It is all too common for equipment to be installed on communication towers without a structural analysis being conducted. It is also very common for towers, several decades old, to support equipment that they were never designed to carry. Equipment evolves over time and towers must also evolve.
The Telecommunications Industry Association’s Structural Standard for Antenna Supporting Structures and Antennas (TIA-222-G) requires that a communication structure be analyzed prior to any modification to the equipment mounted on the structure. It is worth noting that this Standard has also evolved over time. Now on Revision G, the Standard is significantly more conservative than prior versions. The Engineering Specialties Group understands the evolutions of standards and approaches this fact from a rational direction. It would be unfair to judge a 40-year old structure with a standard written many years after its construction. We consider the intent of a structure’s design and its age when recommending modifications. Other designers may simply state that a structure is not compliant and that it must be replaced. We attempt to justify the capacity of a structure based on its life history.
We can efficiently perform an assessment of a structure and determine what modifications are required to bring the capacity to a required level or to accept additional equipment. We utilize creative solutions when approached with a tower that may not meet the current structural standards.
This article was written by Steve Dorau, project manager and telecom infrastructure group leader.
© Copyright 2011 by the Engineering Specialties Group