SpeedFloor: Investigating a New Modular Floor System

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the Charles Pankow Foundation, and the Magnusson Klemencic Associates Foundation, among others, are poised to embark on testing a proposed new floor system for commercial buildings that eliminates concrete slabs to increase the speed of construction and reduce carbon.

Typical framing of modular panels.

The proposed system, a modular steel floor framing and diaphragm system with broad applicability, including high seismic zones, utilizes a deck of 3/8-inch steel plate to span between floor beams for support of a raised floor system. Apart from eliminating the pouring of a concrete deck, the system’s modular design plays an important role as well in increasing the speed of construction. This type of system is key to achieving the goals of AISC’s Need for Speed initiative to reduce the time from conception to occupancy for steel building structures.

This research plan outlines a 5-year project, divided into four phases, with the first two being eighteen months, and the second two being one year. The tasks associated with each phase will be reevaluated periodically in conjunction with the project sponsors, Industry Advisory Board, and the research team as the project proceeds. All designs will be conducted in conjunction with AISC 360 and AISC 341. 

The top view of a typical modular floor panel.

The project’s investigators plan to publicize their findings as they become available. Toward the end of the five-year time frame, design recommendations will be made available to practitioners for immediate implementation. The investigators will also work with AISC and other code organizations (AISI, ASCE, etc.) to address any necessary specification provisions as appropriate.

A drawing of the modular floor system. Image courtesy of Magnusson Klemencic Associates