Reinforce the detail in your design


We are concerned about the quality and conciseness of steel reinforcement detailing by Architects, Engineers, and Draftspeople. 

Our processor members are receiving design drawings with insufficient detailing, unknown bar sizes, and incorrect bar lapping. These omissions delay the production of bar schedules, with a knock-on effect on construction. As requests for information (RFI’s) go back and forth between steel processors and designers, it’s inevitable that what gets built is not exactly what was designed.

Poor design drawings make it hard for the steel detailer to meet the designer’s expectations. If the steel is not correctly placed and fixed on-site then the structure will not comply with the intent of the design. The result is the reinforced structure may not perform as expected, or in the worst-case scenario - fail.

The quality of steel reinforcement detailing will improve if designers follow these three principles.

  • Detailing consists of good drawings, including plans, elevations, adequate sections, notes and details, to communicate the design intent. It gives the scheduler a clear understanding of what each bar, piece of mesh, fitment or piece of reinforcement is doing so that they can prepare the required information for the manufacture of the reinforcement.
  • It is the responsibility of the designer to ensure the information on the drawing is clear so that the concrete element can be constructed on site and the final structure will comply with the design requirements.
  • Allow enough time to check your design and have it reviewed. We all make mistakes so it’s important to check your drawings for accuracy and then get them verified by an independent checker. This will avoid claims and save time on-site when fixing the reinforcement.

Three excellent steel detailing reference documents are: 

SRIA's Guide to Seismic Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Buildings in Australia

The Reinforcement Detailing Handbook from Concrete Institute of Australia. 

Clause 1.4 of AS 3600 – Concrete structures from SAI Global

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