and this group here be for everything else. But there are too many generic issues across all the products and systems, that I don't want to repeat topics.

A SIP is a product in its own right, it may be used to construct a larger building assembly, which is also a product in its own right, or it may be included as a component in a building system.

The issue for this group is that the SIP is useless, and cannot become a part of larger assembly or building system, unless it has a proper technical specification. A stock standard building built from SIP's is also useless unless it has a proper technical specification. The technical specification is required in order to assess the suitability of the SIP for installation in some larger assembly. For the building a technical specification is required to assess the site specific and environmental parameters, along with actual building purpose and select an appropriate building fit-for-function.

So decided to return to original focus of structural products that are manufactured, also not overly concerned whether classed as building: since also relates to water tanks, scaffolding, industrial racking, bridges and multitude of other structures.

The issue is expect to buy off-the-shelf and put to use with no formal design input, no custom features are permitted which influence structural performance.

Apologies for any inconvenience, but this should be the last change for the name of this group.

Rationalising Some Social Networking

Recently deleted the following Linkedin Groups:
  1. Repetitive Manufactured Structural Products

  2. Previous names:
    • Pre-Engineered Manufactured Structural Products 

  3. Technical Praxis: The Art of getting things done

  4. Previous names:
    • Technical Praxis South Australia
    • Technical Praxis Bridge to The People
    • Technical Praxis: Technology, Evidence for Suitability of Purpose
Some of the posts I placed on these groups I will now post on my other blog: Metamorphs: Technical Praxis.

Whilst will otherwise put more focus on the remaining Linkedin group:

Also proposed to rename this group by removing the prefix, so that just called: engineered manufactured building systems. Whether I will keep this group, I'm not certain about at the moment, unlike the other two groups, it has developed a large membership, over 2500 members at present, whilst the other groups only had 30 and 1 member. However, my primary interest is informing buyers of such products and improving the information resources available to them from suppliers. So objective is to be able cover technical issues in a manner that the public will understand, rather than engineers. Though I do have an issue with the engineering supplied to manufacturers by consulting civil engineers: first their assessments are incomplete and not adequate for structures placed into the built environment at the rate of some 1000 units per year. Secondly the information resources they provide are not adequate to inform the suppliers and buyers. Unfortunately the consultants are partly handicapped by what the suppliers request and are willing to pay for.

I do not believe that professional associations or industry associations can solve the problems, as these organisations typically have agendas beyond the welfare of the community: such as legal reform so that they can grab monopolies. Monopolies are dangerous, they do not result in openness and sharing of knowledge, and thus a vast increase in the communities understanding. Rather such organisations create closed shops, and prevent sharing and in the long term result in loss of knowledge to the community: loss of knowledge both inside and outside the organisation. They seek monopoly because of desire to exercise power and authority over others, and use arguments about asymmetry of knowledge between suppliers and buyers, the contention is that through legislated monopoly for the profession they can protect the buyers. Its nonsense, licensing and registration schemes do not work when it comes to protecting the community. First the public need to be able to readily check the validity of license. But even if the license is valid, it does not mean the licensed individual or business is actually capable of performing the task required. Buyers need a more reliable system.

Consultants emerged to help protect buyers from builders, who whilst skilled in construction, may not be skilled in design and thus what they build may not be fit for purpose. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that the consultant is competent at design or as adequate knowledge of the established technologies. The controlling factor in all cases is knowledge and part of that knowledge is proper procedure and suitable bench marks.

Any case the point is that a blog or public forum may be far better for my needs than a Linkedin group. The problem with Linkedin is that even though the group can be publicly visible on the internet, the groups typically do not attract the public: that is the groups are better for business to business, rather than business to consumer. However, the suppliers are one of the stakeholders, so will see what I can do to more effectively use a blog and my Linked group, along with the other groups I belong to. Though a lot of the groups take objection to posting own blog posts in the group discussions.