Open Web Steel Joists Analysis and Design


Wednesday, October 25, 2023
5:00 PM

 Watch Video

Learn how to quickly analyze and design open web steel joists for your next structural project!

About this event

Although open web steel joists (OWSJs) offer various benefits for structural projects, such as long spans, lightweight construction, and easy integration with mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems, designing with OWSJs can present some challenges for structural engineers, especially in residential or light commercial projects.

Some of the most common challenges include limited design flexibility due to standardized shapes and sizes, making it difficult to accommodate specific architectural or spatial requirements. Engineers also need to carefully consider proper load distribution when designing with OWSJs to ensure that loads are adequately distributed and prevent overloading individual joists. Additionally, connecting OWSJs with other structural elements, including beams, columns, and walls, requires careful consideration to ensure proper connections and load transfer, which is essential for maintaining structural integrity.

Join Laurent Gérin, P.Eng., North America Engineering Team Lead, on Wednesday 25 October 2023, from 1 pm to 2 pm Eastern Time (ET) to learn more about open web steel joists (OWSJ) and how they can be advantageous in residential and light commercial structures applications.

We will discuss common design considerations for OWSJ and go through the step-by-step procedures of OWSJ analysis and design. We will also showcase ClearCalcs' latest Open Web Steel Joist Calculator and how users can utilize the platform with its many time-saving features to speed up their workflow, saving valuable engineering time.

In this webinar, we will cover:

  • Introduction to Open Web Steel Joists (OWSJ)
    • Definition and purpose of OWSJ in residential and light commercial structures
    • Benefits of using OWSJ in construction projects
  • Structural Analysis and Design of OWSJ
    • Overview of the design process for OWSJ, including software tools and resources
    • Key factors to consider when designing OWSJ, such as deflection, stability, and connection details
  • ClearCalcs Open Web Steel Joist Calculator & Worked Examples

Webinar Summary


The webinar began with an introduction to Open Web Steel Joists Analysis and Design. Laurent provided a brief overview of the topic, setting the stage for the detailed discussion that followed.

Benefits of Using Steel Joists in Building Construction

Laurent highlighted the advantages of using steel joists in building construction. These include efficiency, long spans, and architectural freedom. They explained how these benefits make steel joists a preferred choice for many architects and builders.

Challenges in Designing with Steel Joists

Despite the numerous benefits, there are also challenges associated with designing with steel joists. Laurent discussed these in detail, including non-uniform loads, stress reversal, bracing, and fire protection. They provided insights into how these challenges can be addressed effectively.

Designing Steel Joists Using ClearCalcs Software

Laurent demonstrated how to design steel joists using ClearCalcs software. They walked through the process step-by-step, providing practical examples along the way. Special considerations for rooftop units and snow drifts were also discussed.


The webinar concluded on a fun note with a Halloween challenge. Participants were encouraged to share their spooky or challenging projects for a chance to win ClearCalcs swag.

In conclusion, the webinar provided a comprehensive overview of Open Web Steel Joists Analysis and Design. It offered valuable insights into the benefits and challenges of using steel joists in building construction, as well as practical guidance on how to design them using ClearCalcs software.

Your speakers

Laurent Gérin, P.Eng., North America Engineering Team Lead

Laurent is an experienced structural engineer passionate about all things structural engineering and applying theory, whether in groundbreaking new software or designing innovative new bridges out of aluminum.

Tara Memarian, Structural Engineer

Tara is a Structural Design Expert with five years of experience in building design. Before joining ClearCalcs, she specialized in structural analysis of complex formwork and scaffolding structures for mid and high-rise buildings. She has also designed a fair share of complex hydraulic climbing systems and tunnels from her time at PERI

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