Core Concepts for the Civil PE Exam:
Structural Depth
Civil Morning Breadth and PE Structural Exam Practice Problems and Quick Reference Manual
PE Exam  Structural Depth

PE Core Concepts PE Structural Exam Review & Quick Reference Guide designed to break down the specific information needed for the exam on every topic from the NCEES Syllabus

Comprehensive PE Civil Engineering Structural Practice Exam.

40 Civil Breadth practice problems with detailed solutions

80 Structural Depth practice problems with detailed solutions

Breakdown of all NCEES listed codes including ACI, AISC, IBC, ASCE, Masonry design, NDS, AASHTO, OSHA, and PCI

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Structural Depth Online Study Guide
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ASCE
Live Load
Snow Loads
Snow loads are determined from Chapter 7. There are 3 types of snow loads to know: ground, flat roof, and design roof.
Pg = ground snow load. This is the snow load on the ground as per a specific geographic area.
Pf = flat roof snow load = Pg(0.7CeCtIS)
Ce = Exposure Factor from Table 72
Ct = Thermal Factor from Table 73
IS = Importance factor from 15.2
Ensure this is greater than the minimum = 20IS
The design roof snow load Ps = CsPf
Determine CS from Table 72c .
Snow Drift
Snow drift is additional load due to snow building up against a vertical wall from wind. The additional load is approximated by a triangular cross section of snow. Figure 78 depicts the necessary variables. To solve:
First determine the density of snow:
g = 0.13pg + 14 < 30 pcf
Then using the density you can determine the height of the roof snow hb = ps/g
hc = the vertical distance from the top of roof snow to upper roof = height to upper roof  hb
If hc < 0.2hb, Snow drift does not need to be applied
Then using figure 79 determine the drift height hd which will be the larger of:
For Leeward drift use lu = the length of the upper roof
For Windward use lu = the length of the lower roof and only use ¾ of the hd as determined from figure 79
Then calculate the width of the drift, w, for hd < hc w=4h, if hd > hc w = 4hd2/hc however w shall not be greater 8hc
The variables are better depicted in the diagram below:
Site Classification and Occupancy
 From Table 20.31 the site classification can be determined

Table 1.52 for the risk category
Seismic Base Shear and Force Distribution
Equivalent Lateral Force Procedure Section 12.8
The seismic base shear by the equivalent force method V = CsW
CS = Seismic response coefficient = SDS/(R/Ie)
Determine Ie from table 1.52 using the risk category
R = response modification factor from table 12.21
The lateral seismic force at a given level shall be:
Cvx = vertical distribution factor
V = total design lateral force or shear at the base of the
structure (kip or kN)
wi and wx = the portion of the total effective seismic weight of the structure (W) located or assigned to Level i or x
hi and hx = the height (ft) from the base to Level i or x
k = an exponent related to the structure period as follows:
for structures having a period of 0.5 s or less,
k = 1 for structures having a period of 2.5 s or more,
k = 2for structures having a period between 0.5 and
2.5 s, k shall be 2 or shall be determined by linear
interpolation between 1 and 2
Effective Seismic Weight
Effective weight is the load which can be accounted for to offset horizontal seismic forces. This includes the dead load and any additional loading as outlined in section 12.7.2 such as:
 In areas used for storage, a minimum of 25 percent of the floor live load (floor live load in public garages and open parking structures need not be included).

Where provision for partitions is required by Section 4.2.2 in the floor load design, the actual partition weight or a minimum weight of 10 psf (0.48 kN/m2) of floor area, whichever is greater. 
Total operating weight of permanent equipment. 
Where the flat roof snow load, Pf , exceeds 30 psf (1.44 kN/m2), 20 percent of the uniform design snow load, regardless of actual roof slope.
Site Coefficients and Spectural Response Factors
SDS = Design Spectural response acceleration parameter at short periods = 2/3SMS = 2/3FaSS
SMS = The risk targeted maximum considered earthquake ground motion acceleration parameter (MCER) Spectural response acceleration parameter at short periods.
Fa = Site coefficient defined in table 11.41
SS = Mapped (MCER) Spectural response acceleration parameter at short periods determined in accordance with section 11.4.1
SD1 = Design Spectural response acceleration parameter at a period of 1 s = 2/3SM1 = 2/3FvS1
SM1 = The risk targeted maximum considered earthquake ground motion acceleration parameter (MCER) Spectural response acceleration parameter at a period of 1 s.
Fv = Site coefficient defined in table 11.41
S1 = Mapped (MCER) Spectural response acceleration parameter at a period of 1 sec as determined in accordance with section 11.4.1
From Table 20.31 the site classification can be determined
Determine the Seismic design category based on short period response acceleration parameters from Table 11.61
Determine the Seismic design category based on 1S period response acceleration parameters from Table 11.62
AASHTO
3D Statics
Statics in 3 dimensions introduces additional equations of equilibrium due to the third axis. Apply the same basic principles for the sum of the following forces:
FX = 0
FY = 0
FZ = 0
MX = 0
MY = 0
MZ = 0
 First determine location of origin (0, 0, 0)

