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Cost Efficiency Analyses of Optimally Sized Steel Frames for Economical Design of Medium-Rise Buildings

The study, in this paper, investigates cost-efficient steel frameworks for economical design of medium-rise buildings. A total of 13 steel frames that incorporate various types of beam-column connection and bracing configuration are considered for detailed and comparative cost analyses. The numerical applications are performed using a 10-story building stiffened according to each of these steel frameworks to yield 13 test frames. First design optimizations are carried out in which the total member weight in each test frame is minimized using an evolution strategy (ES) integrated parallel optimization algorithm. 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 building by comparing estimated costs of the test frames. The results collected are utilized to reach certain recommendations regarding the selection of economically feasible frames for design of medium-rise steel buildings.