Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Building a structural library

Building a structural library

Building a structural library

I am in the process of building upon my civil/structural engineering library.  I was looking for some suggestions on key textbooks for subjects such as structural analysis, structural steel design, concrete design, foundation design, soils engineering, etc.  Additionally, are there any books that I should stay away from? Thanks in advance.    

RE: Building a structural library

decent place to start is www.icbo.com (or org) and go to the ICBO stores.  They have a bunch of books sorted by different material.  there are textbooks, codes, references and problem solving examples.  before any purchase, make sure the code in which the book is based is the most current (or current adopted code in your local area).  in this business, once you purchase a book, chances are, you will have to buy later editions to keep up with the new developments.  very costly...

RE: Building a structural library

Some of my favorites:
Manual of Steel Construction, American Institute if steel Construction
Design of Welded Structures, Lincoln Welding Institute

RE: Building a structural library

Stay away from Reinforced Concrete Design by Leet and Bernal.  One of my college textbooks, and it is horrible.

RE: Building a structural library

The best books are the ones you've read, understand and can find your way around in; add field experiance and then you have a career.  I have a lot of reference books, but there are only one or two in each subject that I really rely on and one of them is usually the code book covering the topic.

RE: Building a structural library

The book I have used the most in my work is "Formulas for Stress and Strain" by Roark.    

The book has been re-edited by Warren Young, and its formulas have been included in a software package(http://www.roarksformulas.com/)

RE: Building a structural library

Add to the list AWS D1.1, 1.3 and 1.4 for Srtuctural Steel, Reinforcing Steel and Sheet Steel welding code,

RE: Building a structural library

At the risk of forgetting a couple of references, I believe I could survive with the following:
A statics textbook.
A mechanics of materials textbook.
"Foundation Design" by Teng.
"Reinforced Concrete Design" by Wang and Salmon.
ACI 318.
Hilti or Rawl catalog.
"Reinforced Masonry Engineering Handbook" by Amrhein
"Steel Structures - Design and Behavior" by Salmon and
AISC Manual (ASD and LRFD).
Vulcraft deck catalog.
Vulcraft joist catalog.
Dietrich catalog.
NDS for Wood Construction.
Simpson catalog.
"Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures."


RE: Building a structural library

yes some good texts and reference to start.
- Strength of Materials, Timoshenko
       - PartI Elementary Theories and Problems.
       - PartII Advanced Theory and Problems.
       - Theory of Elastic Stability.
- Structural Analysis, Ghali & Neville.
     & - Introductory Structural Analysis with Matrix
         Methods, C.K. Wang.
     & - Structural Analysis on Microcomputers, C.K. Wang.
     & - Structural Analysis using Virtual Work, F. Thompson
           G.G. Haywood.
     & - Stress, Stability, and Chaos in Structural
          Engineering, An Energy Approach, M.S El Naschie.

These have helped us alot and we use them on a continual basis.  Can not emphasize the importance of subscriptions to professional journals of structural engineering as backbone of any structural library, start building this part of your reference library right away.

RE: Building a structural library

I agree that Dave Atkins list looks good but I would add a few books.

Foundation Analysis and Design by Bowles
Finite Elements by Weaver and Johnston(?)
Civil Engineering Handbook by Fredrick Merrit
Structural Engineering Handbook by Gaylord and Gaylord

The Steel book by Salmon and Johnston, and the concrete book by Wang and Salmon are mainstays at most US schools I know.


RE: Building a structural library

Thanks for all the good responses.  If anyone has any more recommendations...

RE: Building a structural library

Before reccomending any more books, have you taken any structural courses? Have you worked under a licensed PE who is competent in structural engineering? These are things I would do prior to buying books and references. If you have been working a while you should know what your boss or other people have and use. I would not just buy some structural textbooks and ref books, even if you are a civil engineer, and then try to learn it. Just some friendly advice.

That aside:
Unless you are designing pressure vessels, domes, or something like that, I would not waste practical engineering time buying books on strain, stress, finite analysis, and difficult and cumbersome methods you may never or rarely use, unless you are a specialist doing (unless I am missing something, I have never needed them). I think Steve111 must be a specialist because I have never even heard of most of those refs nor needed them. However, you must have a book on Strength of Materials/ Mechanics of Materials, a basic book on structural analysis (not a big fan of mine from school- by Tartaglione), and probably a statics book (see above comments though!).

These are on my bookshelf and I would reccomend them, starred are required codes:

* ACI 318- Concrete design
* ACI 530 - Masonry design
* AISC for Steel (many prefer and use ASD, although LRFD is supposed to be the future. For low rise, it probably does not make a big difference, ASD is a little easier to learn.)
* NDS - wood
*ASCE 7-98 - loads
*IBC or your local governing state code, florida has FBC 2001


Dave's reccs covered most of them.

