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Cost efficiency analyses of steel frameworks for economical design of multi-storey buildings

In the present study cost efficiencies of various steel frameworks are investigated for economical design of multistorey buildings. A total of thirteen steel frames that incorporate various types of beam-column connection and bracing configuration are considered for detailed and comparative cost analyses. The three multi-storey buildings consisting of 10, 20 and 30 floors are stiffened according to each of the thirteen steel frameworks to yield thirty-nine test frames for numerical applications. First design optimizations are carried out using an evolution strategy (ES) integrated parallel optimization algorithm to minimize the total member weight in each test frame. An extensive cost analysis is then carried out on the optimized design of each test frame to calculate its estimated construction cost using a cost model that itemizes costs of all production stages including material, manufacturing, erection and transportation. Cost-efficient frameworks are identified for the three steel buildings by comparing estimated costs of the test frames. Furthermore, the variations in cost efficiencies of the steel frameworks versus the storey number (or building height) are scrutinized. The results collected are utilized to reach certain recommendations regarding the selection of economically feasible frames for design of multi-storey steel buildings. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.