Date: Around 1993
1. What type of beam is best used for constructing a building?
2. How much does a building sway back and forth when in a storm?
There are a number of types of beams used in the construction of a building
but probably the most common is the I-beam. It is called this because the
cross section of the beam looks like the letter I. This beam is used
heavily because it can sustain heavy loads and is constructed of a minimal
amount of material (steel is the most commonly used material for construc-
tion I beams).
You second question depends not only on the types of beams used in the
building construction, but also on the geometry of the construction, the
cross sectional area of the building perpendicular to the wind direction and
the strength (or velocity) of the wind. Therefore, the question cannot be
answered unless you have more information.
david r munoz
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Update: June 2012