• Structural drawings coordinated with balance of contract documents.
  • Specifications in agreement with contract drawings.
  • Complete set of contract documents available including structural, architectural and mechanical.
  • All design loads on the drawings must be included in the set of contract documents as required by AISC Code of Standard Practice – Section 3.1 – Code of
  • Standard Practice (Section 3.1-LRFD 3/7/2000, Section – ASD 9th Edition)
  • Limit use of “similar” or “general” (catch all) details.
  • Coordinate the structural design with any UL requirements as required by the Architect.
  • Provide adequate section cuts to define extent of details. Make the transition between details clear.
  • Cloud latest revisions to any revised bid/contract documents. Leave all earlier revisions noted but not clouded.


  • Always provide a grid system fully dimensioned and coordinated with architectural drawings.
  • Provide framing member sizes, cambers and location from a shown gridline.
  • The Elevation of top of steel at each member must be identified:
  • As a minimum, provide control points which allow detailer to calculate.
  • Deck bearing may be applicable at hip/valley roofs and other complex geometry.
  • Locate joist bearing plates to comply with SJI specifications.
  • Assign coordination for joist bearing depth changes.
  • Top of concrete elevation identified at for all bearing points of steel.
  • Type, gauge, finish, fastening requirements and extent of metal deck must be noted on plans.
  • All Slab edge conditions defined (bent plates, light ga. pour stops, etc.) and dimensioned from grid.
  • Provide locations and sizes of outriggers, kickers, etc., defined or shown. Identify architectural or mechanical items, which may control the installation dimensions.
  • Provide column schedule showing, column size, base plate and anchor bolt requirements and top of concrete and splice requirements with elevations.
  • Locate column splices as required by latest OSHA regulations. (Ref OSHA Sub-Part R)
  • Identify locations of penetrations or notches in steel beams


  • Grade of steel clearly defined for all steel members
  • Bolt size, type and any all slip critical requirements identified.
  • Provide Location, size, type and details for bearing pads, slide bearings and other specialty items.
  • When Specifying joists and joist girders
    • Use 7 ½” deep end bearings (minimum) at all joist girders.
    • Use 5″ deep bearings at all joists with gravity end reactions exceeding 10k or uplift end reactions exceed 5k.
    • Joists and girders with top chord axial force or applied end moments are designed with strap plates to transfer load into the chord.
    • Indicate net wind uplift pressures for design on the drawings.
    • Identify joist depth at the center line of bearing to accommodate 2 ½” minimum depths for K series joists. Slope joist will require special/deeper ends to be verified with the manufacturer.
  • When defining loads on special joists:
    • Define gravity and lateral load separately.
    • Indicate gravity, add self weight to above loads where member self weight is unknown.
    • Do not specify a standard joist designation with special loading.
    • Use constant shear or add-load joists where locations of loading are uncertain. Consult Joist Manufacturer if design assistance is needed.


  • Structural Engineer of Record should provide all connection design.
  • Provide specific details for moment, bracing and special connections.
  • Provide reactions for all shear connections noted on plan or in schedules.
  • Provide connection reactions and moments for the fabricator and detailer. Moment connections must be fully sized and defined.
  • Identify working points for the detailer.
  • All steel to concrete connections fully defined on drawings (anchor bolts, base plates, embeds, etc.)
  • Provide number and distribution of shear connections for composite beams.


  • Define areas that are to be Architecturally Exposed Steel when required.
  • Define extent of areas which are to receive fireproofing.
  • Items to be galvanized must be clearly noted on plans/sections.
  • Define area s of special paints/coating requirements.
  • No shop prime on structural steel is preferred and cost effective to eliminate in most areas/projects.

Pre-Detailing Meeting

Structural Engineers Association of Colorado

Steel Liaison Committee

Pre-Detailing Meeting

The following is a general meeting agenda which may be used to improve communications at the beginning of a structural steel project. It was prepared by the SEAC/RMSCA Liaison Committee with input from Front Range Engineers, Fabricators, Detailers, Erectors, and Inspectors. The agenda should be edited to the specific needs of the project prior to distribution to meeting participants. To ensure the meeting occurs, it is suggested the SER adds language to Part I of the Steel Specification similar to the following:

Pre-detailing Conference: Contractor shall schedule and hold a prefabrication meeting to coordinate specification and shop drawing issues prior to the first shop drawing submittal. Attendees shall include the contractor’s project manager, the detailer, the fabricator, the erector, the structural engineer and the testing agency.