Determine X, Y, and Z component of all forces 
Determine moment from each component about each axis 
Moment about an axis is the perpendicular distance from a force component to that axis 
Forces parallel to an axis has zero moment about that axis 
Forces that run through an axis have zero moment about the axis
Moving Loads
 Moving Loads are most often from Live Load due to traffic
 Need to analyze position of load to cause the greatest stress
 Shear in general is greatest when loads are at the support
 Positive moment in general is greatest with the loads at midspan
 Negative Moment is greatest with the load cloase to the support
Hinges
Hinges are supports at which there is a zero moment and only an axial and vertical force can be transferred
Hinges are best analyzed by taking free body diagrams to either side of the hinge
Cables
 Cables carry load only in tension
 Acts as axial two force tension members
 Can be analyzed similarly to trusses use the method of joints
Consider the example below:
Then you can take free body diagrams of individual points to determine axial tensions:
ACI
3D Statics
Statics in 3 dimensions introduces additional equations of equilibrium due to the third axis. Apply the same basic principles for the sum of the following forces:
FX = 0
FY = 0
FZ = 0
MX = 0
MY = 0
MZ = 0
 First determine location of origin (0, 0, 0)

Determine X, Y, and Z component of all forces 
Determine moment from each component about each axis 
Moment about an axis is the perpendicular distance from a force component to that axis 
Forces parallel to an axis has zero moment about that axis 
Forces that run through an axis have zero moment about the axis
Moving Loads
 Moving Loads are most often from Live Load due to traffic
 Need to analyze position of load to cause the greatest stress
 Shear in general is greatest when loads are at the support
 Positive moment in general is greatest with the loads at midspan
 Negative Moment is greatest with the load cloase to the support
Hinges
Hinges are supports at which there is a zero moment and only an axial and vertical force can be transferred
Hinges are best analyzed by taking free body diagrams to either side of the hinge
Cables
 Cables carry load only in tension
 Acts as axial two force tension members
 Can be analyzed similarly to trusses use the method of joints
Consider the example below:
Then you can take free body diagrams of individual points to determine axial tensions:
AISC
Prestressing Stresses
In addition to the stress from external forces, prestressed beams are subject to the stresses from the strands. There are 2 types of stress from the applied Prestressing force (P):
 Compression stress due to the strands P/A
 Bending due to the eccentricity of the strands Pe(c)/I
When calculating total stress, be aware of signs. The eccentric prestress force causes a negative moment which will offset any positive bending.
Prestressing Flexure
Shipping and Handling
 Precast/prestressed members need to transported. This introduces stresses which may be different from the inplace design conditions.
 PCI provides provisions for the handling of precast members to limit cracking.
 The modulus of rupture of the section must be greater than applied stress due handling.
 Modulus of Rupture, fr = 7.5sqrt(f'c)
 PCI provides equations for the moments during lifting of typical pick point configurations. This can be found in Figure 8.3.1.
 The situation in which lifting or transportation occurs requires an additional multiplier as outlined in Table 8.3.1.
NDS
Prestressing Stresses
In addition to the stress from external forces, prestressed beams are subject to the stresses from the strands. There are 2 types of stress from the applied Prestressing force (P):
 Compression stress due to the strands P/A
 Bending due to the eccentricity of the strands Pe(c)/I
When calculating total stress, be aware of signs. The eccentric prestress force causes a negative moment which will offset any positive bending.
Prestressing Flexure
Shipping and Handling
 Precast/prestressed members need to transported. This introduces stresses which may be different from the inplace design conditions.
 PCI provides provisions for the handling of precast members to limit cracking.
 The modulus of rupture of the section must be greater than applied stress due handling.
 Modulus of Rupture, fr = 7.5sqrt(f'c)
 PCI provides equations for the moments during lifting of typical pick point configurations. This can be found in Figure 8.3.1.
 The situation in which lifting or transportation occurs requires an additional multiplier as outlined in Table 8.3.1.
ACI 530 Masonry
3D Statics
Statics in 3 dimensions introduces additional equations of equilibrium due to the third axis. Apply the same basic principles for the sum of the following forces:
FX = 0
FY = 0
FZ = 0
MX = 0
MY = 0
MZ = 0
 First determine location of origin (0, 0, 0)

