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Design Resources


Thank you for considering the Tru-Frame® system for your project. At The Spectrus Group we believe that the Tru-Frame® system is the most economical and efficient choice when selecting a steel frame lateral force-resisting system. This innovative system based on the Special Truss Moment Frame concept provides many benefits, which include decreasing construction costs and increasing the speed at which a project is erected while at the same time providing a predictable high level of performance.

The Special Truss Moment Frame was developed at the University of Michigan from 1989 to 1994 by a staff of design researchers directed by Dr. Subash Goel. The system was subject to extensive design and testing with specifications formulated for inclusion into current editions of the AISC Seismic Design Provisions, the Uniform Building Code, the International Building Code and the Structural Engineers Association of California “Blue Book.”

At The Spectrus Group we have taken the STMF option to a new level by providing not only an efficient design of the concept but by also providing the ability to handle the entire steel package from design to erection. The Spectrus Group and the Tru-Frame® STMF design received the 1999 NOVA Award, considered the Nobel Prize of Construction for its wide array of benefits.

The Tru-Frame® system increases the speed at which a building is erected because of the ability to overlap activities. This advantage can reduce the time to deliver and erect the steel package by as much as half. The Tru-Frame® system also decreases costs by reducing overall structure weight and eliminates all on-site full-penetration welding and the associated inspection costs. It can also substantially reduce foundation costs. With spans of up to 65 feet by code, the Tru-Frame® system can help to eliminate interior columns and increase the flexibility of the project space.

The key to the Tru-Frame® system is a “Special Segment” in the middle half of the truss frame that is designed to dissipate energy and isolate yielding in predetermined elements. This removes inelastic behaviors from the critical connection of the truss frame to the frame column allowing for simpler and faster connections. The Spectrus Group’s Tru-Frame® system also lends itself to post-earthquake repairs. The yielded special segment can be replaced or repaired with comparatively little disruption to the overall structure.

To better evaluate the benefits The Spectrus Group can provide to your specific project, we have prepared this Design Guideline to aid you in the preliminary layout and design of a lateral forceresisting system with the Tru-Frame® option. The Spectrus Group has provided a step by step process illustrated with a design example to assist you with the development of your project. Also included in this manual are detailing suggestions to better assist your design team in preparing plans and documents.

The Spectrus Group is confident that when compared to a traditional SMRF system, the Tru-Frame® system will stand out as the most cost effective choice. Let The Spectrus Group help you bring SPEED, FLEXIBILITY AND VALUE to your projects.