It is suggested the Architect, SER, General Contractor, Detailer (if possible), Fabricator and Erector be present. If shop testing is included as a part of the project, or if no pre-installation meeting will be held, consideration may be given to including the Inspector responsible for Owner provided testing services. The customized agenda should be submitted about a week prior to the meeting to allow all parties to prepare. The committee suggests the following timing for scheduling the meeting:

  1. All parties have had the contract documents long enough to become familiar with the project and its typical details.
  2. The Fabricator has a preliminary schedule of submittals and fabrication planned.
  3. The Erector has a preliminary plan of erection and sequence for the job.
  4. Prior to the first submittal of shop drawings (anchor bolts and embeds excluded).

Pre-detailing Meeting Sample Agenda

General Contractor Coordination of Steel Frame
  1. Path of communication/paper trail. (Direct contact between Fabricator and Engineer with Contractor copied is preferred.)
  2. Identify current version of documents and make sure everyone is working from them.
  3. Routing of shop drawings. One bootleg copy direct to Structural Engineer.
    • Contractor’s processing/review time must be included in overall schedule.
    • Design team’s review time may be reduced if previous notice is given.
  4. Identify schedule for field measuring/exploratory demolition on remodel projects.
  5. Identify date of ordering mechanical equipment, pre-engineered stairs, skylights, etc. and when cut sheets will be available.
    • Determine strategy for opening frames and other components requiring coordination with other trades.
    • Assign an individual to be accountable for collecting and distributing this information.
  6. Identify process for issuing changes, revisions and future packages to drawings.
Design Team Input on Coordination
  1. Establish regular meeting/conference call schedule of ongoing communication is required. Establish deadlines/process to address unresolved issues.
  2. Design overview/statement of intent.
  3. Review of completeness of drawings – progress.
  4. Define those areas to be revised, value engineered or completed later.
  5. Review of unique or complex details.
  6. Review of critical tolerances.
  7. Expectations of Quality Control Inspector. Scheduling of shop inspections is of particular importance.
Detailing, Submittals and Project Planning
  1. Design/detailing/connection standards for the project.
  2. Number of copies of prints plus sepia. (Suggest one copy and one reproducible be submitted to A/E. Copies as required can be made upon return.)
  3. Schedule for Detailing/release dates.
  4. Identification of critical schedule dates for shop drawing reviews by Engineer of Record. (Preferably distribute schedule with detailer release and approval required)
    • Define which submittals are critical and give Engineer one-week notice of day shops will be delivered.
    • Don’t request a quick turnaround on every submittal.
  1. Identify connection design submittal requirements.
  2. Identify all ‘designed by contractor’ items (metal stairs, etc.)
  3. Review erection scheme, sequence and scheduling. Coordinate schedule and access with General Contractor.
  4. Review changes to shop drawings/contract drawings to address OSHA subpart “R” requirements.
Nonconformance/Fit Up/Quality Control/Erection Conditions
  1. Identify and introduce Site/Shop Inspectors on project.
  2. Define backup/Supervisor for Inspector.
  3. Identify location of discrepancy lists in job site trailer.
  4. Review extent and quantity of testing.
  5. Identify methods for resolving disputes between Fabricator/Erector and Testing Agency.
  6. Define pre-approved fixes and identify limits of applicability.
  7. Identify procedures/form and information required to submit nonconformance requests. (Preferred repair detail submitted with Non-conformance Request.)
  8. Identify assumptions of design as they apply to stability of the structure during erection.
Details/Questions on Construction Documents

(The following list also serves as a good guideline for checking by the SER prior to releasing the drawings.)

  1. Identify any missing or conflicting grid dimensions.
  2. Identify any un-dimensioned members (“equally spaced, 6’-0”o.c. maximum, coordinate location with”).
  3. Identify edge of slab/edge of deck dimensions not shown.
  4. Identify top of steel elevation where not shown.
  5. Clarify extent and location of section cuts. Clarify what happens at transition of two details.
  6. Request missing criteria for connection design (reaction, brace forces or connection concept).
  7. Request alternate connection details.
  8. Request alternate column splice locations and details.
  9. Identify framing conditions which conflict with connection types shown or specified.
  10. Tie down mechanical equipment support, roof opening frames, deck support, etc. Where not enough information is available, establish schedule and contacts to 
  11. Identify finish on exposed steel and special prep/painting requirements.
  12. Present initial layouts for typical bay outriggers, kickers and other secondary framing for Engineer’s approval.
Actions As A Result of the Meeting
  1. How and when will changes and decisions made in the meeting be distributed to the team?
  2. Minutes will be taken and distributed by the General Contractor.
  3. Create an action list for all unresolved communication. Assign accountability for each item. Assign an administrator for the action list.

Insure mechanical coordination by General Contractor in a timely manner:

–Identify loads on joists and girders.

–Floor and roof opening sizes and locations.