Determine X, Y, and Z component of all forces 
Determine moment from each component about each axis 
Moment about an axis is the perpendicular distance from a force component to that axis 
Forces parallel to an axis has zero moment about that axis 
Forces that run through an axis have zero moment about the axis
Moving Loads
 Moving Loads are most often from Live Load due to traffic
 Need to analyze position of load to cause the greatest stress
 Shear in general is greatest when loads are at the support
 Positive moment in general is greatest with the loads at midspan
 Negative Moment is greatest with the load cloase to the support
Hinges
Hinges are supports at which there is a zero moment and only an axial and vertical force can be transferred
Hinges are best analyzed by taking free body diagrams to either side of the hinge
Cables
 Cables carry load only in tension
 Acts as axial two force tension members
 Can be analyzed similarly to trusses use the method of joints
Consider the example below:
Then you can take free body diagrams of individual points to determine axial tensions:
PCI
Prestressing Stresses
In addition to the stress from external forces, prestressed beams are subject to the stresses from the strands. There are 2 types of stress from the applied Prestressing force (P):
 Compression stress due to the strands P/A
 Bending due to the eccentricity of the strands Pe(c)/I
When calculating total stress, be aware of signs. The eccentric prestress force causes a negative moment which will offset any positive bending.
Prestressing Flexure
Shipping and Handling
 Precast/prestressed members need to transported. This introduces stresses which may be different from the inplace design conditions.
 PCI provides provisions for the handling of precast members to limit cracking.
 The modulus of rupture of the section must be greater than applied stress due handling.
 Modulus of Rupture, fr = 7.5sqrt(f'c)
 PCI provides equations for the moments during lifting of typical pick point configurations. This can be found in Figure 8.3.1.
 The situation in which lifting or transportation occurs requires an additional multiplier as outlined in Table 8.3.1.
OSHA
Flexure
Flexural capacity of steel is determined by the length of lateral support. If a beam is fully laterally supported, the capacity is the plastic moment capacity:
The plastic moment is the yield strength times the plastic section modulus: MP = FyZ
The plastic section modulus is the summation of the areas in compression and tension multiplied by the distance from the center of gravity of each area to the plastic neutral axis.
For a symmetric W shape, Z = 2(AfYf +Aw/2Yw)
Compression
The capacity of compression members are a function of the unbraced length. For nondoubly symmetric members there is a different capacity about each axis and it must be determined which is the controlling axis. To do this AISC Chapter 4 Tables provide the conversion factor to determine the equivalent unbraced length of the strong axis which is the ratio of the radii of gyration about each axis.
Tension
A steel tension member needs to be checked for 2 modes of failure. Yielding of the gross area and rupture of the effective net area
The gross area includes no holes
The net area includes the holes. The diameter of the hole is obtained by adding 1/8” to the diameter of the bolt
Fatigue
Fatigue is covered in the specifications Appendix 3 of the AISC. The stress range is determined by the following equation:
N is the fluctuations for the life of the structure
Cf = Found from table A3.1
FTH = Table A3.1
Welds
Block Shear
The main concept to understand for block shear is that a component of the capacity comes from tension which is the length of perimeter perpendicular to the load and the other comes in shear from the portion which is parallel to the tension. Then simply fill in the equation
Ubs = 1.0 if tension is uniform and 0.5 otherwise (Most often taken as 1.0)
Anv = net area in shear (in2)
Ant = net area in tension (in2)
Agv = gross area in shear (in2)
The diameter of the hole is 1/8” + diameter of the bolt
Bolt Strength
Bolted connections fail in shear or bearing.
For Shear:
Fn = Shear strength of bolt from table J3.2. N is for threads included, X for threads excluded
n = number of bolts
Also note the capacity is multiplied by the number of shear planes on the bolt
For Bearing:
Lc = clear edge distance measured from edge of hole to edge of connected material
Fu = ultimate strength of connected material
t = thickness of connected material
d = bolt diameter
IBC
Prestressing Stresses
In addition to the stress from external forces, prestressed beams are subject to the stresses from the strands. There are 2 types of stress from the applied Prestressing force (P):
 Compression stress due to the strands P/A
 Bending due to the eccentricity of the strands Pe(c)/I
When calculating total stress, be aware of signs. The eccentric prestress force causes a negative moment which will offset any positive bending.
Prestressing Flexure
Shipping and Handling
 Precast/prestressed members need to transported. This introduces stresses which may be different from the inplace design conditions.
 PCI provides provisions for the handling of precast members to limit cracking.
 The modulus of rupture of the section must be greater than applied stress due handling.
 Modulus of Rupture, fr = 7.5sqrt(f'c)
 PCI provides equations for the moments during lifting of typical pick point configurations. This can be found in Figure 8.3.1.
 The situation in which lifting or transportation occurs requires an additional multiplier as outlined in Table 8.3.1.
AWS
Weld Symbols and Types
Advanced Statics
3D Statics
Statics in 3 dimensions introduces additional equations of equilibrium due to the third axis. Apply the same basic principles for the sum of the following forces:
FX = 0
FY = 0
FZ = 0
MX = 0
MY = 0
MZ = 0
 First determine location of origin (0, 0, 0)

