In another type of framing system, different from those described in Arts. 7.7 and 7.8, a partial use of structural steel has an important role, namely, composite framing of reinforced concrete and structural steel.
Composite construction actually occurs whenever concrete is made to assist steel framing in carrying loads. The term composite, however, often is used for the specific cases in which concrete slabs act together with flexural members.
Reinforced-concrete columns of conventional materials when employed in tall buildings and for large spans become excessively large. One method of avoiding this objectionable condition is to use high-strength concrete and high-strength reinforcing bars. Another is to use a structural-steel column core. In principle, the column load is carried by both the steel column and the concrete that surrounds the steel shape. Building codes usually contain an appropriate formula for this condition.
A number of systems employ a combination of concrete and steel in various ways. One method features steel columns supporting a concrete floor system by means of a steel shearhead connected to the columns at each floor level. The shallow grillage is embedded in the floor slab, thus obtaining a smooth ceiling without drops or capitals.
Another combination system is the lift-slab method. In this system, the floor slabs are cast one on top of another at ground level. Jacks, placed on the permanent steel columns, raise the slabs, one by one, to their final elevation, where they are made secure to the columns. When fireproofing is required, the columns may be boxed in with any one of many noncombustible materials available for that purpose.
The merit of this system is the elimination of formwork and shoring that are essential in conventional reinforced-concrete construction.
For high-rise buildings, structural-steel framing often is used around a central, load-bearing, concrete core, which contains elevators, stairways, and services. The thick walls of the core, whose tubular configuration may be circular, square, or rectangular, are designed as shear walls to resist all the wind forces as well as gravity loads. Sometimes, the surrounding steel framing is cantilivered from the core, or the perimeter members are hung from trusses or girders atop the core and possibly also, in very tall buildings, at midheight of the core.