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With the arrival of the 6th Edition Florida Building Code (2017) January 1, 2018, the industry will need to adopt the 2015 Aluminum Design Manual (ADM) in Florida which is referenced by the new code. The 2010 Aluminum Design Manual was referenced in the 2014 Florida Building Code.

Engineering Express® has been thoroughly researching how these code changes affect our product designs.  We’ve put together a list of 10 notable changes that could potentially affect the design of your aluminum product using this new standard.  Although not every change will affect your product nor is every change reflected here, each are important to consider when engineering an aluminum product for this upcoming Florida code.


  1. The lateral torsional buckling section is probably the most influential change to the new ADM. Completely new calculations will need to be performed to shapes of all kind to be compliant with this updated section.  Many new variables and constants have been introduced and now each shape must undergo multiple ‘slenderness checks’.  The equations used are long and include new variables that go into even more in depth equations. Reductions to allowable capacities of aluminum members are possible.
  2. Welds: The method of computing the strength of fillet welds was changed from using a tabular value for shear strength by filler alloy to using 0.6 times the tabular value for tensile strength times 0.85 which could affect fillet weld strengths. Groove welds were changed as well by significantly reducing their strength to reflect the notch effect.
  3. There is a whole new section for the shear strength of rods. This new section includes multiple calculations and will likely affect designs of aluminum rods as these will have to be factored into.
  4. The tensile ultimate strength constant has changed for many aluminum types. Since this number is used in many calculations when using aluminum, it will greatly affect anybody using many aluminum types. Some calculations were added in a new part in the Design of Members for Flexure section.  This new part, Yielding and Rupture, includes calculations for nominal flexural strength of multiple different types of products.
  5. Section G.2 of the 2010 ADM now reflects differently in section G.3 of the 2015 ADM. These sections, the same members with flat webs supported on one edge sections, differ by the latest one having a noticeably many more equations that will be of utmost importance when calculating the strength of this element.
  6. Round Hollow Elements section has been added to the Curved Elements Supported on Both Edges section with stress calculations. It is now important to know which structural elements get which calculations when talking about compressive strength, and is something that needs to be checked when applicable.
  7. In the 2015 ADM, there is much more about which bolts, washers, and nuts may be used in any design. It goes into much more specifics than the previous ADM did and will have to be considered when designing anything referencing the 2017 Florida Building Code.
  8. Throughout all the new ADM, the expression of kl/R, used when calculating buckling, has been replaced with lambda. All calculations in the 2010 ADM that have carried over to 2015 now utilize lambda instead of that expression and calculations need to be updated to match new code provisions.
  9. Calculations in flexural compression strength have been edited to reflect newer data to make the calculations more accurate. This change will affect all calculations done on flexural compression strength to get an accurate answer that complies with the 2017 Florida Building Code.
  10. Changes to the specification were reflected in the other parts of the Aluminum Design Manual, especially in the Part VI Design Aids tables of buckling constants, resistance and safety factors, allowable stresses, and Round Hollow Elements (tubes). 


Additional information can be found by one of the Aluminum Design Manual contributors by clicking here

More about the 2015 Aluminum Design Manual can be found by clicking here including where to purchase.

Authors: Frank Bennardo PE and Michael Schaja, Intern

June, 2017