Determine X, Y, and Z component of all forces 
Determine moment from each component about each axis 
Moment about an axis is the perpendicular distance from a force component to that axis 
Forces parallel to an axis has zero moment about that axis 
Forces that run through an axis have zero moment about the axis
Moving Loads
 Moving Loads are most often from Live Load due to traffic
 Need to analyze position of load to cause the greatest stress
 Shear in general is greatest when loads are at the support
 Positive moment in general is greatest with the loads at midspan
 Negative Moment is greatest with the load cloase to the support
Hinges
Hinges are supports at which there is a zero moment and only an axial and vertical force can be transferred
Hinges are best analyzed by taking free body diagrams to either side of the hinge
Cables
 Cables carry load only in tension
 Acts as axial two force tension members
 Can be analyzed similarly to trusses use the method of joints
Consider the example below:
Then you can take free body diagrams of individual points to determine axial tensions:
Misc. Structural Topics
Flexure
Flexural capacity of steel is determined by the length of lateral support. If a beam is fully laterally supported, the capacity is the plastic moment capacity:
The plastic moment is the yield strength times the plastic section modulus: MP = FyZ
The plastic section modulus is the summation of the areas in compression and tension multiplied by the distance from the center of gravity of each area to the plastic neutral axis.
For a symmetric W shape, Z = 2(AfYf +Aw/2Yw)
Compression
The capacity of compression members are a function of the unbraced length. For nondoubly symmetric members there is a different capacity about each axis and it must be determined which is the controlling axis. To do this AISC Chapter 4 Tables provide the conversion factor to determine the equivalent unbraced length of the strong axis which is the ratio of the radii of gyration about each axis.
Tension
A steel tension member needs to be checked for 2 modes of failure. Yielding of the gross area and rupture of the effective net area
The gross area includes no holes
The net area includes the holes. The diameter of the hole is obtained by adding 1/8” to the diameter of the bolt
Fatigue
Fatigue is covered in the specifications Appendix 3 of the AISC. The stress range is determined by the following equation:
N is the fluctuations for the life of the structure
Cf = Found from table A3.1
FTH = Table A3.1
Welds
Block Shear
The main concept to understand for block shear is that a component of the capacity comes from tension which is the length of perimeter perpendicular to the load and the other comes in shear from the portion which is parallel to the tension. Then simply fill in the equation
Ubs = 1.0 if tension is uniform and 0.5 otherwise (Most often taken as 1.0)
Anv = net area in shear (in2)
Ant = net area in tension (in2)
Agv = gross area in shear (in2)
The diameter of the hole is 1/8” + diameter of the bolt
Bolt Strength
Bolted connections fail in shear or bearing.
For Shear:
Fn = Shear strength of bolt from table J3.2. N is for threads included, X for threads excluded
n = number of bolts
Also note the capacity is multiplied by the number of shear planes on the bolt
For Bearing:
Lc = clear edge distance measured from edge of hole to edge of connected material
Fu = ultimate strength of connected material
t = thickness of connected material
d = bolt diameter