I agree- "The Steel book by Salmon and Johnston, and the concrete book by Wang and Salmon are mainstays at most US schools I know."

Maybe a more basic concrete book is by NAWY.

Excellent as a begining and advanced textbook, and I use them all the time:

"Design of Wood Structures" by Breyer.
"Reinforced Masonry" by Schneider and Dickey

"MDG-3 Masonry Designer's Guide", by The Masonry Society, goes hand in hand with ACI 530 (the code)

My experience is anything you do all the time, for me masonry, invest in a few different books. This tends to fill in some of the gaps not covered by your main ref.

A Simpson Catalog in their fastening systems like epoxy bolts is indispensable for myself, but we do lots of renovation work.

good luck!

RE: Building a structural library

Great topic. I try to (discretely) check out the book shelves of other engineers when I visit their offices. It tells me a lot about what they know or think is important. It's also interesting to see how used or worn-in (or worn-out) their reference books are.  The worn books are their bibles!

RE: Building a structural library

Dave Atkins & adk covered this well. I would only add a couple suggestions:

When I took a PE review course prior to taking the exam, I received a "Civil Engineering Reference Manual" by M.R. Lindeburg. I've found this book to be quite useful in that it covers basic information on a lot of topics. It also has convenient conversion tables, etc.

If you're doing soils or foundation design, the Dept. of Navy Manuals DM 7.1 and 7.2 are good references also.

RE: Building a structural library

I agree about the Lindeburg book but it is very important to download any available errata from his web site. My daughter got very frustrated when she (and I) could not solve many of the design problems in the book. Then I found the errata on the web site. There were many pages of corrections. Be careful.

RE: Building a structural library

    For steel structures - try McGuire.
    For soils - suggest M.J. Tomlinson's Foundation Design and Constsrution and his book on Piles (exact name escapes me).  For Soils books I could go on and on - but these would be (actually are) part of my biblical collection.
    The AASHTO Bridge Design Book is good, too.

RE: Building a structural library

First off, thanks to all who have responded.  

ADK- Sorry for the late response.  My undergraduate/graduate work in college was in Civil/Environmental Engineering.  So aside from the typical statics, structural analysis, and materials classes, I have not taken any formal classes in concrete, wood, or steel design.  After working in the environmental consulting field for 2 years, I wound up at a local engineering firm where I have been working under a licensed Structural PE (with 25 years experience) for 2 years now.  I really enjoy my work and would like to continue in the field of structural engineering, eventually obtaining my PE. I have been using my bosses' references but I really think I should start compiling my own library.  Although he has many references, he suggested that I post this question to get other opinions.  Hope that answers your question.    

RE: Building a structural library

to ADK and wp197,
specialist hardly ...
Strength of Materials;
timeshenko's books are the fundementals of strength of materials, 'Elementary ...' the best (college/university text), with the 'Advanced ...' providing background to plates, beams on elastic foundations etc., and other interesting useful topics that pop up now and then.  Theory of Elastic Stability', well if you perform an type of linear elastic analysis here is the background and theory. I still find these books referenced in many Journal articles and books listed in this thread.

Structural Analysis;
Gahli Neville was a university text, very useful today, the best.
The Wang books, 'Intro. Struct. Analys...Matrix ..' earlier book on matrix methods very clean very readable providing background to 'Struct. Analys.... Computers' by Wang, lots of good programs in here in both Basic and Fortran with source code, we use and have modified... 'Virtual Work...' handy tool in  frames to get at a node and find out whats going on.  Virtual work, an energy method, energy methods implicitely used in FE analysis, work, displacement, stress, strain ... 'Stress,Stability .. an Energy Approach' very useful background, very readable, the best.

Strength of Materials ---> Structural Analaysis -----> Legislated Material Design Codes ---> Journal articles that result in the Material design Codes.  Suscribe and collect Structural Journals ... Visit ACI, PCA, CRSI, AISC, AISI, AITC, ASCE web sites, take a look at their publications, join, their there to help you, start collecting.

Equation Crunchers/canned programs. Don't look for an equation out of a text or a program that meets your design situation, look for an understanding of the theory and more importantly the assumptions that underlie that equation or are implicite in the program.  It wouldn't surprise me to find out that one can download for free off the internet sufficient free FE programs to feel they can design he Petronius (sp im sure) towers.

my two bits. think i'll get another coffee and get to work.

This is the back bone of our library, the design codes are the tools in our library

RE: Building a structural library

Another quick reference no one has mentioned is the Williams review book for the SE.  If nothing else, it will point toward all of the applicable codes.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close