Portal Frame Design

Portal frames account for around 50% of the structural steel used in the UK. For many years design has been in accordance with BS 5950. More recently, the Eurocodes are increasingly specified for design and are likely to be adopted more as software is released. Despite the extensive history in portal frame design, some design issues are not well understood. The course aims to provide in-depth coverage of the major issues surrounding the analysis, design and (crucially) the detailing of portal frames. The course covers frame design to BS EN 1993-1-1.

The objectives of this course are to:

  • Introduce a range of practical issues which have a critical impact on the design of portal frames;
  • Discuss the loading in portal frames, from BS EN 1991;
  • Discuss the preliminary sizing of portal frames;
  • Clarify the Eurocode provisions for:
    • In-plane frame stability (the significance of second order effects), particularly when the Eurocode cannot be used;
    • Member stability and restraints;
    • Haunch resistance;
    • Serviceability checks;
    • The UK provisions for buildings close to a boundary.
  • Comment on the design of portal frame connections;
  • Discuss the deflection criteria.

The course assumes that bespoke software will be used in many designs, but aims to present the background structural mechanics so the principles are understood, such that a manual design could be completed.

Having attended this course you will be able to:

  • Properly assess the loading on a portal frame structure;
  • Understand the underlying principles of portal frames;
  • Confidently check the analysis, design and details of a portal structure.

Who should attend?

The course is aimed at structural designers who are involved with conceptual design, detailed design or checking of portal frames.

Course delivery:

Delivery will be mainly by lecture. Exercises will be included in the day's programme

Available Dates:

7 December 2017, Swindon


SCI Members: £220 +VAT

Non-Members: £280 +VAT


7 hrs (7 hrs CPD)


To book a place contact:

Jane Burrell,
Courses Administrator

Direct line:
+44 (0)1344 636500