- Serviceability (structure)
In civil engineering, serviceability refers to the conditions under which a building is still considered useful. Should these limit states be exceeded, a structure that may still be structurally sound would nevertheless be considered unfit. It refers to condition others than the building strength that renders the buildings unusable. Serviceability limit state design of structures includes factors such as durability, overall stability, fire resistance, deflection, cracking and excessive vibration.
For example, a skyscraper could sway severely and cause the occupants to be sick (much like sea-sickness), yet be perfectly sound structurally and in no danger of collapsing. This building is obviously no longer fit for human occupation, yet since it is in no danger of collapsing, the structure would be considered as having exceeded its serviceability limit state.
A serviceability limit defines the performance criterion for serviceability and corresponds to a conditions beyond which specified service requirements resulting from the planned use are no longer met. In limit state design, a structure fails its serviceability if the criteria of the serviceability limit state are not met during the specified service life and with the required reliability. Hence, the serviceability limit state identifies a civil engineering structure which fails to meet technical requirements for use even though it may be strong enough to remain standing.
A structure that fails serviceability has exceeded a defined limit for one of the following properties:
* Excessive deflection
* Local deformation
The exact limit states for different purposes are defined by the government or regulatory agency.
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